Read with Caution: The Perfect Play and Urban Shaman

read with caution

Today we start a new bimonthly feature in which we discuss two popular books that didn’t impress us much. Why? Because we think our job is not only to recommend you great books, but also to steer you away from not so great reads. At the same time, we know that different books appeal to different people and we want your take. Have you read these books? If you have, do you agree or disagree with our assessment? And if you haven’t read them, are you still planning to read them? Read the mini-reviews and afterwards, let us know your thoughts!

 The Perfect Play bythe perfect play Jaci Burton
Book #1 – Play by Play
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance

Football pro Mick Riley is an all-star, both on the field and in the bedroom. But a sexy, determinedly single mom just might be the one to throw him off his game…

For years Mick has been taking full advantage of the life available to a pro athlete: fame, fortune, and a different girl in every city. But when he meets and beds confident, beautiful event planner Tara Lincoln, he wants much more than the typical one-night stand. Too bad Tara’s not interested in getting to know football’s most notorious playboy any better.

As the single mother of a teenage son, the last thing Tara needs is the jet-set lifestyle of Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand was unforgettable. Tara’s life is complicated enough without being thrust into the spotlight as Mick’s latest girl du jour. Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a heartbreaker like Mick.

But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind.

D.G.’s rating – 2 skulls: D

This book was the equivalent of a very hot guy who is dumb as a tack – great to look at but boring to listen to.

The problem with the plot was that there was no conflict. It’s basically the story of two people meet, have tons of sex, fall in love, the end. There were a few very small misunderstandings but nothing that would make you bite your nails thinking that they’re not going to make it. All the problems would have been cleared up if the heroine would have asked the hero one single question but instead she wouldn’t let him get a word and would disappear in a huff. Don’t get me wrong, both H/h had some challenge in their lives but neither was relevant to the present because they had already overcome those problems.

I did like a few things. The fact that the heroine knew something of sports and that we heard about the hero’s grueling workouts. (Most romance make it seem as if it’s normal for a hero to a get six-pack without exercising.) But that’s about it. The rest was just predictable and boring.

Recommended For: If you’re looking for a light, sexy read and want to imagine how it feels to be swept up your feet by a gorgeous, famous, rich man, then this book might be enough for you. If you’re looking for a bit more, then you should skip the book and just look at the cover. Like in the case of a handsome-but-not-so-smart man, it will preserve the illusion that something deep is lurking in that smoldering gaze when in reality, there’s nothing underneath.


Urban Shamurban shamanan by C.E. Murphy
Book #1 – Walker Papers
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Joanne Walker has three days to learn to use her shamanic powers and save the world from the unleashed Wild Hunt.No worries. No pressure. Never mind the lack of sleep, the perplexing new talent for healing herself from fatal wounds, or the cryptic, talking coyote who appears in her dreams.

And if all that’s not bad enough, in the three years Joanne’s been a cop, she’s never seen a dead body–but she’s just come across her second in three days.

It’s been a bitch of a week.

And it isn’t over yet.

D.G.’s rating – 2 skulls: D

The first thing that struck me about Urban Shaman was the similarities between Joanne and Mercy Thompson: both are half Native American, half Caucasian female mechanics. But the similarities end there. Joanne is 27 going on 13, the kind of woman that thinks that infuriating people who have serious responsibilities is ‘fun’. Her relationship with her boss seemed like that of a teenager with her principal. She was constantly doing dumb stuff and being called to his office while he yelled at her – I imagined her blowing a bubble and saying ‘whatever.’ I don’t know if the author planned this to be a romantic relationship (there were a few hints) but she just acted so immature that you wonder why a man in his position would be interested in her.

The world was interesting but super convoluted. Joanne gained very sophisticated powers overnight and was able to figure out what to do just by using cars analogies. Every crazy thing that she was able to do didn’t feel exciting but unbelievable. It’s like a person who can’t ride a bike one day but the next is piloting flyer jets for the US government. I mean really!

Recommended For: I have it on good authority that the series gets really good after book 4, so if you are the patient kind, then you may want to give this a try.

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