Tuesday, February 23, 2016

1 star--Unexpected Rush (Play by Play #11) by Jaci Burton

I'm starting out with the fact that I seriously can't believe I'm giving a Jaci Burton book a 1 star review. I freaking love this series. It's one of my comfort series. But Unexpected Rush did not mesh well with me at all.

The quick of it is that Harmony has just broken up with her boyfriend and she's set her eyes on her brothers best friend and teammate, Barrett. She's had a bit of a crush on him since she was a kid and she's ready to make things happen. He on the other hand is reluctant seeing as how he knows it's going to hurt his relationship with her brother and that relationship means the world to him. And so begins a push and pull game of you know you want it--no I don't--yes you do and I'm gonna prove it.

So what DID work for me....

I liked the hero. Barrett is a good guy. He's hard working, loyal & totally someone you could be friends with. He gives back to the community, has good relationships with his family and tries to do what's right.

I also really love his family (from previous books) so it was fun getting to spend time with them when they popped in and out of the story.

Oh and it's set in Tampa, Florida and I know the area from growing up not far from there. They visited Clearwater too which is somewhere I've been many times. So that was fun.

It's also an interracial romance--Barrett is white and Harmony is black. I believe this is the first for the series.

The cover is hot!

And what did NOT work for me...

Unfortunately pretty much everything else.

Harmony was not the heroine for me. There was a while in the middle where I thought maybe I could get on board but she dashed that at the end. Overall she was both selfish and ridiculous. Everything was about HER wants and desires without thought or care to what that would do to Barrett.

My prevailing thought on her behavior was that if a hero behaved like this heroine towards a woman all hell would break loose. She was precariously close to sexual harassment for the first third of the book in my opinion. I'm sure some would just deem her aggressive or assertive in her desires and cheer her on but I found her distasteful. He repeatedly said this isn't something I want to engage in regardless of being attracted to you. She kept pushing including one scene where she stripped down to her undies then got upset when he stopped things after a few minutes.

Her brother was over the top protective. Threatening ex boyfriends, nearly attacking a man she was dancing with who tried to put his hands on her butt--and they ALL over reacted to that something fierce which bothered me since it was not a big deal like they were making it out to be, etc.

No wonder Barrett didn't want to tell her brother. He was a hothead and irrational. And pointedly told Barrett he wasn't good enough for his sister.

I didn't really feel the transitions either. It went from her wanting a relationship with him and him saying I don't want to risk my friendship on something that might not pan out. To them deciding to just make it about sex only (because that's not gonna risk the friendship?) and not telling anyone and then a full out "we're in a relationship" happening pretty much the instant they had sex.

The sex scenes were awkward and repetitive with stilted dialogue. There was way too much focus on them telling each other to come, that they were about to come, begging each other to make them come.

The editing wasn't all that tight either. There were multiple places where entire thoughts or conversations were repeated right after each other. Not word for word but close enough it had you going okay we JUST went over this.

And then the end. When things blew up after Barrett finally did talk to her brother it's HIS fault. Even though he was right from the start about it not going well. But she blames him and he of course has to apologize and grovel. Erms. No.

All in all, while I love Jaci Burton's books and adore the Play-by-Play series, Unexpected Rush was a major miss. This was not the typical writing I expect from Burton. Overall, I do recommend the series but would definitely not recommend starting with this one.
For Barrett Cassidy, playing defense for the Tampa Hawks is a dream come true. And now he may have discovered his dream woman. Harmony Evans, once the sweet, gawky teenage sister of his best friend and teammate has grown into a smart, gorgeous woman with moves he finds hard to resist. But he knows he can’t get involved with his best friend’s sister—it’s guy code.

Harmony has always gone after what she wants with single-minded determination, from her independence to her education to her career in social work. She never expected her youthful crush on Barrett to develop into something deeper. And she’s not about to let some ridiculous man rules or her brother stand in her way.

When the chemistry is this combustible, lines tend to get crossed. And when Barrett and Harmony’s secret gets out, it just might be game over...

*covers link to Amazon

Challenges: Pick Your Genre (contemporary) | Goodreads

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