Holiday Games by Jaci Burton

December 2nd, 2013 Kimberly Review 67 Comments

2nd Dec
Holiday Games by Jaci Burton
Holiday Games
by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #6.5
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarHalf a Star

A Riley wedding is in the works, a Riley Christmas means a house full of family, and baby making is on Liz Riley's mind. Chasing Gavin around and meeting in dark closets can be fun, but Liz is more than a little determined. Even with family in every corner of the house, Gavin is more than ready to do whatever Liz wants—especially when sex is involved. It's a Riley family Christmas.

While looking for a holiday read, I stumbled upon this yummy cover for Holiday Games by Jaci Burton. Not realizing this was a novella for the Play by Play series and decided to read it. While the tale was sweet, hot and filled with holiday cheer, my enthusiasm for the err cover and lack of research may have hindered my enjoyment. These characters are clearly established in previous books, and we just jump into the tale. Mini review: sexy, hot and sweet but I didn’t connect.

It’s Christmas at the Riley house, and Liz’s first time hosting. She and hubby Gavin are trying to make a baby and frustration is beginning to set in for Liz. She is a planner; an organizer and things are not going as scheduled. This creates some sexy escapades with Gavin. A wedding and a party to plan all add to the tale and bring other characters from previous books into the mix.

Being part of a series and a novella to boot, I felt like I walked into a movie midway. All of the characters are likable, and Chase is smexy, but I didn’t really get to know them or get attached. I do not believe this is the writer’s fault, but mine since clearly this is released after the sixth novel and meant to bring beloved characters together for the holiday.

Holiday Games takes us through December leading up to Christmas dinner at the Riley’s. We attend a bachelor and bachelorette party and a wedding. As the busy holiday season gets underway we share some sexy time with Gavin and Liz in some of the oddest places. Overall, this was a fun read but since I was unfamiliar with the characters, I never really slipped in and got swept up.

If you are a fan of the series, I recommend you peruse other reviews before making a decision. Holiday Games was sweet, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was following the series. As a standalone, it lacked depth, and I did not connect enough with the characters to make in memorable. Because I have read other novellas from new to me series that still had me connecting I couldn’t rate this any higher.

Two and half cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarHalf a Star

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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67 Responses to “Holiday Games by Jaci Burton”

  1. Lauren

    I hate when novellas aren’t a good intro to the series. This is why they only work about half of the time for me. I mean they can add to the overall story arc without alienating new readers as long as they’re a contained, well developed story. This sounds more like the fan service variety for people who just want to see their favorite characters meet up and banter for awhile. Bummed to hear this didn’t work for you, but maybe the series books will be better. Thanks for your honest review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was bummed, are you are right in can be hit or miss but more often than not they work. The writing is good, and the sexy time had both heat and humor but like I said, it was like walking into a movie half-way through. 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It isn’t always the case Glass, I have read some by new to me authors that had me buying the whole dang series…this was really a fan special, and I felt left out 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      OMG right…so made me click this..yum! This is really for the fans and I am sure they will love it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It wasn’t bad Ali but I felt like an outsider. It is a quick easy read though. maybe you will adore it 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo Anna if you have read the series I will be anxious to hear your thoughts on it. I really think this was for the fans. I need to research more but did you see that cover..lord have mercy..LOL

  2. Jenny

    I think this is definitely a novella you would have to read after reading Gavin and Liz’s story. I loved their book, it’s my favorite of the series so far, so this is a novella I can’t wait to get my hands on! Their story was a very sexy but very painful battle since Liz had been in love with Gavin for years and he had no idea, I hope maybe you’ll give them a try at some point Kim! And those covers…. *drools*

    Jenny recently posted:
    • kimbacaffeinate

      I liked her writing style, so yes I would be willing to try book one of the series. I will anxious to see if this is a success for you, since you have read the series.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It did, and I think had I known the characters it would have been different for me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Apparently this cover makes a lot of peeps weak in knees..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It did, and sometimes I wish netGalley and Edelweiss, stated what book in the series a book is..normally I look but did you see that cover and I am such a holiday romance junkie..LOL

  3. Mishel

    I too tend to shy away from novellas unless I’m already invested in the series. I love how they can enhance the overall story arcs of all characters and add that little extra to hold a reader over. But as a new reader I won’t pick up a novella, even with a DE-licious cover, if I haven’t read the series or at least know a little something something about the world or its characters.

    With that said, I’m seeing sport reads EVERYwhere, I may have to bite the bullet and get my hands dirty 😉 Maybe I’ll start with this series and let you know how it goes. I’ve heard great things about Jaci Burton and I’m looking forward to giving her books a go.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am told this series is wonderful and had the cover not made me cray-cray I might have researched and avoided this dilemma..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I liked the author’s writing style, so I will snag book one and see how it goes 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hehehe, I usually check, but sometimes the cover just screams so loud all rational thought is lost.

  4. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I can see why you felt a bit lost with this one. I would probably have been lured in too, under the assumption that I’ll get a clear idea of what the series is like, but being thrown in the middle of things like that can be quite off-putting.
    Ah, well. I bet the series, in order, is still good.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have heard good things about this author, and will perhaps give book one a go.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, do not make the same mistake as me..LOL this was for the fans, and cover lust did me in..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah this is for the fans, usually holiday reads are safe, but to be honest..i never looked beyond the cover :snort:

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have been lucky lately with novellas, but have been seriously let down by series novellas. Thanks Heidi

  5. Andrea

    I wanted to review this, but for the same reason you didn’t connect, I didn’t. I’m sorry you didn’t connect with the characters or story. I’m hoping to start the Play by Play series from the beginning.
    Thanks for the review.

    Andrea recently posted:
    • kimbacaffeinate

      If I had paid attention to more than the cover I may have realized this wasn’t going to work..but look at him 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am pretty anal about reading them in order, but usually Holiday reads work ..but look at the cover 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      those covers..oh my! Was there too much angst and drama Flea?

  6. sharonda

    I’ve heard good things about this series. It is hard when you can’t connect with the story or its characters. that cover is delicious too 🙂

    sharonda recently posted: Quote~tastic #11
    • kimbacaffeinate

      Good to know that you liked the books you read in this series, I am going to try book one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agreed, the entire series will cause drooling and memory loss!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That was my thought, but those who read the series agree, it is for the fan base.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was disappointed, but maybe you will love it, it’s short and fast 🙂