This was a light and enjoyable read. I kept thinking to myself that this reminds me of a certain series by Janet Evanovich, only not so tiresome, andThis was a light and enjoyable read. I kept thinking to myself that this reminds me of a certain series by Janet Evanovich, only not so tiresome, and the heroine definitely has more of an edge to her. But the cliches remain. Potential love triangle, attractive Italian cop, and whacky supporting characters, and just some characters that we just don't suspect....more
Without a doubt, Ms Day is up there with the best of erotic romance writers—she's incredibly versatile across all genres, and geebus can she write hotWithout a doubt, Ms Day is up there with the best of erotic romance writers—she's incredibly versatile across all genres, and geebus can she write hot scenes.
When I began to realise this book was kind of sort of OK a lot not really reminding me of a certain fanfic-turned-published-novel which I haven't even read yet but is so pungent in my mind, I became wary. Wary of this overt trend of "troubled" characters fighting their demons and their sexual appetites, but while I reserve judgement for said fanfic-turned-published-novel, I think I am safe to assert that Ms. Day does a much finer job.
The voice of Eva in this story is raw and earnest; I found her annoying at times but she's just so readable. Her emotional hang-ups, her severe uncertainties and bursts of happiness are all spilled onto the paper. The choice to tell the story from a first-person perspective is appropriate, though I really would like to have tapped into Gideon's mind more too. Perhaps we'll see this in the sequel? I hope so.
What Ms. Day does with notable finesse is make these pretty unpleasant and difficult characters believable. She has taken a tiresome and problematic trope and whipped it (oh am I punny) into a poignant and engaging love story. Eva may be submissive, but she is not weak. Gideon may be controlling, but he is just as vulnerable and needy. There are a few issues I had with the supporting characters—the angsty gay best friend roomie thing is just not so convincing now, but I hope there'll be further development in the sequel.
While I don't always like Eva and Gideon, and I don't believe we are meant to, I root for them to better themselves and overcome their fears, and to build a healthier, more solid relationship.
I am really looking forward to reading more! To think I normally run away from these kinds of plots... Also, I loathe the archetypal happily ever afters, with marriage and babies, and ugh; I like leaving threads open, so it's awesome that Ms. Day has more development on the way!...more
Wow, this is Jaci Burton at the top of her, er, game (OK, I just had to throw a pun in!).
Elizabeth Darnell is a curious character in terms of the heroWow, this is Jaci Burton at the top of her, er, game (OK, I just had to throw a pun in!).
Elizabeth Darnell is a curious character in terms of the heroine archetype, because she is initially established as a shrewd, spiteful conspirator in the first book, so it is perhaps difficult to screen out the negative perception of her. That said, Burton did a good job in upping the curiosity about her at the end of The Perfect Play. Without giving away much of the plot, Liz screws her client, Mick, over very badly and faces the harsh consequences. Yet fiery and bitchy no-bullshit Liz inadvertently lets our new hero Gavin see her vulnerability, which he is surprised to see, knowing her as he does. And when she kisses him suddenly, he is intrigued.
I love reformed heroines (reformed heroes are incredibly boring now), and Liz Darnell is one reformed heroine. She's been in love with star baseball player, Gavin Riley, for years, but she's his agent, and it's always been a strictly professional relationship. So her burning a torch for him is something she hardly wants to reveal and make any more obvious.
The trouble is she's let Gavin see a side of her she's worked hard to conceal and one night when they cross paths again he is fascinated enough to playfully tease her out of her hard shell. And it's a delicious whirlwind unraveling for both of them. If only she wasn't feeling insecure about her place in Gavin's life, career and even family.
The family is one choppy obstacle, namely Mick. It's funny that when Mick was so perfect in the first book he turned out to be a right prickly douchebag in this book, so I wasn't too pleased to see him like that.
Transforming Liz from a cold-hearted bitch to a more relatable and infinitely warmer character requires a sensitive hand (in more ways than one, har har), but I think Burton does quite well in revealing Liz's personal doubts and feelings as the story (and relationship) deepens. As Gavin gets to know different sides to Liz, so do we. Sometimes I feel unconvinced by just how much Liz changes: it is jarring to see Liz laughing heartily with her new girlfriends, when she seemed like such a impenetrable man-eating shark; Liz's no-nonsense take-no-crap attitude shows itself when necessary, but she's just as vulnerable as any other woman in her situation could be.
Obviously there is more character development on Liz's part, but Gavin's redemption comes quite later on in the novel. His own unraveling is sudden, and he is no less vulnerable than Liz is in the game of love. He says some very nasty things to Liz, fueled by Mick's own accusations, and it takes both men a bit too long a while to appreciate where they erred, but they certainly makes amends. Gavin especially redeems himself in a grand fashion. Their reunion is just that saccharine and cheesy that you simply don't care it's like the cliched ending of every sporty romcom; it's solid, satisfying and so sweet. Welling of tears may have ensued.
Again the American sport terminology is gibberish to me, but I breezed through this novel in several hours. I haven't been this engaged in a recent romance of any genre for a long time; it's been a dry spell with a succession of disappointing reads, so thank you Ms Burton for getting me interested again!
Also, after reading this I had to put Michelle Branch and Santana's "The Game of Love" on repeat......more