Game for Love (Bad Boys of Football #3)

Game for LoveBy Bella Andre

Self Published
Publication Date: December 13, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased

In a relationship built on lies…the only truth is their feelings for each other.

To fulfill his grandmother’s dying wish, linebacker Cole Taylor must find – and marry – a good girl. First grade teacher Anna Davis fits the bill perfectly. Their deal is simple: If she’ll be his temporary wife, he’ll give her more pleasure than she ever imagined was possible.

Only, love is the ultimate game-changer.

Goodreads Summary

As football star Cole Taylor sits by his dying grandmother’s bedside he tells her a foolish lie – that he’s finally met a “good girl” to settle down with, something that he knows is her greatest wish for him. Cole’s little black book is loaded with completely inappropriate women though, so he’s left to wander Las Vegas, trying to find the perfect someone. After haunting all of the places he thinks a goody-two shoes would be, coming up empty and out of time, he heads to a bar to think about what a failure he is when he and his libido spot the perfect woman from across a crowded room.

Schoolteacher Anna Davis is always the bridesmaid, never the bride – now for the fourth time.  At the reception for her sister’s wedding, she vows she’s going to do something different to shake things up, to take that look of pity out of her mother’s eyes.  When Cole approaches her at the bar, she can’t believe this gorgeous guy would even want to talk to her and she can’t imagine why he’s acting like she’s some beautiful woman.  When he asks her if she’d be willing to do something absolutely crazy, like running off right then and now and getting married, all it takes is one look at her family and she says yes.

Their path to happily ever after is loaded with land mines though – they burn up the sheets, but Anna quickly finds out about Cole’s lie, then needs him to lie for her.  There’s a huge test of her trust for him and she needs to decide if she can live the lifestyle of a football player’s wife.

I had a complete love/dislike relationship with this story.  Or maybe love/shaking-my-head-in-disbelief relationship.  This really was a sweet love story, even if it wasn’t altogether plausible.  I don’t necessarily believe in love at first sight, but Cole did and he never thought it wouldn’t work out – good thing since he never asked for a pre-nup.  There wasn’t any over the top Alpha behavior (out of the bedroom), he just did things that a man in love would do and didn’t understand why Anna was always surprised by it.  He was just always there, waiting for her to see him.  He certainly kept her busy in bed.

Anna was clearly out of her mind when she agreed to marry Cole.  He at least had a ridiculous, specific reason.  I don’t know why I was supposed to believe she would agree to marry a man she only kissed, then immediately afterwards was okay heading to his hotel room alone with.  What I could understand was being swept off of her feet by Cole and starting to fall in love with him.  She had awful self-esteem and in bed and out of it he showed her how beautiful she was to him.  I didn’t like the way she always seemed to run from him whenever she thought he did the smallest thing wrong and for some reason, she seemed utterly clueless about what it meant to be married to someone who was a large media attraction.

There’s a lot of sexual content in this book.  Anna is described as pretty innocent, yet their first night together, Cole decides that in order to make things easier on her, he’ll blindfold her and tie her to the bed – and she agrees.  That was my first what the *%#@ moment.  She fairly quickly becomes quite adventurous and they start having at it in all sorts of places all the time.  I didn’t know highway patrolmen could be that clueless.

There was one aspect of the story that was just so unbelievably wrong that I was shaking my head reading it.  I don’t play football personally but I’ve been around it for almost thirty years against my will thanks to the men I’m related to.  There was so much wrong I think I pulled a hamstring jumping out of my chair.  Cole never seemed to be doing any training.  He played in a game on a Sunday afternoon, then he and some teammates joined Anna and their wives at a tailgate party.  Immediately after the game.  Say what?  There was one point during the story when Anna ran directly out onto the field during the game.  There’s artistic license and there’s sacrificing believability for just some small bits of drama.  It wasn’t worth it.

My Summary: This definitely doesn’t work as a plausible sports-themed romance, but it was still a fairly good erotic romance.  Cole and Anna had sizzling chemistry and if you can overlook the improbability of two people who don’t know each other getting married an hour or so after meeting, overcoming some trust issues, having some wild monkey sex and falling in love in the span of a few weeks, then you’ll like this.  Cole was a gallant and sexy hero and even on the rare occasion he got too clingy, he was the best part of the story.

My Rating: B- for the story, D- for the sports references




  1. Haha! Love that you rated the sports references seperately. I don't know anything about football, but those two instances you described would make even a novice like me shake my head! Yikes! Seems kind of unbelievable the author would make those mistakes when it's kind of a major part of her story…

  2. On another side note, I'm totally on the same page about the artistic license vs. believability bit. I'm currently in the middle of reading Jo Davis' firemen series, and all of the guys get so injured in all of the books, but are totally up and walking around within a few days. One guy was stabbed, between the ribs, and was fine and goin' at it the same day he was released from the hospital… three days later!Now, not ever having been stabbed myself, I may not know what I'm talking about. But that seems like a pretty serious injury to me. Or a character will get shot in the arm (or gets it broken), but in the next scene they're going at it again and he's "bracing himself" with both arms. What the…Gah, sorry for going off. I guess it's bugging me more than I thought!

  3. Hi Cait! I missed your Wishlist today! Nothing to drool over? :)I had a minor disagreement with someone on my Goodreads posting of this who thinks I was too harsh with my criticism of the football stuff, saying nothing I listed was that unusual. I'm standing my ground on this one, lol. I was doing a little ranting with my son (who plays it) and describing some of the things and he was laughing at some of what I described.It was very romantic and dramatic so if I hadn't known anything about football or if it had been about bricklaying or whatever, it wouldn't have bothered me at all. If it had been about basketball I'd have been oblivious, but then someone else would have picked up on it. I know if it's not a novel-length book you're going to sacrifice some things for the sake of space and you want to create some extra drama,, my big pet peeve! The "injured one day, able to carry the h and have monkey sex the next" scenario. 🙂 Getting cut is awful! I haven't been knifed, but I've had surgery that's probably comparable and if someone came at me with a penis a few days later and I wasn't drugged up, they'd probably have drawn back something different than what they started with.It bugs me too – then again, how realistic are these guys that can go all night? lol

  4. Haha!! I'm not sure what I would do with a hero who couldn't go all night. A girl's gotta dream, right? ;-)And I'm posting an OMW post this afternoon. Still works, even if it's a day late…

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