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In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Final Score, opposites attract when a figure skater and hockey player lace up their skatesand go for the gold...
Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is making his second trip to the Winter Games, and he couldn't be happier. Hockey is his life and playing for the U.S. team is a privilege. Then he meets U.S. figure skater Amber Sloane. She's beautiful, ambitious and driveneverything Will desires in a woman. He would love to show Amber how hot life off the ice can be.
Amber has skated her entire life, sacrificing everything in the hopes of one day winning gold. Now she's competing for the third and final time. She intends to win, and nothing's going to get in her wayuntil she meets Will. He's an irresistible charmer, and before long Amber is wondering if this sexy hockey player is the perfect guy to show her some moves outside the rink.
But after all the medals have been awarded, Will and Amber will have to decide if what they have together is just a fling or a real shot at true love.
About the Author
Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance novelist. In addition to writing the Play-by-Play, Hope, and Wild Riders series, she has also coauthored a number of anthologies with fellow romance writer Lora Leigh. Burton lives in Oklahoma with her husband and dogs.
Read an Excerpt
Will "Mad Dog" Madigan stood on the carpet leading to the ice in the hockey arena.
He wasn't supposed to be here-not today, anyway. But he'd gotten up early this morning, needing a run after his long flight yesterday. He'd needed to clear his head, and when he'd ended up at one of the two arenas that would serve as home for several of the ice events here at the international games, he couldn't help himself. He had to see if he could get inside. Fortunately, the team's coach had been arriving and spotted him, and he had access, so he let Will inside.
But only for a few minutes, coach had said.
A few minutes was all he needed.
The arena was huge, and there'd be attendees from all over the world watching the games. On the ice, there'd be hockey, as well as figure skating, curling and speed skating. He took in the sheer size of the arena, then dragged in a deep breath of chilled air. There was something about the smell of a rink, that crisp scent of icy air that clung to his lungs and gave him life. It replenished him, gave him a sense of purpose and affirmed he was right where he was supposed to be.
Like now, looking over the ice rink for what would soon be the international games in Vancouver. He felt damned fortunate to be here and he couldn't wait for the games to start. He was itching to put on his skates and get out there, test the ice and get some speed going under his skates. Then all he'd need was his stick and a puck to chase after.
He loved playing hockey. It fulfilled him in ways he would have never thought possible when he had been a kid fighting it out with his friends at the local rink back in Chicago. Back then it had been all fun and games, shoving and laughing and playing all day.
Even then, it had been in his blood. Now, it was his job playing forward for the St. Louis Ice hockey team.
And to be selected to play for these games, not just once, but twice? It was a damn dream come true. He planned to soak in every minute of this experience, so he could remember it forever.
Four years ago he'd been twenty-three, an excited young guy who'd partied his ass off the entire time. If he'd been honest with himself, he couldn't remember much about the experience. On the ice, of course, he'd put everything into his game play. Off the ice had been a constant party. This time he wanted to soak in the experience, really live it. This time would be different.
He could already imagine playing in the upcoming games, even against some of his own teammates, who'd be playing for their home countries. They'd talked about it before the games began. On their pro team, they fought for the Ice. Here, they'd play for their country and they'd respect each other for that.
When it was over, they'd all be teammates again.
"That's it, Mad Dog," Coach Stein said as he came up to him. "Time to clear out."
Will nodded. "Thanks for getting me in."
"We'll see you back here tomorrow after the rest of your teammates arrive."
"You got it."
"Try to stay out of trouble until then."
Will laughed. "You know I will."
Coach Stein gave him a head tilt and a disbelieving look. "Do I?"
Will gave him a grin. Okay, so he had a rep. Even Coach Stein, who was the coach of the New York team, knew his reputation. He went out the way he came in, through the front doors that were locked and guarded by a security guy, who nodded and let him out.
He stretched, started off with a walk, then eased into a run as he made his way back to the village he'd call his home for the next three weeks. His roommate hadn't arrived yet, so he had no idea who he'd be bunking with. Hopefully someone fun.
They weren't allowed to bunk with teammates. He was certain it was the committee's way of getting them to branch out and make friends with people from other disciplines, and often other countries. Last time he'd bunked with a bobsledder from Latvia.
They'd partied their asses off the entire time. He'd had a blast. He was looking forward to reconnecting with several of the friends he'd made during the games four years ago.
