Tag: Jaci Burton

Review: Hot to the Touch by Jaci Burton

Posted May 29, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Hot to the Touch by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
Hot to the Touch by Jaci Burton
Series: Brotherhood by Fire #1
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
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Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Love burns white-hot in this first scorching romance in an all-new trilogy about a family of firefighters from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play novels and the Hope series.

Firefighter Jackson Donovan doesn't look back—as a rule. So when his past comes roaring back to life in the form of not-so-damsel-in-distress Becks Benning, the last thing he wants to do is relive old times. No matter how tempting she makes it seem...

Now thanks to his two interfering brothers, Becks is living with them while she looks for a new place and tries to pick up the pieces of her tattoo business that went up in flames. Which means a grown up, smokin' hot Becks is in his house, sharing meals, and digging up old wounds. And despite his better judgement, the more time he spends with this smart, artistic, incredible woman the more he wants her in his bed—and his future.

Becks always had it bad for Jackson. Unfortunately for her, not much has changed—he's still honorable, hard-working, sexy as sin—and closed off. But there's more than one way to get to a man's heart and if Jackson doesn't want to recall old memories, she'll just have to help him make new ones. Because now that she's found Jackson again, she's not letting him go.

Hot to the Touch is the first book in Jaci Burton’s Brotherhood by Fire series. This series follows a brotherhood of firefighters and this book kicks off with three homeless kids who get caught in a house fire and the firefighter that saves them from the fire and then adopts them, making them a family. Jackson Donovan is the oldest of the trio and this is his story.

Jackson, Kal, and Rafe have come a long way from their lives on the streets. They’re all employed, have a roof over their heads and they have a family now. They’re one of the lucky ones, considering where they came from. The past is something that Jackson tries not to think about, in his head the past is better left in the past so when a fire rescue brings him into contact with Becks, someone they all knew from the streets, the last thing Jackson wants, is to help her get back on her feet. She’s a part of the past and Jackson just doesn’t look back, for anyone or for anything. His hesitation and attitude toward Becks when she first comes to stay with them is a lot of the reason that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I just didn’t understand it, didn’t care for his attitude and this part of the story moved really slow for me.

Becks had a huge crush on Jackson when they were kids and living on the street. When they disappeared all those years ago, Becks and the rest of their street living squad wondered what happened to them so running into them all these years later, finding out that they are alive and well made Becks happy. She was glad to see her friends in a better place and she was also grateful when Kal and Rafe offered their place for her to crash at while she figures out her next step with her home and business burning down. The last thing Becks wants to do is get in the way at her new temporary home but no matter what she does to pull her weight, Jackson takes offense to it and makes living with them a lot harder for Becks…and honestly, I just didn’t get it.

The chemistry between Jackson and Becks is there but it took a while for me to get over how annoyed I was with Jackson for being such a dickhead to Becks. He’s got the hots for her but he treated her like shit and I wanted to knee him in the balls at every turn. I will say that eventually, the story picks up and my annoyance with Jackson goes away because in the end, I did like him and I was happy when him and Becks finally get to their happy ending. Jaci Burton created a world with a cast of characters that I’m interested in getting to know in upcoming books. I’m a fan of cops and firefighters and all other emergency responders so I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series. I think my issues with this book stemmed from the hero’s treatment of the heroine and how not much happened in the beginning of this book but once the romance picks up, the story picks up and I ended up liking it.

Final Grade

3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton

Posted September 7, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Tracy
One Perfect Kiss (Hope #8) by Jaci Burton
Series: Hope Series #8
Also in this series: Hope Flames, Hope Ignites, Hope Ignites, Hope Burns, Love After All, Make Me Stay
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Love Me Again returns to the town of Hope, Oklahoma where school is in session and love rules the playbook.

