Auntee's Reviews > Playing to Win

Playing to Win by Jaci Burton
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's review
Sep 16, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary-romance, sports-romance, part-of-a-series, jaci-burton, i-ll-buy-for-the-cover-alone, 2012_reads
Recommended for: Fans of erotic sports romances
Read from September 05 to 07, 2012

Wow. Yet another winner in Jaci Burton's Play By Play series...I don't know how she does it but keep 'em comin', Jaci!

In Playing To Win we get bad boy NFL wide receiver Cole Riley-- cousin to Mick (The Perfect Play), Gavin (Changing the Game), and Jenna (Taking a Shot) Riley. Twenty-nine year old Cole is 6 feet 200+ pounds of gorgeousness, but he has a fatal flaw--his self control. His short fuse has gotten him into trouble with the media, and has NFL teams giving up on him (despite his football talent). Nobody wants a hothead who can't get along with the media on their team, and it looks like hometown team St. Louis Traders may be Cole's last chance. Both ownership and Cole's new agent Liz (Changing the Game) want Cole to toe the line and change his ways. But Cole may need a little help remaking his reputation. That's when image consultant Savannah Brooks enters the picture. The southern blond beauty never met a client she couldn't help, but Cole may prove to be a difficult subject. He's stubborn and refuses to take responsibility for his actions. He's self-contained and not a friend to his teammates. People have him all wrong--he's not a bad guy, he's just being goaded by the media. Can Savannah work her magic on someone who doesn't think he needs help?



Well. Cole starts out as a bit of a jerk in this book, with the whole spoiled athlete bit. But gradually, as he starts to take Savannah's suggestions, he comes around and becomes waaay more likable. And there's definitely some major chemistry between Cole and Savannah (or "Peaches", as he calls her). Cole wants to hook up with the pretty, proper, blond, and Savannah fights like mad to keep their relationship "professional". In her mind, her career is all she has, and she's not about to blow it for a guy who's never been in a real relationship. Due to her upbringing, Savannah is too wary to let herself care for someone--and falling in love? Forget it. But what if Cole keeps tempting her? Can she really resist his charm and risk it all?

Typical of this series, this was another well-written, fast moving, super sexy book. At first Cole comes off as a stubborn, spoiled jerk, and wasn't that easy to like (no matter how hunky he was). But gradually, hearing his POV, we get to know him better and hear what he's thinking. And he becomes more likable.

Needless to say, the romance between Cole and Savannah is white hot, so have a cool drink handy.:) The sexual tension is quite high, builds and builds until...whew!

JB deals adequately with Savannah's crappy background, and the reader will certainly sympathize with her. She's a hard-working, self-made woman, and I was rooting for her to get her HEA with Cole.

Readers of this series will be happy to know that we get an update on all the couples: Mick and his (view spoiler); Gavin and Liz (who has lots of snappy dialogue with both Cole and Savannah); and little sister Jenna and fiancé Tyler. We also get to meet Cole's family, including his sister Alicia whose story (Thrown by a Curve) is up next.

This is one of my favorite contemporary/erotic series right now. Jaci Burton always delivers a well crafted story with believable characters, smoldering sex scenes, and the perfect HEA to warm your heart. Although she may run out of Rileys soon, I think this series still has plenty of legs. Just keep serving up the studly sports stars, and I'll be reading them! 5 stars
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Reading Progress

09/05/2012 page 18
5.0% "I don't think I'm going to be able to put this one down..."
09/07/2012 page 320
100.0% "Loved it of coming eventually"

Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Seriously, awesome cover, right :) Hope you're enjoying it as much as I did :)

Auntee The cover is quite tasty:)
I am enjoying it, that's for sure. Don't know if it will top the others, but we'll see!

Nikki I ordered mine and am trying to patiently wait for it to arrive!

Auntee It's a good one Nikki and worth the wait!

Nikki Auntee wrote: "It's a good one Nikki and worth the wait!"

YAY! I'm excited! I'm hoping I'll get it Mon or Tue. Any longer and I might implode :)

Nikki Yes it does! My hardback copy arrived in the mail today... I just like to look at this series on my bookshelf! :)

Vicki Great review Auntee, I can't wait to read this one!!! :)

Auntee Yay Nikki!

Auntee Thanks Vicki!:)

message 10: by ♡Karlyn P♡ (new)

♡Karlyn P♡ Nice review Auntie, one of these days I'm going to start this series. Meanwhile, I love looking at the covers. Yum! :-)

Auntee Thanks KarLyn, it's one of my favorites. And the covers too!:)

message 12: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB Wonderful review Auntee! I need to get to this series.

message 13: by Dee (new)

Dee I'm still holding out until the price drops - Penquin is one of the last pubs yet to settle as respects the ebooks lawsuit - but it's getting harder & harder when I see covers like these!

Sunny So true. I thought this was one of JB's best books. I thought Cole and Savannah were so likeable as a couple. And JB is good at incorporating the football aspect into her book.

Mareli Great review! It makes this series really tempting... I'll have to think about it! ;)

Auntee Thanks Melissa, thanks Mareli!

message 17: by Buggy (new)

Buggy This series is not only good but its had the continually hottest covers going. Nice review Auntee :)

Auntee Thanks Buggy.:)
I agree--Jaci Burton has cornered the market on hot cover models!

Mareli Ditto on the covers. They're really are the best! LOL

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