EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. That’s right. I’ve read every single book in Jaci Burton’s “Play-by Play” series. Some I loved, i.e., Victoria’s sizzling hot ménage à trois in Hot Holiday Nights. Some were just meh, i.e., Melting the Ice. This one, “Unexpected Rush,” the 11th book in Ms. Burton’s beloved series, is somewhere in the middle.
I’m imagining it to be an interracial romance, since the author describes her heroine as having dark skin and black hair. But, it didn’t read that way, somehow. Maybe there was no racial tension or cultural differences, because both Barrett Cassidy and Harmony Evans’ families are knee-deep in American football? I don’t know. In any case, that’s how I’m imagining the hero and heroine to be.
The first 30% of the book – I didn’t like, to be honest. It starts off with Harmony being just dumped by her boyfriend. She then immediately sets her eyes on seducing her long-time crush, Barrett, who also happens to be her overprotective brother’s best friend and professional football playing teammate. She keeps throwing herself at him, using Jezebel-like tactics that would’ve made real-life sports groupies blush. Barrett was equally un-relatable to me. He’s so scared of his best friend’s unhealthy overprotectiveness over Harmony that he doesn’t have the balls to just go for the girl he wants. After he finally succumbed to Harmony’s overtures, he still didn’t want to tell Drake, Harmony’s brother, that he was dating her – because, well, he wasn’t sure if he’s in for the long-haul with her. What a Grade-A dick.
However, since this is a Jaci Burton romance, and I was deter-freakin-mined to like this one after a series of book disappointments, I reminded myself that this is FICTION. No need to get all bothered by fictional characters’ love stories. After a series of deep breaths and a personal reminder that I’ve already bought the damned e-book already, I read on. And, eventually, I got what I wanted in the end: a typical Jaci Burton book. Our lovers found their happy ever after, living in peace and harmony (all pun intended), and going out in a blaze of football glory.
P.S. I plan to re-read Alessandra Torre’s “Black Lies” tonight, to remind myself why I like books. Good night.