REVIEW: Game for Anything by Bella Andre
Dear Ms. Andre:
I’ve often wondered why sports stars are not the subject of more romance books. The men fit the standard mold: aggressive, wealthy, dominant, ambitious, usually in possession of totally hot bodies. As I read the few sports related fiction books I can find, I am more convinced that the reason is because so few authors actually know about sports to effectively write a sports related hero.
Game For Anything features the SuperBowl winning quarterback, Ty Calhoun, ordered to undergo an image makeover by the new team owner of The Outlaws. A top image consultant, Julie Spencer, is brought in to effectuate the makeover. Julie and Ty went to high school together and on graduation night, Julie, the school’s rich good girl, gave up her virginity to poor football hero, Ty. After an explosive night, Julie runs off and the two don’t see each other again for ten years.
Julie’s impression is that all jocks are dumb and has only watched one football game in her life. Ty still feels like he can’t quite shake the dirt off his feet despite all his success and Julie represents both the good and the bad of the world he thinks he wants to be a part of.
This book didn’t take long to read, but much of the enjoyment was sucked out by the issues in the story.
First is the football details. The book essentially starts with Ty being surprised with a new owner five months after the Super Bowl. There are so many things wrong with that. Five months after the Super Bowl and teams are in the midst of Spring Training camp. Owners meet in May where they vote on things like the sale of a franchise which can’t happen without approval of the league. An individual has to file an application and pay a fee and present a letter of credit in order to be considered an owner. None of this would happen with any secrecy. If Jerry Jones was going to sell the Cowboys, you don’t think Tony Romo would know?
There was also reference to suspending an owner and a press conference that was totally not in keeping with reality. Yes, yes, I know this is fiction but why use an already existing sports setting if you don’t intend to follow the rules? Make up your own league, your own rules. By relying on the reader to invoke certain aspects about the setting based on reality, you also run the danger of readers being upset (like me) with how fabricated the setting is in the story.
Second is the setup of the sexual relationship. Julie is supposed to be making over a bad boy football player. So she wears fishnet stockings to a meeting with him and within hours is “role playing” with her tongue down his throat. Wow, that’s super professional. I understood that this was the vehicle used to get the two of them in a sexual situation early on but it just made me doubt that Julie could be the top in her profession in anything except maybe groupie-dom.
Third is the character inconsistencies. Ty is portrayed as a good guy who really doesn’t nail everything that moves. Many of the anemic looking scantily clad babes around him are for show. He wants to nail Julie because he can’t get her out of his mind for ten years. But then he thinks to himself that she is just a “youthful infatuation.” But then he does everything he can to get her into bed. Ty was at his best when he was unapologetically irrepressible. I felt like there was little confidence that a hound dog Ty who was living the sports dream could be seen as a hero. I.e. On the one hand Ty monologues that he “very rarely has sex with anyone in his house” which seems to be contradicted about 10 pages later by the fact that he monologues that his “master suite was for shut-eye and sex.”
Fourth was this passage from Julie:
“She’d known plenty of men like Bobby Wilson-men who prided themselves on wielding power in the most distressing way possible. Without fail, the women who best them were not simply beautiful to a fault, they were feminine and ever-gracious as well.”
OMGWTFBBQ! That’s all I’m saying about that.
Fifth was the continuity issues. I addressed some of the Ty problems but there were other seemingly simple ones like when, on page 100, the two of them were about to share their “first real kiss” and I kept wondering what the basement kissing that took place about forty pages earlier was.
Having endlessly enumerated the irritants I had to this book, let me say that I found parts to be very readable and I think that maybe in another book with a different setup, I might very well like the story.
If one doesn’t know football or doesn’t mind some minor continuity problems, this would be a good way to pass a few hours. However, I do know football and I do mind continuity problems and thus, I had some real issues with this story. I wavered between a C- and a D. If I had purchased this book, I don’t think I would have wanted my money back so I’m going with the C-.
I know that I was more forgiving with the baseball book by Kate Angell but it had to do with the readability factor.