Thrown by a Curve by Jaci Burton

Play by Play, Book 5

Synopsis: She thinks she knows this player—but he has a few surprise moves.

For Alicia Riley, her job as a sports therapist for the St. Louis Rivers baseball team is a home run—until she becomes the primary therapist for star pitcher, Garrett Scott. Out of the lineup with an injury, he’s short-tempered, hard to handle, and every solid inch, a man.

Right now, the only demand he’s making on Alicia is that she get him ready to pitch in time for opening day. Except the sexual chemistry between them is so charged, Alicia’s tempted to oblige Garrett just about anything. But both their careers are at stake—one bad move and it’s game over for both of them.

Garrett also feels the hot sparks between them, and the way he figures it, what better therapy is there than sex? Now all he has to do is convince the woman with the power to make the call.

Review: I enjoyed the volumes I’ve read in this series, and with the release of this novel, I was curious to see how the new story would be. But even if I had a good time with Alicia and Garrett, I think that this book was a little below than the others but I will come back to that later.

Alicia is a physiotherapist for a baseball team but her work remains in the shadows until she meets with Garrett. This sexy player has a shoulder injury, a disability he does not take lightly. His defeatism is also a big problem for his rehabilitation and when Alicia confronts him, he decides to take her as his new personal physiotherapist to help him getting better. Problem? Because of course there is a big one, is that a fairly irresistible attraction appears. But how can there be a serious relationship between them and especially how could she keep her job if that was the case? So in the meantime, the two try to avoid each other as much as they can. But of course, all this will not be so simple.

I loved discovering Alicia, her independence, her desire to be the best in her work and not to waste this opportunity offered to show her worth. Garrett is a bit annoying in some aspects. We understand that he does not believe that he’ll find his potential but in the end it’s a bit tiring to see that he can not do more. But yet we’re attached to these two characters, we look forward to see them evolve together. Yes, because even if he shows a certain facet, Garrett is ready for anything to please Alicia and remains available when she needs it. Their relationship is actually quite touching because it takes time and moves slowly. I think the only problem that I had is that I found that the story was dragging a bit and there are therefore some rather lengthy passages.




Playing to Win by Jaci Burton

Play by Play, book 4

Synopsis: Someone’s going to have to let down their guard…

Football star Cole Riley is notorious for doing as he pleases—on the field and off. He parties hard and fights harder, but if he doesn’t clean up his act, his career is over—so Cole reluctantly agrees to work with image makeover consultant Savannah Brooks. He’s not used to being told what to do, especially by some (admittedly hot) Southern belle. As for Savannah, she’s not convinced she can transform this cocky (and aggressively sexy) force of nature. But she’s determined to give it her best shot.

When the sparks start to fly, Savannah lays down the ground rules: no personal complications. If she can turn off the tingle she feels every time Cole gives her a hot stare with his gorgeous baby blues, he can turn off his desire as well. But for two people determined to have it all, a hands-off policy can only last so long before one of them yields.

Review: I have heard a lot about Jaci Burton and I admit that the Anna’s reviews have intrigued me. Romances mixed with sports are often quite interesting to discover, and I was curious to see how it was going to be. I must say that in the end I had a great time with this novel, even if it is true that this is the first I read a book in the series. But do not worry, the fact that it is a fourth volume doesn’t really matter and you can start with it without any problems.

Savannah takes her job very seriously. I must say that her job is her whole life and she expects all her missions to be successfully without compromising herself. But her new client, the famous Cole could crush the spirit of the young woman. Oh yes, because that this man is a true seducer, is also part of the problem. Savannah was hired to try to change the way he is seen in public, something that continually abysses his reputation. But Cole is determined not to let it go and not to listen to what she has to say. He does not like to take orders and from this young woman he does not know even less. He may be sexy, but he takes comment in a really difficult manner. Yet, while they did not expect it, something will be created between the two and although they resist it, there may have no loopholes. But if on top of that, Cole manages to understand that he must make an effort, then perhaps there is hope.

I loved to follow these two characters. They are both very different but something will link them, and despite their problems, they affect us both. Cole is badly perceived by the people around him, and this is due to his solitary life and his troubles in the media. Yet he does not care about all that, but this is not the case about all his teams. In the chapters, we discover that Cole is much more than he presents and his character touches us by his true nature. Savannah is a fragile young woman. She hides many secrets to others and has big trust issues. I was very curious about her past, to understand what had happened to her and it is true that it’s really difficult to see what she had to endure to get where she is. It is well understood that she does not want to do more than working and tries to stay more professional with Cole. However, their attraction is immediate, and although it started like nothing, it may well increase gradually.

I admit that I was quite surprised to see how Cole was confident, patient with Savannah, waiting for her to open to him, to explain what is wrong. But he too will change in contact with the young woman, a stunning change in fact. Opening to others will help him in his game, in his life and even his hobbies. It was interesting to see him realize the consequences of his actions and see that he could be more than what he showed to others.

So yes, this novel was a great find and I am curious to find out more now with the previous volumes, as well as the future ones. A pleasant surprise for me.