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REVIEW: Tempting the Player by J. Lynn

Dear Ms. Lynn:

A sports romance! A sexy sports romance!  This is my kind of book. Chad Gamble is an all star pitcher for the Nationals whose contract is up.  Chad takes full advantage of his star power, cavorting with models, actresses and all manner of female flesh. his antics, however, are not impressing management.  .  Other clubs are calling but the Nationals haven’t offered up a deal and Chad wants to remain with the Nationals. His family is all in D.C. and Chad loves his team.  He wants to stay.

Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers #2) by J. LynnAfter another sordid picture appears in the tabloids, however, the Nationals come to him and tell him that he either cleans up his act or he isn’t going to get a contract renewal.  A PR maven (not the heroine in this book) provides Chad with a list of do’s and don’ts.

Bridget Rodgers is a friend of the Gamble family.  Her boss is engaged to be married to Chad’s brother.  Bridget has had a crush on Chad for some time but she’s never initiated anything between them.  One night at a sex club, Bridget runs into Chad and he propositions her.  Bridget doesn’t tell Chad their connection and takes him up on the offer.  Unfortunately, in the middle of their hookup, Chad’s phone is texted with an offer from his previous weekend’s hookup.

Bridget is seized with an attack of self consciousness and flees Chad’s place.  The two meet a month later when Bridget goes to lunch with her boss and her boss’s fiance.  After a torrid encounter is captured in the press, the PR maven latches on to Bridget as the perfect antidote for Chad’s bad reputation. If he can date her for some length of time, he would likely be perceived differently by the tabloids and by upper management.  Bridget, a curvy redhead, is as unlike as his previous women.

Chad is presented as this playboy lothario in the beginning but as the book goes on, Chad tries to convince Bridget and the readers that he is not as bad as his reputation.   At times, Chad is so outrageous that I couldn’t tell if you were mocking conventions or playing up the sense of absurd.

I did wonder why Chad couldn’t moderate his lifestyle if he truly wasn’t the playboy.  He wasn’t presented as a sex addict or an alcoholic, why did he find it impossible to keep his exploits out of the tabloids?  Did he secretly enjoy the attention? If not, why couldn’t he be discreet?  Bridget asks this question and Chad simply replies that he shouldn’t have to live his life differently simply because cameras follow him everywhere.

I did get the sense that Chad was an overgrown child with a huge ego.  The ego plays a role late in the book during the characters’ dark moment.  I wished I had believed that he had grown up, but I wasn’t entirely convinced.

Bridget’s lack of self confidence when it came to bedroom antics with Chad seemed misplaced because when she isn’t around Chad, she displays a great sense of self worth and self acceptance about her curvy figure. She knows how to dress it and does so in flamboyant style.  When Chad was with Bridget, he was always panting for her.

I didn’t read the first book in the series and while I felt I missed some things like why exactly the Gamble brothers ran Washington D.C., it didn’t hamper the romance.  The third in the series is between the PR maven and the Gamble brother who plays bodyguard and is cleverly set up with one scene. I appreciated I didn’t get an abundance of sequel bait.  Readers were treated to several scenes of the couple from Book 1, however, and I found the reassurance that these two were blissfully happy irritating.

The story loses steam toward the end when Chad acts like a five year old but not enough for me to come away disappointed. This is a quick sexy read that is fairly superficial but at $2.99, I feel like the reader is getting her money’s worth.  B-

Best regards,


The current Nationals darling is Bryce Harper, National League rookie of the year.  His is well known for his retort to a reporter who asked if Bryce, a mormon, if he liked Canadian Beer with the now iconic “That’s a clown question, bro.”

Most recently, he was seen reaching out on Twitter to the lone remaining star on the Marlins team, Giancarlo Stanton, who took to the micro messaging service to express his unhappiness at the Marlins trading away every piece of talented bat and pitcher.

So while the setup was somewhat believable, I was sorely disappointed at the lack of “bro” incorporated into dialogue. ;)



Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ros
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 12:24:00

    Hey, Jane, you have this tagged ‘Jennifer Armintrout’. Should be ‘Jennifer Armentrout’. They are two different authors.

