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An erotic new game from the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Play.

Sports agent Liz Darnell will do anything to win back her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley. And Gavin's more than ready- especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of all.

Published: Penguin Group on Aug 2, 2011
ISBN: 9781101517208
List price: $9.99
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This book sat on my TBR stack for quite a while. I wasn't sure I wanted to read it because the heroine of this book was the villain of the first book of the series -- The Perfect Play. It is a tribute to the power of Ms. Burton's writing that I really, really disliked Elizabeth Darnell. But enough time has passed and I came to this romance with on open mind. I found that I really did like Liz with her hidden vulnerabilities and her tough exterior. And Gavin is a hero to die for - handsome, buff, professional baseball player, devoted son and good friend. Did I mention hot?Liz has been avoiding Gavin since his older brother Mick fired her as his agent. She is afraid that Gavin will fire her too which would really hurt her agency. She is also afraid that Gavin will realize that she has loved him for years. Naturally, Gavin is clueless! He is however interested enough to take her home with him to talk and doesn't mind at all that the talking leads to sex. There are tons of rather graphic love scenes that don't go over the line for me because they are clearly love scenes and not just sex scenes. Sex is the one area where they don't have disagreements or any confusion. But outside of bed (or wherever else they decide to make love) there is less compatibility. Liz has to balance her role as her agent with her role as her lover. And Gavin is getting constant pressure from his brother to drop Liz. This was a great romance featuring people I came to like very much. I recommend it and encourage readers to look for the first book in this series - The Perfect Play - to find out why Mick dislikes her so much. I am also eager to read Taking a Shot to see Mick and Gavin's sister Jenna find a romance of her own.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Jaci Burton hit this one out of the park!!! GOOOOOD GAWD Gavin is one of the sexiest men I have read about. He goes up there with Cord McKay from Lorelei James' Rough Rider series, and from me that is saying alot.Because of her actions in The Perfect Play, I didn't think I could like Liz, but JB pulled it off and made me understand her actions and totally like Liz.The smexing was uber hot and some of the best I've read =)Changing The Game is up there with Chasin' Eight as one of my favorite reads of the summer.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
And she has done it again. Jaci Burton, I mean. Don't ask me how but at the end of the first book Elizabeth Darnell was top of my list "Despicable and horrible people" and believe me, she had earned that place. How was Jaci Burton going to transform her into the heroine of her second book?!?!?! I couldn't believe she was going to be able to... But she did it, oh boy she did it.The last thing we knew about Elizabeth Darnell was that she was fired by Mick Riley (main character of the first book) after she used her girlfriend's son, Nathan, to promote him in a really cruel way. So yes, I was happy when he fired her.But she didn't lose a client, she lost one of her best friends and his family that had been like a family for her during years... especially Gavin, Mick's little brother and her secret crush for at least 4 years.And what did she do when Mick fired her? The only thing her mind could think of: give Gavin a kiss before he fired her following his brother's steps. And this is were everything begins because after that kiss Gavin's POV about Liz changed completely. During years she was nothing but his manager, tossing beautiful women to his arms and promoting him like no one else could but after she kissed him he saw her as a woman for the first time.Even Gavin had to admit, despite the fact that Liz was bossy, stubborn, impertinent and... well, herself, she was also a gorgeous and sexy woman. And that woman was hiding from him afraid of losing another client. What could he do is she was avoiding him at all cost and not returning his calls?!Obviously he had to catch her with her guard down and seduce her until she would scream for him to take her.But it wasn't going to be that easy since what began like a "not strings attached" thing developed into something they didn't understand: a relationship. And with a family tragedy coming their way they had to take the decision really soon...In a personal note: if you are looking for a sexy, funny, amazing and HOT read this is your book. Well, the first book in the series is amazing too so, why don't you buy both of them? Seriously guys, you are going to love them. The covers are to die for, the characters are well developed and you will want to read the third book (coming out next year). Why? Because is about Jenna, Mick and Gavin's little sister, and Tyler Anderson, one heck of a sexy and hot hockey player... *already daydreaming about him*Don't forget to prepare the fan, ladies, because just like the first one this book is going to make you sweat, trust me ;)read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I really enjoyed this story. I even made a point of not comparing it to the first book since that was just a phenomenal story!! As much as I wanted to love it, I just had too many issues to get to that point. Mick, one of my favorite characters, was such a total jerk so many times that I wished he wouldn't have even been in the story. I really liked Liz but thought she had more of an edge in the first book. In this story, she's just a sweetheart. Gavin was a bit too dull and immature for my tastes. I just couldn't get my arms around why Liz loved him so much. There was a lot of sex in this story, and I found myself skimming parts so I could get back to the story. Having said that, I still found myself glued to the story. It was an easy read with interesting events taking place to make it fun. I really liked the new girlfriends Liz made and thought they had a lot of fun together.