REVIEW: TEAM PLAYER ✮ A CHRISTMAS ANTHOLOGY

REVIEW: TEAM PLAYER ✮ A CHRISTMAS ANTHOLOGYTeam Player by Emma Scott, Kate Stewart, L.J. Shen, Adriana Locke, Charleigh Rose, Ella Fox, Rochelle Paige, Mandi Beck, Meghan Quinn, Sara Ney
Also by this author: The Butterfly Project, Someday, Someday, The Brave Line, Drive, Midnight Blue, Vicious, Love, Sincerely, Yours, The Coaching Hours
on December 14th 2017
Genres: sports romance
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four-stars

Hot jocks. We love them all.
Sexy baseball players. Intense footballers. Sweaty MMA fighters, and sizzling hockey hotties. Score!
The good news? Eleven bestselling authors have gathered to give you a set of stories focused on the men we love most—sports heroes. We bet you’ll love this thick … book.
The bad news? The men in these novellas don’t actually exist.
Enjoy this naughty Christmas treat!*
*This anthology does not contain calories, just eleven original, never-before-seen stories by the following authors: Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, Charleigh Rose, Kennedy Ryan, LJ Shen, Meghan Quinn, Rochelle Paige, Ella Fox, Kate Stewart, Emma Scott, and Sara Ney. We aren’t responsible for melted devices.

Team Player:
Adriana Locke (Cross)
Charleigh Rose (Yard Sale)
Ella Fox (Out of Formation)
Emma Scott (One Good Man)
Kate Stewart (Sweeping the Series)
Kennedy Ryan (Full Court Press)
L.J. Shen (The End Zone)
Mandi Beck (Sin Bin)
Meghan Quinn (Back in the Game)
Rochelle Paige (Slapped Into Love)
Sara Ney (Switch Hitter)

 

 

This collection of novellas has some of my favorite authors and a couple new ones I always wanted to try. So finally I get around doing it!

 

4.5 STARS
The End Zone
by L.J. Shen

 

For a very short novella, this story packs a lot of angst. I was pretty surprised at how intense it got. Sage and Jolie have been friends since they were barely teenagers. The night they became the one person they could always rely on held a lot of heartbreak for Sage. Their friendship survived all those years of Jolie being in love with her best friend and Sage being a man-hoe, and he doesn’t even have to lift a finger for it. The girls flock him.

Sage is a bit of a jerk and alpha-hole. He corners Jolie with a proposal because all of sudden he realizes that he is in love with her and doesn’t want any one else to have her. I didn’t quite like that it all of a sudden “occurred” to him that his feelings ran deeper but it’s a novella so I give a bit of leeway since those don’t really have much room to get into great depth. Anyhoo, he was still kind of sweet, especially when he showed his belly.

Jolie is a very likable heroine – she doesn’t let Sage walk all over her and, rightly so, doesn’t trust Sage’s sudden interest in her. He needs to prove to her that he is serious about his feelings for her. I liked her for holding her own and not giving in, yet still loving Sage and holding on to their friendship.

The End Zone is a super fast fix if you’re in need of a sports romance with a possessive alpha-jock and a lovely heroine who can hold her own.

 

4 STARS
SWEEPING THE SERIES
by Kate Stewart

 

You know you’re reading a story by Kate Stewart when the emotions churn in your gut and won’t let up until you’re done. With this novella she gives us a another story in the Balls in Play series and while this is relatively short in comparison it never felt too short. You know how some novellas do that because there isn’t much room and you actually want to delve deeper into the story? Yeah, Kate Stewart doesn’t leave you hanging in this regard. I never felt unsatisfied because the author brushed over some of the aspects.

Ren plays the field. There is no sugar-coating it and while it makes him look totally douch-ey and hurts his and the team’s reputation there is a reason. From beginning to end my heart beat for this man who was so hurt in the past and every second of his fury directed towards the woman who was the cause was just. I felt utterly betrayed on his behalf. When he lashed out I wanted to cheer him on and say “More please.” He is a very caring soul, and I loved that his deepest wish was having a family.

Erica is a PR specialist and was hired to fix Ren’s reputation. She is rather unwilling to take up the job seeing as she left Ren without giving a reason, stealing away from their apartment when he was on training camp. For that alone I hated her. I needed a good enough reason for her to hurt somebody so badly. The author left me hanging for most of the book and I had built up so much dislike for this heroine that I wasn’t sure if I wanted for them to be together. Erica’s attitude and laying blame on Ren for becoming a man-hoe didn’t help much. Thankfully in the end Kate Stewart came through and turned my dislike in grudging acceptance but I have to say that the reason she left wasn’t good enough for me. Not communicating, not explaining, taking away the chance for Ren to understand what was going on and not being upfront? Bad move.

I usually love Kate’s heroines. Erica not so much. Every other time, I would have rated lower, however, the author got my blood boiling with emotion and angst and by the end I could have sworn I’d read a full-length novel by her, that’s as deep she went. I loved that. I loved seeing Ren, Rafe and Andy’s friendship. The ladies’ drunken night, or rather the aftermath of it was pure hilarity. There are a lot of good things to say about this story and not even my dislike for Erica could ruin that. Again, Ms. Stewart came through. I’m a forever fan.

 

4 STARS
THE ONE GOOD MAN
by Emma Scott

Emma Scott takes us back into a history-ladden time, the 1970s. The proxy war in Vietnam is still going on and the effects are palpable all over the world. It’s an intriguing choice for a sports romance and I applaud the author for this unusual setting.

Janey is a student backslash journalist. After being arrested for an involuntary participation at a protest march against the Vietnam War her father ships her off to Paris where she meets Adrian, soccer player. She doesn’t like jocks very much, after all they only chase tail and in the beginning, Adrian seems to confirm her belief.

I have to say that Janey rubbed me a little bit the wrong way. She was abrasive towards Adrian, keeping him at a distance but when she started to see past the front Adrian put up I started to warm up to her – she gave up her reservations and supported Adrian.

Adrian is one of those deep waters. He has so many things going on at the same time and still manages to juggle them all. He had a sweet kindness about him, always friendly, even when Janey got in his face.

This was a solid read from Emma, while it took a while to like Janey, Adrian totally made this story. I think if I had had spent more time with Janey I would have come to love her, eventually. The author shows her affinity for writing about unusual people with intriguing backgrounds again. This is why I love reading her stories.

 

Final thoughts

 

I wish I would have had the time to read all the stories, I definitely will finish the anthology at some point. These stories are the perfect length to read in between full-length novels.

This is a huge collection of super-talented authors and if you are looking for fun, sweet and sexy sports romance you can’t go wrong with Team Player!

 

four-stars

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