You’ve seen the covers. We know you have. Jaci Burton’s Play-by-Play series has surely been blessed by the cover gods. And because we also love what’s inside these books so much — including the latest release, out this week, Melting the Ice — we thought we’d get Jaci to give us the inside scoop on each of the seven titles in the series. That way if you’re not caught up, or aren’t sure where to start, you’ll have a primer ready the next time you’re book shopping. And so here’s The Story So Far … for Jaci Burton’s Play-by-Play series.
The Perfect Play — This Seal of Excellence winner wowed the RT editors with the story of single mom Tara and pro football player Mick Riley. Tara couldn’t believe this guy was falling for her, and by the time she was sold, so were readers!
Jaci says, “This was the introduction to the Riley family, but also Mick’s story. He fell hard for Tara, and I wanted to showcase a strong athlete with a dark secret. A true hero with a serious flaw in his history, and how he overcame it so he could feel like he earned the right to love a woman like Tara.”
Changing The Game — Who can resist a good redemption story? And who is less likable than a hard-nosed agent who fought against true love? Jaci had her work cut out for her as Liz gets her comeuppance, and her guy, in the form of Riley brother and pro baseball player Gavin.
Jaci tells us, “This story was Liz’s redemption. I knew I’d have a hard sell, because a lot of readers hated what she did in the first book. But I loved her, and knew she had backbone, and a lot of love to give.”
Taking A Shot — In this hockey-filled romance Riley sister and sports bar swiller Jenna gets her man — an athlete, despite her protests to the contrary. (Isn’t that always the way? Oh wait, we’d never kick a hot professional athlete who worships outta bed.)
Jaci remembers, “Jenna was always a strong character, but she needed an equally strong man in her life. That’s where Tyler came in. He stood toe to toe with her in every way and helped her achieve her dreams.”
Playing to Win — This RT Erotic Romance Award nominee as football star Cole Riley learns the true meaning of public relations when he must work — and play — with PR guru Savannah.
Jaci tells us about the balancing act, saying, “Giving a sports star an attitude is one thing, but you don’t want to go over the top with him. With Cole, it was a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I love how he turned out.”
Thrown By A Curve — Sports medicine takes center stage in this fifth offering as star pitcher Garrett is sidelined, with sports therapist Alicia Riley his only chance at redemption.
This was a personal one for Jaci, because as she tells us, “I had the ability to do a lot of hands on research for Garrett’s shoulder injury because I was injured at the time as well. Physical therapy is so hard, and I have such admiration for athletes who push through that kind of injury and come through it to play again.”
One Sweet Ride — What’s more exciting than race car driving? How about high-stakes politics? Mix those two together in the form of driver Grey and won’t-take-no-for-an-answer Evelyn, and sparks fly.
Jaci says, “I wanted to take two completely different professions—namely race car driving and politics, and mix them up in a way that felt fresh and exciting. It’s a classic opposites attract and fish out of water kind of story, and so much fun to write.”
Melting the Ice — Who doesn’t love a good spurned lover story? Carolina’s moved past her hurt to hire hockey player Drew to wear some of her newest designs. Drew’s eager to help — in more ways than one.
Jaci tells us, “I love characters with a history. There’s so much emotion tied into their past, what was, what could have been and what can be in the future.
Are you already a Jaci fan, ready to grab Melting the Ice, out now in stores and online? Or are you ready to dive in now that you know The Story so Far … ? If you’re looking for more steamy romance, be sure to visit our Everything Erotica page.