Published by Lauren Blakely Books, Little Dog Press on 9th June 2021
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The woman I want is as off-limits as they come.
I had an excuse two years ago when I met her on campus. She interviewed me for a story on major league baseball's rising stars, and we shared a hot, passionate night that ended far too soon, and without a mention of who her father was.
Now I know the innocent but sexy woman I can’t stop thinking about is the coach's daughter.
That means her dad is the guy who determines if I bat fourth in the starting lineup in every game, or ride the bench.
All the more reason to resist alluring, confident, brainy Reese every time I run into the reporter-turned-sports publicist.
That ought to be easy enough, until the time she confesses she's still carrying her V card, and she’s been wanting me to cash it in since the day we met.
Staying away from her is going to be harder than resisting a fastball down the middle.
Especially since I'm pretty sure she's the one who got away, and letting her slip through my fingers again would be a rookie mistake.
‘The Virgin Game-plan’, despite the rather non-enticing and somewhat cringey title, is a very tight and sweet second-chances lovers-to-lovers story with a gap of two years in between where neither one forgot each other.
Whatever you’d like to call Reese’s and Holden’s relationship, I’d give Lauren Blakely kudos for making it open, mature and honest. Whenever you think something might end up being a potential for blow-up for conflict sometime later down the road, it’s immediately nipped in the bud, resolved through talking and/or mature decision-making.
In this respect, ‘The Virgin Game-Plan’ is—like so many of Blakely’s other books—nearly angst-free, primed for easy readability, with family-issues coming to the fore with forgiveness and reconciliation becoming the prime movers in all characters going forward with as little of a grudge as possible.
Many of the supporting cast in Blakely’s books do come and go in a way that’s non-intrusive: their stories are those that I’d probably read and forgotten, sad to say. But they don’t really detract from Holden/Reese’s story, only that they add to the general sense of the happy-ever-after type of lightness that gives romance escapism its famed high and the glittering stardust.
My only (minor?) complaint that the trade-off for readability is memorability: the very prolific Blakely writes fun and generally-likeable characters and protagonists of late, but after a while, their stories (not helped by the sheer number that Blakely churns out) seem to coalesce into a familiar pattern of flying through a book then easily forgetting about it a day or so later.