Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game

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by Jackie Barbosa

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Skin in the Game by Jackie Barbosa
Angela Peterson was always the quiet, shy kid growing up in Harper Falls, crushing on the high school quarterback and honing her football strategy skills. Now grown up and coaching the high school team, she's shocked when that same sexy quarterback returns to Harper Falls asks her back to his hotel room. And then tries to steal

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Skin in the Game by Jackie Barbosa
Angela Peterson was always the quiet, shy kid growing up in Harper Falls, crushing on the high school quarterback and honing her football strategy skills. Now grown up and coaching the high school team, she's shocked when that same sexy quarterback returns to Harper Falls asks her back to his hotel room. And then tries to steal her job.
Injured NFL quarterback Cade Reynolds is in Harper Falls to take over as interim head coach, and he never thought the tall, blond bombshell he propositioned would offer up any resistance. Not to a repeat of the amazingly wild night they shared and certainly not to his coaching position.
But the Harper Falls High Eagles are Angie's team, and even the hometown hero won't take that away from her, no matter how hot he is. As the two engage in a battle of wits and wills, this is one game neither is prepared to lose.

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Entangled Publishing, LLC
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Skin in the Game

A Play Action Novel

By Jackie Barbosa, Stacy Abrams

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2013 Jackie Barbosa
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-793-2


Cade Reynolds sat in the back corner of Cafe du Coeur, Harper Falls's answer to Starbucks, sipping a steaming cup of black coffee and watching the denizens of his home town come and go. So far, he hadn't seen anyone he recognized, which he supposed shouldn't surprise him. Harper Falls had changed a lot in the sixteen years he'd been gone, growing in that time from a sleepy farming community to a decent-sized suburb of the nearby Twin Cities.

What did surprise him was that no one had recognized him. Not the slightly sullen teenage girl behind the counter with the lip ring and bright orange hair. Not the elderly gentleman wearing the Minnesota Vikings jersey who'd been standing behind him in line. Not even the middle-aged woman who now sat at the table across from his. Although she stole a glance at him every few minutes over the top of the book she was reading, he had a pretty good idea it was because he bore a more-than-passing resemblance to the shirtless hunk on the cover of her romance novel and not because she'd realized she was sitting in a coffee shop in Harper Falls with its one and only bona fide homegrown hero, Cade Reynolds. He was the quarterback who'd won the Harper Falls Eagles their first — and as yet only — Minnesota State Championship in his senior year and had since gone on to a national title at USC, a Heisman trophy nomination, and three Pro Bowls. And then there were the print endorsements and television ad campaigns he'd done, not to mention his regular appearances in Sports Illustrated and on the covers of any number of tabloids. The only way he could have made himself more famous would be by dating a Kardashian.

But since he hadn't taken a snap in the almost two years since the tackle that had shattered his collarbone and throwing shoulder, he'd been mostly out of sight, so maybe he shouldn't be surprised that his face and name had faded from the public consciousness. In a way, it was nice not to have to duck the paparazzi for a moment of peace. Notwithstanding, one would think in Harper Falls, Minnesota, of all places, he'd be as instantly recognizable as Jesse Ventura, and he wasn't sure whether to be relieved or insulted.

He was turning this over in his mind when she walked in.


Every other thought drained from his brain along with about half his blood. All he could think was that she was the most gloriously sexy woman he'd ever seen in his life.

Shoulder-length blond hair caressed the nape of her neck as she strolled up to the counter on legs that, like the last two minutes of a close football game, seemed to go on forever. Cade guessed she must be five- ten or five-eleven in bare feet, but unlike most exceptionally tall women he knew, she didn't try to disguise or underplay her impressive height by wearing flats. Instead, her feet were encased in a pair of sandals with a good two inches of heel and one of those straps that hooked around the ankle. In combination with her incredibly long, slender legs and the close-fitting calf-length pants she wore, the effect of that strap was so sexy, his comfortable jeans were getting decidedly uncomfortable. He imagined those trim ankles, encircled by that thread of leather, wrapped around his waist, and got more uncomfortable still.

When she reached the counter, the teenage barista's dour expression brightened, and the girl spoke in animated tones. Straining to hear the conversation, Cade shifted in the unpadded wooden chair that, like certain parts of his anatomy, seemed to have grown harder.

"Oh, Miss Peterson, you won't believe it," the barista said, excitement making her breathless. "I got an A on my first college calculus test. I can't thank you enough for the help."