When he got back to his apartment in the village, he stripped and climbed into the shower. A hot shower was one of his favorite things. Maybe even top-ten favorite things, especially after a grueling hockey game.
Thanks to his run he was hungry, so he got dressed and headed out to the other building where the dining hall was located.
It was fully stocked-and huge. It was like a hangout here, and the size of a couple of football fields.
You could get anything you wanted, with food from almost every country participating. Last time he was here he'd made sure to eat something from every country. It seemed only respectful to sample the various cuisines.
And, hey, he liked to eat.
He planned to do it again.
Many athletes had already arrived, though the dining hall wouldn't be fully packed until the end of the week. Several of his teammates were flying in today, so he'd catch up with them later. For now, and since he wasn't shy, he sat with some of the snowboarders, figure skaters and downhill skiers.
The great thing about the games was that everyone was friendly. You could take a seat and strike up a conversation with anyone.
"How was your flight?" a guy named Hans asked him.
Hans smiled. "Same. Slept in a bit this morning. Looking forward to getting my skis on those mountains, though."
Will dug his fork into the egg-white omelet and nodded. "I got a glimpse at the hockey arena earlier, but they wouldn't let me skate on it yet."
Telisa, one of the figure skaters, looked shocked. "They let you in already?"
"My coach was there so he snuck me in. But I couldn't get on the ice."
"Oh. You're lucky." Robbie was Telisa's husband and the other half of their pairs team. "We're nearly drooling over the figure skating arena. We can't wait to get in there."
"They said they'd open it up to us this afternoon," said Rory, one of the individual figure skaters. "We have to practice and stay limber."
"Huh," Will said. "Maybe I'll mention that to my coach. Can't get stiff."
"Unless it's your dick," Zeb, one of the skiers, said. "You want that to be stiff at all times."
Will laughed, then noticed he'd gotten a suggestive look from one of the women across the table. He thought her name might be Monie or Monica or something. No idea. The names had flown fast and furious when he'd sat down.
He wasn't interested in sex. Okay, that was a lie. He was always interested in sex. But there was plenty of time for that, and for the next few weeks there'd be a hell of a lot of it going around.
The only thing on his mind right now was getting on the ice. After that he could think about sex.
Amber Sloane set her bags down at the front counter, taking in the multitudes of athletes surrounding her.
She was here. In Vancouver. Her third-and final-international games.
This was her last shot at gold. At twenty-four, she'd be considered old for a figure skater. Her biggest competition was here. She spied Tia Chang in line about four people ahead of her, her posture near perfect even standing in line, her dark hair shining like a fall of midnight down her back as she absent-mindedly checked her phone. It was like she had no cares at all.
Seventeen. God, that had been a lifetime ago for Amber. At seventeen she'd been a nervous wreck at the Worlds. But she'd come in first.
It was only the international games where she'd failed to grab the gold. She'd won both bronze and silver, but the gold eluded her.
This was her last chance. Her mother told her it was her time to shine.
Amber thought her chance escaped her four years ago, when Elena Bulosova of Russia had just inched her out for that gold medal.
Amber's long program had been better. The judges had to have been blind not to see it.
But this was her year. She'd revamped her entire program and worked her ass off the past four years. And now, she was ready to put it all out there and win.
Or she'd be done. Because there'd be no more games for her after this year.
She heard the shout of her name and turned, then smiled when she saw her friend, Lisa Peterson.
Lisa threw her arms around Amber.
"I've missed you," Lisa said.
"I've missed you, too, Lisa. How excited are you to have the games in your home city?"
"Excited beyond belief." Lisa pulled back, then looked around and whispered, "So, guess what?"
"I pulled some strings, and don't ask me how I pulled those strings, but you and I are going to be roommates again."
Amber raised a brow. "Seriously?"
"Yes." Lisa grinned.
Amber couldn't be more excited to have Lisa as her roommate again. Lisa was outgoing and talkative and incredibly sweet. "That is fabulous. I'm so excited. Though you aren't going to boot me out of the room at two in the morning again because you've brought some hot guy in to bone, are you?"
Lisa crossed her fingers over her heart. "I promise I won't do that. We'll boot as-yet-unselected-hottie's roommate out."
Amber laughed. "Perfect."
They waited in line together and discussed their careers.
"Kicking it," Lisa said. "And if you'd come to Vancouver like I keep asking you, I'd teach you how to snowboard."
