Review: Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim

Posted November 17, 2014 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 17 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim
Foolish Games

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: #2 Out of Bounds
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on December 3, 3013
Pages: 321
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Get it at: add to goodreads

Tis the Football Season and I was pleased to take up a football-themed sports romance by a new-to-me author. I knew this was a second book in a series, but got lucky in that this didn’t factor into my ability to engage with the story and characters. This one did tap on one of my plot pet peeves and it was touch and go in the beginning whether I would muscle past that, but I’m glad I gave it a chance because I ended up really getting into it and loving the romance and the surrounding plots.

The story opens when NFL Pro, Will Connelly, gets blind-sided with the shocking news that a one night stand the previous year produced a baby boy and the woman hid it from him until now when the baby is dying without a blood transfusion from Will. He is hurt and angry especially after the woman called out another man’s name when they were together and then disappeared without leaving him a name or anything. Will had been so careful about stuff like that because he never wanted for a child to grow up a bastard and without a dad like he did and now, thanks to this gal, it happened. Well not anymore. His son will have a dad and know he is wanted and loved. He’s got a plan and a proposition that Julianne had best not turn down. He’s already been pushed because of the scandal that has hit the NFL that is a firestorm with Will caught in the middle trying to do the right thing by everyone.

Julianne knows she screwed up horribly. She deserves all of Will’s hate and anger and the disgust and hurt from her closest friends whom she deceived along with Will and kept his son from him. She is a hot mess and let her issues make her hide and lie hurting all these people. She will make it all good so long as Will comes through with the transfusion. But that being said, she is not just going to roll over and let forceful, dominant Will dictate everything. He’s unimpressed with her ‘fly by the seat of her pants- live in the present and ignore the future’ attitude. Well, she’ll show him that running from your past and hiding behind a wall of mistrust isn’t the way to go either. Okay, just as soon as she proves it to herself first. Meantime, this thing with Will and the shared time with Owen makes her want so much more than they agreed on.

Alrighty, so this one starts off with a secret baby- fake mates deal that had me very worked up. I had Julianne written off the moment I met Will in the story. I do not like it when women hide a child from the dad unless its a safety issue. It wasn’t even close to a safety issue, but there were hints that she didn’t have her head on right because of stuff from her past so after the third time I put down the book (yeah, she was a real piece of work in the beginning- blame shifting and lashing out defensively)I was determined to give her a fair shot to see if her mess matched her actions and choices. I never did completely think her drastic measures were justified, but she owned her mistake and wholeheartedly tried to make good even while struggling against quite a bit of her own past trauma so I cut that gal some slack. Will was no perfect innocent because he responded in kind right back at her when she poked at his sore spots, but he was a guy who was intense, but honorable and trying to do the right thing by all concerned.

Once the opening shock of the secret baby and their wild solution was settled, the story got interesting for me. I enjoyed watching these two opposites gripped by their pasts really start to heal and love as a result of each other. And oh the passion both in and out of the bedroom…

For such a smart man, he really was an idiot sometimes. Did he really not see how much she wanted him every moment? How much she needed him? How much power he had over her?

“Oh God, Will! Don’t you get it?” she confessed giving him the power to destroy her if he wished. “I miss you whenever you leave the room. I miss you as soon as you leave my body. Sometimes…sometimes it’s so overwhelming that I’m beginning to think I really am bat-shit crazy.”

“It’s bat-shit crazy. I think we both probably are.”

And then he finally kissed her.  pp. 183-184 Julianna and Will from Foolish Games


“Last time you needed me.” His breath fanned her ear. “Tonight, I need you, Princess.”

Her knees buckled as he pressed an open-mouthed kiss just below her ear. p. 202 Will from Foolish Games

But there was a whole lot of other stuff going on besides Will and Julianna’s romance. There was the secondary autumn romance between Will’s boss, Hank, and Will’s mom, Annabeth which was just so adorable. Hank has Annabeth so flustered most of the time. There was the intrigue of the football scandal which incidentally was the catalyst for the heartwrenching stuff at the end. And there was a great deal of character development and family and friends interactions. Brody, Will’s teammate, just made each scene he was in sparkle. I can’t wait to read his story.

So in the end, I had a good time with this one and definitely want more of the series and more from the author. I can’t say that I changed my mind about the secret baby plot theme, but it was left behind as other things took my interest. This is definitely for those who enjoy a passionate Contemporary Romance set in a small town with a sports element in the background.

Thank you to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for my honest review.

And thank you To Be or Not To Be…Read Voters. Another good pick!

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Oh lordy..your review made me cry. I am glad she knows how wrong she was..gad now I want to know what happen..LOL

    • Ah, yeah, this one really tugged on my emotions. I was so fuming mad at both of them and I kept muttering to them, but they weren’t listening. Haha!

      • Shari Delighted Read

        Nope, they didn’t listen to me either. I was almost screaming at them as I read it. It does redeem itself, but barely.

        • Glad to see I’m not the only one who talks to my books.

  • You know I got this too but haven’t gotten round to reading it. You convinced esp now that it’s football season, I think I can enjoy it better.

    • I thought that was a good motivator for me too. I had it for a while and figured now was a good time.

  • Oh Sophia you know that secret baby bit gets me all worked up too. Whew boy that is I think my least favorite plot device. I’m so glad it turned the corner though and they won you over. So impressive! I’ve read I think it was book 3? Hrm. Maybe? Anywho I really enjoyed it. I’ll have to go back and snag these earlier ones. Glad it all worked out for you!

    • I knew going in that the secret baby was there so it wasn’t a shocker, but I still got mad. I definitely don’t plan to read many of these plots b/c I know I don’t like them, but I wanted to read the series. Did your book have a hero named Brody? I think his story is next for me and I had a good time with him as a secondary character in this book.

      • Yup that would be him 😀 It was a good time. I have a secret baby in my review pile that I had to put down a few months ago. She was making me so dang mad. Trying to blame him for not being in the kids life when he had no idea because she’d hidden the kid. :facepalm:

        • Oh man, she definitely would make me mutter and push the book firmly away before I threw it through a window. She must think the poor guy has ESP.

          Cool! I’m glad Brody’s book was enjoyable. I’ve gotten leery about liking characters and then getting excited when they get their own books. I’ve had two recently that left me scratching my head and disappointed. I loved the character and had a good read on them and then they get their own book and hermmm, this is not the same person I met in the other book and worse, I don’t like this person.

          • Oh I had that happen to me. Have you read Jeaniene Frost? Her secondary character Vlad was hilarious and just so much fun then he got a spin off series and it was a completely different character. I just. They were so disappointing to me.

            • Excellent example! I had forgotten about that one. I did have the same thought when I started that sub-series. I ended up engaging in the story, but it never quite lived up to expectation of the Vlad we me when he’s in Cat & Bones’ series. Makes me nervous if Ian ever gets his book. 😉

  • Shari Delighted Read

    I don’t mind secret babies, but this one felt like she was back stabbing him the entire time until she needed him. I might have to try another book in the series as this one just didn’t do it for me. I read it last year at this time, so I am not sure on the nuances of the story, but I thought I really wanted them to just sit down and have an honest talk.

    • Yep, her attitude up front was really tough to work past. If Owen hadn’t had that disease, I’m pretty sure he would have never had his dad in his life and and vice versa. I got his mistrust of her since she’d already proven that she could lie and omit, but I never understood why she was pussyfooting around him.

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