Josie Barnes has always craved a sense of home. She's found that in Hope, Oklahoma--she bought a house, has a new job as an English teacher at Hope High, she's made wonderful friends, and she's taking in stray animals that no one else wants. Now she's flirting with fellow teacher and hot high school football coach Zach Powers. But he's almost too good to be true, and Josie learned long ago not to trust in the too-good-to-be-true, because it has always let her down.

A former pro football player, Zach had to pull back when a career-ending knee injury forced him to rethink his future. Now he's happy calling plays as Coach. If he could just get Josie Barnes to stop benching his players for their poor grades, life would be perfect. Instead, she drives him crazy as the stern teacher at school and the sexy woman of his dreams outside of the classroom. He knows she's been hurt in the past, but he wants to be that guy she can trust.

The one thing Josie has never been able to count on is the people closest to her. But Zach intends to show her that what they have between them is a textbook case of love.

Josie and Zach are teachers at Hope High School.  They hang out in the same group of friends and that’s how they met.  They are attracted to each other, but nothing had been done about it until when this book starts.

When our book opens Zach is getting on Josie’s case for putting a couple of his players on academic probation.  When he finds out that they just aren’t doing the work and it’s nothing vindictive, then he calms down and helps his players get their assignments done.  Zach thinks it’s about time he finally ask Josie out as he thinks she’s attractive.

Josie has issues with relationships.  Her mother is a drug addict and Josie pretty much raised herself.  When she went to college she had a boyfriend but after a while of dating he broke up with her and then she found out he had another girlfriend the whole time he was dating Josie.  When Zach starts hanging around she thinks that having a little fun would be good but has no thoughts of it being anything permanent.

I liked Zach and Josie and thought they were good together.  We got to see characters from past Hope novels and that was good too. The rescue animals were a bonus as they were so cute.

My main problem with the story was that it was slow.  I kept putting the book down and then having to force myself to go back to it.  If it wasn’t a book I had to review I would have dnf’d it.  Not that it was bad, don’t get me wrong, but there was just nothing happening that kept my attention.  I also didn’t feel the attraction between Zach and Josie.  How can I enjoy a romance when I’m just not feeling it?

I hate to say this about a Burton book because I normally really like her stories but this one just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Hope Series


two-half-stars


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Review: Shot on Gold by Jaci Burton

Posted February 20, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Shot on Gold by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
Shot on Gold (Play by Play, #14) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #14
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact, The Final Score (Play by Play, #13), Changing the Game (Play by Play, #2)
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Final Score, opposites attract when a figure skater and hockey player lace up their skates--and go for the gold...

Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is making his second trip to the Winter Games, and he couldn't be happier. Hockey is his life and playing for the U.S. team is a privilege. Then he meets U.S. figure skater Amber Sloane. She's beautiful, ambitious and driven--everything Will desires in a woman. He would love to show Amber how hot life off the ice can be.

Amber has skated her entire life, sacrificing everything in the hopes of one day winning gold. Now she's competing for the third and final time. She intends to win, and nothing's going to get in her way--until she meets Will. He's an irresistible charmer, and before long Amber is wondering if this sexy hockey player is the perfect guy to show her some moves outside the rink.

But after all the medals have been awarded, Will and Amber will have to decide if what they have together is just a fling or a real shot at true love.

Shot on Gold is the fourteenth book in the Play by Play series by Jaci Burton and it was a sweet romance. Both the hero and the heroine were so sweet and so polite to each other and they were super nice and all of that but that’s pretty much it.

This book follows Will “Mad Dog” Madigan and Amber Sloane as they fall in love during the Winter Olympics. They’re both competing in the Games and they meet in the athlete’s village and their romance takes off right from the very beginning.

Will is at his second Olympics with the US Men’s Hockey team and this time around, he wants to experience the whole thing with a clear head and make actual memories. His first time around, he won the silver medal with his team and he remembers a lot of alcohol, lots of women and lots of partying. He’s older now so he wants to savor the experience and he wants to help his team win the elusive gold medal. He’s serious business this time around so when he meets Amber Sloane, he’s definitely interested and wouldn’t mind a little female company during the two-week international tournament.

