Sunday, June 22, 2014

Risky Game by Tracy Solheim

Title: Risky Game
Author: Tracy Solheim
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Out of Bounds #3
Main Characters: Brody and Shay
Release Date: May 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
In the next sizzling sports romance from the author of Foolish GamesBrody is at the top of his game… until Shannon changes the rules.

Baltimore Blaze tight end Brody Janik is a natural-born football star. At twenty-seven, his record-breaking athletic performance and his cover-boy good looks have turned him into a household name. But Brody’s hiding a major secret behind his charming public persona: a health condition that may cut his career short.
PhD candidate Shannon �Shay” Everett works multiple jobs to put herself through school—including an unpaid internship with the Blaze training department.  Strapped for cash, Shay answers the call of an NFL gossip blogger to uncover personal details about the Blaze players. Sneaking into the locker room one night, she gets entangled in Brody’s secret…and swept up by his charm.
Brody isn’t sure what to make of the gawky girl with the whiskey eyes, especially when he discovers she was snooping. His first instinct is to turn her in as a snitch, but she could destroy him by sharing his secret. Instead, he decides to keep her close…perhaps closer than either of them originally intended…

My Review:
Definitely the best book of the series! I loved this story and the emotions between Shay and Brody. I love how unlikely of a couple they are and my heart just hurt for Shay as that was repeatedly pointed out during the book. 

Shay and Brody are brought together by an anonymous evil blogger who likes to stir things up by sharing the latest in rumors and gossip among the NFL members. Shay interns with the Blaze as she's earning her PhD in nutrition. It's an intern job so it doesn't pay, but she's working about 4 other jobs just to get by. This is a girl who never sleeps and never has enough money to get by. So when she receives an anonymous note from the blogger offering money for dirt, Shay is tempted. But that's all she is...tempted. She decides she can't do it, but that is only after she finds out about Brody's secret health issues. 

Brody is the sexy tight end who everyone wants. He's gorgeous, charming, and sexy as all get out...and has been burned by pretty much everyone who eventually uses his fame for their gain. He's learned not to trust anyone, so when Shay says he can trust her, he scoffs and begins his own blackmail scheme against her. She cooperates with him or he will make sure that her mother's business is shut down.

Shay has so many self-esteem issues stemming from being a twin. Her twin sister just happens to be a former beauty queen and a current Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Her sister was always the beautiful one; Shay was always the smart one. For the most part, she's learned to accept that over the years but with the blogger making constant digs at her and how she doesn't fit with the beautiful Brody, those old insecurities keep rising. Oh, how my heart hurt for her. I do love Brody though in that regardless of what was going on, he was always right up front reassuring her in how much he did truly want her. He screwed up in every other aspect, but not there. I loved how much he wanted and needed her to feel better about that issue. 

Then there's Brody...the guy who never had to grow up. Brody's naturally talented, naturally beautiful and surrounded by sisters who take care of every little thing for him. He's never really had to work at too much and no one tells him no. But he's aware of that too and is really hard on himself about not having to work for things. That's affected his self-esteem negatively, too. Combined with his trust issues, he doesn't think that he will ever be able to maintain a real relationship. 

This book is hard emotionally because neither of these characters truly feel like they ever have or will have anything more. That's a natural story line in a lot of romances, but in most of those there comes a point where they begin to have hope in a future. In this book, with these characters' mental blocks, neither of them ever truly even consider the possibility. That made the ending for me that much sweeter because I did love the two of them together. 

There was a lot of emotion in this book and because of that this was definitely the best in the series for me. There was one story line left hanging though...the blogger was never caught or revealed although her source was. Will we eventually find out who's behind the blog? I hope so. 

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