05 June 2014

A Kiss by the Book by Christy Hayes

College senior Zach Chamberlain’s charmed life has always gone according to script:
Date the prettiest girl in high school, check.
Football scholarship to a division-one school, check.
Heisman contender, check.
Buy engagement ring, check.
On track to graduate with honors, check.
There’s just one glitch. His girlfriend is in love with his younger brother and breaks up with him in the middle of his senior season. Shocked, betrayed, and embarrassed, Zach turns to the only woman he can trust: his nerdy tutor.

Tutoring college athletes at Southeastern State University is more than a job for Jenna Peterson; it’s a way for her to pay it forward after long-ago tragedy struck too close to home. SE State’s golden boy, Zach Chamberlain, isn’t the first jock Jenna’s tutored with cover-boy good looks, and he won’t be the last. When he asks for her help with statistics, Jenna assumes he’s as egocentric as the other athletes on her roster. A wildly inappropriate and lackluster kiss at the worst possible time doesn’t do much to disprove her theory.

Zach will do anything to save face in front of his family, and he uses Jenna’s bleeding heart and unfortunate circumstances to enlist her help over the holidays. Jenna begins to realize Zach is more than a pretty face as his storybook life begins to unravel. When a sprig of mistletoe provides the perfect opportunity for Zach to affirm his skill, the searing kiss pits the playmaker against the rule maker in a kiss to the end. When secrets are revealed and the game’s on the line, will they follow the script, improvise, or throw the book out the window?

“You know, I used to think you were a thirteen-year-old girl, but you’re actually a thirteen-year-old boy who’s just discovered his penis.” – Jenna to her roommate.

This is my favorite line of the book and illustrates why I enjoyed reading it so very much and exactly why I love Jenna – she’s a hoot. Ms. Hayes writes in so many one-liners that made me laugh out loud while keeping them pertinent to the conversation at the time – this made Jenna’s character seem so real. Add in her slight nerd status and natural insecurities, it’s no wonder I was rooting for her to win her man the whole way through … well, at least when she realized that she wanted Zach to be hers.

But it wasn’t a one-sided fight for affection, because even though Jenna denied her feelings in the beginning, Zach admitted his attraction early on and began his quest to get the girl first. As the university’s Golden Boy and star quarterback, he’s not used to having a girl immune to his charms – not that he’s a player because he’s been with his high school girlfriend for 5 years until she dumps him for his brother. That was most definitely an OUCH moment. When that happened, Zach did what star athletes do best … he focused his pain and anger into the game. I know what you thought I was going to say, so get your mind out of the gutter because Ms. Hayes never took Zach there – oh, he was offered the man-whore route, but he declined and I appreciated that deviation from the norm. Zach is a good guy, a nice guy, a normal guy with problems like everybody else and it isn’t until Jenna realizes this that she is finally willing to open herself up to him. He’s left the ball in her court, but when she finally decides to let him know how she feels, her timing to do so is bad and it jeopardizes the future of their relationship.

Does Jenna get her man? Does Zach get his girl? Just because two people want the same thing, it doesn’t mean their journey is an easy one – but it is most certainly an amusing one for the reader. While this is the second book in the series, you do not have to read book one to enjoy it. I didn’t and I didn’t feel lost once. That said, I will likely go back and read it as I quite enjoyed Ms. Hayes’s writing. So if you’re looking for a romance novel with some laugh out loud humor and just a little bit of steamy sex, grab A Kiss by the Book and get ready for several flags on the play as both Zach and Jenna go for the goal. ;)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JA1MRWE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00JA1MRWE&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20&linkId=EAYVOJ5JBRBX445M   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-kiss-by-the-book-christy-hayes/1118972122?ean=2940149599417&itm=1&usri=a+kiss+by+the+book   https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/422329
 Christy Hayes writes romance and women’s fiction. She lives outside Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two teenagers, and two rescue mutts. For more information, please visit www.christyhayes.com.


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