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Bought for MyselfOverall Rating 4.5Character Rating 4.5Story Rating 4.5Hot/Sizzle Rating: Off the ChartsNOTE: I read both Play by Play books this past week and have to say I am slightly disappointed I have to wait on the next one! They were that good!What I Loved: Liz, which after what she pulled in The Perfect Play I was slightly surprised. She grabbed my heart though and at one point I seriously wanted kick Mick in the shins for how he was treating her. Gavin was an awesome match for Liz. He was strong and stood toe-to-toe with her when she was getting scared. Again, I love the Riley clan (except for Mick who slid to just likable status) and think they really make these books stand out. The smexiness was steaming hot!What I Liked: There were times I outright disliked Mick during this book but by the end he made it back into my "like" category. I understood the mad because of what happened to him. However because of his personal history, I thought he took the grudge to far and was to unforgiving. In a way, I hope he learned a valuable lesson from how things came to a head in the end.Complaints: None! I really wish the new book, Taking a Shot, was coming out sooner!Why I Gave it a 4.5: I liked this one just a smidge more that The Perfect Play! Both are excellent reads :)read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: This baseball romance has lots of sexual scenes with characters who don’t know what to do with their emotions. Opening Sentence: Gavin Riley knew Elizabeth Darnell had been avoiding him for the past several months. The Review: Changing the Game, the second installment from the Play by Play series, centers on baseball star Gavin Riley and his agent Elizabeth Darnell. Like the title suggests, this is a love story with lots of baseball metaphors, steamy sex, and a happily ever after that is sure to be a home run. Gavin Riley is a bad boy that cuts through women like a knife. Following the events of the last book, Gavin begins to notice that his agent is not just a cold and heartless shark, but a beautiful and alluring woman. Taking the initiative, he gives Elizabeth a proposition; stay with him in his beach house and have guilt and commitment-free sexual escapades. Duh, no brainer right? The problem is that he has no idea that Elizabeth has been in love with him for years. Can these two find a way for everyone to win this game? Gavin’s character is shallow and clueless. He is constantly thinking with just his little head and not worrying about the consequences of his words or his actions. By failing to consider anyone but himself, he tends to hurt those around him unintentionally. It basically takes a concentrated effort on behalf of his family and friends to get him to pull his head out of his rear end and see how much Elizabeth really means to him. In effect, Gavin is a stereo typical guy. I didn’t like the fact that, for someone portrayed as smart, he acts so stupid. It doesn’t allow me to connect with him and made the ending seem a little out of character. Elizabeth Darnell seems shallow and clueless. She wears her attitude like armor to hide the fact that she is a scared little girl inside. Neither of these character traits endears her to me. A reader doesn’t know, at any one time, whether or not she is going to be a hard ass or be vulnerable. In a sense, Elizabeth is a stereo typical woman. The only thing that I liked about her character is her drive to be the best agent she could be, regardless of her personal feelings for her clients. The fact is that I find these characters lacking something true. Yes, during the sex scenes they all but light the pages on fire; but that is hardly a reason to read this book. I suppose that might be enough for some readers. I believe that there can be a harmony reached between smut scenes and decent prose. I am still interested in this series as a whole, but I don’t think that I will read this particular book again. I would recommend this as a good library find for those looking for something sporty with their romance novels. Notable Scene: “Go to the bathroom and take off your panties.” “Excuse me?” “You heard me.” “No.” “You want me to take them off you out here?” “You wouldn’t.” “Wouldn’t I?” He finished his whiskey and slid his hand under the table, lifting her sundress. She slapped his hand away, then the realization hit. He’d asked her to change clothes. “You planned this.” His lips curled. “Maybe.” She looked around the fairly crowded restaurant. Granted, no one was looking at them. They had a semicircular booth, which meant they could scoot together and… No. She wouldn’t dare. “Do it, Elizabeth. You’re already wet thinking about it, aren’t you?” Her gaze shifted to Gavin, her thoughts gravitating to how he would do it. What if they got caught? How could she stay quiet?FTC Advisory: Penguin / Berkley Heat graciously provided me with a copy of Changing the Game. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payments I receive are hugs and kisses from my little boys.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Changing the Game
3.5 Stars