Amber Sloane is competing in her last Winter Olympics. She’s an ice skater who has always put skating above everything else and while she is a very decorated athlete, she doesn’t have a gold medal and she doesn’t have any friends. She’s twenty-four years old and she vows to have some fun during these Olympic games because she deserves a bit of fun after all of her hard work. She’s ready to compete for that gold and she is very confident that this is her year to finally win it. Her one friend is a Canadian snowboarder and they’re roommates again so Amber knows that if anyone can help her let loose a little, it’s Lisa. When Lisa takes her a party, Amber meets Will and she’s just as attracted to him as he is to her and she’s determined that he will be the person that she gets cozy with and he doesn’t disappoint.

Over the course of the two weeks that they’re both competing in Vancouver at the Olympic Games, Will and Amber fall into a relationship that is pretty hot and super steamy. They get closer and closer and they spend as much time as they can together and everything is just peachy. Being together makes them happy and it shows in their performance in the games. Will is killing it on the ice and so is Amber. Everything is perfect. Nothing is ever wrong, except for a few mean words from Amber’s Mom…and I think that was my problem with the book. There weren’t any real conflicts in the romance and the conflict that we do get, happens after the games and to be honest, it was pretty weak.

This book reads like a fairy tale where everyone is accepted and everyone wins a gold medal and while that’s fine, I wanted more meat from the story. The romance itself worked but outside of that, everything was pretty tame. Everyone got along, there was no drama between any of the athletes and I expected…more. I finished this book wanting more. I would have enjoyed the setting and the environment a whole lot more if something actually happened instead of happy, happy, joy, joy, all the time. So while the romance was sweet, the rest of the story low key needed more umph for me.

Play by Play Series

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Changing the Game by Jaci Burton

Posted November 24, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Changing the Game by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
Changing the Game (Play by Play, #2) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #2
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact, The Final Score (Play by Play, #13), Shot on Gold (Play by Play, #14)
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: August 2nd 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 310
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Most people play by the rules. Gavin and Liz aren't most people....

Win at any cost. That's always been the mantra of sports agent Liz Darnell. When she carries things too far and risks losing her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley, Liz realizes that she'll have to work extra innings to win him back. It might not be too much of a stretch. She's had a thing for this player's moves since she first laid eyes on him, and by the looks of it, he wants her just as bad.

Gavin's more than ready—especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. And as much of her as Gavin wants. For added thrills, he decides to throw a little curve ball Liz's way to see just how far she's truly willing to go to keep him as a client. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of them all.

Changing the Game is the second book in Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series and it features Gavin Riley, the hero of the first books brother. Gavin’s heroine is the villain from the first book and I didn’t know how I’d come around where Liz was concerned, knowing what she did to Mick, Tara and Nathan in The Perfect Play but Burton did a great job of redeeming her character in my eyes.

What surprised me was how much I wanted to knee Mick in the balls in this book. We really see him in the eyes of his brother and he was annoying as hell but alls well that ends well because in the end, he turns back into the man everyone loves.

Gavin Riley plays professional baseball in St. Louis and loves his life. He loves the freedom he has to be with whoever he wants, he spends his days training for or playing his favorite sport in the world and his life comes with a lot of perks. He knows that he shouldn’t be attracted to his agent, after the hell she put his brother and family through but he can’t help it. She creeps into his thoughts and he wants her. When she starts avoiding him, Gavin finds the right opportunity to clear the air between them…and maybe dirty up his sheets.

Liz Darnell has been in love with Gavin for years but he’ll never know that. She’s worked really hard at keeping her feelings for her client at bay and now that she royally screwed up with his brother (and her #1 client), she is waiting for Gavin to drop her as an agent just like Mick did. When Gavin corners her for a meeting and then that meeting turns into spending time together knocking boots, Liz is equal parts thrilled and scared to death because what is she going to do when he’s had his fill of her and moves on?

