Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Club: The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

By: Alison Peterson

The last thing event planner Tara Lincoln needs is the jet-set lifestyle of a football pro like Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand proved that Mick is an all-star-both on the field and in the bedroom.

Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn't intend to put herself out there again, especially with a certified heartbreaker. But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind to catch this sultry vixen.

I LOVED this book!! I got hooked on Jaci with her Rough Riders series so when The Perfect Play was released I ran out and got it right away. It took me a longer than normal to read it because HELLO!!! I had to ogle the cover for a while! Once I finished my ogling…I started reading and couldn’t stop! This book has it all…great characters, great story and lots of hot, steamy sex!

I loved Tara! Tara’s a self-made woman who is working hard to build up her event-planning business and raise her teenage son, Nathan. Tara first encounters Mick is when she gets lost in the Saber’s stadium. Mick, exhausted after a long practice, hears somebody outside the locker so he steps out to see what’s going on. When he steps out a beautiful, very stressed-out blonde woman runs up to him asking for directions. It’s not until later that it sinks in to Tara…she asked Mick Riley for directions! NFL super-star QB and hottie! She’s surprised when Mick walks up to her at the party and starts talking to her, showing her he’s not only smokin’ hot, but funny and smart. When Mick is still around after the party is over, she decides to indulge in one hot night with Mick, and OH BOY IS IT HOT!

Mick is amazing! He’s funny and obviously smart, he’s not how you imagine a typical pro athlete spending all their money on crazy nonsense…he actually has a plan for life after football! He’s REALLY attractive too…did I mention that??? LOL!! He’s not perfect (THANK GOD!), he’s got his own skeletons in his closet, but he’s matured past the stage where all he’s looking for in a woman is a gorgeous face and hot body. Tara’s honesty and aversion to the lime-light make her very different from the publicity hounds of his past. So when he wakes up alone the next morning he’s determined to find Tara and pursue her. I love that he recruits her best friends help to trick her into going out with him the first time. That’s what I call good friends!!

Tara tries to fight a relationship with Mick. She’s worried about their different lifestyles and assumes it’s only a matter of time before he ditches her for a hot, young model or actress. To scare him off she tells Mick she has a fourteen year old son at home. I love that Mick laughs at her “Hail Mary” and states he likes kids of all ages and FYI he used to be a teenage boy. So much for scaring him off with a teenager! LOL! Nathan’s not scary anyway, just a typical teenager, who plays HS football and likes hanging out with his buddies.

The biggest obstacle in Mick and Tara’s relationship turns out to be Liz, Mick’s agent. She definitely doesn’t make many friends in this book. She’s nasty to Tara and tries to get Mick to go out with models and actresses when she knows Mick and Tara are dating. I was happy to see her get put in her place, but the couple glimpses into her softer side I saw got me curious so I am excited to get to know her better in the next book.

I really liked meeting Mick’s family. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better, you can feel the love and support they have for each other. I loved the scene when Mick and his brother Gavin have dinner. Mick was stressing about the upcoming season, his agent Liz, and his growing feelings for Tara. Gavin gave him the no-nonsense advice needed and at the end Mick said “I love you, *sshole” and Gavin’s reply was “Right back you, d*ckhead.” LOL! Gotta love the way men express their feelings for each other!

As for the ending, it’s perfect! I love that Nathan is the one who tells Tara to go after Mick. Nathan’s been the most important person in her life for fifteen years, and I don’t think she would have gone after Mick if anyone else had tried convincing her it was ok to have a man in her life. I melted when Mick said…“I’m the lucky one, Tara. I have you; I have Nathan. I have the perfect life. Thank you.” It doesn’t get much better than that!

I hope everyone else loved this book as much as I did! I want to send a HUGE thanks to Jaci who will be stopping by and chatting with us AND she is also offering up a giveaway! One lucky commenter will get a book from her backlist! Another BIG thank you goes to Aly who coordinated everything with Jaci!

Now for the recipes they’re nothing fancy, but both are quick and easy so that makes me a fan…

Spaghetti Pie
8 oz. spaghetti noodles
¼ cup milk
2 eggs
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
Cook noodles and drain
Mix together milk and eggs and parmesan cheese and add to noodles
Put on the bottom on a 9” by 13” pan

Brown 2lbs of hamburger
Add 28 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
Pour over the noodles
Sprinkle with 12oz mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes check when cheese is melted and brown.

Cherry Cream Cheese Pie
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling, chilled

In either a stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment or using a hand held electric mixer, cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly add the milk mixing on low speed until well combined. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla and pour into the baked pie crust. Place the pie into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to overnight, until well chilled and set.

Top the pie with the pie filling just before serving.