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I Belong

Early Review: Game On by Tracy Solheim

Title: Game On

Author: Tracy Solheim

Genre: Sport Romance

Series: An Out of Bounds (Book 1)

Publication Date: May 7, 2013

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 042526663X (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425266632 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Shirene


With a reputation for fast moves on the gridiron and even faster moves off the field, Shane Devlin was a player in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, his bad-boy persona has made him a risky prospect as a quarterback, and only the Baltimore Blaze are willing to give him a chance. And he’s about to take a hit he never expected.

Working for the Blaze, Carly March knows too well how jocks think—and what they think with—so she’s always made a point of keeping them at arm’s length. But when she shares a kiss with the devilishly handsome Shane, she finds it hard to play by her own rules—and even harder to resist him.

Can a football hero and a business-minded beauty take it all the way? Or will their mutual attraction cost them the big game?

Quick & Dirty: Tabloids give us only a version of the truth.  What happens when you get two infamous people together?  Will love blossom or wither?

Opening Sentence“Well, I’ll be doggone!”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Let me preface this entire book review with “Purchase this book ASAP!”  Tracy Solheim’s book resounds with sharp, witty dialogue and a plot that has many unexpected twists and turns while remaining so grounded that I got lost in the story.

Not many books can begin with “Well, I’ll be doggone!” and sound genuine but the author pulls this off with style and grace.  The scope of accents, languages and locations was breath taking.  This book navigates Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Baltimore, glimpses of Italy and Allegheny Mountains with such heartfelt emotions I believed I was there with the characters experiencing everything just as if I was there too.  This is a gift that very few authors can achieve especially in a first book.

Shane Devlin aka Devil of the NFL is between Quarterback jobs in part because of his reputation and has gone to Mexico for a little R&R and to allow his agent to negotiate a new contract for him.  Shane’s personality jumps off the page.  We are gifted with a real look at his feelings, his motivations and even his anger at a father that left him to care for his dying mother when he was still a child himself.

While he has been trying to lay low he had been fascinated by a woman that appears to be a wedding designer’s assistant.  How could anyone not notice this amazing woman especially when her ring tone chimed the theme to The Wizard of Oz.  He had even attempted to buy her a drink but “Dorothy” didn’t seem to find him at all worthy of the effort.

However “Dorothy” aka Carly March is anything but a wedding designer’s assistant.  In fact she is the assistant to the General Manager of the Baltimore Blaze, the team considering signing Shane.  Her job had been to help management decide whether he had earned his nickname or if he was capable of good behavior.  Carly is anything but impervious to Shane’s charisma but has been hurt by a professional athlete in Italy and has promised to stick to boring men like podiatrists and accountants.  Shane is neither of those.

Once they return from Mexico, they attempt to keep their relationship professional but it all goes sideways when Carly is threatened by a journalist with an unhealthy obsession with Carly.  This addition to the storyline was part of the reason that I was up until nearly midnight finishing this book.

The other reason for my late night was the addition of Troy, Shane’s half brother, that ends up in Shane’s care because his parents die in a plane crash.  The emotions that are conveyed as Shane deals not just with the death of his father, whom he has despised for years, but having to come to terms with the importance of family and relationships is a huge reason you need to purchase this book on launch.  One of my favorite things that Troy says is in this paragraph: “Don’t forget to feed the dog.”  Troy yelled from the open passenger window.  When he turned to face forward again, tears were streaming down his face.  “Butthead.”  It doesn’t get much more honest than that.

I have one itsy bitsy quibble about the last sequence of the book and I’m not going to spoil it, but it seemed a bit trite to have that happen there but you be the judge when you read the book.  Let me know if you think I’m wrong.

As I began this review, this is a must buy but be prepared to be away for a number of hours, never getting up from your chair or hammock.  This is a prime candidate for a TV movie.

Notable Scene:

“You jocks are all alike.”  She fingered the chain around her neck.  Shane took a slow break.  The gesture was more erotic than her licking the ice of her glass.  “You think any woman will be flattered by your attentions.”

“You could flatter me with a little of yours.”

His lines were bordering on pathetic, but at least she didn’t break out in hysterics.  He thought he saw the beginnings of a real smile, but before she could say anything, the fashion designer and photographer returned to the table.  The designer’s eyes went wide as she noticed him sitting there.  The phtographer recognized Shane immediately.

“Hey, you two do know each…”  Before he could finish his sentence, Dorothy grabbed Shane’s arm, yanking him up from the table.

“Let’s dance.”  Her warm fingers manacled his wrist as she dragged him to the other side of the bar.

An Out of Bounds Series:

1. Game On (May 7, 2013)

2. Foolish Games (December 3, 2013)

FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Game On. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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