Miss Peterson, eh? That was a definite plus.

Although calculus wasn't exactly the first thing that crossed his mind when he looked at her. No, the kind of math she made him think about was a lot more basic — as in one and one makes two.

"Oh, Hannah, I'm so happy to hear that. But you did it all yourself, honestly. I just gave you a little push in the right direction."

A wide, genuine smile spread across Miss Peterson's features as she spoke, making her look less like a fashion model and more like the girl next door. A girl he'd like to get to know better. Too bad he was only going to be in town for a few weeks, or a month at the most.

Certainly not long enough to delve into anything much deeper than basic arithmetic.

"Well, I couldn't have done it without you," Hannah gushed on, "and your drink today is on the house."

"Oh, you don't have to do that," Miss Peterson demurred, reaching into the small handbag slung over her shoulder to retrieve her wallet.

"Yeah, I do. You spent a lot of your own time helping me. It's the least I can do." Hannah leaned forward and added conspiratorially, "Besides, I get the company discount."

Miss Peterson laughed, a rich, full-throated sound that filled the shop. The woman reading the romance novel turned around and glared, obviously not pleased to be interrupted from whatever the shirtless guy on the cover was doing inside the pages; Cade suspected math of the one-plus-one-equals-two variety and envied the character his good fortune.

"All right, but only this once. You need to save up your money for college tuition, not spend it on me."

"I know, I know. Don't worry. You want the usual, right?"

Miss Peterson nodded and stepped away from the counter, leaving Cade to wonder what "the usual" was. He hoped it wasn't one of those fancy sweet drinks women seemed so fond of that were more like milkshakes than a good old cup of Joe. A person who drank coffee should actually enjoy coffee, not cover it up to make it taste like something else.

She turned away from him and bent over to rifle through the rack containing discarded sections of the newspaper, treating him to a near-heart-attack-inducing view of her curvy backside. By the time she straightened back up, he was lightheaded. Then he got downright dizzy, because she hadn't selected the Fashion or Arts section, or even the front page, but Sports.

"Here's your nonfat latte with an extra shot," Hannah called.

Holy hell, maybe he'd died and gone to heaven. A tall, beautiful blonde with a great figure who liked sports and took her latte with an extra shot? She was almost too perfect to be real.

She deposited the Sports section back in the bin, retrieved her coffee from the counter, and turned to leave the shop. He was prepared to run out after her if necessary, because there was no way he was letting her get away without asking her out to dinner. Fortunately, he didn't need to go to such drastic lengths. Her gaze swung toward the corner he was sitting in and came to rest on him. And rest it did, long and hard, her blue eyes narrowing for a second before widening again and flickering with recognition.

Cade Reynolds was no longer incognito.

* * *

Angie clutched her coffee cup so hard, she nearly crushed it.

Cade Reynolds. Bigger than life and twice as natural. Okay, maybe three times as natural. Because Cade Reynolds had never done anything by mere doubles in his life.

What on earth was he doing here? Not just here in Café du Coeur — which wasn't even as popular with the locals as the Starbucks ten miles away in Chisago City — but here in Harper Falls? A place he'd left almost immediately after graduating high school, followed in short succession by both his sisters and then his widowed mother, who had retired to Florida after raising three kids on her own. What possible reason could he have for coming back after all these years?

As if his presence weren't unsettling enough, his eyes met hers. They were just like she remembered — thick-lashed, dark brown, and intelligent — but also blazed with a sentiment she'd certainly never been the object of sixteen years ago: open, unapologetic lust. Her body reacted as if she were still fourteen and in the throes of the crush she'd nurtured her entire freshman year. Her stomach flip-flopped, and her heart twisted with nervous excitement.

He lifted his coffee cup in salute and gestured in silent invitation toward the chair from which he'd just removed his booted feet. Jeans and cowboy boots. Angie mentally rolled her eyes. He'd spent too much time in Texas, obviously.

But that didn't make him any less hot. In fact, she doubted anything could make him less hot, short of a restraining order from an ex- girlfriend.

