Guest Review: The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

Posted August 17, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 6 Comments

Published by Berkley, Penguin

Tracy’s review of The Perfect Play (Play by Play #1) by Jaci Burton.

The last thing event planner Tara Lincoln needs is the jet-set lifestyle of a football pro like Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand proved that Mick is an all-star-both on the field and in the bedroom.

Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a certified heartbreaker. But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind to catch this sultry vixen.

When Mick Riley sets eyes on Tara Lincoln he’s immediately drawn to her and the fact that she seems down to earth. She doesn’t appear to be like the models and actresses that his agent sets him up to escort to premiere’s etc. He’s done with being something he’s not and he’s pretty sure he wants that to start with Tara.

Tara is a bit overwhelmed by Mick – really only in the fact that he’s gorgeous. Yes, she knows he’s a quarterback for a team in the NFL and happens to love football but she’s not star-struck…more like bod-struck. lol But the pair talk and have a great time at the party that Tara has planned for the team and end up in Mick’s hotel room. After a night of not being able to get enough of each other Mick wakes up and Tara is gone.

It doesn’t take Mick long to locate Tara and her business and is determined that she’ll go out with him. But Tara is focused on her business and raising her 14-almost-15-year-old-son. She doesn’t bring men around for her son Nathan to get attached to as she’s not planning on having them around for two long. But Mick is relentless and eventually the pair start dating on a regular basis. But can they work out the differences that Tara sees as a huge issue?

This is the first book in a series about the Riley family. Mick is the oldest son and as I said an NFL Football player. The second book, Changing the Game, which came out on August 2nd is about Mick’s brother Gavin who is a professional baseball player. The third book will be about their sister Jenna, Taking a Shot, will come out next March. The Riley family is definitely a sports oriented family and one that great to read about. The Riley family dynamics in The Perfect Play is one of the things that makes me want to read book 2 in this series. They’re close, loving and pretty damned loyal to each other.

In this book Mick, in my opinion, was the more emotionally stable character. He came from a fabulous family (as I’ve said) but he was just more mature emotionally that I thought Tara was. Despite his wonderful upbringing he did have issues that he eventually told Tara about but I thought it made him all the stronger. Sure he had some second thoughts at some points but he worked through them and moved on. I didn’t get that from Tara.

Tara was scared. I can’t blame her all that much because she had a crappy childhood and became a single mother at a very early age. Although she was strong from the adversity when it came to her son or her job I kind of thought she was a bit of a mess with love relationships. Both of the major issues in the book were caused by Tara’s insecurities and her lack of trust in Mick. They both could have been easily solved with a bit of communication but Tara blew them out of proportion. I think because of her doubts about how the relationship would work she purposely overreacted…but I could be wrong. lol

Overall I really liked the book despite my issues with Tara. Burton writes great books that have great relationships in them. I loved the fact that the characters got along so well in the book and that’s something I enjoy in most of Burton’s books. I can’t wait to pick up book 2!

Rating: 4 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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6 responses to “Guest Review: The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

  1. Anonymous

    Many readers seemed to have issues with Tara, but I found her to be one of the more realistic romance heroines. It’s so refreshing for once for the average woman to actually have doubts about the hot famous millionaire wanting her. It’s so much more realistic than all of those books where the Plain Jane never questions their compatibility and their future.

    Unfortunately I really disliked the second book. There was FAAAR too much sex and not much more. The evil woman in this one is the next book’s heroine and nothing ever happens to explain her awful behaviour.

  2. Hmmm, I think I had a bit of issues with both Mick and Tara… but when it comes to sports romance, this is definitively one of the best books in recent years 🙂

  3. Chris – Hope you like it!

    Anonymous – I didn’t have any issue with Tara having doubts about Mick it was the jumping to conclusions without getting his version of the story first. I know we all do it but I found it a bit off putting in this book.

    Nath – I really liked it too and sports romances aren’t my favorite. 🙂

  4. I REALLY want to read this one . . . I keep salivating every time I read a review of it, so am just going to have to break down and get it. Apart from being a Burton creation, I like sports-related stories and think this will be a good one. Your review just strengthens my determination to read this book. Thanks for a good one.

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