Amber felt very guilty about that. For the past four years, Lisa had invited her several times to many events, and to her home for a visit.
"I know. I'm sorry. After winning the silver four years ago, I've done nothing but work on a new routine."
They made their way to the front desk and checked in, got their credentials and packets, then grabbed their luggage.
"There's more to life than just your work as a figure skater, Amber," Lisa said, taking out the map that would lead them to their building. "You have to find time for fun. For a life."
"I know. After this year, I'm going to travel and have nothing but fun."
"That's what you said four years ago."
They walked outside and Amber pulled her sunglasses off her head and slid them over her eyes.
"This year is different. I'm confident about my routine, and I know this is my last time at the games, win or lose, so I intend to enjoy it."
Lisa stopped and turned to her. "Which means you plan to have some fun?"
Amber offered up a tenuous smile. Did she even know how to have fun? "Sure."
"Excellent. We'll start tonight after we unpack."
She felt a giant lump of trepidation. What was she thinking telling Lisa she was out for a good time? Her mother's voice rang in her head.
The work is everything, Amber. Focus, keep your head down and skate. No distractions.
No distractions. Fun was a distraction. That had been drilled into her head from the time she was six years old and had first strapped on a pair of ice skates. Since then it had been all work.
And the reward would come when she won the gold. She knew that.
But still, her mother wasn't allowed in the village, and what she didn't know, she didn't know.
They opened the door to their apartment. It was spacious and lovely, with cream-colored décor, a living room, kitchen and two queen beds in the large bedroom.
"This is awesome," Lisa said. "And the living room has a fold-out sofa. You can even stay here if I have a guy over."
Amber laughed. "Good to know."
"Seriously. And who knows? You might even be busy with some stud of your own and I'll be bunking on the couch."
Highly unlikely, but she wasn't going to spoil Lisa's grand plans.
"Come on, let's unpack and go check out who's here."
"Okay." She carried her luggage into the bedroom and set it down.
This time would be different. She was determined. And she was so happy Lisa was her roommate again. If anyone knew how to have a good time, it was Lisa.
Amber had worked her ass off the past four years. She intended to show that on the ice. She was disciplined and ready.
But when she wasn't performing, she intended to party. Or, at least, learn how to party.
She had to start somewhere. She was twenty-four years old and it was time to start living.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is book #14, in the Play By Play series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and complete understanding of this incredible series, I recommend reading it in order. Will AKA "Mad Dog" meets up with Amber through a mutual friend. They have a lot in common. Sports, competitive drive, attraction, and more. When the sparks between them start flying, it is hard to fight the instincts. Amber has one goal - get that gold. She has been sheltered, and does not fully understand what she is up against. She only knows she wants to live. Finally live! Will brings that out in her more than most. Such a sexy book with banter and heat right from the start. Perfect addition to this already very hot, erotic series. The characters make it exciting, and the story is very compelling. I could hardly put it down.
I really enjoyed my time reading Shot on Gold. Amber is attending her last year at the Olympics. She’s preformed in the previous two Olympics, but has yet to walk away with a gold medal. This year she intends to not only win the gold, but she also plans to let loose, as well. She’s lived a very sheltered life that consisted of figure skating, and figure skating alone. No friends. No boyfriends. No fun. However, since this will be her last year, she plans to soak it all in. Which is how she finds herself not only making a bunch of new friends, but also falling in love with a certain hockey player. I absolutely loved that Amber was not only an introvert who liked to read, but she was a knitter, too. Knitters for the win! This isn’t Will’s first time at the Olympics either. He knows how it all goes down. There are lots of laughs, lots of parties, and lots of condoms getting used. This year he plans to cool it on the partying and hooking up, and take everything in. He wants to remember his time at the winter Olympics instead of it being one big blur. However, when he’s introduced to Amber, there’s just something about her that calls to him. I loved these two characters together. Will is immediately drawn to Amber. He can tell that she’s extremely shy, out of her element around others, and seems really innocent. He immediately takes a protective stance over her, and seems to take it upon himself to keep her safe and show her a good time. I loved that Will wasn’t some huge skirt chasing player or overly aggressive when it came to Amber. So imagine my surprise when sweet innocent Amber turned out to be the aggressor behind closed doors. Good lord, when that girl got her mind on something, she went for it. Which made for some pretty fun and very steamy scenes. I loved that the author didn’t just write about these two as if they were just randomly meeting in an everyday situation. There’s a lot of talk about the games. We are there when the characters practice and compete. We’re there when they go to cheer on their friends. We also go with them as they go to various places inside the village as well as out in town. I really liked that the author incorporated so much outside information when it came to this story. I felt like I was getting some inside scoop on what’s happening right now at the winter Olympics. I really enjoyed my time reading Shot on Gold. These two were adorable together. I loved watching them build a friendship while competing in the Olympics. As with anything from the Play by Play series, expect some insane bedroom scenes. These two know how to heat up the sheets when they are not out on the ice. However, I loved that feel good vibe this story had. An introvert who makes friends, falls in love, and competes in her final Olympic games? It doesn’t get better than that.