Not that she'd harbored any illusions about his attractiveness in the years since he'd left Harper Falls. She'd watched every televised game he'd played at USC and then subscribed to NFL Sunday Ticket after he'd signed with the Texans, and that meant she'd been a party to his transformation from drool-worthy boy to sex-on-legs man. As a teen, Cade had been almost pretty, his hair worn just long enough to curl at the nape of his neck and around his smooth, boyishly handsome face. Girls had swooned over him the way they swooned over members of the latest boy band. He'd been desirable but safe somehow, his sensuality muted by youth. Over the years, however, everything about his appearance had hardened and sharpened, from the planes of his cheeks and square jawline to the deep cleft in his chin. He'd cropped his hair short, too, accentuating the stark male beauty of his features. There was nothing remotely safe about him any longer, and Angie knew it as well as anyone who'd ever watched him answer questions at a press conference. Still, there was a big difference between admiring a gorgeous specimen of masculinity through the TV screen and being in the same room with him, because she was pretty sure he was sucking up all the oxygen in the small café.

And he was looking at her as if she were having the same effect on him. Which absolutely blew her mind.

One thing was clear, however. He had no idea who she was. He thought she had recognized him because he was Cade Reynolds, NFL quarterback, not because a half a lifetime ago, they'd shared the same high school and a few conversations about life, the universe, and football. Well, technically, football was life, the universe, and everything.

With a concerted effort, she relaxed her grip on the coffee cup and walked toward his table. All gentleman despite the fact that he'd spent the past several seconds undressing her with his eyes, he stood as she approached. Even in her heels, she had to crane her neck to meet his gaze, an unfamiliar but not unpleasant sensation.

"Cade Reynolds," he said in his deep baritone, stretching out his hand in greeting.

Her knees wobbled as she took his hand and shook it. It was warm and dry and positively engulfed hers. He was even bigger and more masculine than she remembered he'd been or imagined he might have become.

"But then, I think you already know that," he added.

She was a little aggravated by his arrogance, but then she remembered the Sports page she'd been perusing and decided there wasn't much point in feigning ignorance.

"You're right, I do."

"I'm flattered," he said, holding on to her hand a few seconds longer than could be considered strictly polite. "I haven't exactly been front and center lately. Out of sight, out of mind, you know."

Okay, she liked him better already. Maybe fame and fortune hadn't turned him into a self-centered jerk after all.

"How's your rehab coming?" Even as she asked the question, the awful image of the tackle that had sidelined his career flashed through her brain.

The linebacker had jumped the snap count and shot straight through the line. The referee blew the play dead, but the linebacker either didn't hear the whistle or flat-out ignored it. Cade had been completely unprotected when the other player's helmet collided with his throwing shoulder. The offending linebacker had been ejected, suspended for six games, and fined a hefty sum for the infraction, but it wasn't enough to put Cade's shoulder back together. Angie didn't think she would ever be able to wipe from her memory the image of Cade walking off the field, his lips twisted in a grimace of silent agony, his right arm hanging limp and useless at his side.

As he released her hand, however, she noted that his right arm seemed far from limp or useless now. In fact, based on the musculature rippling beneath his snug-fitting black T-shirt, there was nothing wrong with the man. She swept him head to toe with her eyes. Nope. Nothing at all wrong.

Which did make her wonder whether the rumors of a dependence on prescription painkillers — rumors she'd discounted — might be true, because she could see no visible reason he shouldn't be staging his comeback on the football field instead of killing time in the back corner of a rinky-dink coffee shop in Harper Falls.

"Oh, slow but steady. These things sometimes take longer than we expect," he said with a lazy shrug of his broad shoulders.

"Well, you look fine to me," she blurted, then felt herself turn ketchup-red as she realized how that must sound. She hadn't said it with the emphasis on fine, but she might as well have. Because Cade Reynolds was fine in every way.

His brown eyes twinkled with amusement. "I'm glad you think so. Maybe you could get the message to my physician?"

She breathed a small sigh of relief. He wasn't going to make her feel like a stupid, tongue-tied adolescent fan girl, even though he could have.

"I'm not sure he'd take my word for it."

"He's a she, but you're probably right." Cade gestured again toward the chair. "Sit down and talk a while? I'd like to get to know you better." The husky timbre of his voice said better meant something a lot more intimate than talking.

Not that she was complaining about his intentions. She didn't do one- night-stands or casual flings and never had, even before she'd become a high school teacher in a small town where everyone knew everyone else's business and discretion was unheard of. But for Cade Reynolds, she was willing to make an exception. She'd wanted him for almost half her life, mostly from afar. Now that he was here in Harper Falls and, surreal as it seemed, might want her in return, she wasn't about to turn and walk away.

With a nod, she slid onto the straight-backed wooden chair. "I'd like that, too."

