Nothing makes a girl warm amidst freezing temperatures like a sweet little beach read. Stephanie Evanovich’s A Total Package is just that. Sports, romance, and redemption, I had this one finished in less than 24 hours as I rushed to find out how Tyson and Dani found their HEA.
We meet Tyson when he’s at his lowest. Too much, too soon had left this 20-something star quarterback scraping the bottom of the barrel as he battled a drug and alcohol addiction. A chance encounter with his college tutor ends up being the straw to break the camel’s back and with the help of a guardian angel/benefactor, Tyson is given a second chance. 4 years later things are going great-except for Dani Carr. A sports broadcaster with her eye on the prize of conquering the boys club that rules the NFL, Dani had inadvertently found her career skyrocketing, but at Tyson’s expense. When Dani’s new job puts the two in direct contact, sparks fly and long-held secrets threaten to come to light.
As I’m usually all dark romance and borderline erotica, The Total Package was nice, and unexpected, change. It was sweet, despite the drug addiction story line. Tyson is a great hero. We see him at his worst, his best, and a little in between which kept him from being too perfect. As I am prone to darker heroes, it would have been nice to see him struggle a little more post-addiction (because, let’s face it, it’s never going to be smooth sailing) but Evanovich, even as Tyson appears to have left all the darkness behind, reminds the reader that he leads a fairly controlled life in order to keep that darkness at bay. Dani more than makes up for this by being a slightly out of control heroine. We meet her as a determined woman trying to be taken seriously as a sports broadcaster. As I lived this in a past life, I could easily connect with Dani. But, Dani’s motivations seemed skewed at times and I couldn’t decide if Evanovich wanted us laughing with Dani or at Dani. When Dani’s motivations are called into play, I got frustrated. Wishy washy-ness is not my favorite characteristic in a heroine. Fortunately, it only slightly detracted from the overall story.
The Total Package is the third in a sports-related series by Evanovich, though I haven’t read the first two. Despite this, TTP is easily a standalone, though I found myself eager to go back and read Logan and Holly’s story in addition to Chase and Amanda’s. If I had one major complaint about TTP it’s the constant POV change. This happened consistently, sometimes paragraph to paragraph, enough to give me whiplash. Otherwise, this is a sweet, funny romance that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a light read with a sexy quarterback and somewhat quirky heroine.
3.75 stars. Heat Level: 3
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for honest feedback.
The Total Package was published originally in March 2016 by William Morrow.
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.