Sunday, September 1, 2019

Book Review: The Final Score by Jaci Burton

 The Final Score by Jaci BurtonAuthor: Jaci Burton
Series: Play-by-Play #13
Audience:  +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 12th 2017
My Rating: 4.5 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Contact, a star quarterback is torn between his love of the game—and the woman who may be the love of his life.

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his sports future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it all. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia realize that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Berkley and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

**Disclaimer: This book contains mature content. As a result, my review may contain references to content intended for mature audiences only.

Play-by-Play is one of my favorite sports romance series out there, so whenever I hear that Jaci Burton is publishing a new book in this series I know I'll have an amazing time. My realization that The Final Score is about Nathan, Mick and Tara's son, however, made me delay my reading of this book for so long. I knew I was going to be emotional while reading this, and I'm here to tell you that I was right. I was an emotional mess. But I also had tons of fun.

In 2011 The Perfect Play, the very first book in this series was published and seven years later the son of the couple from that book is all grown up and has his own story to tell. I know, of course, that there is another book in this series after this one, but for some reason this book makes me more emotional than the idea of the next one. It's strange seeing Nathan all grown up, have him be the quarterback and the star player of his dad's old team. The story kind of gave me "legacy spin-off" vibes, in the sense that it was nice to see the kids growing up, and Nathan become an adult. I honestly got emotional reading this book.

Nathan was just as wonderful as I remembered him. He's grown into a very fine young man and I am happy to see the path he's on. He's following in his dad's steps, becoming the QB for his dad's old team and he's doing a good job playing for the team. Nathan is very attracted to his best friend, Mia, and eventually they give in and become friend with benefits. He reminded me a bit of his uncle Tyler, more than Mick at times, which I loved because if I absolutely had to pick a brother, I'd pick Tyler.

Mia was a good match for Nathan. She's a young woman trying to start a successful business. She's hard working, she's passionate, and she wants to make it on her own. I understood why she felt like she needed to stay away from Nathan, because unfortunately rumors can make it hard for someone to have a successful career. I do believe she could have handled things a bit better, have an honest conversation about her fears with Nathan, but I did agree with her.

As I said, this book was a bit bittersweet. I've been following this series for 9 years, and it's the series that started my love of sports romances. There's only one book left as of yet in this series, and my heart isn't ready for that. I hope that Jaci Burton will return to it in the future, but for now I think I'll reread this series pretty soon.

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