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Playing For Keeps ('Fantasy' Football #1)

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Journalist Samantha Jameson always wanted to be one of the boys, but Ryan Terell won't let her join the club. Fresh from the battlegrounds of Iraq, reporting on a bunch of overgrown boys playing pro football is just the change of scenery she needs. If trying to be taken seriously in the world of sports writing wasn't hard enough, Ryan, her college crush, is only making it Journalist Samantha Jameson always wanted to be one of the boys, but Ryan Terell won't let her join the club. Fresh from the battlegrounds of Iraq, reporting on a bunch of overgrown boys playing pro football is just the change of scenery she needs. If trying to be taken seriously in the world of sports writing wasn't hard enough, Ryan, her college crush, is only making it harder. As a tight-end for the team she's covering, he is strictly off limits. Ryan Terell is a playmaker on and off the field, but when Samantha uncovers his moves, he throws out the playbook. Just as he claims his sweetest victory, Samantha's investigation into a steroid scandal involving his team forces him to call a time-out to their off the record trysts. But then a life threatening injury on the field will force them both to decide just how far they'll go to win the game. Winner of the NERWA First Kiss Contest A Kindle Bestseller.


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Journalist Samantha Jameson always wanted to be one of the boys, but Ryan Terell won't let her join the club. Fresh from the battlegrounds of Iraq, reporting on a bunch of overgrown boys playing pro football is just the change of scenery she needs. If trying to be taken seriously in the world of sports writing wasn't hard enough, Ryan, her college crush, is only making it Journalist Samantha Jameson always wanted to be one of the boys, but Ryan Terell won't let her join the club. Fresh from the battlegrounds of Iraq, reporting on a bunch of overgrown boys playing pro football is just the change of scenery she needs. If trying to be taken seriously in the world of sports writing wasn't hard enough, Ryan, her college crush, is only making it harder. As a tight-end for the team she's covering, he is strictly off limits. Ryan Terell is a playmaker on and off the field, but when Samantha uncovers his moves, he throws out the playbook. Just as he claims his sweetest victory, Samantha's investigation into a steroid scandal involving his team forces him to call a time-out to their off the record trysts. But then a life threatening injury on the field will force them both to decide just how far they'll go to win the game. Winner of the NERWA First Kiss Contest A Kindle Bestseller.

