Title: Playing to Win
Author: Jaci Burton
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Someone’s going to have to let down their guard…
Football star Cole Riley is notorious for doing as he pleases—on the field and off. He parties hard and fights harder, but if he doesn’t clean up his act, his career is over—so Cole reluctantly agrees to work with image makeover consultant Savannah Brooks. He’s not used to being told what to do, especially by some (admittedly hot) Southern belle. As for Savannah, she’s not convinced she can transform this cocky (and aggressively sexy) force of nature. But she’s determined to give it her best shot.
When the sparks start to fly, Savannah lays down the ground rules: no personal complications. If she can turn off the tingle she feels every time Cole gives her a hot stare with his gorgeous baby blues, he can turn off his desire as well. But for two people determined to have it all, a hands-off policy can only last so long before one of them yields.
Review: Jaci Burton honestly writes the best sports romances! If the book covers hadn’t reeled me in, I probably would have never discovered this series. Cole Riley is every woman’s dream and every football team’s PR nightmare. He gets into fights on and off the field and his anger could set a building on fire. Cole is spiralling until he meets Savannah Brooks. The only problem is that she’s been hired by his team to fix his image, which he could care less about. Cole believes his actions on the field should speak for themselves.
Right from the start their interactions reminded me of a sexually charged tug-o-war because neither was willing to let the other win. He was so stubborn and hot-headed, which probably wasn’t helped by the fact that the only woman he’s attracted to was hired to ‘fix’ him. I loved their instant attraction; it was hot and full of tension and resistance. While Savannah refuses Cole’s advances, he makes it hard for her to say no. She has the power to light a fire in Cole, and to snuff it out, making her the perfect woman for him.
The only thing that didn’t really do it for me in this book was the off-limits factor. Everyone seemed to be okay with them becoming romantically involved even though they should have maintained a professional relationship. I really wanted to see more of a risk in that aspect with them sneaking around and trying not to get caught. It would have definitely fuelled their fire more!
I love that my favourite couples from the series so far also made appearances! Jaci Burton has done an amazing job making sure the books in this series are all inter-connected in some way. Cole and Savannnah are honestly so perfect for each other and I can’t wait to see where this series goes next!