Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I hardly qualify as every man’s dream Gavin. You said it yourself. I’m a pain in the ass.”
First off, let me say that Ms. Burton has some of the most delicious and lickable covers I have EVER seen. Changing The Game is the second book in Jaci Burton’s very hot and very sexy Play by Play series. Gavin Riley knows Elizabeth Darnell is a hard arse agent who went above and beyond her normal duties when she tried to interfere with his brother Mick’s relationship with his now wife and step son (The Perfect Play). Elizabeth paid the price for that one though. Mick fired her and she has lost other clients due to her unethical antics. Gavin knows she has been avoiding him because she is afraid he is going to fire her too. But Gavin has no urge to fire her. Gavin wants a more hands on relationship with his agent and he’s wondering just how far she will go to keep him as her client.
Elizabeth (Liz) has beat herself up over and over for the stupid stunt she pulled with one of her best clients, Mick Riley. She has apologized profusely and accepts the fact she lost him and some of his friends as her clients. When Gavin tells her they need to talk, she expects him to fire her to. Gavin has other plans though and encourages Liz into accepting a sexual relationship with him.
I admit I read this without reading The Perfect Play first and I’m glad I did. I didn’t have the preconceived ideas concerning Liz that a lot of other readers have and it allowed me to see them all with fresh eyes. I really enjoyed the way this story reveals itself to you. It starts out hot and heavy as Gavin and Liz begin their admittedly sexual relationship-each of them experiencing much more then they intended. Then slowly morphs into something deeper as Liz and Gavin connect on many different levels. The sexual heat and playfulness in this book is well worth the read Ms. Burton has a way of writing intense scenes that are both sensual and raw.
Meeting Gavin’s family and friends is a treat. I love how they all offer advice, encouragement, and the proverbial slap up side the head when needed. Gavin and Mick maybe stars on the field but they are just Gavin and Mick to family and friends. Watching Mick attack Liz repeatedly is sad and you can only watch as she once again apologizes and begs forgiveness. You really want to smack him hard. Repeatedly and violently. I like that Tara and Nathan are able to forgive and be happy for Gavin and Liz.
As the story progresses we really get to know Liz and her background reveals a lot about her attitude and actions. She didn’t have it easy growing up and it has made an indelible mark on her. Her and Gavin’s relationship has it’s ups and downs and delicious tension heats up as the story’s main conflict comes into play. With any relationship, we all have the ability to hurt the ones we love the most and Ms. Burton doesn’t sugar coast or pull any punches in here. As we head towards the end, we wait on pins and needles with the rest of the Riley’s to see if the home team will win or lose this most important game. One particular scene had me in tears as someone talks out of turn and says the worst thing they can to someone they love. Yet sometimes you have to lose it all in order to see what you really want out of life.
All in all a fantastic story with plenty of romance, sexy men, hot steamy loving, and humor to keep you glued till the last page. I look forward to the third in the series, Taking A Shot, which revolves around Jenna Riley and very HAWT pro hockey player Ty Anderson. Taking A Shot is set to release in 2012.
Overall Rating: B+