Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Jaci Burton - The Perfect Play

From the national bestselling author of "Riding the Night" comes an erotic story about love and the games people play.
The last thing event planner Tara Lincoln needs is the jet-set lifestyle of a football pro like Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand proved that Mick is an all-star-both on the field and in the bedroom.
Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn't intend to put herself out there again, especially with a certified heartbreaker. But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind to catch this sultry vixen.

Comment: I've been curious about this series for a long time, first because it's rather obvious how lucky the author was by being able to get such wonderful covers and second because some people whose taste can be similar to mine have liked it. I've been collecting the first titles for some time now and this month decided to start the series and I even had a few titles to keep going, so I was expecting wonders but ended up slightly disappointed instead...

This is the story of Tara Lincoln, an event planner, with a solid small business, looking to improve and get bigger and the chance comes when she has the opportunity to do an event for a football team. There she meets Mike Riley, one of the most important players from the team and they have a one-night stand Tara thinks will give her good memories. But things don't end in one night and they start seeing each other. Apparently they are developing a relationship and Mike even cares about her teenage son. But there's something stopping her and Tara feels she might get hurt too much...at least until she realizes Mike has feelings too and what if theirs are helplessly in sync?

Well, I have to say I expected this to be more like another title by the author I've read which surprised me a lot. I thought it would be more erotic than what it truly was.
This title, however, was the opposite. I thought The Perfect Play wouldn't be as heavy on the erotic content which would appeal more to me, but I was wrong. I do admit it affected my perspective and made me not enjoy it as much as I thought, but I still have the hope the next titles won't be like this, at least as long as the series moves forward...
Yes, I know the series is labeled erotic too, but the definition of erotic changes a lot in countless books. What we think is erotic may change from publisher to publisher, from reader to reader, from book to book. I just set my hopes at a certain level and wasn't expecting this. My biggest issue about this story is precisely the sexual content and, more important, the amount of sex scenes. I think we get a pretty basic idea about how well matched the main couple is with the first two sex scenes, and they are very repetitive. There's no real importance in them when it comes to help the couple move forward or something. I get why they exist and why they are so many but I confess I skipped most of them and then, if I were to do the math, the actual story development isn't that much. I respect the idea and why this is erotic but I can't help feeling how such a pity it is to have interesting subjects here and they are underdeveloped because of the sex. Oh well...
The main characters, Mike and Tara, have interesting personal stories which, honestly, did add a lot of interest to the story, especially because that helped shape their personalities, their mental characters. I liked having the notion we shouldn't judge people by their looks, especially when it came to Mike, I truly thought he was just another rich guy after women but I was proved wrong and I liked getting to know him better.
Tara has a son and a sad story behind that but what I liked best about her is that she learned from her mistakes and she is now trying to be a good mother and be an example to her son.
In a way, this couple does match quite well and I liked how slow - in a way - their feelings grew. But really the unnecessary sex content makes this sound much weaker than what it truly is, but unfortunately the reader's attention is led too much towards the sex and what a pity because the drama/emotional aspects better dealt with would have turned this into a spectacular read.
I suppose some might say is a matter of balance, of respecting the author's voice, it is what it is! But personally I was bored with the sex parts and thought that didn't allow for the interesting elements to be developed at length.
The secondary characters are interesting too, some of them act as good support system for the family, in fact that was one of the things I liked more, Mike's family. Too bad their presence wasn't developed further than suitable scene filling. I'm curious about Mike's brother and really hope his story has more substance... or at least, that it can be better used.
All in all, this was an average read, I feel bad that some issues weren't better used considering the setting and the subjects. Some situations in the life of Tara and Mike were like decorations, like what cinema/theater people call "props", meaning they were there, thy might matter but the author only used them as a supporting system and not as the interesting concepts thy could have been. I do hope this changes as the series moves along. I
I already have more 6 or 7 titles...and I'll try to read them after waiting for so long to start this but I hope it won't be an average story after another.
Grade: 6/10

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