Review: Rules of Contact by Jaci Burton

Rules of Contact
(Play by Play #12)
by Jaci Burton
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: Dec. 6, 2016
Genre: Erotic Romance

A defensive end for the San Francisco Sabers, Flynn Cassidy is used to being in the spotlight—he just doesn’t enjoy it. But if getting in front of the cameras will help his new restaurant succeed, he’s willing. Now if he could just meet a woman who loved him and not his fame…

After her divorce, Amelia Lawrence is thrilled to start over as head chef at Ninety-Two. It’s just the opportunity she needs to heat up her career—if only she wasn’t wildly attracted to her sexy new boss. Their chemistry might be sizzling hot, but Amelia has no intention of being burned again.

Amelia is genuine and fun and Flynn can’t get enough of her—and Amelia loves every second she spends with the tough but tender Flynn. But trust is a hard fought battle for both of them. Breaking the rules of contact and surrendering to their passion was easy, but are they willing to risk their hearts to win at the game of love?



My thoughts…


I admit that I have kind of jumped around in the Play by Play series. I kind of pop in when the couple or synopsis grabs my attention. So, when I saw that Rules of Contact focused on a defensive end for the NFL who just opened up a restaurant and his head chef, I knew I had to give this book a go. I liked that even though the leading men all have careers in professional sports, the leading ladies range in all sorts of professions. So, I’m always guaranteed to get some sort of variety with the Play by Play series based off of what the female character does. In Rules of Contact, Amelia is the head chef at his restaurant and it was really entertaining to see her work the kitchen and come up with dishes. Granted, I never knew there would come a time where I would craze seabass so much while reading a book.

Both Grant and Amelia were wonderful characters which is a good thing since this book is written in both of their POV’s. Grant wasn’t your typical playboy football star who was busy living life and enjoying his single status. Instead he was the complete opposite. Sure we saw him go through a couple girls at the beginning of the book that was because he thought she was different, interested in him and not the limelight, only for the girl to turn into a camera chasing bimbo the moment a camera came anywhere near them. So, it wasn’t that he liked to date around, it was just that he kept dating the wrong types of girls. The moment a camera would come around and the girl would turn into a over-exuberant psycho, he would take her home, call it quits, and never talk to her again.  Which is probably why he was so drawn to Amelia. Any time the cameras came around near her, she made sure to move out of their way or would find a way to blend in with everyone around her. She wasn’t interested in the spotlight and she definitely didn’t fawn all over him. She treated him like a normal human being and I think her honesty with him really made her perfect for him.

On the other side though, we had Amelia. She recently got divorced from her husband who was very controlling. Amelia has no desire to jump into another relationship, especially with her new boss. She loves her job at the restaurant and doesn’t want to jeopardize it by rolling around the sheets with Flynn. However, these two are perfect for each other so it doesn’t take them long at all to start dating. I loved that even though Amelia had some issues with guys, Flynn was always there to set things right. Even when he messed up and said/did something wrong, the way he went about fixing the problem was just… perfect. These two characters were just so entertaining to watch.

I think my favorite thing about this story was probably the kitchen and restaurant scenes. Or maybe the chapter where Flynn has to deal with a drunk Amelia and Mia (his sister) while they drunkenly gab on about reality TV shows, tampons, periods, sex, you name it! It was hilarious and poor Flynn was stuck in the car listening to their drunken discussion the whole way home. That was a fun scene that had be chuckling the whole time. However, all those behind-the-scenes at the restaurant were also fun to read. It was great seeing Amelia in her element, cooking up dishes, and Flynn walking around the restaurant chatting with the regulars.

One thing that did bother me about this book was… and please don’t hate me… but it was the bedroom talk. I felt like it was too much and just repetitive to the other books I’ve read. I mean, Their intimate scenes were no different than some of the other Play by Play books. They are all over the top and almost fake sounding, kind of like I’m reading the script for a porno or something. I don’t know. I love me some steamy scenes but I just felt like not only did this feel over the top but it also didn’t stand apart from the previous books in the series that I’ve read. I was really hoping for something different for Amelia and Flynn. Heck, I would have been happy if the sex scenes were cut down or nonexistent. I know that this is an erotic romance and therefor that statement is eye-roll-worthy, but I just really loved seeing these two in their element and I felt like the sex scenes detracted me from the story.

Rules of Contact was an enjoyable read. It wasn’t my favorite from the series but I still liked reading about Flynn and Amelia, and daydreaming about all the delicious food she kept making.


Favorite part…

When Flynn is getting ready to open for the night to his teammates and other sports officials for a special dinner at his restaurant, him and his front of the house manager try to sneak into the kitchen to sample some of the dishes that Amelia and her crew have book cooking up.

“Flynn held open the door for Ken. After Ken turned to leave, Flynn looked at Amelia, who glared at them with her arms folded. She looked like a Viking warrior defending her castle.”


Previous reviews from Play by Play
Changing the Game
Straddling the Line



4 Thoughts on “Review: Rules of Contact by Jaci Burton

  1. I’m working on this one now and loving the restaurant bits. I don’t even consider hers erotic anymore and sometimes wordage is iffy for me on the steamy bits. I haven’t gotten to them in this one so far so we shall see. Ee! lol

  2. Wow, that guy is jacked on the cover! I can’t stop staring.

  3. Other than the bedroom talk, this sounds like a good read Kirsten. I like that it’s told from dual perspectives. The player gets caught by the divorcee… love it!

  4. I always like reading about different professions in books. I can see why this one caught your attention. That’s nice you see her actually working in the kitchen in this book. They sound like great characters how you describe and I I like the sound of how they actually fix their problems. Sorry to hear the bedroom scenes felt a bit fake and similar to other books by the author. I can enjoy a good erotic romance, but also have read some where I just skim the sex scenes.

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