REVIEW – TEAM PLAYER: A CHRISTMAS ANTHOLOGY

SYNOPSIS

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)

 

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****4.5 STARS*****
{ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR}

 

 

 

SWEEPING THE SERIES by KATE STEWART 
*****FIVE STARS*****

Even as I settled into the role I was expected to play, I didn’t play it well. I tried everything, and no part of me wanted to forget. Loving her was torture. And the realization that I was still so much in love with her, well, that was the cruelest punishment.

 

 

I want to give Kate Stewart the biggest hug, and smooch and then a fist bump because this short story was absolute PERFECTION!! I may have to switch teams and choose Ren McAvoy as my new favorite book boyfriend created by Ms. Stewart!! Who knew this character had it in him to be such a charismatic Hero??!! I don’t think I can find the words to truly express just how much I fell in love with this novella!! It was fabulous from beginning to end and it’s got Kate’s signature ”HOTTER THAN H” steam!! What a terrific addition to the ”Balls in Play” series! If you love Second Chance Romances, this one is sure to steal your hearts!

Ren McAvoy and Erica Wild were once madly in love with each other but one day without an explanation or an apology, Erica packed up and left her life with Ren just when he was making it to the big leagues. For the next two years, Ren will be labeled the “bad boy” of MLB, bedding a different woman every night and having his escapades splattered all over the gossip magazines. When management decides they’ve had enough of his antics they hire a new PR agent to get his reputation back in a favorable light. Ren is shocked and maybe even a little excited to meet his new agent who turns out to be the woman who broke his heart, Erica.

 

 

There’s a lot of heated arguments, angst, and comedic moments with all the beloved characters from the previous books. It was terrific to get the chance to spend some more time with Rafe, Alice, Andy, and April! They made for a perfect ensemble cast! I loved SWEEPING THE SERIES so much that I wish Kate would write more installments but I believe this will be the end of it.

If you haven’t read ANYTHING BUT MINOR or MAJOR LOVE, make sure you add them to your soon to read TBRs!!

ONE GOOD MAN by EMMA SCOTT 
*****FIVE STARS*****

I gasped, utterly unprepared for how the taste of him, the feel of him touching me like this, turned my bones to sand and stole my breath.

 

 

 

I have to admit that when I first started reading Emma Scott’s contribution to the anthology, I was skeptical that I would love a story that takes place in 1970, but I should have known that there is no way this author could ever write anything that I wouldn’t fall in love with! ONE GOOD MAN is another STELLAR addition to the “Team Player” anthology. If you’ve read any of Emma Scott’s works then you’ll know that you can never trust your first impression of her characters. You’ve got to let her take you on a journey and slowly the layers are peeled away and you’re left with some incredible characters. I fell so much in love with Adrian Rousseau, the talented center forward of the Paris Central soccer team. He was a beautiful man with an equally beautiful soul!

Janey Martin was a strong Heroine who had to deal with her fair share of discrimination and sexual harassment being one of the few women majoring in journalism, which was predominantly a core curriculum for men. This novella really strikes a cord given the fact that we are hit with so many new cases of sexual harassment against women and in some instances, men, being reported in the media on a daily basis now.

Janey is an American student who is sent to complete her college education at the Sorbonne in France, after getting entangled in a Vietnam War protest that ended up in her incarceration. She hopes to become a successful news journalist for the Times or Newsweek, but being a woman with striking good looks have not been in her favor. She’s not been taken seriously nor given any gritty assignments that she craves. Her latest assignment for the school paper is to interview Sorbonne’s most popular student who is on the fast track to becoming a professional Soccer player—Adrian Rousseau.

Their first meeting is less than cordial as both Janey and Adrian take turns throwing insults at each other. But as the story unfolds they get past their own biases and realize that the people they are on the inside just might be that missing piece of the puzzle to their hearts.

This was one incredibly beautiful story told by the incomparable Emma Scott!!

BACK IN THE GAME by MEGHAN QUINN 
*****FIVE STARS*****

Holding my breath, I wait for his next move, and when his pinky reaches out and touches mine, an entire wave of euphoric heat shoots across my body. It’s a pinky touch, just a pinky, but it offers so much promise of what’s to come.

 

 

I can never get enough of Meghan Quinn’s stories! She is one of the best romantic comedy writers out there currently. BACK IN THE GAME was another novella in the ”TEAM PLAYER” anthology that was perfect, beginning to end! I laughed out loud so many times while reading this one and fell hard for both Calder and Rachel. Their chemistry was scorching hot and their silly but hilarious banter had me in stitches throughout! And don’t even get me started on the fact that Calder Weis is one of the hottest NHL players! I have a soft spot for Hockey romances! They tend to be my all-time faves!

Calder and Rachel have the silliest/funniest meet cute near the bathroom of a Chinese-Donut takeout restaurant. Calder is a single father of an adorable five-year-old girl who loves to dress him up as a fairy princess whenever it’s father/daughter play time. Calder is able to charm Rachel even while sporting a bedazzled tiara, fairy wings, and a pink feather boa wrapped around his chest. Their first date is far from what a typical night out between two adults would encompass and I found it endearing, hysterical, and even a huge turn on.

Calder is probably going to be my second most favorite hero created by Meghan Quinn, following Racer McKay. He’s not your typical Hockey alpha male. This guy put his personal life on hold to raise his daughter on his own and was afraid to let a woman get too close for fear that she wouldn’t be in it for the long haul and would end up breaking his little girl’s heart. He was shy at times and seemed to have no game with the ladies but it was the lack of cockiness that will melt a reader’s heart! I highly doubt there will be anyone who won’t fall in love with him and with Rachel as well! I loved her spunky attitude and larger than life personality!