30 review for Playing For Keeps ('Fantasy' Football #1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    2.5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    It was okay, but basic at best. Had the author injected more emotion into the characters, it would have been easier to connect with them. We got very little back story on Samantha and even less on Ryan. Considering the ordeal the Samantha endured as a journalist in Iraq, I would have thought the author would have used that to add some more feeling to Samantha’s character. Ryan…well his childhood was hinted at, and that was it, then nothing, it would have been such an emotional draw! The plot was It was okay, but basic at best. Had the author injected more emotion into the characters, it would have been easier to connect with them. We got very little back story on Samantha and even less on Ryan. Considering the ordeal the Samantha endured as a journalist in Iraq, I would have thought the author would have used that to add some more feeling to Samantha’s character. Ryan…well his childhood was hinted at, and that was it, then nothing, it would have been such an emotional draw! The plot was cute, some spicy sex scenes, but the story lost its way, went off in several different directions without explanation as to how it got there. In the midst of all this, there is a secondary romance and the thoughts of those characters added to the confusion. The author’s effort in writing this story should have remained solely on Samantha and Ryan, even the epilogue was lost to them. Not bad for .99, a decent no frills romance.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I loved this story – I’m was a cheerleader when I was 8 – my brother played football and my dad was the coach for a few years. We watched it on TV every Sunday and Monday, And then I married a man who hates football *is that possible??* Reading this story brought back a lot of fun memories from when I was a child. I love the games and the action. Although this story didn’t have a lot To do with football, being familiar with the “Hot” players out on the field, I could visualize just how big and row I loved this story – I’m was a cheerleader when I was 8 – my brother played football and my dad was the coach for a few years. We watched it on TV every Sunday and Monday, And then I married a man who hates football *is that possible??* Reading this story brought back a lot of fun memories from when I was a child. I love the games and the action. Although this story didn’t have a lot To do with football, being familiar with the “Hot” players out on the field, I could visualize just how big and rowdie the players were in this book. I am in Love with Ryan and Jake – In this story, we got not only one great story about Ryan and Samantha, but we got TWO fun stories About Jake and Hanna as well! Awesome! The story starts off with Samantha jumping back into Sports. She’s a writer for the paper, and she’s good at what she does. Naturally, since her father Was a sports news writer before he retired, she grew up knowing about the game. Ryan is the star of the NY Cougars football team. He’s also a close friend of Samantha’s family. He went to High school with her brother. And her father was the One that called the scouts out to watch Ryan play football and got his career on the move. He went to Notre Dame with Samantha. And even though they both Had feelings for each other, Samantha was forced to keep her distance because of her writing. Being a sports writer and sleeping with the captain of the football team Would only cause gossip and chaos to her career. So they kept their distance. After 10 years, while Samantha was writing news for a paper, she went to Iraq to get a story about the troups. She was involved in a car bombing and went missing for 3 days. She didn’t want to talk about it. She lived the nightmares every night – What she didn’t know is how Worried Ryan was during those 3 days he sat with the family. After Samantha decided it was time to get back into Sports… sports were safer (so she thought) SO headed into the locker room after the game, she gets stopped by the security guards. Being a female sports writer caused her more delays then not. Everyone thought She was a groupie, So she had to prove herself. She was nervous about seeing Ryan. When he was in college playing football with her brother, he viewed women as playthings. Sure, he had a great packaging, but underneath the chiseled exterior was a man who hadn’t socially evolved from dragging his knuckles on the ground. After she got into the locker room, she walked straight up to Ryan. Fresh from the shower with a towel wrapped around his hips. She reminded herself she was a professional journalist and not some love struck teenager. Ryan bend forward to give her a quick kiss on the forehead, like she was his kid sister. She didn’t want to be his kid sister, but never wanted to be one of his “women” either. After she asked her questions and moved on to the other players, Jake walks over to Ryan stunned. “Man you’ve got it bad, not that I blame you. She is – “ A lesbian.” Maybe if they believed it the guys would leave her alone. Ryan didn’t want other women – He had talked himself into believing he could treat Samantha like his best friend’s little sister, but that wasn’t going to work with those sex scenarios kicking into drive. He knew Samantha wasn’t the time for a fling, and he couldn’t imagine himself as the settling down kind. But a woman like Samantha could make a guy re-think his position on the state of matrimony. Samantha follows the team to an away game, getting out of her cab, she noticed the players getting mulled by the groupies. Mostly slipping their hotel keys in their pockets, or trying to pick them up for a good time. She knew this, and expected it, but she couldn’t believe her jealousy when she saw a blonde slipping her key into Ryan’s back pocket. Yikes! That night when she slept in her room, her nightmares from Iraq woke her up. From experience she knew she wasn’t going to get back to sleep. So she went downstairs to the hotel’s gym. Walking in on Ryan who was lifting weights, she waked over to the treadmill to begin her run. When Ryan took off his shirt , her mind got distracted and she lost her footing and slipping on the treadmill, Ryan was right there to catch her… “are you ok? “ “yes” “Are you sure? Because I trained as a doctor between the ages of 4 and 5” – she laughed “What’s the cure for a bruised ego?” “This” He leaned his head down and brushed her lips with his in a gentle caress. “Feel better?” HA! Not even a little bit  Things pick up and let’s just say – WOW! I’ll never be able to look at another inner thigh machine the same way again  So now that Ryan and Samantha are having a secret fling, let’s see about Jake and Hanna, Hanna is a model who is Samantha’s roommate. They went to high school together, and after Samantha got home from Iraq, she didn’t want to go home, but didn’t want to live alone. So Hanna took her in. They became best friends. Because Samantha is a writer for the football team, Hanna knows enough to know that Jake is HOT and she is interested.. They are similar in a way. Being a top model, she has had her share of wine and dine and hot dates. She is afraid of her heart being broken so she never dates more than a few dates at a time. But there’s something about Jake that has her interested. When Jake finds out that Samantha is Hanna’s roommate, he asks for her phone number. Samantha gives him the “be warned” bout Hanna and gives him the number. Jake asks Ryan what that meant, and he shrugged and said “she’s a man eater” Ok this is too long. Too much awesomeness in this book! I couldn’t stop reading. I have a ton of quotes that I marked that I wanted to add into this but I don’t want to give away too much . Let’s just say this book is Great! I loved the sense of Humor. I loved the friendship between the 4 of them. And I’m looking forward to April 2012 when Jake and Hanna’s story comes out. We got to see how they met, and you could defiantly see the sparks there 

