Review: Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton

Format: Trade paperback, ebook
Pub Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Length: 336 pages
FTC: review copy courtesy of the author

I've had mixed results with Jaci Burton books. Some I've loved, some just didn't click with me. Thankfully, Taking a Shot clicked just fine.

I'm not a sports person. At all. I know nothing about hockey (or any other sport, really) except a very basic understanding of the rules. So I can't make a comment on the accuracy of the hockey information. But for someone who isn't into sports, this book doesn't overwhelm you or make you feel as if you're left out of the loop because you don't know the ins and outs of hockey.

I admit, both the hero and heroine annoyed me at some point during the novel. The hero is pushy, the heroine stuck in a rut using superficial reasons not to commit or go after her dreams. If I had to choose the one who annoyed me the most, though, it would definitely be the heroine. Not only was she whiny, she had a serious case of martyrdom.

Since my personal preference isn't quite the same as Berkley Heat's ratio of sex scenes: plot, I admit I skimmed a few of the sex scenes. For me, personally, they didn't seem to move the story forward at all. Especially after the first few. (Yes, I know this is erotic romance.) If you are a lover of hot sex scenes, though, there are plenty to enjoy here.

What I did love was how the characters, both main and secondary, melded as a whole. They feel like real people with real, believable issues, family problems, etc. The chemistry between Jenna and Ty is scorching. As in, melt-the-walls-hot. While Jenna's reasons for resisting Ty seemed a bit too thin to me, the tension between the two builds quite believably to the point where you expect them to self combust.

If I had to pick a favorite part of the book, though, it would be when Ty decides to give Jenna "what she wants" in terms of guys. He "helpfully" sends the types of guys she feels are perfect for her right to her, and watches, smugly, from afar as it just doesn't work. No jealous alpha-hole rages. No He-Man chest beating. Just an innate confidence, persistence, and patience.

This is the sports romance done right, and readers of Jaci Burton's Play by Play series will be thrilled with this installment.

My Grade: B

The Blurb:

If you want to score, you have to get in the game... 

The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she's stuck running the family's sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she's vowed to never fall for a jock-even one as hot as Ty.

Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty's insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too...
But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all-including Ty...

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