by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #10
Published by Berkley on August 4, 2015
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Sports
Format: ARC, Ebook
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
Tucker Cassidy is going through a slump—but not on the field. It’s his dating life that’s suffering. After having a painful altercation involving his ex-girlfriend’s knee, Tucker is convinced it couldn’t get worse…until a gorgeous doctor comes to the rescue at his most embarrassing moment.
As the daughter of the owner of the St. Louis Rivers, Dr. Aubry Ross has been around jocks all her life. She knows the ins and outs of all their games, and she isn’t interested in playing.
When Tucker repeatedly lands in the hospital where she’s working, Aubry starts to think he’s getting injured just to see her. Tucker is both funny and sexy, and Aubry is pleasantly surprised to discover he actually respects her job.
When her father disapproves of their relationship, Aubry knows she’d rather lose Tucker than have him lose his job. But Tucker isn’t about to let threats of a trade get in the way of a game-changing love…
Note: This is book #10 in the Play-by-Play series. I’ve read several books in the series, but not all of them (yet). Characters from previous books make appearances in this latest one, so that’s something to be aware of if you’re a stickler for reading a series in order. Regardless, All Wound Up can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.
The book opens with a simultaneously comical and painful scene. Tucker Cassidy, major league pitcher for the St. Louis Rivers, has just had an unfortunate run-in with his now ex-girlfriend’s knee. She was a huge clinger and he couldn’t take it anymore, so he broke up with her. As Tucker is attempting to recover from his injury, Dr. Aubry Ross stumbles onto him and immediately goes into patient care mode.
What happens next is kind of outlandish but pretty funny, too. Aubry, an ER physician, examines Tucker to make sure he doesn’t have any serious injuries. He doesn’t, so she sends him on his merry way. Over the following weeks, Tucker repeatedly injures himself–not on purpose–ending up in Aubry’s ER every time. At first, she doesn’t know if he’s just trying to make excuses to keep seeing her, especially after he asks her out and she turns him down. But eventually, she relents and agrees to go out with him.
“I have a terrible feeling if I say no that you’re going to end up in my ER again.”
“I’ll take a pity yes for now. And then I’ll convince you I’m worth it.”
Aubry and Tucker are definitely sexually compatible, so that aspect of their relationship is off to a great start. They’re also both very busy people, considering Tucker’s professional baseball career and Aubry’s hectic schedule as a doctor. At the start, their relationship is mainly physical, but as they get to know each other better, they discover how much they genuinely like each other.
However, Aubry insists on keeping their relationship on the down low. Her father is the owner of the St. Louis Rivers, so she doesn’t want to make things awkward by admitting that she’s seeing one of her father’s players. Additionally, her father is extremely adamant about Aubry’s job being her number one priority in life. Even though Aubry is out of medical school and no longer lives with her parents, her father is incredibly overbearing and pushy when it comes to Aubry’s career.
Ultimately, Aubry and Tucker have to make some serious decisions about what their respective priorities are–with regard to their careers as well as their deepening feelings for each other. When they finally start telling people that they’re dating, they become more comfortable with the idea that they’re getting serious about each other. Things get complicated, though, when Aubry brings Tucker home for dinner one night to officially announce that she and Tucker are together.
“Once you find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, it really is that simple.”
For me, this was a super easy read. I really enjoy the Play-by-Play series because while there’s obviously conflict in each book, there’s very little angst and the romance is always the focus of the story. In All Wound Up, I really liked the strong, comedic opening, but would have preferred a less rushed ending. Also, there are a few scenes with characters from the other books where I got a little confused as to who plays for which team/who’s married to whom/who’s dating whom/who’s related to whom. Those moments were a bit confusing. Overall, though, the majority of the story is enjoyable. It’s a solid read and a good addition to the series.
Rating: 3 stars