Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review of THE TOTAL PACKAGE by Stephanie Evanovich

As a star NFL quarterback, Tyson Palmer had it all and he lost it all as he fell into the haze of addiction. Now he's cleaned up and proving that his game is better than ever with his aspiration to win the next Super Bowl within his reach.

Dani Carr isn't convinced of Tyson's complete rehabilitation. Having been burned by him in the past, she isn't ready to believe his zen personality. Her new job as a contracted sports journalist forces her to be near Tyson, but she's built a wall that he won't easily break down.

I really enjoyed The Total Package and will be checking out Stephanie Evanovich's other books. I am a fan of sports romances, and I liked how the story flowed. Her characters were multidimensional and interesting, I felt as if Dani was someone I could have met and been friends with. There was enough realism that made her seem touchable.

The romance between Dani and Tyson was a slow-burn that worked perfectly for the story. There was no rushing into bed as neither of them were ready to just jump into a relationship.

The only thing that I found lacking in the story was that other than with Marcus, there was no teammate camaraderie between Tyson and the other Maverick players, which I found kind of odd. I understand not wanting to clutter the story up with too many characters, but I would have liked to have seen how he was with his teammates.
From the cover:

Smart and sexy Dani Carr knows as much about football as any man--maybe more. It’s always been her dream to make a living talking about the game she loves. But Dani’s not interested in being just the usual eye-candy sideline reporter; she wants to be the first woman analyst on a pre-game show, the ultimate in exclusive boys-club jobs. And it turns out, that despite the odds, she has the talent to get her there.

Star quarterback-and heartthrob--Tyson Palmer always did things in spectacular fashion, including ruining his career after debuting as a first-round draft pick. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone…except Dani, who appears to be using her high-profile commentator job to make a name for herself at his expense.

Dani refuses to let anyone forget about Tyson’s transgressions….and for good reason. There’s history between these two, sizzling history that dates back to their college days, and it ended in another spectacular flame-out of Tyson’s. He’s conveniently forgotten all about that episode because Dani is no longer the cute girl next door he barely remembers--she’s a bombshell with huge ratings and a long memory.

But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other in the process? And what will happen when Tyson-riding high on his career comeback-realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani?
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Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two Hardcover Copies of THE TOTAL PACKAGE)

Stephanie, with THE SWEET SPOT, and now with THE TOTAL PACKAGE, you write heroes within the sports world (Baseball for TSS and Football for TTP).  What aspects of that lifestyle makes for writing a great hero?  And as with Tyson, what aspect's of that lifestyle can make for great drama/character development? Sports heroes are fun because it's easy to picture them having lots of attitude.  Also, they are disciplined when it comes to their bodies, which really helps ratchet up the hotness.  And if they are at the top of their games, they usually have lots of disposable income. In Tyson's particular case, it all sort of worked against him, because it was that very lifestyle that caused him to implode. 

You write heroines that any reader can not only relate to, but could consider that woman a best friend, as with Dani from THE TOTAL PACKAGE.  Do you find qualities of yourself if any of your heroines or do you write them based on someone you know? Holly from Big Girl Panties shares the most of my views and personality traits, so thanks for the compliment!  Amanda from The Sweet Spot has the full on sass I always wish I had.  Dani Carr?  (Heavy sigh).  There were times I actually hated her, because she made some really bad decisions that I wouldn't personally make in a million years.  I can remember at one point calling my editor in tears and telling her I can't write this woman anymore.  My editor was thrilled and told me it showed real growth. Geez.  Talk about growing pains.

If you could cast Tyson and Dani with any celebrity, who would you choose?  Any reason why? I would love to see Billy Miller as Tyson.  For folks out there that may know him, he plays Jason Morgan on General Hospital.  Excuse me, make that the NEW Jason Morgan, taking over for Steve Burton. The fact that Billy got me to forget about Steve is a coup in and of itself.  I'm a huge GH fan, and for a long time I shook my fist in the air and shouted - "There is only one Jason Morgan!"  Billy is adorable and does vulnerable so well.  And has the killer blue eyes. While I was writing The Total Package, I would often picture Kaley Couco.  Or maybe I was just watching a lot of Big Bang Theory.  But she is totally my pick for Dani.

What is your favorite romance troupe to write?  (Second Chance Romance, Opposites Attract, etc)?  Since The Total Package is only my third book, I'm not sure I have enough experience to give that question an honest answer.  But now I suddenly feel like trying to write an opposites attracting, second chance romance.
Which was your favorite book to write?  And which couple was your favorite to write?  Yikes!  Why do I feel like you've just asked me to choose a favorite child? Haha. But seriously, each book offered me the opportunity to meet new people and continue this amazing adventure, not to mention try and grow as a writer.  In all honestly I think the book that is my favorite will always be the book the am working on at the time.  It keeps me focused and in the moment. 
Of course all your readers want to know what you have in the works for your next release?  I'm currently working on a younger man/slightly more mature woman story with a martial arts backdrop.  I'm even venturing into first person with this one.  I was always the kid that just jumped into the deep end of the pool and my days alternate between thinking I'm having the time of my life and ordering a straight jacket.  Some days, those thoughts alternate hourly. 

Thank you so much for chatting with us today!!  Thanks so much for having me.  It's been a real pleasure.  Bring on the Ides of March! 

Author Info
New York Times Bestselling Author, Stephanie Evanovich is a full-fledged Jersey girl from Asbury Park who began writing fiction while waiting for her cues during countless community theater projects. She attended New York’s School of Film and Television and acted in several improvisational troupes and a few small-budget movies, all in preparation for the greatest job she ever had, raising her two sons. Now a full-time writer, she’s an avid sports fan who holds a black belt in tae kwon do.
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