Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/03/04/joint-review-thrown-by-a-curve-by-jaci-burton/
MinnChica: I am the biggest fan of sports romance books, and Jaci Burton is as good as it gets. I love that she skips sports with each book, and although I’m not a huge baseball fan, I adored this book. I love and adored Garrett, I thought he was an incredible hero and all around great guy. He was in a rut, and Alicia’s sharp assessment of him had Garrett looking at himself and realizing he needed to make some big changes. I loved the athlete/trainer storyline, and can’t wait to see what Burton has in store for us next!
E: Like MinnChica I really enjoy the fact that Burton moves between different professional sports and different aspects of the sporting industry. I really enjoyed how Alicia called things like they were and challenged Garrett to actually participate in his healing process. She was able to snap him out of his professional glum so he could bring the drive he was known for playing with back to the rehabilitation program. I was very impressed with her motivation and lack of outward sympathy which was also a challenge to Garrett. When Burton wove the tension of their mutual attraction into the therapy sessions *fans self* things reached a whole new level of intensity.
MinnChica: The sexual tension in this story was off the charts! I loved that the attraction was there from the beginning, and that Alicia and Garrett didn’t take too long to dance around it. I also appreciated that they didn’t jump each other the second they were alone. The fact that Alicia valued her job and her responsibility to both Garrett and the team, was one of the things I liked most about her. But as E said, her no-nonsense way of dealing with Garrett’s rehab and her life in general made her one of my favorite heroes of the series so far!
E: Yes, the fact that Alicia had concerns, very valid ones about her future in the sports industry not to mention her current job so the attraction was not acted on instantly made their relationship appear more grounded. One of my favorite scenes was when Alicia decided that since Garrett had failed to show up for his session that she was going to go get him and complete the session regardless of any excuse he had. I loved seeing the real Garrett come out as she poked, prodded, pushed and rebuilt his confidence. One of the things I really enjoy about Burton and this series is how she incorporates friends and family so the reader never thinks that the central relationship is all that exists for one of the characters. I find that brings a three dimensional aspect to them. Call it my inner, well obvious romantic but I would love to see stories with Garrett’s friends… **hint**
MinnChica: I loved that scene as well. I think one of the things that makes this series so special is because of the relationships between friends and family that play such an integral part of the overall stories. With the large Riley family and their tight bond, it gives the larger-than-life heroes a down home feel. It grounds them, makes them real, forces them to deal with everyday situations while also living their strenuous, hectic and sometimes over-the-top lives as star athletes. And I am absolutely with you E, I would love to see stories with Garrett’s group of guy friends. In fact, the next book leaves the Riley clan and heads off to tell the stories of Garrett’s friend Gray. I love the few glimpses we got of Gray in this book, and I’m excited to see what Burton has in store for him, and for us at the racetrack!
E: Burton created another great story with Thrown by a Curve. I alternately laughed and scowled along with her main characters. She also threw in some perfectly wonderful solo time and ensured that both Alicia and Garrett didn’t have the advantage over the other. What was fair play for one was fair play for the other. And Garrett’s big gesture, I LOVED it! To me that summed up his entire character and I will admit that I gave a happy sniff or two. I really enjoyed reading Thrown by a Curve and I am looking forward to what Burton provides next in the Play by Play series.
I give Thrown by a Curve an A
MinnChica: All in all I continue to love this series, making it probably one of my all-time favorite sports romance series. Both Alicia and Garrett were wonderful characters, and Garrett did have an amazing grand gesture at the end of the book that made me want to jump up and down and hug him all over! The romance was so well done, the sexy times were SMOKIN’ HOT and the side characters were all a hoot. I can’t wait for the next installment.
I give Thrown by a Curve an A