Savannah knows she has her work cut out for her. It’s not that Cole is a bad guy at all. He’s actually quite sweet, hardworking and dedicated. He might be a bit of a player with the ladies and enjoys partying too much during the off season, but she feels she can transform Cole into something better. She notices right away he distances himself from his co-workers and doesn’t have any close friends, except when it comes to his family.
At first Cole and Savannah get off to a rocky start but he comes to accept Savannah’s help and allows her to make him over because he’s also attracted to her and would like to act on that attraction although she tries her best to keep him at arm’s length. But Cole breaks down her defenses and she gives in. The professional relationship between these two soon becomes a hot and heavy affair and Cole is falling for Savannah hard. Savannah starts to care for Cole also but her past make her careful about not for handing her entire heart to Cole to his dismay.
Playing to Win is an enjoyable contemporary romances. If you’re a fan of Rachel Gibson’s and Jill Shalvis’s sport romances but want a bit more steam with what you’re reading, you’ll love Playing to Win. Cole stole my heart from the moment I met him. He’s really a gentleman underneath his at times standoffish behavior. He has a slight anger management issue, but nothing too drastic, and he’s very charming when he relaxes and enjoys himself. He has great chemistry with Savannah and these two really heat up the sheets well, especially when they use naughty and spicy language together during their lovemaking.
Both have some emotional and psychological issues that are more glazed over if anything. I couldn’t understand why Cole was remote at times with people. Nothing from his past indicates why he should act in such a manner, unlike Savannah. When her past is revealed, it somewhat fell flat for me because it didn’t really bring any emotional meat to the story because the relationship between her and Cole had already been established. I felt it was better to have left this out because in the end my enjoyment was seeing how well Cole and Savannah mesh and connect.
Playing to Win was a tasty and sweet read for me with a nice touch of spicy sexiness set in the world of sports. I look forward to the next book in this series and for more delicious Jaci Burton heroes that any female reader can sigh over. (Berkley Heat, available September 4th)
Final Grade: B