Genres: Sports Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also by this author: Ignite
My life revolved around two things. Football and my cock. And not necessarily in that order.
Being the head football coach for a top university in Texas had its ups and its downs.
The ups? Endless women to f*ck.
The downs? The politics that came with the job.
From the moment Aubrey Cain walked into my office, she turned my world upside down. Being forced to have her follow me around for a month was going to be a pain in the ass. Especially since I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her.
The best I’d hoped to come out of this was a few nights with her in my bed. I never imagined she’d be the game changer.
Brett Owens was my assignment.
Head football coach for a top college, bad boy reputation, short temper, and handsome good looks should have scared me off. But I was tougher than that.
From the first words out of his obnoxious, dirty-talking mouth, I knew it was going to be a long month. It wasn’t five minutes after meeting him, he hit on me. If only I had known his blue eyes would haunt my dreams and awaken a desire inside of me I never knew existed.
This was business. There was no way I would be tempted by him no matter how good looking he was or how many things he whispered in my ear.
He was only supposed to be my assignment. Not the man who threatened to destroy both my heart and my career. I would follow along with his playbook for now. But who would end up winning was anyone’s guess.
The Playbook is a stand-alone novel.
I have always enjoyed Kelly Elliot’s books. If you haven’t read her Wanted series, you are really missing out. Needless to say, when I had the chance to read The Playbook I jumped on it. Sports AND Kelly Elliot? Heck yea!
I wasn’t sure this book would work for me at first. Brett is SUCH a manwhore. He has no compunction about taking lots of women home (or in bathrooms at bars) and its well known around the sports world. It made it very difficult to find him a good ‘hero’. He was once an NFL player who is now a college coach so he is well known. For the first 1/3 of the book, you pretty much hear non stop about what a ‘pussy hound’ he is. Yes, that is an actual quote used to describe him. And, sadly, it was all too accurate. Elliot tries to make him more palatable by showing his charity work, but it didn’t really make him seem better in my eyes.
Aubrey is a sports reporter. She is a female in a very male dominated profession and Elliot did a good job of showing the sexism that is prevalent in such a career. She knows that a dalliance with a subject of her article would torch her credibility. I wanted her to be stronger and resist Brett because he is not only a hazard to her career, but he is such a slut. The back and forth between the two throughout the book was a struggle for me. Aubrey seemed to be easily swayed by others and I felt like she was manipulated a lot. This led to lots of tension and miscommunication and a separation for Brett and Aubrey.
Once the story begins to really get going is when Brett is accused of something and it could jeopardize his career. Like I said, before this twist, I really was ready to give up because I simply wasn’t sure this was a book for me, you know? While this book was filled with things I am not a fan of (OW/OM drama, miscommunication) Elliot’s writing really draws you in. Over the course of the book, I did grow to like Brett more and was more willing to forgive his prior bad acts.
Thoughts on the cover: I LOVE it! I think its really eye catching and well done!
- POV: Dual 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: manwhore
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: standalone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »No « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »Yes, with an epilogue that takes place 2 years after the end of the story « Hide Spoiler
From The Playbook:
Reaching into my brief case, I took out my notebook that I had already filled with research on Brett and the university college program.
I flipped through the endless pages of notes until I found a blank page.
“So, I’m assuming since it’s spring training, I’ll be granted full access to the stadium.” Peeking up at Brett, I added, “That includes the locker rooms.”
His jaw muscles flexed and I couldn’t help but smile. “I’d like to really observe you, Mr. Owens, for the first week or two here at work. Really get an understanding of your work habits and ethics with the team and, of course, your habits away from the team as well.”
His lips parted to say something, but Mr. Stevenson coughed and Brett shut his mouth.
“This piece is going to be about getting to know Brett Owens. Three-time national championship winner. Youngest head football coach in college football, and rumored ladies’ man.”
“What?” Brett gasped, nearly chocking on his own spit.
I shrugged and flipped through my notes where I found a reference to picture in People magazine.
“Yes, here it is. A picture of you with two women on your arms exiting a bar in downtown Austin. I believe it was on New Year’s Eve.” I held it up for him to see.
His eyes narrowed and I swear they turned black. “What in the hell do you have written down in that book?”
I pointed to my notebook, while keeping my focus fixed on him. “This notebook?”
When his hand combed through his hair, I felt a tug in my lower stomach that I quickly pushed aside.
“Yes, that notebook, Aubrey! I don’t see another notebook on the fucking table.”
My head drew back with raised eyebrows. I quickly flipped back to the empty page and wrote a note.
Curses like a damn sailor.
“Wh-what are you writing?”
I couldn’t help but feel giddy knowing I was getting to him. “Just taking some notes, that’s all.”
Brett leaned closer to me as I covered the note with my hand. “What did you say? I saw sailor written down!”
I flashed him an evil smile which only irritated him more, causing him to curse more under his breath.
Mr. Stevenson sighed heavily next to me. “Oh, for the love of God. The two of you are going to have to learn to play nice. Your boss, Ms. Cain, and the president of the university, want this thing to happen. Now I hope you will shine a more positive light on Mr. Owens and not focus on his… on his um—”
Brett and I both looked at him, anxiously waiting for him to finish his sentence.
“On my what?” Brett questioned.
With a roll of his eyes, Mr. Stevenson answered, “On the colorful lifestyle you lead outside of work.”
“That was gently put,” I mumbled.
“Ms. Cain,” Mr. Stevenson started.
“Please, call me Aubrey.”
He nodded. “Aubrey, you will have full access so getting in places will not be an issue. I advise you to stick close to Brett until you learn your way around.”
“Thank you, Mr. Stevenson.”
“Pat will be fine.”
“Pat, it is.”
“Now, I believe, Brett, you have a staff meeting at noon.”
I swear it looked like Brett was sitting over there pouting. It probably killed him he had no safe-zone to hide in. I was going to be stuck to him like glue. Oh, this made me all kinds of happy right now.
“Yeah. It’s at noon.”
Pat stood. “Good, show Aubrey around and to the office she’ll be using.”
My heart skipped a beat in my chest. “Thank you, Pat. That means a lot to me to have a place to work while I’m here. That’s very thoughtful of you.”
He looked at Brett and then me. “Don’t thank me, thank Brett. It was his idea.”
My head snapped to the side as I looked at him. That was totally unexpected, and I couldn’t hide the fact that it made my chest tighten some.