He sank into his own seat and stretched his legs out in front of him. Angie resisted the urge to fan herself as she involuntarily conjured the image of him doing the same thing ... sans jeans.


"So, you teach math?" he asked.

She stopped examining his thighs — okay, to be honest, his crotch — and looked at him in surprise. "How'd you know that?"

"I overheard you talking with the barista."

She clapped her hand over her mouth. "Was I that loud?" Her voice had a tendency to carry, which was useful in the classroom and during football practice but a nuisance pretty much everywhere else.

"No, not at all. Actually, technically, I didn't so much overhear as try really hard to eavesdrop."

Her cheeks flushed, this time with pleasure. That should probably seem more stalkerish than flattering, but it didn't. At least not coming from him.

"So, Miss Peterson, do you have a first name? And can I use it?"

Oh, God. Her name.

He hadn't recognized her yet, but once he heard her name, he might recall a clumsy, four-eyed freshman girl named Angie Peterson. When he did, he'd react like all the other men she'd known in high school did. Like Erik Larson, who remarked at their ten-year reunion — which Cade, blissfully, had missed due to training camp — that, wow, she wasn't coyote-ugly anymore and he'd do her in a heartbeat. Yeah, that had been charming. Or like Matthew Thibodeaux, whom she'd dated for a few months before he dropped his guard and admitted his friends couldn't believe he was shagging the girl they all used to joke about paper- bagging so they could stand to screw her.


