THE TOTAL PACKAGE – Stephanie Evanovich
Various locales, including Boston, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Austin, Texas
Tyson Palmer, handsome and a natural athlete, became a star quarterback with a super bowl ring in his future . . . Oops! Football can bring injuries along with the glory, and alcohol and painkillers can bring relief and then some, to a young man. Tyson thoroughly enjoyed his wild life with marijuana, booze, women and pills until he didn't . . . until his team let him go. Then what was he to do? Despair and self-loathing displaced the now dubious pleasures, but then he was given a chance to be saved. A part owner of the Austin Mavericks came up with a proposition. He would send Tyson to a first class rehab facility and get him a trainer in exchange for a three year deal to play for the Mavericks and get that ring. No one but his mother was to know where he would be. Seeing no option, Tyson went along with the plan and actually began to have hope.
A forgotten woman from his past would show up again. He would not remember her, but she would never forget him or how he hurt her even as she was again attracted to him.
The above is the bare bones of a rich and captivating story filled with feeling—desires, resentments, and secrets—as well as touches of humor and suspense, local color and a glimpse at pro football broadcasting.
Ms. Evanovich's characters truly come alive through her very talented pen. And there are many of them. For instance, the leads of her previous novels, BIG GIRL PANTIES and THE SWEETSPOT, appear in THE TOTAL PACKAGE and add much. (Reminder to me: get their books!)
Often when I read, I find sex scenes as welcome as commercials in a good TV show, but not the ones in this novel. They fit right in and carry the tale forward. No skipping down the page here!
I guess by now you will realize how much I lost myself in THE TOTAL PACKAGE. I think most romance readers would also.