Changing the Game
Play by Play/Book 2
Berkley/August 2, 2011
Most people play by the rules. Gavin and Liz aren't most people....
Win at any cost. That's always been the mantra of sports agent Liz Darnell. When she carries things too far and risks losing her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley, Liz realizes that she'll have to work extra innings to win him back. It might not be too much of a stretch. She's had a thing for this player's moves since she first laid eyes on him, and by the looks of it, he wants her just as bad.
Gavin's more than ready—especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. And as much of her as Gavin wants. For added thrills, he decides to throw a little curve ball Liz's way to see just how far she's truly willing to go to keep him as a client. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of them all.
After Liz's actions in the first book, many a reader didn't care for her and felt she had a lot of redeeming to do before being worthy of heroine status. Personally, I didn't have as much of a problem with Liz. I liked her and understood why she did what she did regarding Mick, Tara and Tara's son Nathan. It was a case of poor judgement based on Mick's previous dating history. If you didn't read The Perfect Play (book 1), let's just say Liz used underhanded tactics to get Tara out of Mick's life. Not cool but she did try to make amends and now the only one who's still pissed off about it is Mick.
Gavin knows his agent has been avoiding him and he's tired of it. He's very much an alpha male and knows how to push Liz's buttons. Right off I liked the chemistry between Gavin and Liz. It's intense with a dash of playfulness that lets both of these high achievers release the stresses their careers bring into their lives. Gavin is highly dominate in the bedroom and that seemed to be exactly what Liz needed.
Liz Darnell suffered not only a professional blow but a personal one when Mick Riley fired her as his agent. She's been trying to recover as well as not lose Mick's brother Gavin as her client. It's not only a professional relationship Liz has with Gavin but person in that she is very much attracted to her star client. Liz's life is her career, with a daddy complex pushing her to excel. Through Liz's actions we see how hard she must work in a male dominated profession. I liked Liz with all her flaws and after getting to know her better, felt sorry for her. Not only for her background but where her life had taken her to this point. I truly wanted her to be happy.
As it was in The Perfect Play, the sex scenes are smoking with Gavin and Liz going wild and leaving their inhibitions at the door. But what I really liked was their friendship. They have known each other for years, Liz is considered family to the Riley clan, and Gavin doesn't want to give her up. Gavin's family does play a large role in the romance since they are a close family and Liz is part of that closeness. One problem I had was Mick's role in Gavin and Liz's romance. Even after everyone has not only forgiven Liz but told Mick it was time to get over it, he still proved to be a blockhead and an ass towards Liz.
While I liked Gavin I found Liz to be the driving force of the story. She's what kept me turning the pages, wanting to know more about her. Gavin captured the physical element and Liz captured the emotional. That's not to say Gavin didn't show emotions, but Liz was written with far deeper emotions that got to me in a way Gavin didn't.
As mentioned, the Riley family plays a big role in the story, maybe a little too big. At times I wanted them to back off and give Gavin and Liz more breathing room to work at their evolving relationship. I did like the close-knit family aspect but my favorite parts were Gavin and Liz playing, laughing and loving.
The next book, Taking a Shot is about sister Jenna Riley and hockey star Tyler Anderson who are both featured in Changing the Game. I'm totally looking forward to their story and thankfully only have a month to wait!
The Perfect Play
Changing the Game
Taking a Shot (March 6, 2012)
Playing to Win (September 4, 2012)
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