Sunday Spotlight: The Final Score by Jaci Burton

Posted September 10, 2017 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I’m not going to lie. I’ve been collecting this series because of the covers. I mean, who wouldn’t? Ha! I haven’t read all of the books of the books in this series but the ones that I have read, I’ve enjoyed so I am looking forward to reading this book because the hero is the son of the couple from The Perfect Play, book 1 in this series. That should be interesting, right? Either way, I’m stoked about it. The heroine is the sister of the hero in the last book, Rules of Contact.

The Final Score by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #13
Also in this Series: Rules of Contact, Holiday on Ice, Taking a Shot, Taking a Shot, Changing the Game, The Perfect Play, The Perfect Play
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Berkley

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Contact, a star quarterback is torn between his love of the game—and the woman who may be the love of his life.

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his sports future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it all. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia realize that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

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Check out some Nathan and Mia goodness… 🙂

“Oh, you know what?” she said as they paused to refill their drinks. “Amy Mackenfield broke up with her boyfriend.”

Nathan feigned shock. “What? The couple that was going to be together until the end of time?”

Mia laughed. “That was my thought, too. I guess ‘until the end of time’ didn’t last very long past college graduation.”

Nathan braced a hip against the kitchen island. “So what happened?”

“She got a job offer in Houston and Bill wouldn’t make the move with her. He said his job in Austin was going so well that he didn’t want to lose it. They tried the long-distance thing for about six months. Amy realized it wasn’t going to work any longer, so she broke up with him.”

“Ah. I always thought they were mismatched anyway.”

She tilted her head at Nathan as they made their way back into the living room and resumed their seats on the couch. “Really? How so?”

“She’s very ambitious. He was content with the status quo and wasn’t the motivated type. Seems that didn’t change much after college.”

“You’re right about that.” She swirled her wine around in the glass, then took a sip. “I don’t know of many relationships that last through the tumultuous years of college.”

“Ours did.”

She laughed. “We’re not in a relationship, Nathan. We’re friends.”

“Is there a difference?”

She leaned back and kicked off her shoes. “Of course there is. I’m friends with several people from college.”

“Close friends?”

“Maybe not. I’d say I’m closest to you and to Monique. You’re the two people I tell all my secrets to.”

“I’m glad I know all the dirt. At least the non sex dirt.”

She laughed. “That’s true. You don’t get to hear about my sex life.”

“Why is that?”

“Because that would be weird.”

“In what way?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess maybe because we’ve been intimate before. Or maybe because you’re a guy. I don’t know.”

“Now you’re being sexist. Just because I’m a guy doesn’t mean I can’t hear the dirty details of your sex life.”

“Oh, please. Like you share the details of your sex life with me.”

“True. I don’t. I wouldn’t want to make you weep about what you’re missing out on.”

She rolled her eyes. “Please.”

“See? Now you’ve resorted to begging. I knew this would happen.” He stood and reached for the zipper of his jeans. “Okay, give me a second to lose my pants and we’ll get down to it.”

She was laughing so hard she had to put her glass down. “Oh, my God, Nathan. Stop.”

He stilled and turned to face her. “This is not the reaction I typically get when I’m about to drop my pants, Mia.”

She wiped her eyes. “Well, I’m not your typical woman, am I?”

He took a seat and picked up his beer. “No, you’re not. I can’t figure out why you’re so immune to me.”

She leaned into him. “I wouldn’t say I’m exactly immune to you. I find you immensely hot. It’s just that I love our friendship more than I love your penis.”

He sighed and tugged her close. “Dammit. Maybe I should be meaner to you.”

“Oh, please don’t do that. Then who would give me those awesome shoulder rubs when I’m tense?”

“Was that a hint?”

“Not even a hint.” She pulled herself forward. “I’ve had a rough day.”

He sighed. “Come on and sit between my legs.”

She got up, then nestled her butt in between his thighs, spreading her fingers over all that delicious hard muscle.

Keep it in the friend zone, Mia, she reminded herself. Ignoring her body’s reaction to being cradled against him, she decided it would be more prudent to keep the touching to a minimum. She removed her hands and placed them in her lap and focused on the way his hands moved over the tight muscles of her shoulders. He knew exactly where the knots of tension were located. In a matter of minutes all those muscles were relaxed as his fingers glided over her skin.

But as he moved his hands over her body, that tension was replaced with something else. For some reason, she was aware of Nathan like never before. The way it felt to be caged between his thighs, the sound of his breathing as he leaned forward to dig deeper into her muscles, and his cool, clean scent whenever she took a deep breath.

What was wrong with her? This wasn’t the first time he’d given her a massage. But for some reason, tonight she was vibing off him in a distinctly sexual way.

She found it very disturbing. After that one night a few years ago, she’d shut those feelings down completely. Other than having a penis, he’d been no different than one of her girlfriends.

Something had definitely changed, though. It had to be the unmet sexual need on her part that had surfaced with all the stress she was under.

She really needed to take care of it so that whenever Nathan put his hands on her or looked at her or breathed near her she’d stop feeling achy and aroused.

And stop feeling this overwhelming need to ask him to strip her down and lick her all over.

Play by Play Series

Take a moment to admire these beautiful book covers. Are you drooling about as much as we are? swoon

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Jaci Burton


Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 70 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn’t on deadline (which is often), she can usually be found wrestling with her uncooperative garden, wrangling her dogs, watching an unhealthy amount of television, or completely losing track of time reading a great book. She’s a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you’ll find in all her books.. Visit her website at for excerpts, book information and contests.

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