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Sunday, December 15, 2013

REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: FOOLISH GAMES by TRACY SOLHEIM



Foolish Games (Out of Bounds, #2)Series: Out of Bounds #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 12/3/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 3 stars
A Hail Mary play for the heart.

Bridal gown designer, Julianne Marchione knows better than to lose her head at a client’s wedding. But, much to her embarrassment, a mix of migraine medication and a smoking hot football player lead to a steamy one night stand resulting in a surprise pregnancy. Julianne has every intention of leaving her NFL hookup far in the past until her son, Owen, is born with a life-threatening blood disorder that requires a transfusion—and Julianne is not a match.

Will "William the Conqueror” Connelly grew up tough, shouldering the stigma of being a bastard child born on the wrong side of the tracks. He refuses to let any child face the same discrimination. When he finds out about Owen, he’s furious that Julianne kept his son a secret. But when he sees her again at the hospital, he realizes that his feelings for her go far beyond anger.

Will insists that Owen recuperate at his home in North Carolina, and he’s adamant that Julianne become his wife—even if it’s only a temporary marriage in name only. But will their simmering attraction ever lead to a real connection?  Or are they just playing foolish games?


First Impression .... Oooh, that cover. Nice abs, super-square jaw. I like sports romance!

The Story... Foolish Games features two tropes I love, a surprise baby and the marriage of convenience. When Will Connelly learns he has a newborn son in critical care, he's understandably shocked. Julianne, the baby's mother, planned to raise her son -the result of a one night stand- alone. Will's background as a son with no father compels him to quickly become a part of Julianne and Owen's life. But that's not good enough. In an effort to raise his son without the same stigma he endured, Will convinces Julianne into a quick marriage, but nothing more. The new family will spend the summer bonding, but the marriage ends when Will goes to training camp. Despite the awkward and tense circumstances, the two share a great chemistry and love for their son. But Will 's professional problems, his anger at Julianne's secrecy, and the issues that drive her personality will be tough to overcome. 

The Characters ... Ehh... this area is a bit tough for me because on one hand I could definitely see where the characters were coming from, but they, namely Will, also infuriated me. Julianne was a handful, but she was caring and likable. She is a new mother who was doing what she thought was best for her and her son, but also Will, a professional athlete. Her actions were sometimes questionable, but her motivation was sound. As for Will, well, he was a overbearing ass throughout much of the story. He was quick to assume, hateful, and intimidating, both physically and mentally. I will definitely give the author credit and say he had motivations for his behavior, and he slowly learned from his mistakes. But the majority of the time, I barely liked him. I take that back. I adored Will when he was in a good mood with Julianne, and definitely with his son. He was such a devoted and loving father and that is always a winner with me. But, because of the impulsive and unfair treatment of Julianne, most of the characters in the Foolish Games were fairly unlikable, with the exception of Julianne and Brody, Will 's teammate. Brody was a nice comic relief from Will, a sweetheart of a guy, and I was happy to see he will be getting his own book.

The Writing .... The writing was technically very good. The first half of the story did seem to drag a bit for me. The antagonism between Will and Julianne, again, understandable, became too much. The second half of the story, with it's increase in romance and decrease in fighting, was more enjoyable. Also lending to a more exciting tone was the problem's in Will's career coming to a head, along with Julianne's family, and how their actions affect the marriage.

Foolish Games also features a romance between Will 's mom and his boss. Occasionally these extra subplots are too heavily featured (in my opinion), but this story line was sweet and endearing.


The Heat ... was good! The author did a nice job of showing the intensity and feelings between Will and Julianne. The story honestly didn't feature many intimate scenes between the two, but each one was fit perfectly into the story and was well-written.

Could I Put Foolish Games Down? .... I never struggled to finish Foolish Games, but I have to say that wasn't overly compelled to find out how it ends. Again, I blame Will, except...when he was being a very devoted father.


In the End... Foolish Games was an emotional and sweet story. And though I didn't love most of the characters, I did care about Julianne, was happy that well experienced character growth. I am a huge sucker for books of this sort. Considering the next book is about Brody, I do plan to continue the series. 