Watching the sparks fly between Gavin and Liz was fun. This wasn’t one of those books where there is major angst and so many things are happening at the same time that the main couple is falling in love. No, this book was simple romance where the story hinged on the reader connecting with the characters and for me, it totally worked. I wanted to read a baseball romance after being completely obsessed with the World Series and a pretty remarkable season from my Dodgers and this book really fit the bill.

Gavin was such a normal younger brother. Not wanting to live in his brother’s spotlight but wanting to shine on his own. I really enjoyed getting to know him and seeing him connect with Liz. I also really enjoyed seeing his own connection with his family. The Rileys were family goals and I loved seeing them again. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I was right there with his parents and wanted to strangle him for being such a dumbass but he gets it right in the end and Liz’s love for him was strong and I was happy that he was able to make things right with her before it was too late.

Liz was such a strong heroine and getting to know her was great. She was remorseful for her actions in the trouble with Mick and his family and I loved that she learned her lesson and wanted to make things right for everyone involved. She was a damn grown up and handled everything that came her way the same way that I hope I would and I just admired the hell out of her when all was said and done. She was a good person, inside and out and she worked hard and loved deep and I was so happy when she finally got her happy ending because I truly thought she deserved it.

Overall, Burton did a great job of writing Gavin and Liz’s story and I’m low key mad at myself for waiting so long to read this book. It’s a good one and I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a contemporary with a strong romance and a great secondary cast. This will hit you in the feels, I promise.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Final Score by Jaci Burton

Posted September 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Final Score by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
The Final Score (Play by Play, #13) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #13
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact, Changing the Game (Play by Play, #2), Shot on Gold (Play by Play, #14)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

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.

The Final Score is the thirteenth book in the Play by Play series and it was another cute contemporary romance that made for a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

Nathan Riley and Mia Cassidy have been best friends since college. They’re good as friends. They’re supportive of each other, they care about each other and Nathan has wanted more for a long time. Mia has dug in her heels and has refused to risk their friendship on a relationship that she wasn’t sure would work out. His friendship meant too much to her and she didn’t want to rock the boat…even though they rocked the boat once in college. So they continue on as friends only and Nathan has put his feelings for his bestie on hold.

Fast forward a few years and they’ve graduated from college and are both working hard in their respective careers. Nathan is the new starting QB for his father’s team and he’s feeling the pressure to lead a team that has always been his father’s team. Mia, on the other hand, has opened up her own sports management business and she’s feeling her own pressure to make the business a success. She’s got employees who are relying on her to keep them employed and she’s doing everything she can to not let anyone down. They’re both busy, much too busy for a relationship but when Nathan brings up that they could be friends with benefits, Mia at first says no but Nathan keeps after it and before long, Mia has caved and the benefits begin.

I liked both Nathan and Mia as characters but my favorite part of this romance was how normal it was. Sure, both Nathan and Mia have high profile jobs but at their cores, they were normal everyday people who loved and wanted to be loved in return. I loved that Mia was a planner babe (I’m one too!) and I adored that Nathan was very upfront about what he wanted from Mia. He didn’t fight his feelings, he just waited for Mia to be ready for him. I totally respected that.

I didn’t understand a lot of Mia’s hangups about a relationship with Nathan. I wish she had more faith in him as a partner but those were just little gripes in an otherwise, perfectly put together contemporary romance. I enjoyed seeing all of Mia’s family and Nathan’s too. I’ve been itching for a baseball romance so I’m going to look into reading Mia’s brothers books since I haven’t gotten around to them yet.

Overall, this story was refreshingly simple. It wasn’t bogged down with angst and feelings and the characters didn’t have any of that annoying push and pull crap. It was a straight up romance about two friends who fall in to love with each other and find a way to make it work. It was perfect for what I was in the mood for so I enjoyed it.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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