Book Review: Jaci Burton’s Changing the Game

Posted December 16, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: Jaci Burton’s Changing the Game

Changing the Game


Jaci Burton

erotic romance that was published by Berkley HEAT on August 2, 2011 and has 299 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mountain Moonlight, Unlaced, Riding on Instinct, The Perfect Play, Riding the Night, Fall Fury, Heart of a Killer, Forbidden Fantasies, Taking a Shot, Playing to Win, Nautier and Wilder, Wild, Wicked, & Wanton, Thrown by a Curve, One Sweet Ride, Straddling the Line, Melting the Ice, All Wound Up, "Hot Holiday Nights", Unexpected Rush

Second in the Play-by-Play sports romance series revolving around the Riley family. The couple focus here is on Gavin Riley, a baseball player, and Elizabeth Darnell, his sports agent.

My Take

An interesting and sexy romp with a player’s player and a scared yet fierce “shark” as they circle each other, falling in love, yet refusing to accept it.

I enjoyed the opportunity to see behind the scenes of a professional athlete’s life. At how the endorsements are used to boost their visibility as well as their team’s. The psychological issues that affect their play as well as their need for the game. It makes the game deeper and more important than simply winning or losing. I know, I know…blasphemy!!

If all you want is a romance…this is it. If you want an in-depth perspective on an individual athlete’s life AND with greater insight into the usefulness of a sports agent…this is definitely it. All in all, a good story with emotion.

In case you’re interested, Changing the Game also catches us up on Mick, Tara, and Nathan from Perfect Play.

Oh yeah, and Burton’s setting us up for hockey player Tyler Anderson’s romance…

The Story

What started as a chance to screw with Liz Darnell’s mind has turned into a weekend of fun and games that turned into a week, then another. Originally, Gavin had simply wanted to torture Liz a bit for what she had done to his brother’s fiancée (see Perfect Play) but that turned into a night to remember. A night that changed everything for Gavin.

Unfortunately for Gavin, Liz is only interested in play and he is increasingly wanting it for keeps.

The Characters

Gavin Riley is a Major League Baseball player and Mick Riley’s younger brother.

Elizabeth “Liz” Darnell is a shark of a sports agent. Even more, she “gets” what is important — mostly! — for her players and she ensures both their happiness in the game as well as their financial security. But she screwed up when she lost sight of Mick Riley‘s needs and hurt his fiancée Tara and her son Nathan. Mick fired her and other players have followed suit. Now Liz is just waiting for that shoe to drop with Gavin.

The Riley family has always felt like family to Liz as well. And it hurts that she can no longer spend time with Kathleen, Jimmie, and Jenna. Then there’s Shawnelle and Haley. The wives of other players, Dedrick and Tommy, on the St. Louis team. Friends she’s made because of being with Gavin. Friends she’s lost because of her own actions.

The Cover and Title

The cover is initially attractive until you have a good look at the cover model’s abs. His stomach looks more like a skin covering over an emaciated model for body parts with some pretty scary raised veins or muscles. For the rest, he’s wearing blue jeans and wears a baseball glove on his left hand which holds a pristine baseball as he leans against a frescoed wall of deep mustards and creams, one leg bent with his foot propped against the wall.

The title refers to Gavin falling in love and how it’s Changing the Game he had expected to bounce through as a single man.