Author: Nicole Michaels
Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in a Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING
Callie Daniels is a singular sensation. She owns and operates her own bakery, contributes to a popular lifestyle blog, and is the dance team coach at a local high school. She lives by her own design and is much too busy to consider dating. Mr. Right will have to fit into her life when the time is right…
UNLESS YOU’RE PLAYING FOR KEEPS
Football coach Bennett Clark always plays by the rules. He knows that his new colleague Callie is off limits but she’s so beautiful-and irritating!-that Bennett can’t get her off his mind. She wants him to participate in a charity dance contest, and won’t take no for an answer. Soon, what begins as a festive athletic endeavor turns into a heated flirtation on and off the dance floor. Could it be that the free-spirited Callie has finally found a way through Coach Clark’s line of defense.
Review: The first book in this series, Start Me Up, was wonderful so I was really looking forward to this second one–and no shocker, it came through for me in a big way. The characters were realistic and tense, complete with flaws and tics and other things that made them human and loveable just like the rest of us. This book had some things that really surprised me, though, with the raw honesty and truth about our behavior when we’re down. Normally characters are cast as good or bad and then just become more so in the book with a couple of problems thrown in for good measure. In this book, one of the MCs looked back and realized he’d misrepresented a huge part of his past to himself and others because of his own behavior. It wasn’t pretty, but it was life affirming and made the book for me.
Callie is the second blog mate in My Perfect Little Life, and she’s the baker, but her secret past includes lots of beauty pageants and dancing. When the chance comes up for her to coach the high school dance team, she grabs it. She’s so excited to be doing the choreography and working in dance again until she gets an offer from the principal she can’t refuse. Dance with the high school football coach in a local celebrity dance competition and help him win it. At first she’s sure it’ll be a breeze, but when she realizes that the “old” coach she’s been picturing is actually a hot man who’s an awful dancer and turns out to be quite a jerk, she’s not so sure. Can she teach him in time before she chokes him?
Bennett Clark has come a long way from the high flying NFL quarterback he was many years ago. Since he’s been coaching, he’s tried to stay out of the limelight and forget his past and the injury that ended it. When he’s forced into the dance competition, not only is it physically painful but it begins opening up feelings he thought were long dead. When he and Callie decide to take a chance on a relationship and tragedy strikes their lives–again–will his shutting everyone out cause him to lose everything again? Or can Callie get through to him in time?
Hot smoky sex, crisp fall football, and yummy baked goods are only a few of the wonderful things you’ll find when you read this warm romance about two lonely people searching for love. I loved it and can’t wait for number 3!