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Review: Keeping Score by Sara Rider

Review:  Keeping Score by Sara RiderKeeping Score (The Perfect Play, #2) by Sara Rider
two-half-stars
Series: The Perfect Play #2
Published by Pocket Star on November 7th 2016
Genres: Sports
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
amazon b-n
Goodreads

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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From Sara Rider, a fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Keeping Score is a fast-paced, sizzling sequel in the Perfect Play series that’ll leave everyone needing a cool down...
Professional soccer player Jaime Chen is used to hearing the word “no”—she’s just not used to listening to it. Despite her tiny frame, she’s won two Olympic medals and earned the title of Assistant Captain of the Seattle Falcons. And when Sport Fitness magazine decides it wants her for the cover of its annual Bodies of Sport issue, she finally has the chance to prove to the world that she truly is a top-class athlete. But when a lingering ankle injury forces the team’s physiotherapist to bench her, Jaime’s top-ranking dreams start to slip through her fingers.
In his career as a pro sports physiotherapist, Alex Martinez’s instincts have never steered him wrong. But he’s also never met someone as obstinate and frustrating as the snarky Jaime Chen. With their spot in the playoffs on the line, the Falcons’ owner gives him an ultimatum: get Jaime back in the game or kiss his job goodbye. When she skips yet another appointment with him, the only way he can wrangle a diagnosis from the medically-phobic midfielder is to stick to her like a shadow. But getting close to the woman who simultaneously irritates him and turns him on like no other is the last thing he wants to do.


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This story had potential and the characters had chemistry, but character stupidity can’t be covered up with more hot, naked scenes.

Professional soccer player Jaime Chen is used to hearing the word “no”—she’s just not used to listening to it. Despite her tiny frame, she’s won two Olympic medals and earned the title of Assistant Captain of the Seattle Falcons. And when Sport Fitness magazine decides it wants her for the cover of its annual Bodies of Sport issue, she finally has the chance to prove to the world that she truly is a top-class athlete. But when a lingering ankle injury forces the team’s physiotherapist to bench her, Jaime’s top-ranking dreams start to slip through her fingers.

In his career as a pro sports physiotherapist, Alex Martinez’s instincts have never steered him wrong. But he’s also never met someone as obstinate and frustrating as the snarky Jaime Chen. With their spot in the playoffs on the line, the Falcons’ owner gives him an ultimatum: get Jaime back in the game or kiss his job goodbye. When she skips yet another appointment with him, the only way he can wrangle a diagnosis from the medically-phobic midfielder is to stick to her like a shadow. But getting close to the woman who simultaneously irritates him and turns him on like no other is the last thing he wants to do.

I enjoyed the first book in this series and the introduction of most of the secondary characters. Jaime was introduced as the life of the party, co-captain, always ready to get the team going and build the team spirit. Alex is the hot, sexy, slightly brooding physiotherapist. Alex and Jaime butt heads because Jaime keeps having a recurring injury to her ankle. Alex knows that it atypical for an athlete’s injury to keep coming and going but Jaime doesn’t want to be “sick” like her sister was and wants to pretend nothing is wrong. Underlying the head butting is some heavy sexual tension which Alex tries really hard not to act on since that would cross a professional boundary and if they were involved, Alex couldn’t treat Jaime anymore.

The Falcons are on a two week road trip stuck together on a bus and close quarters makes avoiding each other harder.   Sexual tension builds until it explodes.

Overall the story was well-written and decent, the sexual tension was smoldering and the characters were likable. I know that for storytelling purposes there needs to be some drama.  We had this in Jaime hiding her sister’s illness and possible effect on Jaime’s health, and Alex’s “misdiagnosis” on a prior athlete which we don’t learn the details on until the very end. But the biggest problem I had is when they weren’t steaming up the bus windows with those smoldering looks or hot sex, they were just being stupid. The misunderstandings between them could have been avoided simply by finishing sentences. Such as when they start getting hot and heavy, Alex tells Jaime not to tell anyone. She is hurt that he is hiding their relationship and they don’t speak for days. What Alex should have said was simply, don’t tell anyone…until I can break the news to our bosses and discuss the ethical ramification of my medical treatment of you.   There is also a misunderstanding between them where Alex then believes that Jaime slept with him in order for him not to be able to treat her injury anymore thereby allowing her to play when Alex was keeping her off the field.   And again, they weren’t speaking for days while both wondered where their relationship was heading.

There was so many non-conversations between these two which left their relationship so wobbly, including the fact that it was not Alex who finally tells Jaime what happened to the other athlete Alex treated, Jaime tracks down the other player and gets it out of him.  Neither one even attempts to make a leap of faith to talk to the other.

While they we not talking, Alex was planning on simply leaving to go visit his family for a few days. He wants a relationship with Jaime but he doesn’t ask her to go with him? He doesn’t even text her to let her know he will be out of town for a few days. Most of the story, Alex’s brother was trying to get Alex to leave the Falcons and come open up a practice with him, but no matter how close he got with Jaime, he never once mentions to her about the offer made to him or that he is contemplating opening his own practice four hours away from the stadium.

These were two interesting characters which incredible chemistry…while they were together in the story, but the not talking to each other and especially not talking to each other for days at a time rang too much of high school angst to me which sucked any enjoyment I was getting out of this story.

I hate when good characters are wasted like this. They had such potential and it was wasted because neither could open up to the one person they wanted to try a relationship with.

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