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mandi Schreiner

    Samantha Jameson has had a crush on Ryan Terell for a long time. Through college, she kept the football star in her sights, but nothing ever came of her attraction to him. Samantha starts her post-college life as a hard-core journalist, traveling to the middle east to cover the war. After a brutal time, where she is kidnapped for three days she is now back in the states, and has decided to take an easier reporting job, now covering the pro-football team, the cougars, where Ryan plays as a tight- Samantha Jameson has had a crush on Ryan Terell for a long time. Through college, she kept the football star in her sights, but nothing ever came of her attraction to him. Samantha starts her post-college life as a hard-core journalist, traveling to the middle east to cover the war. After a brutal time, where she is kidnapped for three days she is now back in the states, and has decided to take an easier reporting job, now covering the pro-football team, the cougars, where Ryan plays as a tight-end. Walking into the post-game locker room is quite intimidating, first having to prove she can be one of the guys, and also trying to prove to herself that she doesn’t have to peek down south, when Ryan drops his towel. Samantha wants to excel in this job and knows she has to be professional, which means not accepting the advances of Ryan who is very interested in her. Playing for Keeps has a nice set-up and I’m always looking for a good sports romance, but this one didn’t quite do it for me. First, Samantha eludes to the fact that she is suffering greatly from being kidnapped in Iraq. When the story starts, she has been home for only about one month, and we see her suffer from a bad nightmare and she says: Samantha couldn’t tell anybody. Even in her last article, filed while she waited for a flight home, she sugarcoated the ordeal. A reporter shouldn’t become the story. Her job was about other people’s experiences, not her own. Other journalists would’ve sucked the life out of it, maybe vie for a Pulitzer, but not Samantha. Not now, anyway. She learned her lesson. No one would ever know the whole story, nor the guilt or shame she carried away from it. And the thing is that – we never learn it. I wanted to see the aftermath of her recovering from a horrendous situation. But we never dive into it, yet she uses it as an excuse as to why she can’t get close to Ryan. For most of the book she seems carefree and happy. To me, the PTSD of her kidnap ordeal, didn’t fit with her character in this book. If she was truly suffering from the effects of being kidnapped and abused, I feel like the resulting PTSD would hit her not just during convenient times, like having a nightmare. It might creep up when she was not expecting it. But in this book, it never does. Along the same lines, I had a hard time connecting with Ryan. He never felt like a pro-football player. Just a guy always trying to woo Samantha and it never works. I wanted him more masculine – actually more anything. He comes across flat and didn’t have a spark of personality I could latch onto. I also felt the blurb to be a bit misleading. The steroid scandal is barely touched on and the life threatening injury doesn’t come into play until the very end. I guess I’m also just not a fan of this author’s writing style. Many times in the book, the characters internal monologue would be filled with questions. For example: Ryan assumed it’d been about the game. Was something going on between them? What was he thinking? But this happened all the time. Also, section breaks would end with – “Let’s get some grub. The team held up dinner for you. We’re starving” “Yeah me, too.” But not for food. or If what happened in the elevator was the appetizer, it wetted her hunger for the buffet. Those types of things just didn’t allow me to become immersed in the story and along with the other issues I had, this one didn’t work for me. Rating: D

