Title: The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 256 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
Smart and sexy Dani Carr knows as much about football as any man–maybe more. It’s always been her dream to make a living talking about the game she loves. But Dani’s not interested in being just the usual eye-candy sideline reporter; she wants to be the first woman analyst on a pre-game show, the ultimate in exclusive boys-club jobs. And it turns out, that despite the odds, she has the talent to get her there.
Star quarterback-and heartthrob–Tyson Palmer always did things in spectacular fashion, including ruining his career after debuting as a first-round draft pick. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone…except Dani, who appears to be using her high-profile commentator job to make a name for herself at his expense.
Dani refuses to let anyone forget about Tyson’s transgressions….and for good reason. There’s history between these two, sizzling history that dates back to their college days, and it ended in another spectacular flame-out of Tyson’s. He’s conveniently forgotten all about that episode because Dani is no longer the cute girl next door he barely remembers–she’s a bombshell with huge ratings and a long memory.
But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other in the process? And what will happen when Tyson-riding high on his career comeback-realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani?
The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich is a sweet romance between a recovering bad boy quarterback and a sexy sports commentator harboring a mighty big secret.
Number one draft pick and star quarterback Tyson Palmer’s spectacular fall from grace was well documented in the media. An alcoholic with a pain pill addiction and a few sex scandals under his belt, Tyson hits rock bottom in a big way but surprisingly, Austin Mavericks owner Clint Barrow offers him the deal of a lifetime: he will pay for Tyson’s rehab as long as he commits to maintaining his sobriety and signs a three year deal with the Mavericks. Grateful for the opportunity while at the same time unsure he can follow through, Tyson accepts his offer and once he makes it through a brutal detox, he is well on his way to staging a successful comeback. Fast forward a few years and the still clean and sober superstar is ready to retire when his personal nemesis on the playing field, Marcus LaRue, makes a deal with Barrow that brings Tyson face to face with someone from his notorious past.
Sports commentator Dani Carr is not exactly Tyson’s biggest fan and she avoids him as much as possible. But when she makes a connection with media shy Marcus and he insists the Mavericks hire her as his personal media spokeswoman, she leaves behind her family to temporarily move to Austin. While she has good reason to dislike the man Tyson once was, Dani continues to hold a grudge for their somewhat complicated history. Although she finally realizes he genuinely regrets his past actions, Dani still tries to stay as far away from Tyson as possible because she has been hiding a huge secret from him.
Publicity shy Marcus is an enigmatic character who is much more perceptive than he lets on. He is quiet, reserved and tries to maintain as low a profile as possible. Even after months of spending time with him, Dani does not know him any better than she did when they first met, but he is surprisingly observant and offers her sound advice about her relationship with Tyson. But will Dani takes his words to heart? Or will she let a future with Tyson slip through her fingers?
A wonderful blend of realistic issues and laugh out loud humor, The Total Package is an engaging romance that old and new fans of Stephanie Evanovich are sure to love. The storyline is fast-paced with underlying themes of redemption and forgiveness that give the plot substance and depth. The characters are appealing and their growth throughout the story is absolutely phenomenal. An all around outstanding read that I positively adored and highly recommend.