Truly enjoy Jaci Burton's series. This was a great read!
Shot on Gold is a book centered around the Winter Olympics and I have to admit it is up there with my favorites in this series. Will is back for his second attempt at Gold with Team USA and although he wants to have fun he is determined to enjoy more than just the party scene this time on his way to helping his team achieve ultimate goal of winning the gold. Amber has always dreamed of winning the gold, but pressure from outside stress takes some of the fun out of this journey. She decides to just try to enjoy herself and experience life a little while she is at the games and hopefully that will help her achieve her ultimate dream. I love Will and Amber together they have a great relationship even if it is on super-speed, but sometimes love just happens.
Exhilarating, unique take on a sports romance. Jaci Burton has delivered another enticing novel in her Play by Play series with Shot on Gold, a romance rotating around the Winter Olympics. Jaci did her due diligence in her research on not just her knowledge regarding one sport but multiple sports. As a fan of ice skating, I really enjoyed Will and Amber’s romance. Two veterans return to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver to seek out Gold medals. Amber, 24 is on her third ice skating tour and Will on his second hockey tour. Both are complete opposites in every way but they click. Encouraging each other through friendly banter, sporting praises and eventually lustful/loveable intimacy. “Besides, you haven’t even seen my long program yet. Now that’s packed with some sizzle.” He leveled her with the wicked desire in his gaze. “Babe, you haven’t seen my long program yet, either. Trust me, I’m packing some heat, too” Jaci has created charming characters all around. Amber is trying to prove to her family that all her hard work and sequestered dedication can pay off once she has her hands on the gold but deep down she yearns to have fun like everyone her age. Will sees a light inside her and wants to let her light shine bright to her fullest, but he might ruffel her feathers a little to get her to achieve her goals. So much passion between these two. You see the desire slowly build within the pages and Jaci showcases their lust beautifully. I really enjoyed this story. I loved that it showcased more than just the two sports, but also skiing and snowboarding. Also, it had the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect which I really appreciated. Shot on Gold is inspiring and has hidden meanings for oneself. Releases in time for this years Winter Olympics. For sure, I won’t look at the Olympics the same again. 5 Olympic Gold Rings
Knowing this maybe his last trip to the Olympics Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is determined to bring home gold, he plans on staying focused and keeping all distractions out, but then an unexpected, and oh so beautiful distraction skates into his life and changes everything. He wasn't planning on meeting a woman like Amber Sloane, but fate brought them together, and now he is determined to not let her get away once their time at the Olympics is over. At her age coming to the Olympics is not only a brave, but also a privilege most skaters aren't lucky enough to have, it's a privilege she is determined to make the most of and not take for granted, she wants gold and she isn't about to let anything get in the way of achieving it. But then a devastatingly handsome hockey player wanders into her world, and her focus starts to stray... and suddenly a gold medal isn't the only thing on her radar at the Olympics! Between the pages of Shot On Gold readers will discover a scintillating story full of toe curling romance, drama, and emotion that will hit you deep and leave you moved! I thoroughly enjoyed this new addition to the Play by Play series, it was everything I hoped it would be and so much more, the emotional depth in this one could be felt throughout and the well crafted characters had a very realistic feel to them, and they made me feel right at home in their world. The intense chemistry shared between the characters kept the fire stoked and continually kept things nice and steamy throughout, they had me blushing more than a few times! I highly recommend you give this one a try, especially if you are a sports romance fanatic like me, it's heavy on the sports and loaded with heart!!