  2. Gwen Hayes
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 14:14:19

    It’s also tagged in “A” reviews. I saw the A and was surprised since I thought it was entertaining but not an A. I’m more in line with the B- too. I am intrigued for the 3rd book though. The PR character was interesting.

  3. Jane
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 14:15:33

    @Ros: Thanks.

    @Gwen Hayes: Changed.

  4. Gwen Hayes
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 14:28:04

    @Jane: How are you feeling about the Brazen line, Jane? So far, they are total escapism for me…and I like the price. But they almost seem too similar.

  5. Meri
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 14:30:50

    Bryce Harper is quite young, though – unless an author is writing an NA romance, I wouldn’t expect the hero to be or sound like him.

    I am all in favor of sports romances, but the description is making me want to nit-pick, because some of the details seem pretty off. Maybe Chad plays for some kind of fake MLB, where teams can make contract offers to players who are not yet officially free agents?

    I also find it highly unlikely that a player would be in serious trouble for sleeping around and being tabloid fodder, especially a top of the rotation pitcher; so long as it doesn’t affect you on the field, a lot will be forgiven. The basic improbability of an agent who can’t get a player like that what he wants, regardless of his off the field antics, let alone the idea that a fake relationship would be needed to mend his image… I’m just not buying it. Literally.

    Unless I’m wrong about some of these details?

  6. Jane
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 15:24:15

    @Meri – I don’t remember the exact details but I felt like it was fairly accurate. Other teams expressed interest but he wanted a contract renewal from his current team.

    As for the tabloids, Rob Gronkoswki has been in the news for various things including shirtless dancing and porn stars and the team owner came out and said something about him not acting like a Patriot should.

  7. Jane
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 15:25:43

    @Gwen Hayes- isn’t sameness the key to a successful category line? You know what you are getting? But yeah, there is a similarity and I wouldn’t be able to read a steady diet of them but once a month? Probably.

  8. Meri
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 16:16:20

    @Jane: Melky Cabrera just got a contract despite having served a steroid suspension. As a free agent this winter, Josh Hamilton is going to get a huge deal, despite having had multiple substance abuse issues. For a baseball player, these are considerably more serious problems than dating supermodels and sleeping with lots of women. There are players who have definitely had some very public flings and affairs, and it’s hardly harmed their careers. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez come to mind.

    A number 1 starter just isn’t the kind of player you let walk away so easily; they are a very desirable commodity. In a real world situation, the front office would be thrilled to have someone who wants an extension rather than to become a free agent. That guy would be getting his extension ASAP, and the Nats would count themselves fortunate for not having to outbid the Yankees. Basically, top players have too much power, their agents are too smart, and the MLBPA too strong a union, for the scenario in this book to be even remotely plausible. And there’s always the Orioles nearby, if the location is an issue ;)

    If this were about endorsements rather than a contact extension/free agency situation, I’d find the storyline more credible – because then off the field image would be much more important, and the union doesn’t involve itself in that.

  9. Jane
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 16:41:33

    @Meri – I think it’s within the realm of plausibility. Kind of like serial killers and dukes.

  10. Kati
    Nov 23, 2012 @ 07:45:09

    As a Nats fan, I find that it’s imperative that I read this book. Buying now.

  11. Cheryl
    Nov 25, 2012 @ 19:12:11

    I had to ignore the setup in this book having worked in the public relations department for a MLB team. The team manager wouldn’t give two hoots about a players reputation/ongoings off the field unless it somehow became a huge distraction in the clubhouse and resulted in losses. Hell, many team managers have enough of their own problems to deal with. And a single guy being seen every week with a new woman? Puhleeze. This is a PR dream. Guys want to be like them. Women want to be with them.

    And I don’t know of any baseball team that would hire a publicist to improve the player’s image. That’s lost revenue when many teams aren’t making money. But an agent certainly would hire/offer a publicist as part of the sports management component for your client. The agent has a monetary stake in this guy’s future. If one of your stars goes all John Rocker in public, he’s not going to make as much money not only come the next contract negotiation but his endorsement deal value goes in the toilet a la Tiger Woods.

    In regards to the heroine, I couldn’t figure out if she was sexy/silly/eccentric/fashion forward based upon the clothing descriptions and home decor. Aside from that, I didn’t really get a whole lot from her.

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