Quickie Review
Better that book #1.
Gavin and Liz have the emotional connection that was missing in Mick and Tara's book. There are some cheesy moments interwoven but overall their romance is sweet and engaging without too much angst.

One small nitpick is that Mick is a complete jerk and the book is missing a scene where Gavin puts him in his place perhaps with a well aimed punch in the kisser.

Jenna and Ty's book is next.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

This book sat on my TBR stack for quite a while. I wasn't sure I wanted to read it because the heroine of this book was the villain of the first book of the series -- The Perfect Play. It is a tribute to the power of Ms. Burton's writing that I really, really disliked Elizabeth Darnell. But enough time has passed and I came to this romance with on open mind. I found that I really did like Liz with her hidden vulnerabilities and her tough exterior. And Gavin is a hero to die for - handsome, buff, professional baseball player, devoted son and good friend. Did I mention hot?Liz has been avoiding Gavin since his older brother Mick fired her as his agent. She is afraid that Gavin will fire her too which would really hurt her agency. She is also afraid that Gavin will realize that she has loved him for years. Naturally, Gavin is clueless! He is however interested enough to take her home with him to talk and doesn't mind at all that the talking leads to sex. There are tons of rather graphic love scenes that don't go over the line for me because they are clearly love scenes and not just sex scenes. Sex is the one area where they don't have disagreements or any confusion. But outside of bed (or wherever else they decide to make love) there is less compatibility. Liz has to balance her role as her agent with her role as her lover. And Gavin is getting constant pressure from his brother to drop Liz. This was a great romance featuring people I came to like very much. I recommend it and encourage readers to look for the first book in this series - The Perfect Play - to find out why Mick dislikes her so much. I am also eager to read Taking a Shot to see Mick and Gavin's sister Jenna find a romance of her own.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Jaci Burton hit this one out of the park!!! GOOOOOD GAWD Gavin is one of the sexiest men I have read about. He goes up there with Cord McKay from Lorelei James' Rough Rider series, and from me that is saying alot.Because of her actions in The Perfect Play, I didn't think I could like Liz, but JB pulled it off and made me understand her actions and totally like Liz.The smexing was uber hot and some of the best I've read =)Changing The Game is up there with Chasin' Eight as one of my favorite reads of the summer.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
And she has done it again. Jaci Burton, I mean. Don't ask me how but at the end of the first book Elizabeth Darnell was top of my list "Despicable and horrible people" and believe me, she had earned that place. How was Jaci Burton going to transform her into the heroine of her second book?!?!?! I couldn't believe she was going to be able to... But she did it, oh boy she did it.The last thing we knew about Elizabeth Darnell was that she was fired by Mick Riley (main character of the first book) after she used her girlfriend's son, Nathan, to promote him in a really cruel way. So yes, I was happy when he fired her.But she didn't lose a client, she lost one of her best friends and his family that had been like a family for her during years... especially Gavin, Mick's little brother and her secret crush for at least 4 years.And what did she do when Mick fired her? The only thing her mind could think of: give Gavin a kiss before he fired her following his brother's steps. And this is were everything begins because after that kiss Gavin's POV about Liz changed completely. During years she was nothing but his manager, tossing beautiful women to his arms and promoting him like no one else could but after she kissed him he saw her as a woman for the first time.Even Gavin had to admit, despite the fact that Liz was bossy, stubborn, impertinent and... well, herself, she was also a gorgeous and sexy woman. And that woman was hiding from him afraid of losing another client. What could he do is she was avoiding him at all cost and not returning his calls?!Obviously he had to catch her with her guard down and seduce her until she would scream for him to take her.But it wasn't going to be that easy since what began like a "not strings attached" thing developed into something they didn't understand: a relationship. And with a family tragedy coming their way they had to take the decision really soon...In a personal note: if you are looking for a sexy, funny, amazing and HOT read this is your book. Well, the first book in the series is amazing too so, why don't you buy both of them? Seriously guys, you are going to love them. The covers are to die for, the characters are well developed and you will want to read the third book (coming out next year). Why? Because is about Jenna, Mick and Gavin's little sister, and Tyler Anderson, one heck of a sexy and hot hockey player... *already daydreaming about him*Don't forget to prepare the fan, ladies, because just like the first one this book is going to make you sweat, trust me ;)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I really enjoyed this story. I even made a point of not comparing it to the first book since that was just a phenomenal story!! As much as I wanted to love it, I just had too many issues to get to that point. Mick, one of my favorite characters, was such a total jerk so many times that I wished he wouldn't have even been in the story. I really liked Liz but thought she had more of an edge in the first book. In this story, she's just a sweetheart. Gavin was a bit too dull and immature for my tastes. I just couldn't get my arms around why Liz loved him so much. There was a lot of sex in this story, and I found myself skimming parts so I could get back to the story. Having said that, I still found myself glued to the story. It was an easy read with interesting events taking place to make it fun. I really liked the new girlfriends Liz made and thought they had a lot of fun together.