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books, blabberings, and a life semi-common
All four can be found in football.
All four can be found in Jaci Burton’s THE PERFECT PLAY, an erotic novel that blends life, football, and romance seamlessly and without shame.
The cover itself is eye-catching, the perfect ploy to grab the attentions of women anywhere, but what’s great about this particular novel is that it’s not empty inside. Too often, tales of the erotic sort tend to focus only on what happens between the sheets (or on a table or against a couch – most stories don’t discriminate) and the plot around those scenes lack the structure and storytelling that is needed in a good book. THE PERFECT PLAY manages to not only give steamy scenes between the two main character, but there is a story line that builds gradually and continues a rise and fall pattern that is a clear-cut version of everyday relationships.
Burton’s writing focus was on two characters that are both realistic and loveable – a star quarterback in the form of Mick Riley and 30-year-old Tara Lincoln who has given up much of her life to do what’s right for her family but is now heading an up-and-coming business. The two meet at an event Tara has done and the sparks sizzle between them almost immediately, a mixture of attraction and annoyance, which always makes for good reading.
The dichotomy of their relationship throughout the book is interesting. Though the physical attraction is prevalent, the emotions between Mick and Tara are often cut-off or tense, problems caused by the characters themselves as secrets are kept and love is (allegedly) unwanted. While some portions of the novel seem too fast to happen in real time, it worked in the writing, considering no reader should ever read 15 pages that only moves the story ahead by a mere five minutes. The pacing worked for me; there were never moments of boredom or pages skimmed.
With the pasts the two characters carried, the conflicts were set up realistically, and brought in secondary characters who helped flesh out the story though I never felt a connection with any of them, at least not in a way that could be considered important. Both Tara and Mick have had issues in their younger years and are luckily left behind though the old desires and worries pop up every now and again. While some parts (specifically Tara’s inability to believe a relationship can be good) are sometimes mentioned one too many times, most were done in a way that it almost seemed like a second thought, something that could be important but was never the main problem.
The erotica is hot and the writing is clean and engaging. This first book I’ve read from Burton caught my attention enough to make me read more of her work. The blend of sex and, well, actual reality is smooth in the scenes she writes and the characters she creates.