Excerpted from Skin in the Game by Jackie Barbosa, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2013 Jackie Barbosa. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Skin in the Game 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
KittyKelly28 More than 1 year ago
As posted on The Smutty Kitty 4.5 out of 5 Licks I really enjoyed this book. For me this is somewhat similar to a friends to lovers story as they knew each other in high school, but they weren't really friends. Angie grew out of her nerdy high school phase into a beautiful woman. I'm not a fan of how much she beats herself up over her past, but I beat myself up pretty hard so I can't complain too much. Cade comes across as a bit pretentious at times, but he tends to check himself when he does. I love that Angie is so into sports. Personally I could care less about sports (although I LOVE reading about sexy sports guys), but I like that Angie is so into it and even though she can dress girly she is just down to earth and doesn't care about what the rest of the world thinks of her. She is thrilled to be coaching high school football-it's exactly where she wants to be. She doesn't have dreams of moving to a big city and striking it rich. She is a small town girl who loves her home. The attraction between the two of them was great. They not only burned up the sheets but they also shared likes and really connected on a mental level too. There was a nice overall flow to the story too. I didn't feel like it really dragged anywhere and once I started reading it I didn't want to but it down. I am assuming this is the start of a series-I'm also crossing my fingers it is because I really want the next story!!!
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
Great Book! I really liked this book!. After I read the synopsis on the publisher's website, I immediately requested an ARC. SKIN IN THE GAME by Jackie Barbosa is a fresh and original sports themed romance with well designed, pragmatic characters. This fast-paced read is engaging and hot. This book is primarily about two people, Angie Peterson and Cade Reynolds. Both Angie and Cade grew up in the small town of Harper Falls, Minnesota. Angie loves her job as a high school math teacher and assistant football coach. She is smart, gorgeous and looks after her widowed father. Cade Reynolds is a very good looking professional football player. Due to an injury, Cade has been out of the game and limelight for a while. He returns to Harper Falls to temporarily coach the football team, while the head coach recuperates from an illness. Angie and Cade meet while getting coffee at Cafe du Coeur. It has been sixteen years since they have last seen each other and now there is an immediate attraction. A hot, emotional relationship develops as their future unfolds and takes form. I highly recommend this book. The small subplot about the risky football play was a bit of a turnoff for me, however, the rest of the story made up for it. The author's writing style flows effortlessly and keeps you captivated. I was gifted this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
JannaShay More than 1 year ago
Brazen and loaded with heat This is a sexy, hot romance that gets the blood pulsing. Jackie Barbosa does a terrific job of creating a tale about a sinfully hot football player and a sexy, beautiful math teacher. It completely lives up to its Brazen imprint. A great contemporary romance that touches the seductive side of relationships, while delivering witty dialogue with memorable characters.  Angie Peterson is an intelligent, strong woman who’s not only a terrific math teacher but also a fantastic football strategist and coach. She was also the geeky high school teenager with an unrequited crush on the star football player. But her geeky days are behind her. She’s now a confident, determined woman who’s also smokin’ hot.  A smart woman who not only teaches high school math but also helps coach the football team. Cade Reynolds is a famous NFL quarterback who is just as popular today as he was when he was the star of his high school football team. When he finds himself sidelined because of a shoulder injury, he returns to his home town to help his sick football coach by stepping in as a temporary coach for the football team. Little did he know that the assistant coach would be so beautiful or that she’d turn his life upside down. The characters are engaging and likeable, and the story moves smoothly.  It contains all the elements of an entertaining and enjoyable read. The chemistry sizzles, the love scenes are steamy, and the romance toe-curling. If you like your romance with plenty of heat, then you definitely want to read this book.    I received a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in exchange for my honest review. Janna Shay Author of Fair Play
BrittanyMarczak More than 1 year ago
Sexy and sweet sports romance. :)
MelodyMay More than 1 year ago
Yesterday, I started Skin in the Game by Jackie Barbosa. My goal was to finish it last night, alas it wasn't in the cards. However, I finished the story today. I must say that it was one hot read. Come on anytime you add a football player to mix it's going to be hot (let's be honest any athlete).  Other than the hotness, this was a fantastic story. How often to do you find a female football coach at anytime. Practically never, but Ms. Barbosa had Angela Peterson being a football coach for her local high school team. Which is unheard of and especially in a small town like Harper Falls. Yet the girl knows how to call plays and happens to be the perfect person for the head coaching job. Yet there's a couple things standing in her way, one being Cade Reynolds. When Cade and Angela get together man talk about some heat. Seriously, they are scorching hot, but that's not the only reason I like this story. I love how the heroine wasn't always a hot little thing, but she had a ugly duckling background. I love that she carries a piece of her past on her heart which really shapes who she is. Cade, I mean there isn't much to say other than he's a hot football player. I think that's all that needs to be said.  Honestly, I really liked the storyline. I think the author did a fantastic job with the story. I really can't wait to see what the next story will bring from this collection. So, if you are hankering for some football or player, I would suggest checking out Skin in the Game. Just don't forget to turn the fan on. Copy provided by the publisher
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book loved angie and cade would recommend it
Lisa-Lou More than 1 year ago
