For the Love of the Game is such a short story, too short to do it or its characters any justice. As a reader of its sequel, MVP, I looked forward to reading For the Love of the Game to get a better insight on the inception of the love affair between Morgan Reed and Seth Blake, whose story continues in MVP. Seth and Morgan are an interracial hero and heroine: she is a black book store owner from a middle-class family in Philadelphia and he is a multimillionaire, professional football quarterback from the heart of Texas.
The pair meets on a tropical island vacation: his a welcome break after leading his team to a Superbowl win and hers a much-needed, spur-of-the-moment vacation for the first time in years.
When they “accidentally” meet, she has no idea who he is (which I find hard to believe given that her bookstore would’ve certainly carried newspapers and magazines covering his triumphant feats and social life.)
They strike up an easy friendship within a few days. Even though he’s attracted to her, Seth does not press her romantically or sexually. On a lark, they decide to get “married” by the island spiritualist. It is only after Morgan leaves the island on her way back to Philly that Seth discovers the marriage is real. He hightails it to the States, shows up at her bookstore and inexplicably convinces her to stay married to him. The rest of the story is Seth and Morgan’s road to getting to know each other.
I’d made a special request to read For the Love of the Game because I wanted to get to know Morgan and Seth better as characters and hoped the plot would provide a worthy “backstory” to MVP and many of that story’s secondary characters. This offering simply failed to measure up to much more than a sweet, simple romantic quick read. Perhaps in a longer version, Rhonda Laurel could have fully developed her characters and offered a more interesting plot.
-Reviewed by Angela