Review: Playing to Win by Jaci Burton

Posted December 27, 2012 by Shari in Reviews / 2 Comments

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Review: Playing to Win by Jaci Burton
Playing to Win

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Series: Play by Play #4
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Published by Berkley
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Oh, how I love these bad boys of sports! And now we are back at football, my favorite. Unfortunately  this is my least favorite book of the series. Cole just didn’t redeem himself enough for me. We once again get to see a lot of the Riley family, whom I adore!

Cole Riley has a problem. He is a great football player, but doesn’t work well with his team and has an image problem. He’s on his last chance team under the agent his cousin is marrying, Liz. So Liz takes things into her own hands and hires someone to help Cole clean up his bad boy image and get him working like a team member.

Savannah Brooks loves her job and she’s good at it. Watching Cole, she creates a plan to help him clean up his image only to find herself falling for him. But her hard life has made her leery about getting involved, especially with a guy who isn’t ready for a long term relationship.

Cole came off extremely immature through the majority of the book. There isn’t anything in his past that made him close himself off as much as he has. Good parents and a loving sister who he argues with makes him have a pretty normal upbringing. About all I could figure was he was defensive of making the wrong play an losing friends and getting shipped to a new team. He spends a lot of time working hard, but only to be better than any other team member so he doesn’t lose his spot. Unfortunately, he forgets this is a team and he needs to befriend them to make it big.

Savannah spends most of the book playing an almost Mom role. Teaching him wrong from right attitude. While she often gave advice, I felt at times she could use some by following her own advice. She worms herself into each aspect of his life that I felt there was no way not to have a relationship.

There was no real deep conflict for either character to deal with. Both characters wanted to keep work life at work and private life private, but their careers allow for nothing but the two blending.

The better parts of the book came when we get to see the Riley women. There is a wedding, shopping and women get together for a good time. They were the life of the story as we get to see how their stories moved forward.

The sexy, passionate scenes were classic Jaci Burton style that keeps you coming back for more. And the cover of this story had me sweating even before I opened the book. Slowly the relationship builds to something deeper and the two have to realize they are meant for something more. While the first three books have had some kinkier sex in them, this one stays away from anything to over the top.

While I love this series and the hunky Riley men, this one just fell flat on the story line. I couldn’t feel a connection build between the characters and the ending felt rushed. Hopefully the next book we will see some more of them..especially since Cole’s sister gets the next book.

I recommend this book if you love the Play by Play series. It can be read as a stand alone book or as part of the series.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

About Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 50 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn’t on deadline (which is often), she can usually be found wrestling with her uncooperative garden, wrangling her dogs, watching an unhealthy amount of television, or completely losing track of time reading a great book. She’s a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you’ll find in all her books.. Visit her website at for excerpts, her blog and contest information.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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9 years ago

I really need to read these books and I definitely want the physical copy, not an ebook 😉

Sophia Rose
9 years ago

These covers are all delish for certain. I need to give this series a try at some point.