Skin in the Game by Jackie Barbosa is a Play Action novel (first in a series?) about Angela Peterson and Cade Reynolds. Cade is an NFL football player who has been out due to injury over the past two years he comes back to his hometown in Minnesota to help coach his old High School football team.Angela is a football strategist genius. She has loved football since she was little and sat on her dads lap every week watching football together. She is not only a mathematics teacher at the high school, but also the head coach of the football team while the regular coach is out on medical league.They run into each other at a coffee shop and so begins their turbulent interactions.I liked this book very much. I don't really care about football either way, but this isn't a romance book about football, it's just a romance book about people and they happen to be all about football.It was nice seeing a female being successful and dominant in an almost completely male role. It also showed the typical jackass responses from small minded sexist co-worker. It wouldn't be believeable if there wasn't at least one jackass. "She wouldn't lie to herself. There was no future here. This could only turn out one way - badly. And she couldn't bring herself to give a damn." "It was the kiss she'd waited for all her life - an exquisite blend of give and take, of hard and soft, of sweet and dirty. Everything she'd ever dreamed a kiss could be, and yet nothing she'd ever imagined in her wildest fantasies."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is rilly rilly good my dater liks this book and i like this book . My soun has the sereys of all the books . I have the sereys too my dater douse not have the sereys
Lori_Zalewski More than 1 year ago
Find this review and more at Lusty Penguin Reviews! Lovers of football and sports romances will absolutely love Skin in the Game, A Play Action Novel, by Jackie Barbosa. Normally, I’m indifferent about a book’s setting, but his book was set in Minnesota, which was timely because I read it during a weekend trip to Wabasha, MN. Angela “Angie” Peterson eats, breathes, and sleeps football. Angie grew up watching football games with her father, Daryl, learning all about the game. I could really relate to Angie’s character since I watched football with my father, starting when I was five years old and learning about the game he loved too much. Along with teaching math, Angela is an assistant coach of the Harper Falls football team. Angie’s life is turned upside down when former high school star Cade Reynolds returns to town, now a famous, but injured, NFL quarterback. Even though he feels like he should know her, Cade doesn’t recognize her and asks her on a date. After her one nightstand with Cade, Angie discovers that he will be the interim head coach while the head coach recovers from an illness. Angie, who has always harbored a crush on Cade, is taken aback by this turn of events. While dealing with sexual harassment from the other assistant coach, Angie is floored when Cade acts offended and then does the same thing to her, which I empathized with. Cade’s NFL career is very important to him, but he fails to realize that Angie values her job just as much. While he’s always been impressed with Angie’s football knowledge, Cade will compliment Angie’s talent and then inadvertently cut her off at the knees, breaking her heart in the process. After being belittled and harassed, Angie puts on her big girl panties, learns how to take chances, and stick ups for herself, which I just loved. On the other hand, Cade is slow to figure what he is doing wrong and what he really needs to do to have a future with Angie. When Cade finally gets it figured out, it is a breathtaking thing to see. Additionally, I adored Angie’s father, Daryl. Blunt and straightforward, Daryl brilliantly states the obvious to Cade, opening Cade’s eyes to his treatment of Angie, making Daryl the perfect dad. Entertaining characters, a well-crafted plot, and crisp writing make Skin in the Game a satisfying summer read. I purchased this book for my personal library.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the sports romance! fun and sweet story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE this line of books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars:  SKIN IN THE GAME is the first storyline in Jackie Barbosa’s new Play Action contemporary romance series. This is Angela and Cade’s storyline. This is not necessarily a friends to lovers or even a second chance storyline-but a story about two people who met briefly in high school and their lives would be forever changed. Angela is the ‘muse’ to Cade’s football career and the woman who would tackle his heart. The storyline focuses on Cade’s second chance for a career (after a possible career ending injury)-both on and off the field. Returning home to Harper Falls he is immediately attracted to Angela-the one time geeky girl who is now the beautiful assistant coach and math teacher at Harper Falls High. The attraction between the couple is immediate-in fact their sexual relationship begins within a few hours of meeting-only Cade does not remember the beautiful Angela and it will take a few days before his memory of Angela resurfaces. The sexual heat is spicy and the HEA is predictable but it is the in between that pushes the storyline into another direction. The storyline also focuses on sexual discrimination and harassment at the hands of a fellow teacher and coach. Many women suffer the same fate as our heroine-working in a world controlled by men and fearing retribution should their complaints be heard. At times, the situation and her reluctance to take legal action was disheartening but the circumstances and her reasoning are probably experienced by more women than not. The mains characters are likeable and relatable and because of the football backdrop to the story, fans of the sport will recognize the lingo and maneuvers. Skin in the Game is a fast pace, interesting storyline about two people searching for something more in their lives. If you are a fan of football, romance and a HEA, Skin in the Game is the perfect read. see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe(dot)com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice easy read.
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JillianReadLoveBlog More than 1 year ago
