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InTheMoodForLove

I won't read a book that doesn't contain a romance plot of one kind or another...

The Game of Love - Jeanette Murray 2.5 stars

Well, I have to say that the first half of the book was more than good; I'd say it was a solid 4 stars, even if the heroine was so stiff and rude that she already grated my nerves. It was witty, fast paced, well written and had a yummy, gentle but also very sexy hero that compensated for the lack of charm in the heroine's part.

Brett is an ex pro-athlete and current football coach in the high school where Chris(=Christina) comes to work as a tennis coach. What Brett doesn't know, is that Chris was also a pro tennis player and used to date a pro hockey player herself, before she left everything and everyone and decided to work as a tennis coach. Brett is initially impressed that Chris is not awed by his pro-athlete status and big bucks, and that makes him want her all the more. But Chris has just come out of an abusive relationship with the afore-mentioned hockey player and is seriously prejudiced where pro athletes come from, so she's less than receptive to Brett's efforts to court her. Soon though, it becomes obvious that Brett is different from Dax; he's good natured and generous and kind, and as he's also very handsome, it doesn't get long to give in to his attentions.

And that is when my dislike for her, turned to hate. Till then, I had to read through a few scenes where she was just rude to his kindness while he, besotted with her long legs as he was, decided to treat it like a joke. So far, she had pushed him with the door of her car and he'd fallen on his butt, thrown iced coffee on his face and generally talked him down, just because "all pro athletes are stupid, self-centered jocks", herself excluded of course. Can it get worse? YES, IT CAN. Their making out starts when at a picnic she throws first garlic bread and then a whole plate of spaggeti and meatballs on him, just for fun. Fun??? This was fun when we were seven years old, not twenty seven! And then he jumps on her and starts liking the sauce and salad and pasta from her, while also kissing and fondling her of course, which makes it one of the most gross make-out scenes I've read about, only to get worse: he gets her pants off, only to find that she wears no underwear. And her excuse is that "hey, I thought I was going out with my girlfriend for coffee, not a date so I'd put on my sexy underwear." Really? Is that the only reason women wear underwear? Stupid me, I thought it was for hugienic reasons first and foremost. And after their sex-fest, when they sit on bed and eat some pizza -where the hero's impressed that she eats four whole pieces of pizza (really? is 4 pieces of pizza too much? I must be a pig myself)- she proceeds to wipe her chin with the T-shirt (his T-shirt mind you) she's wearing. Cute, right? WRONG. Lack of self hygiene is not cute, nor tomboyish and definitely NOT SEXY. Add that to her belief that "the food in restaurants nicer than Texas Roadhouse starts smelling like feet anyway", meant to show how indiferrent to money she is, and she's gained a position in my least favorite heroines' shelf.

As if her prejudice and rudeness were not enough, there's also her inability to confess the truth to him about her past with excuses like "I don't want people here knowing about my failures", where the failure is not being in the first top twenty tennis players in the world and dating a famous, wealthy but admittedly very stupid jock, and I wanted to bang her head in a wall.

So, in the end I admit I didn't even enjoy this book. I spent too much time being angry at the heroine to be able to do that. Yummy as the hero was and crisp and witty the writing, it touched too many pet peeves of mine. If however you don't share any of my indignations above, then this is a book you'll probably like, since the basic plot is fun and sexy.

ARC provided by NetGalley