Thrown By A Curve (Play by Play #5) by Jaci Burton
March 5, 2013
Reviewed by Tori
“You’re ruining my moment, Alicia. You’re not big on romantic gestures, are you?”
“Sorry. It was very romantic. You should get naked now.”
Alicia Riley, sports medicine specialist has her work cut out for her when she goes up against star Rivers pitcher, Garrett Scott. Garrett hurt his arm pitching and so far, none of the therapy is helping him. When Alicia sits in on a meeting between Garrett and the rehab team, she bluntly tells Garrett that he needs to quit whining and start doing the required therapy, promising him that if he follows her program, he will pitch again.
There aren’t many who are willing to go head to head with Garrett Scott, so when the tiny beautiful Alicia not only goes for the jugular but spanks him the process, Garrett takes notice. He demands she handle his rehab from now on and soon they are working on more than just his rehabilitation. As the sexual tension rises to red alert between Alicia and Garrett, Alicia tries to keep things between them business only, but Garrett soon sweeps aside her reasons and they embark on a steamy affair.
When Garrett’s dreams of returning to pitching seems to take a dismal turn, can he and Alicia weather the storm or will Alicia’s fears of why you should never mix business and pleasure come true.
Thrown By A Curve is the fifth installment in Jaci Burton’s sports themed romance contemporary Play By Play series that revolves around the fictional Riley family. Before I start this review, lets take a minute to genuflect at the cover shall we? *happy sigh* Seriously, have you ever seen anything so beautifully lickable in your life? Paul Marron is such a fine, fine specimen.
Okay, all done.
Alicia Riley has grown up in a family dominated by sports. She has lived, breathed, and now works in the field as a sports medicine specialist. She is extremely dedicated and pragmatic. One rule she always follows-she doesn’t date anyone she works with which includes the players.
Garrett Scott is the star pitcher for the Rivers. Not close to his family at all, he needs to get back on the pitching mound to validate himself. Without pitching, he feels he is nothing. Garrett feels that Alicia is the only one who can rehab his arm. Alicia decides that keeping Garrett close to the team will be beneficial so they head to Florida, where Spring training is being held, and get to work.
Taking A Shot has all the trademarks of being a great Jaci Burton book. Hot male lead, intelligent female led, a plausible plot, and some smexying everywhere in between. Unfortunately, it failed to engage me as her previous books did. Frankly, this book bored me.
The first half of the book is spent watching Garrett and Alicia doing endless rounds of therapy and eating. Honestly, I’ve never seen two characters eat so much. And though it sounds trivial, it annoyed me that Alicia never paid when she and Garrett went out to eat. Plenty of light hearted flirting, on Garrett’s part, but Alicia is not one to date a client so she shoots Garrett down time and time again. All with no muss or fuss. He asks for sex, she says no, end of discussion. Wash, rinse, repeat. A few masturbation scenes liven up the first half but not enough to win me over. It was extremely slow to set up. My main complaint was the lack of emotion and tension within the book. It felt that they were just going through the motions. The attraction felt convenient. They were attracted to each other because they are in close proximity to each other. Could have been anyone. They never really argue, fuss, or fight beyond Garrett complaining about his rehab. There were no sparks between them.
Once Alicia decides to throw caution to the wind and they fall into bed, the book should have picked up. Should have being the key word. While the love scenes are hot, it still feels convenient. They have one argument and it’s only because Alicia takes something Garrett says the wrong way. They apologise to one another right away and have makeup sex-all better. I wish I could say I enjoyed watching them fall in love but I don’t actually remember seeing it. They become friendly during Garrett’s rehab, getting to know one another, but again, no real chemistry beyond a physical attraction. Once sex is introduced, they fall in love. Why? The main conflict rears it’s ugly head at the end yet resolves itself in a congenical mannor and alls well that ends well.
The one thing that saved this book for me was secondary characters. All the Rileys’ make appearances along with various other characters who liven things up with their gregarious nature and outrageous dialogue. Liz comes on strong as usual, pushing Alicia to take a chance on Garrett. Tara and Mick have had their baby and Jenna has opened her club. Life for the Rileys seems to be going good.
While I enjoyed the first four books in the series, this one didn’t quite have the same excitement or flow that the others had.
Overall Rating: C