Changing the Play by Julia Blake

Professional athletes can bring in the big bucks, and they want someone who is very clever to help their careers advance. Rachel Pollard has been interested in sports since she was young, and becoming a manager for up-and-coming players is rewarding when she gets them a profitable deal. Though he had wanted to actually play a sport and not report on the action, Nick Ruben is happy with how his life has turned out working on TV. But when the paths of these two crosses after having not been in contact for years, the situation immediately becomes heated when none of their wishes are the same. The first book in the Game Changer series is about a sports agent repeatedly squaring off against a television reporter who is just as determined as she to get his objective accomplished. Julia Blake brings much realism to CHANGING THE PLAY because reactions are so candidly honest. I definitely felt the issues this couple faced could really happen, as the predicaments seemed so believable.

As the agent for numerous individuals who play professional sports, Rachel Pollard has a reputation for making certain the best interest of her clients is met as long as they follow her rules. When a reporter for a local NYC television station calls, she wonders about his reason. She remembers Nick Ruben from high school, and though she secretly liked him then, he will get no special treatment from her now because protecting her athletes is a priority.

When Rachel hears that Nick wants an interview with Kevin Loder, she firmly refuses. The NFL hopeful is a young man whose attention needs to stay on getting picked in the upcoming draft, and she is not letting anyone break his concentration. But Nick needs to do this interview, as it is imperative to his career. Yet he also soon wants Rachel to realize they could be good together if she will just give them a chance.

Since Rachel and Nick express their feelings during any challenging dilemma with such heartfelt sentiments, I quickly became caught up in their complicated relationship. Both are very confident when it comes to fulfilling their professional responsibilities, but they feel doubts when exploring the gradual change in how each think about the other. Though they did go to school together, their current awareness is that of an adult so their perception is much different. I liked how their feelings still need a big push because their way of thinking is usually poles apart, so it often takes some newly revealed insight to change their minds. Julia Blake knows when to make things easy for Rachel and Nick, but she also can throw in a struggle when least unexpected to increase the tension.

CHANGING THE PLAY is a fascinating entanglement of romance and sports. Much research must have been done by Julia Blake, as I felt as though any of the circumstances related to sports came across as very conceivable. Whether it had to do with being an agent or a reporter, her characters seemed to know exactly what needed to be done. Conflicts between these two professions could be numerous, and I thought each one imagined by the author was shrewdly written.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all thoughts are my honest opinion

Series:  Game Changer – Book 1

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  August 21, 2017


Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:

Rating:  4 Stars

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