Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Playing to Win by Jaci Burton

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.

Playing to Win deviates from the three previous Play by Play books in that one of the main characters is a distant relative -- cousin -- of Mick, Gavin, and Jenna Riley.  The original Riley family is still seen in Playing to Win, but they aren't the whole focus.   I was skeptical, because to me it seemed like a way to extend the series, and I wasn't convinced I would enjoy it.  I'm so glad I took a leap of faith.  Playing to Win is a good book, and a good addition to this on-going series.  

Cole Riley is selfish with a capital S.  He has a promising career ahead of him, but he regularly does whatever he wants without considering any repercussions.  He blows through life hard and fast and almost refuses to accept any help or advice.  He reluctantly agrees to work with Savannah Brooks, an image consultant.  

Though Savannah is attracted to Cole, and vice versa, she keeps their relationship strictly professional.  That, however, doesn't mean she can stop fantasizing about him at every turn.  

I would have liked to have known more about why Cole acted the way he did at the beginning of the novel, but overall, I enjoyed Playing to Win, and look forward to continuing this series. 

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