By Kelly Elliott
Release Day: Sept 13, 2016
My life revolved around two things. Football and my cock. And not necessarily in that order.
Being the head football coach for a top university in Texas had its ups and its downs.
The ups? Endless women to f*ck.
The downs? The politics that came with the job.
From the moment Aubrey Cain walked into my office, she turned my world upside down. Being forced to have her follow me around for a month was going to be a pain in the ass. Especially since I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her.
The best I’d hoped to come out of this was a few nights with her in my bed. I never imagined she’d be the game changer.
Brett Owens was my assignment.
Head football coach for a top college, bad boy reputation, short temper, and handsome good looks should have scared me off. But I was tougher than that.
From the first words out of his obnoxious, dirty-talking mouth, I knew it was going to be a long month. It wasn’t five minutes after meeting him, he hit on me. If only I had known his blue eyes would haunt my dreams and awaken a desire inside of me I never knew existed.
This was business. There was no way I would be tempted by him no matter how good looking he was or how many things he whispered in my ear.
He was only supposed to be my assignment. Not the man who threatened to destroy both my heart and my career. I would follow along with his playbook for now. But who would end up winning was anyone’s guess.
The Playbook is a stand-alone novel.
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Brett Owens and Aubrey Cain definitely know the game of football. There’s not a game plan or offensive/defensive play that they can’t explain or understand what went wrong. As head coach for the University of Auburn, Brett knows how to win ball games and bring home championships, and as a college football analyst for ESPN, Aubrey knows her way around the turf and proves her football knowledge and expertise time and time again regardless of her gender.
At the start of the story, Brett and Aubrey have simple playbooks – Brett’s focus is on football and fucking and Aubrey’s plan is to make it as a sideline reporter in the NFL, understanding that it won’t be easy but putting her job ahead of everything else, including a personal life, will be worth it once she obtains her goal.
But one assignment changes the entire game for both Brett and Aubrey, wanting things with each other that are not part of their game plans and longing for something that not only changes the dynamics of who they are but also of what matters most.
Brett and Aubrey’s relationship is definitely a slow burn, at least in the physical sense. There’s an instant attraction between them but their respective careers as well as Brett’s “pussy hound” status forces them both to have some self-control and to determine whether or not giving into their burning need for one another can end in anything but drama due to Brett’s fears and Aubrey’s dreams.
I have to admit that I really didn’t like Brett at the beginning of The Playbook. He seemed over the top cocky as well as a total manwhore, which doesn’t usually bother me, but for some reason, Brett’s mouth and actions didn’t sit well with me. Fortunately, as Brett shows Aubrey the “real” him, readers are also able to understand why he acts the way he does and what the right woman can bring out of him if he’s willing to change up what he focuses on outside the realm of football.
I wasn’t always on Aubrey’s side either; at a few points in the story, she makes some questionable choices that made it difficult for me to stay in her corner. Don’t get me wrong, I admired her sense of self and her ability to fight her way onto the football field as an analyst in a predominantly male profession, but the kind of person she was portrayed to be didn’t quite mix well with who she becomes and the game she chooses to play towards the end of the story.
Overall, I enjoyed The Playbook. Kelly Elliott does a good job of illustrating the sizzling connection between Brett and Aubrey from their very first encounter and the way Elliott crafted the will they or won’t they scenario once Brett becomes Aubrey’s new assignment definitely builds up the sexual tension between them and has readers waiting for the sexy pair to give into their feelings despite the risks.
Don’t even get me started on Brett’s dirty mouth – he could make a woman orgasm just by the sex that oozes from his lips alone with every naughty word that comes out of his mouth and with the way that Aubrey responds to him, it’s clear that his ability to seduce women and his ability to coach football are definitely two of his strengths;)
A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
4 Poison Apples
Reaching into my brief case, I took out my notebook that I had already filled with research on Brett and the university college program.
I flipped through the endless pages of notes until I found a blank page.
“So, I’m assuming since it’s spring training, I’ll be granted full access to the stadium.” Peeking up at Brett, I added, “That includes the locker rooms.”
His jaw muscles flexed and I couldn’t help but smile. “I’d like to really observe you, Mr. Owens, for the first week or two here at work. Really get an understanding of your work habits and ethics with the team and, of course, your habits away from the team as well.”
His lips parted to say something, but Mr. Stevenson coughed and Brett shut his mouth.
“This piece is going to be about getting to know Brett Owens. Three-time national championship winner. Youngest head football coach in college football, and rumored ladies’ man.”
“What?” Brett gasped, nearly chocking on his own spit.
I shrugged and flipped through my notes where I found a reference to picture in People magazine.
“Yes, here it is. A picture of you with two women on your arms exiting a bar in downtown Austin. I believe it was on New Year’s Eve.” I held it up for him to see.
His eyes narrowed and I swear they turned black. “What in the hell do you have written down in that book?”
I pointed to my notebook, while keeping my focus fixed on him. “This notebook?”
When his hand combed through his hair, I felt a tug in my lower stomach that I quickly pushed aside.
“Yes, that notebook, Aubrey! I don’t see another notebook on the fucking table.”
My head drew back with raised eyebrows. I quickly flipped back to the empty page and wrote a note.
Curses like a damn sailor.
“Wh-what are you writing?”
I couldn’t help but feel giddy knowing I was getting to him. “Just taking some notes, that’s all.”
Brett leaned closer to me as I covered the note with my hand. “What did you say? I saw sailor written down!”
I flashed him an evil smile which only irritated him more, causing him to curse more under his breath.
Mr. Stevenson sighed heavily next to me. “Oh, for the love of God. The two of you are going to have to learn to play nice. Your boss, Ms. Cain, and the president of the university, want this thing to happen. Now I hope you will shine a more positive light on Mr. Owens and not focus on his… on his um—”
Brett and I both looked at him, anxiously waiting for him to finish his sentence.
“On my what?” Brett questioned.
With a roll of his eyes, Mr. Stevenson answered, “On the colorful lifestyle you lead outside of work.”
“That was gently put,” I mumbled.
“Ms. Cain,” Mr. Stevenson started.
“Please, call me Aubrey.”
He nodded. “Aubrey, you will have full access so getting in places will not be an issue. I advise you to stick close to Brett until you learn your way around.”
“Thank you, Mr. Stevenson.”
“Pat will be fine.”
“Pat, it is.”
“Now, I believe, Brett, you have a staff meeting at noon.”
I swear it looked like Brett was sitting over there pouting. It probably killed him he had no safe-zone to hide in. I was going to be stuck to him like glue. Oh, this made me all kinds of happy right now.
“Yeah. It’s at noon.”
Pat stood. “Good, show Aubrey around and to the office she’ll be using.”
My heart skipped a beat in my chest. “Thank you, Pat. That means a lot to me to have a place to work while I’m here. That’s very thoughtful of you.”
He looked at Brett and then me. “Don’t thank me, thank Brett. It was his idea.”
My head snapped to the side as I looked at him. That was totally unexpected, and I couldn’t hide the fact that it made my chest tighten some.
About Kelly Elliott
Kelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. Since finishing her bestselling Wanted series, Kelly continues to spread her wings while remaining true to her roots and giving readers stories rich with hot protective men, strong women and beautiful surroundings.
Her bestselling works include, Wanted, Broken, Without You, and Unconditional Love, to name just a few.
Kelly has been passionate about writing since she was fifteen. After years of filling journals with stories, she finally followed her dream and published her first novel, Wanted, in November of 2012.
Kelly lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, and two pups. When she’s not writing, Kelly enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is down to earth and very in touch with her readers, both on social media and at signings.
To find out more about Kelly and her books, you can find her through her website.