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I Belong

Review: Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton

Taking a Shot (#3) by Jaci BurtonTitle: Taking a Shot

Author: Jaci Burton

Genre: Erotic Romance

Series: Play by Play (Book 3)

Publication Date: March 6, 2012

Format: Paperback, 309 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425245527 (Penguin/Berkley)

ISBN-13: 978-0425245521 (Penguin/Berkley)

Reviewed by: Sheila


If you want to score, you have to get in the game…

The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock-even one as hot as Ty.

Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…

But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all-including Ty…

Quick & Dirty: A love story about a girl that doesn’t know what she wants and a guy that knows exactly what he wants; her.

Opening SentenceJenna Riley wanted nothing to do with sports.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

There are people out there that are stuck in a rut within their lives.  They are unhappy with their jobs or their relationships, but are afraid to change.  Sometimes, the devil you know is easier to handle than the devil you don’t.  This is Jenna Riley’s lot in life.  At least it was, until a sexy hockey player named Ty Anderson strolls into her bar and shakes her whole world up.

Jenna Riley loves her family.  She runs the family sports bar so that her dad doesn’t have to worry about it.  She talks sports with all the patrons, even though she’s really not that excited about it.  Her own wants and desires have taken a back seat to her brothers’ and parent’s.  It is not as though she made known her dreams, but she instead allowed her family’s achievements and expectations to overshadow her own.  They didn’t even know that she wants to be a singer one day, or that she was once in a band.  While using her family as a shield, she reinforces it by declaring anyone into sports as off limits dating-wise.  This is the main reason why she fights her attraction with Ty, though she agrees to one night with him after her brother’s wedding.  After several tries and his relentless pursuit of her, Ty gets her to agree to more.  He’s constantly pushing her to break out of her comfort zone, which makes her lash out at him.  She doesn’t see what a great guy he is because she is too confused about her own desires to notice.  Can Jenna stand up for what she wants, in both a career and in love?  Or will she remain miserable and alone within the prison of her own making?

Ty Anderson is a very confident man, on and off the ice.  As many times as he gets shot down by Jenna, he continues to pursue her.  He even uses one of the best tactics I have ever heard of: He gives Jenna exactly what she wants in a potential date.  He sets her up with guys that she says she wants, but knows that they will never have the chemistry with her that he does.  By letting her see that, Jenna chooses to come back to him.  I appreciate a man that gives a girl what she asks for, whether or not he agrees with it.  Even though he isn’t looking for love, he can no more get Jenna out of his blood than he can stop playing hockey.

The two of them have explosive chemistry together.  Though Jenna is hesitant to have a relationship with Ty outside of “friends-with-benefits”, she cannot deny she loves what he does in it.  The physical relationship that they share lead to them getting to know each other better, even so far as falling in love.  But throughout the entire book, Jenna rallies against Ty and all he stands for; change.  Will Ty convince her to follow her heart or will he give up and move on himself?

I enjoyed this book for the romance novel that it is.  Though previous books in this series have more sporty references, I liked that it was not a prevalent theme in this one.  I must admit that the various locations for the sex scenes are a nice break from always being in the bedroom or on the couch.  Yes, Ty and Jenna even have a scene on the ice!  Overall, this book was a nice blend of smut, sappy romance, and sports.

 Notable Scene:

Since Dylan had left and Renee was off waiting on her customers, the guys had moved back to the pool tables.  Jenna didn’t relish the idea of wading into a sea of Ice players to talk to Ty, and getting him alone might be problematic.

She pondered the situation, even considered giving Renee a not to give to him, then thought better of it.  What if he shared it with his friends?  They’d all laugh.

And this isn’t high school, you idiot.  Where are your balls?

The Play by Play Series:

1. The Perfect Play

2. Changing the Game

3. Taking a Shot

4. Playing to Win (September 4, 2012)

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley Heat graciously provided me with a copy of Taking a Shot.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payments I receive are hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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