I really enjoyed this new entry in the Play-by-Play series. I loved the setting of the Winter "International Games", and getting to know some fun, new characters. Will Madigan is a professional hockey player, and now he's playing for Team USA at the International Games in Canada. It's his second trip to the games, and he's back to get the gold medal this time. He loves hockey, and the thrill of the competition is in his blood. He's from Chicago originally, and his family runs a bar there, so they aren't able to be at the games to watch him. But, many of his teammates are there too, and some friends he made from other sports at the last games as well. He plans to have a great time, play tough, and go home with the gold medal. He never expects to meet someone like Amber. Amber Sloane is a figure skater. She's 24 now, and this will be her third, and final games. She's won bronze, and silver, and she wants that gold medal. She's always been a loner, and an extreme introvert, mostly due to her mother's influence as her manager. Her mother has always convinced her that making friends with her competitors would cause her to lose her edge. But, in the athlete's village she's on her own, and this time around she's decided to make different choices. She's roommates again with her friend and roommate from the last games, Lisa, a Canadian snowboarder, and Amber is determined to make more friends this time. When she meets Will, she decides maybe she wants to get to know him even better than she had planned. Will and Amber have great chemistry from the beginning, and I loved their fun banter. They had a lot in common, and they both understood the drive to win, and be the best in their sport, and how much work that takes. I liked the way they related to each other, even though their sports are quite different. I love how they supported each other, and pulled for each other, along with their friends in other sports as well. It was lovely to see Amber coming out of her shell and being comfortable in her skin alone, as well as with Will, and with their friends. I also enjoyed a little more in depth look at each of their sports than you often get in a typical sports romance. My only issue here had to do with Amber's controlling mother, and Amber's reaction to her mother's edicts. Amber finally learned how to, and decided to, stand up for herself, rather than towing her mother's line as she's done every time before. But, I wish there had been a little more about the issues between them, and the resolution of those issues. It all seemed a little too easy to me in the end, especially after SO MANY years of this constant behavior by her mom. Also, as a devoted epilogue lover, I really feel this story could have benefited from one. I always feel like when the couple resolves their issues so close to the end of the story, and you don't get much more time seeing them happy together, then an epilogue is in order. Overall I really enjoyed this book, especially the setting of the Winter Games. It made everything feel current and exciting, as the actual Winter Olympics are about to start very soon. I highly recommend this book, and this entire amazing series, to anyone who's a fan of great sports romance. I'm excited to see which sport, and character, will have their story told next!
What a great book to read RIGHT NOW! I had such a blast reading this book while watching the Olympic's on TV and imagining such things happening there. The characters hook you quickly and the story line is sweet, sassy and competitive! Hockey extraordinaire Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is extremely proud to represent the US in the Vancouver Winter Games and plans to have the time of his life while he's there. He's a friendly guy and the life of the party so it's not a surprise that everyone wants to party with Will! Figure skater Amber Sloane is back for her final attempt at bringing home the gold. She's decided to make this third trip to the Games her very best, and meeting Will early on puts her on the right track. Their attraction to each other proves to be a bit of a distraction, but their early devotion to supporting each other's journey helps keep them focused on what they're really there for!
Shot on Gold by Jaci Burton has just the right amount of sweet and sex going on. This book can be read stand alone. Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is an outgoing hail well met fellow except for on the ice. As a hockey player he is focused and determined. U.S. figure skater Amber Sloane is determined to get the gold. She knows this will be her last shot. She is shy having been kept apart by her micro managing mother. Hell at 24 she is still a technical virgin. She is going to change that and she thinks Will is the right man for the job. Set among the Olympics these two get together and may get more out of it than just a medal. I really enjoyed this book. You don’t have to be a sports fanatic to enjoy but when you are done you may want to check out your local team.
Shot on Gold is an Olympic hopeful story. But it's also a hockey player and a figure skater...sigh. I love the brawny, tough guy and the statuesque woman. The rough and tumble of a hockey player in contrast to the grace and elegance of a figure skater is just so visually appealing...in my head at least. Add some great new friends, some great games, and adrenaline, it will keep you smiling. From greeting to goodbye, Shot on Gold is sweet with plenty of sultry, a side of naughty, and a whole lot of confidence.
I've read all of Ms Button's Play-by-play novels. I've never have been disappointed. Shot on Gold is excellent. I felt like I was at the Olympics. She never disappoints! This was over the top.