by Jaci Burton
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 2nd 2011 by Berkley Heat
An erotic new game from the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Play.
Sports agent Liz Darnell will do anything to win back her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley. And Gavin's more than ready- especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of all.
Liz Darnell has been in love with her client, MLB baseball star Gavin Riley, for years. But Gavin’s a play boy and she doesn’t mix business with pleasure. When Liz thinks that she is on the verge of losing him as a client though she agrees to a no-strings off-season affair with Gavin, what can it hurt? She’s a big girl and can keep her feelings contained, protecting her heart in the process right?
I was a little wary at first with Jaci Burton's ability to transform Liz into a likable character as well as developing a genuine relationship between Liz and Gavin. If you've read The Perfect Play then you know what kind of feat she had on her hands, but she ended up really wowing me with Changing the Game and I couldn't get enough by the end.
The first hundred pages or so of Changing the Game is all sex, no exaggeration; I'm talking about every page is hot sweaty action between the sheets and a few other places. Now for me this had its good points and bad. Good because it was hot, intense and detailed. Like sizzling-off-the-charts-call-the-fire department-to-take-care-of-me-hot! Bad because this was at the beginning of the story when neither character is involved emotionally. Even though Liz does have feelings for Gavin she is keeping them buried and they don't enter the equation. So they are just going at it like bunnies without any feelings invested at all, and me, I like a side of emotions with my erotica. Liz and Gavin are so combustible together though that this was easily over looked as the story continued; their encounters don’t even make it to the bed most of the time. I’m talking kitchen, couch, shower, balcony….oooo…balcony. *mind wandering off* Whoops, sorry – back on track! But, as I said, as the sex continued so did the story and little by little feelings between Gavin and Liz arose building up to a realistic and inspiring relationship.
Jaci Burton masterfully whittles Liz down to the bare bones, so you finally see the real woman behind the seemly cold-hearted career driven woman. By slowly developing depth to Liz and giving small glimpses here and there into her true self you find out that she is really vulnerable and insecure, and you learn why she plays the b*tch. Then by the end, you don’t even remember hating her in The Perfect Play. Like I said, masterful! Liz really steals the show from Gavin here IMO. She feels awful about the incident from The Perfect Play when she used some pretty nasty means to end Mick & Tara's relationship, which destroyed her friendship with Mick. Liz is truly regretful and misses his friendship as well as the close relationship she had with his entire family. Though you may still not agree with her choices you sympathize with her. Mick is pretty unforgiving and his attitude throughout the story causes quite a riff between him and Gavin, and Gavin and Liz.
Gavin on the other hand is cool, confident, charming very alpha and absolutely sex on a stick – the ultimate temptation to any red-blooded lady. This major league baseball player will leave you in a melted puddle when he is through with you, guaranteed. I found it interesting that he held such resentment towards his older brother, Mick, and no one knew or realized it, that added a nice little twist. I really enjoyed watching Gavin’s feelings grow and his love unfold through the pages. He never quite realizes how insecure Liz is with him but along with the reader, slowly starts to uncover the real her. But he has some trust issues himself because of the incident between her and Mick. Is she just using him to hold on to his contract? Their relationship was filled with ups and downs, keeping you on the edge of your seat with the suspense of it.
What I really enjoy though, besides the hot love scenes, in Jaci’s works is that every character from the main ones to the secondary’s are rich and multidimensional, springing to life from the pages. And each character plays an important part in the overall story arc, they’re never there as just filler.
Weaving intense emotions, sizzling sexual encounters, sigh-worthy romance, drama and suspense into a can’t-put-down erotic romance, Jaci Burton gives readers another thrilling addition to her Play-by-Play series! I will definitely be picking up each and every book that follows for my keeper shelf! The next installment, Taking a Shot, will be out March 6, 2012 and feature Jenna and Ty's story. I expect great things from it, especially after that sizzling teaser at the end!
Purchase today at:
Or enter to win right now! (<-Click)
Rating: 4 .5 - Just about perfect!
Sexual content: Seriously, it doesn't get any hotter than this. Changing the Game will have you bursting into flames, begging for relief!