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fedora

    Three and a half stars. Playing for Keeps features journalist Samantha Jameson and football player Ryan Terell. They've known each other for ages, and have danced around a mutual attraction for a while. Samantha's freshly returned from some pretty harrowing experiences covering the violence in Iraq, while Ryan's been making a name for himself on the field. Their circumstances keep them trying to avoid acting on the clear tension between them, and then when they finally cave, keep them from going p Three and a half stars. Playing for Keeps features journalist Samantha Jameson and football player Ryan Terell. They've known each other for ages, and have danced around a mutual attraction for a while. Samantha's freshly returned from some pretty harrowing experiences covering the violence in Iraq, while Ryan's been making a name for himself on the field. Their circumstances keep them trying to avoid acting on the clear tension between them, and then when they finally cave, keep them from going public with a relationship. While I do think that some of the story could have used more depth, Playing for Keeps is definitely an enjoyable read, and I'm anxious to pick up the next in the series, about Samantha's roommate Hannah, and one of Ryan's teammates/friends, Jake...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book was a pretty quick enjoyable read but the author pulled a lot of punches that could have made this a really stellar book. Both MCs have something traumatizing in their past. The hero's is honestly really glazed over and the heroine's accounting of her trauma is pretty emotionless and shallow. This could have been a beautiful story of two people healing each other's past and starting a future but the author refused to take it to a dark place for whatever reason so we're left with a tepi This book was a pretty quick enjoyable read but the author pulled a lot of punches that could have made this a really stellar book. Both MCs have something traumatizing in their past. The hero's is honestly really glazed over and the heroine's accounting of her trauma is pretty emotionless and shallow. This could have been a beautiful story of two people healing each other's past and starting a future but the author refused to take it to a dark place for whatever reason so we're left with a tepid story of the jock and the journalist which is nothing novel. If the writing alone had been stellar this might have still been something to write about but it was just horribly edited. The author has talent but i spent far too much time wanting to take a red pen to such things as "creditability" and and "his cocked begged too" along with your more everyday typos and misused words. Luckily I managed to like the characters enough to get over this. Both the MCs and the secondary cast were really compelling and had the ups and downs that make for a realistic person. However again their stories lacked the depth they could have had if the author had been willing to go there. Because she didn't i honestly can't say much about the characters because they weren't that different than most romance MCs. Heroine is sweet but not a pushover. Hero is a big guy with a bigger heart and the biggest penis (which he decided to only use on the heroine after years of being a manwhore). I liked these two together but the romance was oddly paced. You have the start of a nice relationship developing at a normal rate then all of a sudden its move in with me...jk..actually not jk MARRY ME. It just felt very rushed like the author was ready to just be finished writing but had to get to the HEA. The sex scenes were definitely really hot but the kink level was super low (not necessarily a minus for those like this that were done well). Bottom line: I enjoyed this but the idea of what this could have been devastates me because what it could have been was something i told everyone about and reread over and over again. I'll read the next one because it's short and i'm curious but unless that one has more heft than this (and better editing) i don't foresee continuing on

