The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich
Published by William Morrow ISBN 978-0-06223486-2
Trade paperback, $15.99, 256 pages
A few years ago I read a debut novel by author Stephanie Evanovich, Big Girl Panties, and beyond loving the title, I really enjoyed the book about Logan Montgomery, a hot trainer who brings Holly, a young widow, out of her shell. I finished the book and wanted to read more about two secondary characters, baseball superstar Chase and his sassy wife Amanda.
When The Sweet Spot was published the following year, I was so excited that we got to find out how Chase and Amanda got together, and I loved it even more than Big Girl Panties.
Evanovich just published her third book, The Total Package, about a big shot quarterback, Tyson Palmer, who trashes his career. When Palmer hits bottom, the owner of the Austin Mavericks picks him up and makes him the cornerstone of his team, hoping to win the Super Bowl.
Palmer digs in and works to make himself one of the league's best quarterbacks. When hot young wide receiver Marcus LaRue joins the Mavericks, he hopes that he and Palmer can be a dream team. LaRue's only request is that the team hire a young reporter, Dani Carr, to be his media person. He will only allow Carr to interview him, no one else.
Carr leaves her young son behind in Philadelphia with her supportive family- Mom, Dad and brothers- to take advantage of this possible career-building opportunity. She concentrates on the work, and hopes that no one discovers her secret.
Tyson is attracted to Carr but finds it hard to break through her shell. LaRue too is very secretive. He doesn't party like a rock star and he is never seen in the company of the many young ladies who seek his attention. And for some reason LaRue keeps pushing for Tyson and Dani to get together.
The Total Package is Evanovich's best book yet. Her characters feel like people you would know, especially Dani's close-knit Italian family. They are the family we all want to have. It's nice to read a book where the characters are kind to each other and support each other, even when they make mistakes.
I'm more of a baseball fan than football fan, but that didn't stop me from loving everything about this book. And I cried tears of joy when old friends Logan and Holly and Chase and Amanda made an appearance in the book. It was so much fun to see Chase and Amanda's wedding from a different perspective.
Evanovich's writing is sharp in this book, and you will find yourself racing through it to finish it. Like her first two books, it is sexy (oh, those sex scenes!) and sassy and this one has such a sweetness to it it is heartwarming.
Now I am hoping that the next book will tell us more about Marcus LaRue's story (and not just because Marcus and I share a surname). He may be Evanovich's most intriguing character yet and I want to find out more about where he came from and where he is going.
The Total Package is a great book to give your best girlfriend and you may want to read the steamier scenes out loud to your significant other, you know for inspiration. It's like Fifty Shades of Grey, except much better written and with a lot more heart. I give it my highest recommendation.
Stephanie Evanovich's website is here.
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