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Bought for MyselfOverall Rating 4.5Character Rating 4.5Story Rating 4.5Hot/Sizzle Rating: Off the ChartsNOTE: I read both Play by Play books this past week and have to say I am slightly disappointed I have to wait on the next one! They were that good!What I Loved: Liz, which after what she pulled in The Perfect Play I was slightly surprised. She grabbed my heart though and at one point I seriously wanted kick Mick in the shins for how he was treating her. Gavin was an awesome match for Liz. He was strong and stood toe-to-toe with her when she was getting scared. Again, I love the Riley clan (except for Mick who slid to just likable status) and think they really make these books stand out. The smexiness was steaming hot!What I Liked: There were times I outright disliked Mick during this book but by the end he made it back into my "like" category. I understood the mad because of what happened to him. However because of his personal history, I thought he took the grudge to far and was to unforgiving. In a way, I hope he learned a valuable lesson from how things came to a head in the end.Complaints: None! I really wish the new book, Taking a Shot, was coming out sooner!Why I Gave it a 4.5: I liked this one just a smidge more that The Perfect Play! Both are excellent reads :)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: This baseball romance has lots of sexual scenes with characters who don’t know what to do with their emotions. Opening Sentence: Gavin Riley knew Elizabeth Darnell had been avoiding him for the past several months. The Review: Changing the Game, the second installment from the Play by Play series, centers on baseball star Gavin Riley and his agent Elizabeth Darnell. Like the title suggests, this is a love story with lots of baseball metaphors, steamy sex, and a happily ever after that is sure to be a home run. Gavin Riley is a bad boy that cuts through women like a knife. Following the events of the last book, Gavin begins to notice that his agent is not just a cold and heartless shark, but a beautiful and alluring woman. Taking the initiative, he gives Elizabeth a proposition; stay with him in his beach house and have guilt and commitment-free sexual escapades. Duh, no brainer right? The problem is that he has no idea that Elizabeth has been in love with him for years. Can these two find a way for everyone to win this game? Gavin’s character is shallow and clueless. He is constantly thinking with just his little head and not worrying about the consequences of his words or his actions. By failing to consider anyone but himself, he tends to hurt those around him unintentionally. It basically takes a concentrated effort on behalf of his family and friends to get him to pull his head out of his rear end and see how much Elizabeth really means to him. In effect, Gavin is a stereo typical guy. I didn’t like the fact that, for someone portrayed as smart, he acts so stupid. It doesn’t allow me to connect with him and made the ending seem a little out of character. Elizabeth Darnell seems shallow and clueless. She wears her attitude like armor to hide the fact that she is a scared little girl inside. Neither of these character traits endears her to me. A reader doesn’t know, at any one time, whether or not she is going to be a hard ass or be vulnerable. In a sense, Elizabeth is a stereo typical woman. The only thing that I liked about her character is her drive to be the best agent she could be, regardless of her personal feelings for her clients. The fact is that I find these characters lacking something true. Yes, during the sex scenes they all but light the pages on fire; but that is hardly a reason to read this book. I suppose that might be enough for some readers. I believe that there can be a harmony reached between smut scenes and decent prose. I am still interested in this series as a whole, but I don’t think that I will read this particular book again. I would recommend this as a good library find for those looking for something sporty with their romance novels. Notable Scene: “Go to the bathroom and take off your panties.” “Excuse me?” “You heard me.” “No.” “You want me to take them off you out here?” “You wouldn’t.” “Wouldn’t I?” He finished his whiskey and slid his hand under the table, lifting her sundress. She slapped his hand away, then the realization hit. He’d asked her to change clothes. “You planned this.” His lips curled. “Maybe.” She looked around the fairly crowded restaurant. Granted, no one was looking at them. They had a semicircular booth, which meant they could scoot together and… No. She wouldn’t dare. “Do it, Elizabeth. You’re already wet thinking about it, aren’t you?” Her gaze shifted to Gavin, her thoughts gravitating to how he would do it. What if they got caught? How could she stay quiet?FTC Advisory: Penguin / Berkley Heat graciously provided me with a copy of Changing the Game. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payments I receive are hugs and kisses from my little boys.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Changing the Game
3.5 Stars

Quickie Review
Better that book #1.
Gavin and Liz have the emotional connection that was missing in Mick and Tara's book. There are some cheesy moments interwoven but overall their romance is sweet and engaging without too much angst.

One small nitpick is that Mick is a complete jerk and the book is missing a scene where Gavin puts him in his place perhaps with a well aimed punch in the kisser.

Jenna and Ty's book is next.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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