Review: Unexpected Rush by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play, #11
Released: February 16, 2016
Reviewed by Sheena
For Barrett Cassidy, playing defense for the Tampa Hawks is a dream come true. And now he may have discovered his dream woman. Harmony Evans, once the sweet, gawky teenage sister of his best friend and teammate has grown into a smart, gorgeous woman with moves he finds hard to resist. But he knows he can’t get involved with his best friend’s sister—it’s guy code.
Harmony has always gone after what she wants with single-minded determination, from her independence to her education to her career in social work. She never expected her youthful crush on Barrett to develop into something deeper. And she’s not about to let some ridiculous man rules or her brother stand in her way.
When the chemistry is this combustible, lines tend to get crossed. And when Barrett and Harmony’s secret gets out, it just might be game over…
Favorite Quote: “You love me.”
“One hundred percent. Though I’ve done a shitty job showing it.
Gah! I do not know why I set myself up like this. I keep fooling myself that I’ll come to like the “I-love-you-but-you-are-my-best-friend’s-little-sister” trope; that finally, I’d stumble across that one novel that changes my mind about this storyline. Unfortunately, my quest goes on. The heart of this novel is….sweet. The plot extensively simplistic and predictable.
Barrett has had an eye on Harmony for a long while. When a disappointing break up sends her to cross his path, Harmony and Barrett finally stop making eyes at one another when no one is looking and they finally start hooking up. Barrett really begins to fall for Harmony but loyalty to her brother, and his best friend, Drake, has him shroud their nascent romance in secrecy – a move that Harmony tries to understand and ignore but comes to wholeheartedly resent. Adding another dimension to the haphazard and illicit romance is that Barrett and Drake are professional footballers and teammates- and the nail in the coffin- Mama Diane, Drake and Harmony’s mother even has some skin in this game.
“…I need to find a contractor.”
“Harmony could help you with that,” Mama Diane said. “Have you forgotten what she does for a living?” He’d honestly never paid much attention, other than it had something to do with mini blinds or shutters or paint or something. “Um….”
“I’m an interior designer, Barrett. I own my own company. And because of that, I have contact with a variety of contractors.”
He’d had no idea. “No shit.”
Well shit. The last thing he wanted was to spend any time in close proximity to Harmony. Especially alone. Not after what happened earlier.
“I don’t know.”
Mama Diane leveled a frown at him. “Are you insinuating my baby girl here can’t handle the job?”
There are a few bright moments with the appropriately meddlesome Mama Diane, and Harmony’s brazen sass that make the story passable. I was amused that Harmony used every tactic and feminine wile at her disposal to in effect dare Barrett to keep his hands off. Despite her bad luck and prior heartbreak, she was still confident and positive and I found that admirable. Barrett was typical of the male in these sorts of stories, tough, honorable to detriment and so deeply entrenched in “guy code” that he nearly misses out on the girl of his dreams. There are a few blunders and there was a weird dynamic that gave me the heebie jeebies- Drake took protective big brother to unprecedented levels. The kind that made me wonder if Mama Diane shirked her duties and didn’t treat his Resting MeatHead Syndrome. Drake was such a thorn in the side and a creep that I vacillated between wanting Harmony and Barrett outed once and for all- and their romance just fizzling out- forever snuffed by the overwhelming doom of when Drake finds out. I get that there had to be some pretty legitimate clear and present danger for Barrett to be
such a pansy– reluctant to claim Harmony publicly. But Drake just came off as an ogre and his reaction to the great reveal (bff is boning his little sister) was over done. I really just needed him to get a grip. It is not a good sign that I spent more time contemplating “the brother’s” mental health than mooning over the primary couple. Especially when they have scintillating sex.
The author does a goood love scene.
“Fuck, Harmony. Yeah, Suck it. Harder. Oh fuck, that’s gonna make me come. I’m gonna come in your mouth. You ready for it?”
She hummed against his cock and took him into the back of her mouth up and down over his shaft. He let out a low groan, spurts of hot come splashing against her tongue. She felt his legs tremble as he rocketed through his orgasm. She held tight to his cock and swallowed what he gave her, licking him until he grew soft along her tongue.
“Christ,” he finally muttered…”I think you blew the top off my head.”
“I know the feeling.”
He kissed her again, this time a deeper, soulful kiss that left her feeling a little woozy. She slid off his lap, climbed back into her silk shorts and poured them both a glass of orange juice.
“Now you need food,” he said, as they sipped their juice.
“I do. I can fix us some eggs and bacon.”
“How about we do that together….”
“I don’t know about you, but I’m starving.”
Yeah. Totally into her carnal shenanigans.
Unexpected Rush is the 11th book in the Play by Play series. I suspect fans of the series will enjoy it. This is my first Jaci Burton novel, and though this premise fell flat with me- what resonated was that Burton has a talent for making the simple, shine. I liked the kind of lazy drawl of the story. Nothing remotely complicated- I knew what to expect and I frankly liken it to romance novel catnip. There was a ultra light weight and formulaic feel to the story- and I dig sprawling series with a familiar rhythm. My interest is piqued and I am actively looking for another good Jaci Burton book to read- I’ll just have to take caution with the troupe. Anyone know if she has any books that fall into my “B” trinity- Billionaires, Bikers, or Bad Boys?” Asking for a friend.