Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Final Score by Jaci Burton

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Contact, a star quarterback is torn between his love of the game—and the woman who may be the love of his life.

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his sports future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it all. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia realize that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

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Book 13
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆
One girl who is afraid of the unknown and one guy who’s afraid of losing the woman for him so he plays by her rules. Being best friends is better than nothing, unless he can convince her that they can have it all.

Nathan Riley has been in love with Mia Cassidy for years, and except for one night during college, he’s kept his feelings to himself. To stay close to her, he’s played by Mia’s rules: nothing but best friends. But now, they are both in the same city and the rules are evolving. She’s willing to be friends with benefits and Nathan is going to do his best convince her that she can have it all. A thriving business and a man who loves her.

To avoid the pain of losing what she fears she can’t have, Mia is strictly friend-zoning Nathan. She doesn’t want to be a distraction as he embarks on his NFL career and she will sacrifice her own happiness to ensure his success.

I enjoyed this book, but at times the relationship seemed a bit… off. I loved the premise of the book and hope we see more of them in future books.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
Nathan and Mia have known each other for a long time. But because their jobs are so heavily reliant on public figures, Mia has placed Nathan firmly in the friend-zone.

This was a strange story because I felt that there was a lot of history, but the story didn't quite portray the history. This was more of a young adult story in terms of how the characters related to each other.

I did like that the secondary characters were all fun and able to play a large role in the story.

I do wish that Mia and Nathan had more of a relationship in this story – it was less about their romance and more about their public image and how it is portrayed. This had a lot of potential, but it just didn't really deliver.

This is part of a fabulous series, and whilst it is a very good story in its own right, it is so much richer for having the knowledge from the previous books. Nathan has come of age... that is how long this has been going!

This is a fun read, where pretty much everyone is with the programme but the two people at the centre of it all. It is undoubtedly true that a great friendship is worth everything; these two just need to get past being uninterested in a long term romantic relationship and trust each other. The people around them are brilliant, and give them so many hints and tips. And as hard as they deny it, they also spend all their time together.

I am not a football expert – being a Brit, I don't even call it that 😉 – but I love the detail and the backstories about the sport. There is even mention of other sports, thanks to Mia's family being all round professional sports stars.

I have to admit I never quite got the spooky photographer angle, assuming it would be an issue later, but I am always waiting for drama. Luckily there was little of it here; mostly two people recognising that the chemistry that they had in spades needed to be enjoyed. Once they did, it was super hot, and definitely inevitable that they would get their happily ever after.

Fun for romantics everywhere, especially those who love sexy sportsmen and women.

3.5 Stars

I was super excited for the prospect of the two characters from this story getting together, and though they’re great together, I was a tiny bit disappointed that their story wasn’t as strong as it could have been. By this I mean that both Mia and Nathan are embarking on huge career changes and though it starts off being such huge part of the story, it was lacking towards the middle and end.

Nathan is now the starting quarterback for his father’s old team just one year after his father’s retirement, huge shoes to fill! Mia has started her own business in the Sports Management industry and spends 99% of her time working her butt off. Mia and Nathan mutually agree that sex would be a great stress relief and though Mia goes into with the thought that it’s going to be a one-time thing, it doesn’t take long to realize it’s so much more. Though they have a ton of sex, there isn’t much talking and it felt like connection between Mia and Nathan was nonexistent.

If you’re into a book that is mostly sex scenes, this one is definitely a read for you – though I loved Mia and Nathan’s happy ending, it felt abrupt and I wasn’t cheering for them like I’d hoped and like I have for previous couples in this series. Not sure I’ll be reading the next book in the series.

Jaci Burton is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play series, including Unexpected Rush, All Wound Up, Quarterback Draw, Straddling the Line, Melting the Ice, and One Sweet Ride, and the Hope series, including Don’t Let Go, Make Me Stay, Love After All, Hope Burns, Hope Ignites, and Hope Flames.

Connect with Jaci

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Final Score (Play-by-Play #13) by Jaci Burton to read and review.

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