Review Taking A Shot (A Play by Play Novel) by Jaci Burton
The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock-even one as hot as Ty.
Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…
But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all-including Ty…
This is the story of a beta, or rather 2 Betas. Or kind of an alpha hockey dude who is so laid back and amazing that he is totally cool with throwing other men in Jennas way in order to show her that what she really wanted was him. See Ty is an amazing hockey player who is attracted to Jenna but doesn’t understand why. Jenna, the baby sister of 2 massive sports starts is the one in the family that was overlooked. A girl constantly trying to find her own place in a family of stars and in a family where the loudest usually wins, her quietness made her get passed over for what she really wanted, and the job she has, managing and running the family sports bar, is not the one she wants or the future she envisioned for herself.
What Jenna wants, she doesn’t know but thats where Ty comes in. He is so confident and supportive and intelligent and knowledgeable, he is able to see through Jenna’s walls and smoke screens to the heart of her, to the heart of what she wants and what she dares to dream when she is alone. He pokes and lances her wounds so that they can end up growing together, and forces her, nicely at some points and just with great force in others, to face her fears, of failure of being on stage, of singing in public, and for her family, in order to make her a complete and happy person so that they can have a true partnership together.
Now typically the sports star helps out the hot bar owner with piercings and tattoos is not a story with heart. But Taking A shot was all about passion and soul, fear and what happens when you finally open your self up to possibility, and to the idea that your life can be bigger and better than you have ever expected it to be.
The one thing I didn’t get from the other Play by Play novels is just how fragile Jenna is. She is so damn vulnerable and fragile and emotionally immature its amazing. You never really got that impression, about how scared and hurt she was from the other novels and that is a credit to Ms. Burton, the fact that she was able to communicate Jennas surface so well in the other books, but that her core was still so well hidden. Its quite a surprise when you get into Taking A Shot that you realize just how damaged and hurt Jenna is. I keep saying the same thing over and over but Ms. Burton can write layers like no ones’ business. She is able to take characters whom others would keep on the surface and is able to give them histories, and backstories, and depth and meaning. Its the most amazing thing to read and its what keeps me coming back to her books time and time again.
I loved Taking A Shot. Even when it wasn’t as action focused, or tension building as I thought it was going to be, it was a softer, more emotional, and character driven novel than I thought, but I loved that, I loved the change from the other Play by Play books and it was simply enjoyable.
Overall Rating: B+