I jumped all over this book for two reasons; it features a quarterback hero, and it’s a release under Harlequin’s Kimani imprint. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading anything under this imprint, and since I am a sucker for all things Harlequin, I started hopping up and down with my arm in the air, shouting, “Oh, pick me! Pick me to read this one!”
Right from the start, I felt a bit sorry for Danica. She has expended so much effort to live up to everyone’s expectations of her, and all she’s gotten in return is grief. Her ex-husband, a music producer, confessed to cheating on her, giving her self-esteem a serious dent. While a bit of distance had grown between them over the past ten years, she still believed in their marriage and she still believed that they were meant to be life-mates. Married at eighteen, her demanding parents heartily endorsed their union, so when the marriage fell apart, she was left confused, hurt, and wondering where she had failed. Guys can be such jerks!
After firing Dex Harper, the quarterback of her parents’ football franchise, she’s furious when he goes over her head and requests a meeting with her parents. As the GM of the team, he should have come to her and not jumped rank. Fuming about his behavior, she and Dex get off to a contentious start. He’s angry that he’s been sacked from the team, for reasons that are patently false, and she’s pissed that he won’t just go away. I have to say that I liked this twist – Danica is in the power position here, and Dex is scrambling to get his job back and prove that he wasn’t on the take like the former owner of the team.
The chemistry between Dex and Danica is instantaneous, and it quickly burns out of control. She can’t get him out of her head, and he can’t keep his hands off of her. Too bad there’s that whole firing thing spoiling what would otherwise be a fantastic relationship. As Danica gets to know Dex better, she sees the real man underneath all of the attitude and brazen behavior. He’s got a rep as a complete bad boy, and Danica, the ultimate good girl, doesn’t trust him with her heart. I enjoyed the tension between them, and wondered how they would ever get their happily ever after, especially since Danica was responsible for taking away the thing that Dex loved most. If he couldn’t play football, he was adrift, and with his history and his reputation, other teams wouldn’t even glance his way.
Danica is gifted as a spin queen, so she offers to help Dex clean up his image so another team will take a chance on him. I have to say the one plot thread that didn’t make sense to me was the whole firing Dex and then not taking him back when it’s proven that he had nothing to do with the corruption of the former team owner. Accused of throwing games, he vehemently defended his innocence, and when his playing abilities are questioned, he blames other teammates who have been implicated in the corruption case. The other players have been released, and no one has proven that Dex was on the take. His replacement on the team is not cutting it; he’s playing with an injury and can’t play well under pressure, so it didn’t make much sense to me to can Dex, a proven player, for the new guy.
The story really took off for me when Danica started doing things for herself. This caused a lot of friction between her and her mom, and I have to say – good! Her mom could be cutting, selfish, and not supportive of her daughters. Used to getting her way, she bristles when Danica puts her foot down and pushes back. Her parents constantly interfere in her life, demand total obedience, and it was so awesome when Danica finally said, “Hell, no!” Good for you, girl! Don’t let anyone push you around and dictate what’s going to make you happy! I really did not like her power couple parents.
Midnight Play was a successful foray into an imprint I hadn’t sampled before, and I’ll have to keep an eye out for more in the future. As for the Blue Dynasty, I didn’t have any trouble figuring what was going on, even having not read the first book in the series. I’d like to read more about Danica’s sisters, if for no other reason than to see them give their mom a hard time!
Love evens the score
As general manager of the Las Vegas Slayers, Danica Blue goes toe-to-toe with players whose size is matched only by their egos. Quarterback Dex Harper is the biggest and toughest of them all, with a hell-raiser reputation that he insists he doesn’t deserve. And Danica, the good daughter who’s always played by the rules, is suddenly tempted to break every last one.
Football is the only thing Dex has ever been able to count on. To save his career he needs Danica’s PR savvy, and he’s happy to help her discover her inner bad girl in return. But glimpsing the real woman behind that sexy, flawless facade is making him realize how much is at stake. Because getting back on the team could mean losing Danica, unless he’s willing to risk it all—and play for keeps….
Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/03/now-booking-tasty-review-tour-for.html
Lisa Marie Perry encounters difficult fictional men and women on a daily basis. She writes contemporary romance fiction with plenty of sizzle, energy and depth. Flawed, problematic, damaged characters are welcome. Her tales feature exciting multicultural mash-ups, sexy guy-next-door heroes and powerful larger-than-life alphas who are brought to their knees by the love of complicated women.
According to Lisa Marie, an imagination’s a terrible thing to ignore. So is a good cappuccino. After years of college, customer service gigs and a career in caregiving, she at last gave in to buying an espresso machine and writing to her imagination’s desire. She lives in America’s heartland and she has every intention of making the Colorado mountains her new stomping grounds. She drives a truck, enjoys indie rock, collects Medieval literature, watches too many comedies, has a not-so-secret love for lace and adores rugged men with a little bit of nerd.