Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jaci Burton - Changing the Game

Most people play by the rules. Gavin and Liz aren't most people...
Win at any cost. That's always been the mantra of sports agent Liz Darnell. When she carries things too far and risks losing her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley, Liz realizes that she'll have to work extra innings to win him back. It might not be too much of a stretch. She's had a thing for this player's moves since she first laid eyes on him, and by the looks of it, he wants her just as bad.
Gavin's more than ready—especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. And as much of her as Gavin wants. For added thrills, he decides to throw a little curve ball Liz's way to see just how far she's truly willing to go to keep him as a client. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of them all.

Comment: This is the second installment in the Play by Play series by Jaci Burton. This books follows the first one almost immediately and it can be read as a big continuation. The series are labeled erotica but there are some interesting elements to look for anyway.

This is Gavin's story, he's the brother of Mick, hero of the first book. Gavin wants to talk to Elizabeth, his agent and his brother's former agent too. Mick has fired Elizabeth because she did something that hurt the woman Mick is in love with. Elizabeth feels bad and apologized but she knows the easy relationship she used to have with Gavin and Mick's family is gone.
Gavin, however, hasn't fired her and one night, after a party, they are slightly drunk and give in to their attraction. But can they maintain a professional relationship when things are so weird and apparently superficial in private?

This book has left me the same sort of impressions as the previous one. The concept is quite good, the little emotional elements too but the delivery... such a pity.
I know this is labeled erotica and that is what I should wait for when I start the book. But there's still hope every time that the erotica isn't as heavy as this. I mean, there's erotica and erotica. I don't read a lot of it because I find it too repetitive but when it's done well, it can add layers to the character's personality and add in their personal relationship. But with these novels I don't get that feeling. Everything simply seems repetitive and annoying because with important things to deal with, both professional and emotionally, they just have sex. Sure, it can be great but...priorities? This makes it look like any scene is an excuse for sex and what a pity because this could be so much better, overall.

Some elements are interesting and I wish I could have seen more of them, namely the character's past and how that affected them now. Most things related to this, though, have felt superficial. Obviously dealing with sentiments and how those affect us is something difficult to just get over, especially within bad or less good situations/scenarios. But wouldn't it be important to deal with them in a better way and certainly not mix everything up with sex? I really get the sex idea and content but it's not even a direct cause of their attraction, there's no sexual tension or seduction, we just know Gavin liked Elizabeth, we are told she has been in love with him and they agree of a no stings attached sex. But we don't really see how important they are to one another before they got into sex. I think when romances are executed this way, it makes it feel lacking.

The secondary characters all play an interesting part, Mick especially as he's the biggest conflict persona here and gain, it would have been interesting to explore this - we know all along things must get solved at the end - but the sex distracts and certainly doesn't seem necessary.

All in all, this was an average installment. I knew it wouldn't be something amazing but I hoped I'd be more impressed. I understand the idea, the concept and the possibilities do seem good. But then things happen in a way that feels so unrealistic and lacking in the important aspects... not that sex isn't important in a relationship but page after page with it makes everything feel redundant.
Too bad the great, gorgeous covers can't match the content as fabulously...
I'll read the next one one day, I already have it and always hopes the next one is the one that makes it all worth it.
Grade: 5/10

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