  7. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Out of 5 star: Overall: 3 Romance: 3 Sensuality: 2 Sex: 2.5 Hero: Ryan,4.5 Heroine: Samantha, 3 Secondary Characters: 3 Likely hood of reading the rest of the series: 3 I really liked this book until the last 15-20%. Then I just liked it. First let me say I loved, no I mean LOVED Ryan. He was so sweet I just wanted to hug him and kiss him and call him mine! I though that Liz Matis did a good job at creating a believable all around good man. Who had been a different man 10 years ago when Samantha had conti Out of 5 star: Overall: 3 Romance: 3 Sensuality: 2 Sex: 2.5 Hero: Ryan,4.5 Heroine: Samantha, 3 Secondary Characters: 3 Likely hood of reading the rest of the series: 3 I really liked this book until the last 15-20%. Then I just liked it. First let me say I loved, no I mean LOVED Ryan. He was so sweet I just wanted to hug him and kiss him and call him mine! I though that Liz Matis did a good job at creating a believable all around good man. Who had been a different man 10 years ago when Samantha had continually turned him down. My big complaint would be that we are not really given much of back story on him. We are told that he was brought up in foster care but we don't know why. I found that pretty annoying. Also I really wanted to see him be welcomed into Samantha's family. I feel like it was such an important thing to him that there should have been a heartfelt touching moment where he was welcomed maybe something like Samantha's dad calling him son. i don't know something I liked Samantha as well not as much as Ryan though. My big complaint was that when she finally had her big reveal moment with Ryan about what happend in Iraq it just fell short for me. It should have been more in-depth, been more of a tear producing moment. Still a pretty good book. It could have been better though.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    When I read this book I felt that anyone could have lived it. Yes it's not very common to know and grow up with a famous model friend or a famous football player but it has happened to people who are not me. The book is short but complete. It's nice because it's not a series and the story can be completed. There is really no wondering what will happen next. Which is a nice break from all the other series I read that have over ten books in a series. In this book You meet Samantha and Ryan who have When I read this book I felt that anyone could have lived it. Yes it's not very common to know and grow up with a famous model friend or a famous football player but it has happened to people who are not me. The book is short but complete. It's nice because it's not a series and the story can be completed. There is really no wondering what will happen next. Which is a nice break from all the other series I read that have over ten books in a series. In this book You meet Samantha and Ryan who have known each other since their teen years. In this book they rekindle their friendship and then some. I liked Ryan a lot. He has such a great personality and I wish I could meet a guy like him. He is very witty and when he wants something he doesn't stop till he gets it. Of course being a guy he always has to question his thoughts and how he feels and that's typical. Any other way and he would be a male. Samantha is very closed off but not as much as her friend Hannah. She goes through a traumatic experience and doesn't really deal well. She just wants to fit in with one of the guys and make a name for herself and will do anything to achieve her goal. I recommend this book. If you want to read a book that is a nice and simple read this is that book. Happy Reading!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lady

    •••I listened to the Audible Audio Edition of this book••• The ExWar Reporter And The Football Star? This series must be listened to(or read) in order. This is the first book. I can't wait to listen to Going For It! Sam was captured and tortured in Iraq. She was rescued and came home. She CAN'T GO BACK! Ever. So now she is going to be a sports reporter. She survived insurgents and war zones... How hard could it possibly be? The guy she has had a mad crush on for over ten years just happens to be a •••I listened to the Audible Audio Edition of this book••• The ExWar Reporter And The Football Star? This series must be listened to(or read) in order. This is the first book. I can't wait to listen to Going For It! Sam was captured and tortured in Iraq. She was rescued and came home. She CAN'T GO BACK! Ever. So now she is going to be a sports reporter. She survived insurgents and war zones... How hard could it possibly be? The guy she has had a mad crush on for over ten years just happens to be a star on the team she covers... How will she resist him? He seems to want to ruin her career... Or does he truly care? Will she be able to hack it in sports reporting? Or will the irresistible Ryan prove to be too much of a temptation? Ryan has been trying to catch Sam's eye for the last ten years and blnow is his chance! Has he changed enough to be worthy of her? Wait... Is he interested in more than a fling? Will she ever take him seriously? Or will he always be the big dumb jock not worthy of a place in her life? ***This series is suitable for adult readers who enjoy chicklit steamy sports romances with a HEA and a good dose of humor :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    WOW, talk about sizzle! Samantha and Ryan rock. If you're looking for some romance and can devote about 2 hours to an enjoyable read, this one is for you. I found myself begging Samantha to hook up with Ryan much sooner than she did. I also wanted her to trust him with her dreams and nightmares so their souls could touch. Enjoyable quick read for fans of romance with some heated sex.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Very good story about sports journalist, Samanatha, and a old family friend and sports star, Ryan. We learn early on that Samantha just returned from coming Iraq and she is carrying ghosts. Ryan wishes Samanatha would trust him enough to tel him what happened in Iraq. It is a fast read and a great way to spend a raining day.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aliya DalRae

