The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she's stuck running the family's sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she's vowed to never fall for a jock-even one as hot as Ty.
Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty's insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too...
But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all-including Ty...
Comment: This is the 3rd installment in the Play by Play series by Jaci Burton. I don't have all the books in the series but the ones I have, I intend to read. This is contemporary sports romances with some mild erotica in between.
In this story we have Jenna's romance, she is the sister of both Mick and Gavin, heroes from the previous books. Jenna doesn't want to date any guy who's into sports or who is part of a sport but she is attracted to Tyler Anderson, a hockey player. She thinks she can forget about him but the more she tries, the more attracted she gets. Somehow Jenna starts to trust Tyler and they share thoughts and wishes and start to date. But can Jenna ever fully let go of her fears and assume not only her dreams but the fact Ty is perfect for her?
The previous two books in the series were average to me because I felt the balance between the sex/intimacy and the plot's development was off. In this book, what surprised me the most was how better was this dynamic, I think the emotional development was much better and the sex parts not the focus as happened in the other books. Or, to be honest, maybe what helped me the most was the fact I skipped them all, which basically got me an interesting story. I really think to mix erotica with everything else is difficult and mostly annoying to me. Who cares about how they do sex when there more interesting things to discuss and see happening? But each one has their own POV. I just think is sad that captivating ideas get mixed up with sex and often aren't dealt properly.
This said, I thought the plot in this book was better done. I liked the emotional challenges Jenna, in particular, had to face. She has dreams and ideas she doesn't think have room to grow because she feels stuck at the family's bar. It was interesting to see her struggles to tell herself she could do what she always dreamed of...It's not easy to put your ideas on the line and to prove yourself you can accomplish difficult things. I also liked that she didn't just change her mind because the hero advised her or told her she could do it. Change is hard and in real life it's easier to settle and let things go. Of course, this is a fictional romance and eventually Jenna makes up her mind to make her dreams come true but what I really liked was how she reasoned her lack of action. It's certainly difficult.
The romance between Jenna and Ty had its moments, all the parts where they weren't having sex were interesting and I liked seeing the evolution of what was supposed to be a simple affair to become a relationship.
The secondary characters contributed to this because they helped them to put certain things into perspective. The fact we see them interact with different people also gives this a community vibe, a family sense feeling that makes decisions and actions look more special or interesting.
I actually think the personal development in this book was better. It also helped that Ty is a good hero, someone I liked knowing more about, especially because of what happened to his parents' divorce but he didn't use that to hide from the fact he was falling for Jenna.
Jenna was more complicated in terms of personal attitude when it came to date Ty but her other issues made up for that and overall, this was a good read.
All things considered, I enjoyed the book, I liked to spend time with the characters, seeing previous ones too and if the erotica was out of the picture, even with sex descriptions, I bet this would be much better. I know, then it wouldn't be the same story but I can't help but seeing it like that!