Release Date: Aug 18, 2020
Series: The Game Changers
Heat Level: Hot
Samantha’s Thoughts 💭
Elena is stepping out on a blind date with a hot weatherman. Instead, of the hot weatherman, she finds herself on an interesting date with Jack, a professional football player. Despite them being total opposites, they end up having a fun night together. When Elena discovers who Jack really is, she takes a step back. Good thing she doesn’t have to run into him again.
Jack has been through the ringer in the press so he likes to lay low. He is perfectly fine with never having to see Elena again. However, he lands the gig of Romeo in a small community play and his Juliet is no other than Elena. The tension rises as they are constantly in each other paths.
I normally shy away from sports romances. They just do little to hold my attention but I have to say this is not my first sport romance by this author and I know she is going to bring all the feels with it. So I didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to read this one. There is an equal amount of feels and funny moments.
While there are so many other things floating around in this book, it is strictly the romance that wins the spotlight. The chemistry is spot on with these two from the first encounter until the last page. Elena is so cute and quirky. On paper, she doesn’t’ seem to be what Jack would be into but she is exactly what he needed. I love it.
Jack has been hurt by past relationships. The author focuses on his insecurities and issues instead of making him the hot jock. He has plenty of reasons to not want any attention on him and trust females. It just makes him more adorable and I really liked him but in the same vein it took away because he constantly pushed Elena away. It is only cute the first time which is why I couldn’t give this the full five stars. Eventually, they got it together but it didn’t really add to the story.
Landra’s Thoughts 💭
My first Madden-Mills started out hot but missed a few notes in the end.
First up, this is my first from this author and I went in bit blind, but I love a good mistaken identity trope when done well. Not My Romeo has just that. Our hero, Jack, is a pro-quarterback with a bad attitude. He’s like the Marshawn Lynch of Madden-Mills football world in this new series, The Game Changers. FYI: I love football, in some ways I’m a dude shacked up in a woman’s body, so this element added a bonus to the story-telling.
The heroine, Elena, is a librarian who has not had much luck in the dating department since her split from her ex. She ends up on a blind date on Valentine’s Day and meets Greg, the meteorologist, or at least she thinks it’s Greg. But… it’s Jack, our quarterback, and everything rolls on from there.
There’s something about mistaken identity that always ropes me in, mainly how will the other party find out about the identity snafu. I want to see if it plays out in a believable way, and all the other juicy details. Bring the popcorn! This little date plays out over four chapters. Four. Chapters. I wasn’t bored, nope. There’s lots of tension, plenty of action, including Elena’s ex, magically taking his new girlfriend (Elena’s sister) to dinner at the same restaurant. Ooh, drama, chase me and the over protective jock hero. Normally this wouldn’t work for me, but it did. Elena is the anti-confrontational part of me that can’t stand to cause family issues, and Jack is that grumpy, grumbly man who I want to sink my teeth into. It gets even hotter by the end of the chapter:
“It’s Valentine’s Day. What else do you have planned tonight? Crying into you ice cream over our ex?”
“I’m better than ice cream.”
“Obviously you haven’t had Ben & Jerry’s Rocky Road.”
“Obviously you haven’t met me before.” I reach out and briefly touch her plump bottom lip, grazing my thumb across her silky skin…
Her eyes close, and her throat moves as she swallows, her mouth slightly parted. “Um…I don’t know.”
“Elena, are you going to make me beg for it?”
Yes, and I was hooked. Of course, there’s more issues especially that up until this point Elena still doesn’t know Jack as Jack. I eagerly turned pages engaged in the story. So, where did it go wrong?
About halfway through things fell flat. Sure, Jack has emotional baggage from being used and vilified by people he once considered close to him, which makes him super private and big on trust. Elena has her own issues and being a secret, involved with someone who likes everything private and closed off, doesn’t make sense to her. This all culminates in a loose, semi-out of nowhere black moment. I didn’t see it coming and found it not making sense compared to earlier parts of the book.
Additionally, the grand gesture read a bit out of place. I can understand why it happens where and how, but it still didn’t meet up to what I was hoping for. That’s on me, of course.
Outside of that Madden-Mills writes snappy dialogue, scenes that hook and easily kept me turning pages, along with smokin’ sex scenes. For readers who have enjoyed her stories before I doubt they will be disappointed.
Overall, this was another instance where I enjoyed first person point of view and I will be willing to give Madden-Mills books a chance in the future, especially any in this particular series. For readers who enjoy Alexa Martin’s Playbook series.