A little-added bonus was we meet one of the heroes who will be in THREE BLIND DATES and he’s linked to Racer!! Make sure you read this novella if you pick up this anthology!! It was another BIG HIT for me!

SWITCH HITTER by SARA NEY 
*****3.5 STARS*****

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read this novella. I’ve never read any of Sara Ney’s books but I’ve seen reviews for her “Douchebag” series plastered all over social media. I didn’t fall madly in love with this story, but I’m still willing to try one of her books in her popular series.

SWITCH HITTER is about identical twin sisters Lucy and Amelia, who switch places one last time when Lucy winds up having dates on the same night with two different guys. The sisters are identical in looks alone. They are complete opposites in everything else. Lucy is the party girl who never forms any meaningful relationships with men and Amelia is more subdued and quiet. She’s the sister with the brains and soulful personality.

Amelia reluctantly agrees to go out with Dante aka “Dash” Amado, who is on the University’s baseball team. Amelia expects him to be the typical dumb jock but is surprised when he proves to be a gentleman with actual intelligence as well.

Dante wasn’t looking forward to the date as Lucy is far from the type of girl he could bring home to meet his family. He has never been attracted to women who are overtly sexual and who come on too strong. His plan was to break it off with her but from the moment this third date started, he noticed a difference in Lucy—little did he know that he was out with her sister instead.

Amelia becomes tortured by her sense of loyalty to her sister and her strong attraction to Dante. Will she be able to let him go when the time comes?

The writing was ok but I never connected to the story or the characters. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Dash and Amelia. The ending was also a bit rushed.

FULL COURT PRESS by KENNEDY RYAN 

I initially had planned not to read this one but my curiosity got the best of me. Kennedy Ryan’s books have gotten such rave reviews, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I probably should have stopped reading once I realized it involved an NBA player. I don’t like or follow the sport but I figured I’d put that aside and still give the story a chance. The pace was too slow for me and some of the subject matter was a bit depressing, not something I want to read in a Christmas/Sports anthology. I tried to get through it but finally gave up when I made it to the eighth chapter. I’m sure the author’s fans will enjoy it but this just wasn’t for me.

TEAM PLAYER is currently available and I highly recommend it! If I could have based my ratings on Kate’s, Emma’s and Meghan’s novellas, this would have been a FIVE STAR read all around. Their contributions are enough to warrant my seal of approval!

➜ Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2j2Lwzj
➜ Amazon UK: amazon.co.uk/dp/B07891C4C6
➜ Amazon CA: amazon.ca/dp/B07891C4C6
➜ Amazon AU: amazon.com.au/dp/B07891C4C6
➜ Amazon DE: amazon.de/dp/B07891C4C6

 

 

*****Dee’s Review*****

FIVE STARS *****

If you like sports romances, or if you like balls of any kind, this Anthology is for you!

This book has an all-star lineup of amazing authors, their styles are all so different but combined they created an amazing book that was sexy, entertaining and with a lot of heart.

 

 

I was excited to pick up this Anthology when I saw that some of my top favorite authors were involved, and the bonus is that I also got to read stories by authors I hadn’t yet discovered, but have been dying to read.

Every story was a hit for me, all the characters were fantastic and the stories were all just wonderful. How lucky are we, to have the opportunity to read a book written by such talented and amazing authors? In my opinion, this book also makes for the perfect holiday gift.

I can honestly say that I couldn’t just pick one favorite story, each author really did knock it out of the park. I even one-clicked more books by Sara Ney, Rochelle Paige, and many others because I really wanted more and more beautiful, sexy stories.

So get ready to go on the field, and to get in bed with some of the sexiest sports players you’ll read about this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*****Mel’s Review*****

 5 Tin Man Stars!

I read Sweeping the Series by Kate Stewart. It’s a second chance romance novella that’s part of her Balls in Play series.

 

 

Ren Makavoy is one of the best in the MLB. His dream has always been to play baseball for Denver, & now he’s their star catcher. He’s also a gorgeous bachelor playboy who’s getting too much negative attention off the field. All the media seems to care about lately is his personal life. The club has had it with cleaning up his messes & hires the best PR firm in the country to handle him. This is his wake up call. He needs to put all his focus on baseball, but when his ex-girlfriend shows up as his new publicist, he’s stunned. Erica Wild is the only woman he’s ever loved. She gave him everything he’d ever wanted, & then took it all away with no explanation, and left him shattered. He wouldn’t ever give her the chance to ruin him again.

Erica is living in NY and working for a big PR firm. She finds out her new assignment will be to head to Arizona for spring training where she will represent her ex Ren Makavoy for the entire season while trying to repair his reputation. He’s a PR nightmare, & she’s going to have to try and make his headlines positive, while attempting to not let her feelings for him get in the way. She’s nervous about having to face him for the first time in two years. He’d once been hers, and now he was like a stranger. Her life was about to revolve around baseball and Ren.

 

-I knew if he glanced my way, I’d be paralyzed where I stood, like the first time I saw him three years ago. No other man I’d ever met had the soul-stealing eyes of Ren Makavoy. And no man ever would.

-Two years. Two fucking years I’d waited to set eyes on her again, and I was going to take my time.

-She was every bit of the woman I remembered, but even more beautiful.

 

Ren & Erica still have that undeniable chemistry and connection they can’t deny. They both have anger & resentment toward each other, but also love. Both are playing it cool & trying to be professional, but eventually the fire between them can’t be contained any longer. Can they work through their past & have a future together, or will trust issues hold them back?

This novella was amazing!!! It was super funny, deliciously hot, & a fabulous second chance love story. I’ve been so excited to finally get Makavoy & just loved his story! We also get to catch up with Rafe, Alice, Andy & April since Rafe is Ren’s teammate. This novella is part of the Team Player anthology with eleven authors writing sport themed romances. I can’t wait to get to the rest of them!

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