    "Playing for Keeps" is a romance novel - pure and simple. It's light, for the most part, with lots of steamy love scenes, playful banter and the typical "come here, come here, no get away, get away" that are required in a good romance. A fun, quick read with an excellent set up for the next installment coming out in April. Looking forward to it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Just ok, although LM always gives a few laughable lines - "Are you okay?”…… He kept his hands on her waist “Are you sure? Because I trained as a doctor between the ages of 4 and 5. “

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    As always, Liz Matis does not disappoint. Loved this story and the whole series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I really liked this short fun read, I only wish it was longer. I'm looking forward to Jake and Hannah's story in Going For It. 3.5 stars

  16. 4 out of 5

    Beate

    Review to come.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Predictable but fun This is a nice mix of romance, sex and fun. The outcome is pretty predictable, but it is still an enjoyable read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Chalifoux

    Sounds like a great book. Makes me want to read more. You sound like a great author. I wish I could write romance books or any kind of books.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen Cino

    I absolutely enjoyed this book. If you are a football fan, then this is the series for you. When you finish reading this book, you'll be looking up your old high school/college crush.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Awesome read. I love to read hot romance that includes a Bad, Sexy Football player. Looking forward to the next book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I thought it was cute! Maybe just a little to short. I would have liked to hear more from the brother Patrick...maybe a comming soon? ;)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Calabrese

    I'm a sucker for sports romance novels and this one didn't disappoint!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Smith

    loved this book just a feel good story to keep you company!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nothing Like A Good Book!!!! wood

    JUST LOVED IT!!!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Moran

    I really enjoyed reading Playing For Keeps and I can't wait to read Going For It next month!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Green

    Freebie What a lovely story. Hot scenes, second chances and a forbidden relationship of sorts. I loved how it focused between the four of them and hope it carries on the same way in the next instalment.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Francine Caleca

    Great sports romance story!! Loved Samantha and Ryan and her big, nosey Irish family.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lishani

    Loved it!! First of the Author. Story had depth and kept moving. I loved Ryan's character and sam had depth. Will be reading Jake and Hannah story next

  29. 5 out of 5

    Oleander

    A light, ok read. Nothing special.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I liked this book just fine, but it didn't make me feel much when I was reading it. Good or bad. I've seen the whole female sports-reporter gets involved with male athlete she's covering been done better and with hotter chemistry(i.e. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson - loved it!) . I felt like the author tried to make it a bit heavier by adding in the Iraqi war aspect in Samantha's past, but I still felt like this was just another fluffy romance novel. Which means it served it's purpose of offeri I liked this book just fine, but it didn't make me feel much when I was reading it. Good or bad. I've seen the whole female sports-reporter gets involved with male athlete she's covering been done better and with hotter chemistry(i.e. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson - loved it!) . I felt like the author tried to make it a bit heavier by adding in the Iraqi war aspect in Samantha's past, but I still felt like this was just another fluffy romance novel. Which means it served it's purpose of offering me a nice distraction for a day or two, but not much else. There weren't a lot of tension or angst-filled moments that I like so much, and hardly any real build up to a climax (which as we all know, can sometimes be the best part!). I have a feeling I'm going to forget this book in a week, but it was nice while it lasted. 3/5 stars

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