Skin in the Game is book #1 in Jackie Barbosa’s Play Action Series and this story definitely kicks the series of with a great start! Angela Peterson can’t believe her eyes.  Is that Cade Reynolds she sees sitting in her little hometown coffee shop? The very same Cade Reynolds NFL quarterback who she’d gone to high school with and had the biggest crush of her life on?  What could he be doing back here?  Before she can think of those answers, she finds herself sitting at the table with him and accepting an invitation to dinner…now she’s questioning of she should be upset that he didn’t recognize her from all those years ago.  Guess she really had changed from the awkward, football fanatic teen he’d known back then. Cade Reynolds, after being sidelined with an injury, is back in his hometown and ready to help coach his old high school football team at the request of the coach who’d practically raised him.  It feels good to be back and feels even better to have met the beautiful blond at the coffee shop this morning. He has a nagging feeling he knows her from somewhere but surely he wouldn’t have forgotten a woman like her.  Maybe he can learn more about the sexy high school math teacher over dinner….or room service if he has anything to say about it. Well, the fates certainly have surprises in store for Cade and Angie. When they realize their history and realize they will both be coaching the football team, sparks start to fly.  Their chemistry is undeniable and now, being thrown into a situation where they see each other and work together, they will have to decide if they have something between them worth throwing a pass at.  With emotions, and careers at stake, hopefully it won’t end in a fumble. What a great take on a contemporary romance!  I adored the sporty spin on things!  It was a fresh and interesting story packed with emotions, sexiness and fun.  I really enjoyed Cade and Angie as characters and the chemistry between them was done just right.  She wasn’t a starry-eyed gal mooning over the larger than life sports star Cade has become and Cade wasn’t a self-absorbed jock.  He was humble when needed most and was really a heart-warming hero.  The ending was absolutely perfect and played out like a chick flick and I loved it!  Well done, Jackie! If you’re looking for sweet and sassy with a sporty spin on romance, then definitely pick this book up! Thank you, Ms. Barbosa, for a great read! *I received a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review 
Bear1009 More than 1 year ago
Two characters that have one thing in common, football, can they choose the right path in order to be together. I do have to say that I really am not a sports fan; I’m not one to sit down for Sunday football or Monday night football or any other sports. But I do have to say give me a story about a sexy football player, an MMA fighter, a baseball or basketball player and I’m all in. To me all I’m seeing is lots of hunks trying to get a ball or beating the crap out of each other but in a story you get to know the person what they want in life and hopefully fall in love with a wonderful woman. Skin in the Game is about just that a football player that has come home to help his father figure coach the high school football team until he can get back into the NFL after his tragic accident. Cade Reynolds was the high school quarterback and then the NFL quarterback for the Texans until his caused him out of the game. From the moment that he saw this beautiful woman walk into the coffee he was intrigued with her it seemed that his body was calling for her. He needed to get her attention he needed to get her to notice him and the moment that she did he knew he needed her. Cade realized that she recognized him finally someone from his hometown recognized him. Only she looked familiar but he couldn’t for the life of him remember if he knew her. Angela “Angie” Peterson is a high school math teacher and also the assistant coach for the high school team, Eagles. She loves math but she also has a knack for developing plays that work wonders since she spent lots of her time with her father seeing football games. When she was just a freshman she gave pointers to the high school quarterback, pointers that helped win the championship. Now here she was sitting in front of the man that she had a crush on since she was in high school and now he wanted to go out with her. Only he did not recognize her how could he she had totally changed she was no longer the geeky girl that she was in high school. Only that she doesn’t know the true reason why he is back home and when she finds out she is not going to like it. When Cade and Angie get together for their so-called date they ravage each other. They can’t seem to keep their hands off each other but Angie flees in the early morning. When Cade meets with the head coach that is recovering from a heart attack he finds out that even though the assistant coach is more than capable of being the head coach for three weeks it’s not possible. The other assistant is known for harassing and doesn’t want any problems while he is out and the football players will love to have an NFL quarterback as their coach. As the coach tells Cade about his assistant coach and how she is the one that develops the plays he learns her name and also that she is the math teacher but most importantly she is the one that helped them win the last Championship that the Eagles won since he was the high school quarterback. That’s the same woman that he slept with now he was going to be her boss and it was going to ruin everything. Skin in the Game is an awesome read that had me enthralled from beginning to the very end. These two characters understood each other; they both had a passion for the game. Only that Angie needed to understand that at times the plays she put into play could have consequences they were not her fault that is part of the game. Cade was a very sweet caring man that wanted to get his career back but could he do it and take another dears friends job. The characters in this story are strong, fun, sexy and are made for each other. There are moments that I found myself laughing out loud and at times I wanted to strangle one of the characters. His comments to Angie were uncalled for clear harassment but the school systems are bizarre on how they handle situations. The story moves at a steady pace with highs and lows but it was all good. The internal dialogue of Cade and Angie was enlightening and sweet. The dialogue was great and the romance was perfect. The sexual chemistry was sizzling hot and so passionate. I loved how I was able to get lost in their romance and just shows the writing talent of Ms. Barbosa. Skin in the Game is a wonderful journey where two people are so compatible that it was only a matter of time before they would get their happily ever after. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.
Zeeelicious More than 1 year ago
I am not a fan of American football and I haven't read a lot of sports related romance so this is an unfamiliar genre for me. This turned out to be really quick read for me. I liked the plot and I am a sucker for ugly duckling type of romance so I loved reading about Angie and Cade. Angie is the typical ugly duckling who blossomed into a swan and who had a crush on Cade back in high school. Cade, the star quarterback naturally does not pay any attention to her. Fast forward sixteen years and Cade is a quarterback in the NFL who was injured and is unable to play when he returns to his hometown and met Angela. Sparks begin to fly with Angie, not expecting anything but a one night stand. Further sparks fly when it is then revealed that Cade is there to take over as head coach, with Angie being the assistant coach for the local team. I liked the story, however this ended up as an okay story for me. I thought there lacked something else to drive the story and it felt rushed with everything falling neatly into place, lacking any real conflict. It wasn't as hot as I expected a Brazen title to be and a Jackie Barbosa novel.