Monday, September 25, 2017

ARC Review: The Final Score by Jaci Burton

Series:     Play-by-Play #13
Pub. Date:Sept. 12, 2017
Publisher:Berkley
Length:352 pages
Source:NetGalley

In the thirteenth installment of Jaci Burton's Play-by-Play series, we see the youngest Cassidy paired up with the son of Mick Riley (The Perfect Play) to give us the start of a new athletic dynasty (and room to expand the series maybe?).

Mia Cassidy has just graduated college and has undertaken an ambitious and risky venture to open her own sports management firm in San Francisco, where here brother and best friend play a little pro football for the San Francisco Sabers. Luckily Mia's family athletic affiliations and sports knowledge have prepared her for the business and dealing with athletes. I liked Mia's ambition and courage to take on such a venture at her age. But my favorite aspect of Mia's character was that she is a planner girl y'all! I totally loved that and got quite a few chuckles about her lists, planner addiction, and the hero teasing her about planner stickers.

Nathan Riley is the adopted son of Mick Riley, and he is taking over the quarterback spot on the Sabers after his dad's retirement. Only recently out of college himself, Nathan has big shoes to fill at a young age. But Nathan was mature and seemed to work well under pressure, so he was ready to take on the challenge. 

Unfortunately our hero was more willing to take a risk on a relationship than our heroine, so much of the story saw him falling victim to Mia's whims and getting thrown into the friendzone. Personally, I thought Mia was nuts for not wanting to parade their relationship down the street. So her reluctance started to weigh on me by the end, especially since Nathan was so patient and understanding. Though when they were together, things were quite steamy and entertaining. 

As always, I loved the sports aspects of the story and Jaci does a good job incorporating the game without it taking over the story. I had fun with seeing some of the past couples and other Cassidy family members, and it made me want to go back and read the earlier books. (I'm a late comer to the series so I haven't been reading them in order.) I think The Final Score will be a hit with fans of the friends-to-lovers trope, and Jaci Burton in general.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley.