Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: Skin in the Game by Jackie Barbosa

Skin in the Game (Play Action #1)
Angela Peterson was always the quiet, shy kid growing up in Harper Falls, crushing on the high school quarterback and honing her football strategy skills. Now grown up and coaching the high school team, she’s shocked when that same sexy quarterback returns to Harper Falls asks her back to his hotel room. And then tries to steal her job.

Injured NFL quarterback Cade Reynolds is in Harper Falls to take over as interim head coach, and he never thought the tall, blond bombshell he propositioned would offer up any resistance. Not to a repeat of the amazingly wild night they shared and certainly not to his coaching position.

But the Harper Falls High Eagles are Angie’s team, and even the hometown hero won’t take that away from her, no matter how hot he is. As the two engage in a battle of wits and wills, this is one game neither is prepared to lose.
Publisher: Brazen by Entangled
Publication Date: May 27, 2013
Kat's Review
I love a story that involves a female in sports, particularly in sports that are not traditionally considered "girl" sports.  This book takes that topic and adds a twist:  Angela Peterson is the female coach of a boys' football team.  And she's a great one.  Love it.  I also love that Angie's a down-to-earth woman, but not portrayed as unattractive, or overly masculine, or somehow "other" because of her love of football.  Breaking stereotypes in what is essentially a romance novel is never a bad thing. 
Skin in the Game is a love story, but it's also a story about finding the strength to stand up for what's right, to fight for what's important to you, and to go on pushing boundaries no matter how many obstacles stand in your way.  When Angie is faced with her high school crush turned NFL superstar trying to take her job, she doesn't back down.  Instead she fights for the job she knows she deserves to have.  In so many romance novels the female protagonist gives up too much for her love interest, sacrificing everything that's important to her for the love of a man.  Angie is the opposite.  She's prepared to give up the man she cares about if it means leaving behind everything she loves. 
This is a contemporary romance, with some steamy scenes and intense attraction between the love interests, but it's also a book about females breaking barriers and the obstacles they face.  Harassment, self-doubt, discrimination, the need to work twice as hard, all are portrayed here.  Cade Reynolds, Angie's love interest, is perhaps a bit too perfect at times, but I'll take a male character who supports and has faith in his love's ability to stand on her own two feet over the Alpha male Neanderthal who likes to swoop in and solve everything with his fists.  I'm just sayin'. 
Rating: A Good Read
This is a great book for portraying a woman in a non-traditional role as a thinking, feeling, sexual being and showing a strong, confident man who finds those traits sexy.  There's no trying to be less than she is, no stroking his ego because he may be intimidated by his strength.  Just two equals trying to navigate the difficulties their situation presents. 
I was provided a complimentary copy of this title from the Publisher & NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Purchase: AMAZON

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