“I can be Jace Benning around you. You don’t care how many points I score or how much money I have. I’ve never had anyone like that until I found you.”
Alessandra has been so focused on her work as a doctor she’s forgotten about the rest of her life. So her friend makes a bet that Alessandra has to go out on 3 dates with any guy who asks her out. Jace volunteers at the hospital, meeting sick kids, and his first encounter with Alessandra highlights how little they have in common — she doesn’t even recognize him! When Jace and his other athlete friends make a bet on who can bring the hottest (non-celebrity) date to a sports award ceremony, he’s sure he can win this. Then his friends bet Jace to let them choose his date and he agrees until he realizes that they’ve picked Alessandra and Jace isn’t so sure he can win this.
A great start to a new series by a favorite author of mine. The characters really make this story since at it’s core it’s a character driven romance. Both Jace and Alessandra were complete opposites and initially they felt that there was no way they’d work together because of this. Elizabeth Hayley did a great job of making these two work and making the reader believe they worked as well. The pace of the story was perfect and I never felt bored with what was going on. With both characters only dating each other because of a bet they made with friends, you know this is going to be interesting.
Jace was a wonderful hero who has all the confidence and swagger of a famous football player without having the annoying arrogance that I sometimes see in sports romances. I LOVED that Jace doesn’t feel like he’s the hottest thing out there and instead he believes that Alessandra is out of his league. He truly enjoys that Alessandra really sees him for him and not the athlete and that he can be himself with her. I also had some great laughs over Jace’s need to rile Alessandra up and get her flustered in the best ways possible.
Alessandra for her part was this slightly awkward, bluntly honest woman who had no problem holding her own against Jace. At first I found her awkward demeanor a little much since it made her seem a little ditsy, but Hayley quickly developed the personality to make it an endearing part of Alessandra’s character. She reminded me a lot of Abigail in The Witness by Nora Roberts (one of my favorites) with her intellectual assessments of everything even down to them having sex. I wish that Alessandra would have accepted a little more blame for keeping secrets as well since she never would have gone out with Jace if it weren’t for her bet with her friend. However, it was clear that her bet’s intentions were very different than Jace’s bet’s intentions.
This story also introduces us to Ben and Gabe, Jace’s friends, who I assume will have their own books in this series, along with the super secret Player’s Club which I hope to see a lot more of!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by Netgalley. All thoughts expressed in this review are my honest opinion.
••• Book Details •••
The Players #1 • Romance, Contemporary • SMP Swerve • June 27, 2017
Jace “the Jet” Benning is a legend on the football field. And off. He has the arm, the charm, and the reputation of being the hottest player in the league.
Too bad Dr. Alessandra Mastrazacoma is not impressed. With a busy schedule and a bruised heart, Alessandra doesn’t have time to date, but when she is lured into making a friendly bet with her best friend, she finds herself agreeing to go out with the next guy that asks…and to give him three shots, three dates, before pulling the plug.
Jace also has a friendly wager with his friends going, and it involves making sure the slightly klutzy, but very pretty, doctor will be his date to the biggest night in sports. With two wagers and two hearts on the line, will Aly and Jace win or are they betting to lose?