This book's eye-catching cover and glowing reviews have kept it on my radar for a long time, but the $9.99 Kindle price meant I left it on my TBR list for months. Unfortunately, the end result of all this hesitating was an explicit, disconnected sex life being acted out by characters who I never warmed up to.
The sex scenes in THE PERFECT PLAY definitely tend towards erotica, and maybe all that steam is what had so many other readers swooning. For me, however, I've read enough erotica to want a deeper connection that force diagrams and magical orgasms. Megan Hart and Cara McKenna are two great examples of authors that write hot, hot sex without sacrificing any of their characters depth and humanity. Burton tried to give Mick and Tara reasons to stay apart (despite the magic sex), but the problem was that these reasons cycled and recycled and stayed the same the whole book through. There was no interest or surprise in waiting to see if Tara would get out of her own way, or when she would realize that she had misinterpreted Mick's actions (again).
The "Famous Hero/ Ordinary Heroine" trope has long been a favorite of mine, going all the way back to Judith McNaught's PERFECT (when I was just starting to read romance). Of course, over the years, PERFECT had been bumped off my re-read list by Julie James's JUST THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE. A gorgeous, complicated hero meets his match in a smart, sexy, professional heroine that more than stands her ground, she beats him at his own game. Comparing Rylann's humor and wit with Tara's neurotic behavior and magical HooHaa was no contest. I barely squeaked through THE PERFECT PLAY with out relegating it to the DNF pile, but I wanted to finish it so I could post this review. Unless you're looking for an old school brand of "big misunderstanding" and "Mary Sue" characters mixed with a more modern brand of sex scene, this book leaves much to be desired.