Ballers and Babes Series, Book 1
From the publisher:
Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns. Don’t let the fact that I’m the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you.
These days, I’m only a player on the field. I’ve kept my pants zipped all season long because nothing’s more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner’s recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who’s dead set on winning more than a date with me.
Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary. She’s my best friend’s sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don’t even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she’s my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he’s negotiating my contract.
Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is–I’ve been riding the bench for years. How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she’s most valuable to his heart?
*MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy’s POV!*
I love sports romances, and this is a good one. Told from the guy’s point of view, Cooper is the quarterback for a fictitious San Francisco NFL team. He was backup quarterback for a few years, but now is leading the team and he takes that very seriously. As his best friend Trent says, he is married to football. It is the most important thing in his life and he, along with a few friends on the team, started off the season losing. But then things started clicking and they are on their way to a wildcard spot in the playoffs. Many athletes have their little superstitions and this crew certainly does. Cooper hasn’t had sex since they started winning, and his friends also have their supersitions – one hasn’t cut his hair all season, another is wearing the same dirty socks every game.
Cooper is also a big believer in helping out any charities that deal with children, so he is happy to be part of the bachelor auction to benefit a local children’s hospital. Except he has one little problem; in previous years when he was “won”, he bedded the winners. This year he is not having sex until they make the playoffs, which could be difficult, especially when the owner’s sister is determined to win him and have her way with him. Panicky, he begs Trent’s sister Violet to help him out. She is a hairdresser and is at the auction to make all the guys look good. But her work is done, and since she and Cooper have been friends since they were little kids, she doesn’t mind helping him out – especially since he’s paying for it. So she outbids everyone else and to her surprise, and his, he kisses her in front of the crowd and tells the local news reporter covering the event that they are an item.
Meanwhile, Cooper’s agent is in negotiations for his contract with the team, due to expire at the end of the season. He tells Cooper he needs to keep dating his hometown childhood sweetheart as it will help with negotiations. Turns out Violet needs to keep dating him as well; her landlord wants to raise her rent, but if her customers think they are dating, business will pick up for sure. So they agree to fake date, and as anyone who has ever read a romance knows, fake dating always leads to a happily ever after.
What is interesting here is seeing it all from his point of view instead of hers. We quickly learn that Cooper is falling for Violet, but he isn’t sure if she feels the same or is just good at acting. It was refreshing to see a man be a bit insecure about a relationship for a change. Violet is as well, and we learn that she has always had a crush on him. As things progress, their relationship certainly feels real to him but things come up that make him doubt that Violet is.
This was a terrific read, fast and sexy and fun, especially if you like football – and I do. There is also some sweetness here, which I really appreciated, along with some laugh out loud moments and some very steamy sex. Lauren Blakely is self published, which I often have issues with, but she is a pro. Her books are reliably well edited, and I highly recommend!
NOTE: This is the first book of a series, and I got it for free through BookBub. If you weren’t sure they were legit, well, they are. I got this book a couple of weeks ago and it was free, but today it is $3.99 so I’m glad I jumped on that when I did! (Unfortunately, my library doesn’t have the rest of the books in this series so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to them. I feel guilty buying books when I literally have hundreds of books still to read on my Kindle!)
10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY by Lauren Blakely. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 1, 2017). 978-1545373941. 286 pages.