STRADDLING THE LINE Lands on the ‘Spicy’ Side (Audiobook)


STRADDLING THE LINE coverPlay-by-Play Series #8
by Jaci Burton
Narrated by Lucy Malone
Penguin/Berkley Trade July 1, 2014
Tantor Audio; MP3 – Unabridged CD edition (July 1, 2014)

Audio Recording provided by publisher for review. No remuneration exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

Trevor Shay has it all–a successful football and baseball career, and any woman he wants. But when he finds out his college mentor’s daughter is in trouble, he drops everything to come to her aid.

Haven Briscoe has finally landed a dream job as a sportscaster for a major network. But she hasn’t been able to move past the recent death of her beloved father, and it’s affecting her career. A plum assignment following the daily life of sports superstar Trevor Shay might be just the inspiration she needs…

Trevor will do anything to spark life back into Haven, including letting her into every aspect of his world. The chemistry between them flames higher than one of Trevor’s home runs and faster than his dashes to the end zone. But as they grow closer, Haven stumbles onto Trevor’s closely guarded secret, one he’s hidden his entire life. And despite his protests, now it’s Haven’s turn to put everything on hold to help Trevor. Will he let her in and trust her with a secret that could blow his professional and personal world apart?



square "my take"The athlete in this story is representative of the supreme confidence some men are thought to, or indeed do possess. I personally don’t know anyone with the kind of confidence (bordering on arrogance) that Trevor seems to have. But, we’re looking at a fictional athlete; it is likely we would not find someone with this particular brand of arrogance, combined with his likeability, good looks and his own personal issues.

Haven is a little watery — her character seems to flow to the type of person Jaci needed to make the story move forward.  She starts off as some one in trouble — she has not recovered emotionally from her father’s death.  She’s in a dream career but she seems uncommitted to it. And, despite her intentions she goes from “professional” to sex-kitten in the blink of an eye.

This is one of those “I like him but he doesn’t see me,” and vice-versa stories at the start. A failure to communicate and a BIG secret also make the relationship tenuous after the initial unrequited lust is overcome.  There are some business associate who know his big secret who should have found ways to assist him, but they do not help, or perhaps Trevor would have fired them.  What do you think, are you tired of Big Secret stories?
Trevor is a guy who only churns through women because he has this secret and if he were in a relationship he would have to trust a woman with it.   He’s polite, thoughtful, respectful, helps children’s charities and is an all around great guy.

But, when Haven does something that would make his secret come out Trevor gets very  pissed.  But honestly, I would have been pissed just because of what she had done — even without the secret.

AudiobookiconIt’s hard to tell, because I listened to an audiobook, whether my experience of the writing is because of the writing or the narration. I suspect it’s the narration. The way Trevor was spoken,  he sounded a bit like a lummox, a big old dolt, dumb.  I get that the narrator was going for the deep vocal tones of an athlete with a voice powered by his fitness and testosterone (naturally occurring). But, it made me think of Moose, the character in Archie Comics. And, Havens mother sounds about 75, when she is probably somewhere between 55 and 60.  Now, I am 53 and I don’t sound like an shaky-voiced little old lady. And, even the ‘little old ladies’ I know don’t sound as old as Haven’s mother. Another thing I had a problem with was her pronunciation of ‘room;’ to me it sounded like ‘realm.’ after the first few times I figured it out.

Otherwise,. I liked having the story to listen to. I may actually take more away form shorter books I listen to rather than read. And the hotness in this was guaranteed to keep my attention riveted.
Even though this was the eighth in a series, I really think it stands perfectly well on its own. In retrospect, some of the supporting characters were from one big family and probably some of of the other books.  I just thought they were buddies.

I got this as an Mp3 CD which was fairly easy to put on my iphone.

If you like super spicy sports fiction then this is a must read!

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