Favorite Quotes:

  Will's heart nearly stopped when, at the sound of her voice, Owen squinted with one blue eye as he worked a hand free of the blanket to give a pump of his right fist, before he worked the hand to his mouth. At that moment, Will knew there would be no more waiting on a paternity test. He prayed his blood would be a compatible match because he'd give this baby every drop of blood in his body to see him survive.  ~eARC, 9%


  "Oh, God, Will. Don't you get it?" she confessed, giving him the power to destroy her if he wished. "I miss you whenever you leave the room. I miss you as soon as you leave my body."   ~eARC, 60%
 The Out of Bounds Series
Game On (Out of Bounds, #1)   Foolish Games (Out of Bounds, #2)
(click on covers to visit GoodReads page)
Purchase Foolish Games
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble


GIVEAWAY

I'm going to give one winner my copy of Foolish Games. To enter, fill the form with your name/email. Extra entry, answer this question: "Have you ever been a fool for love?"
Open to US Only. Must be 18 years of age to enter.
About the author
Tracy SolheimMy creative writing career started in the fourth grade when I published my first book. It was a bestseller–mainly because my dad bought all ten copies I’d made on the school’s prehistoric Xerox machine. From there, I moved to newspaper reporting with a monthly column in a local newspaper. A bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee landed me in Washington, DC, where I wrote reports for Congress while pursuing a Master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University. Aside from a brief stint in television production for NBC Sports at the Seoul Olympics, most of my early writing consisted of crafting lengthy government reports. Not exactly the most scintillating backlist, I know! My creative writing projects had to wait until I could squeeze them in between my paying gig and my family’s busy schedule.

Currently, I live in Georgia, with my husband, two teenagers, an aging Labrador Retriever and a pony named after a monkey. When I'm not writing, I enjoy photography, cooking, and reading--shocker, right?
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads



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26 comments :

  1. I love your honesty! Thanks for sharing babe

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  2. It's a shame that Will wasn't easy to like all of the time, but I'm glad that he had a few good moments at least. Hopefully Brody's book will work slightly better for you, seeing as though you like his character more. :) Great review, Andrea!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, Will was difficult, but Brody was great.

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  3. I was sort of turned off by Will just from the summary.

    Why marry her for legitimacy just to get divorced?? Lame lol

    I've read a few books like this before and I really hate when the guy wants the girl but punishes her at the same time. I'm assuming that's the case of course - since I haven't read it.

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    1. Nope, you've hit it right on the head, Karen.
      Will was a tough character to like, even though he had his reasons.

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  4. yes but luckily it all worked out in the end :) Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Not sure I'd read this now. Sounds like I'd have to crawl in the book and kick Will's behind. While I appreciate that the author can draw the emotions from me, there's a line and it sounds like it was crossed.

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  6. Great Review Andrea! It's hard to really like a story when the MC is unlikable. I don't like when there are too many sub plots in a story either. It's distracting. I'm interested to see if you'll end up liking Brody's book more... Very thoughtful review :)

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  7. I thought i was in love, but found that all it takes is some lies and it all shatters. But i hope to find it one day, i believe in it. Happy Reading.

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  8. I am always a fool for love :P heh

    but anyway, uh this sounds interesting despite the difficult characters but then.. I do love sports romances

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  9. No not foolish for love..Crazy maybe more like it!

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  10. Oh yeah, of course. Too many times to tell. And foolish for what I thought was love, too.

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  11. Too many times to count! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  12. I read the first book in this series and really liked it. I'll have to check this one out. Never been a fool for love maybe just made some wrong choices.

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  13. I have been a fool for love, but it was years ago and it didn't work out. Thanks for having the giveaway.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. not really, and I would hope I wouldn't, but you never know what the future holds

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  16. You could say I was a fool for love. I literally feel head over heels for my husband before we started dating. I tumbled off the porch in front of his cousin's house in front of him...lol. Thanks for the chance to enter this giveaway.

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  17. I don't think I've ever been in love before but I have been in lust and I have been a HUGE fool in lust. Who hasn't??

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  18. I was a fool for love, but I think it is pretty much the norm for the teenage girl set!

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  19. I would say I have been a fool for love before.

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  20. The guy on the cover looks like a beefy Matt Damon. :) I'm sorry that you couldn't fully connect with all the characters, Andrea...especially Will. That certainly makes investing in the story difficult. But I'm glad Julianne was more of a pleasure. And Brody!

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  21. Nice review Andrea. I have this one to read to. The guy on the cover reminds of Matt Damon. I hope to get to this soon. It sounds like a nice even-keeled story for relaxing with.

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  22. Oh yeah, COMPLETE fool!!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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