Category Romance Review: Game Plan by Rosemary Hammond

Game Plan, Rosemary Hammond, Harlequin, 1990, Will Davies cover art
Harlequin Romance #3026
3 1/2 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I cut my romance teeth on Harlequin Romances back in the early 1990s when I was a preteen. They taught me so much about the world! 😛 Rosemary Hammond’s Game Plan was the second adult contemporary romance I read. It was the first where the protagonists consummated their relationship. Sex in a book! Shocking! And, of course, the not-at-all sexy heroine was a virgin! This book is over 35 years old, so yes, it was very tame and innocent. But what did I know back then?

The Plot

Remember that Flock of Seagull’s song “I Ran”? The lyrics went: “I never thought I’d meet a girl like you/ Meet a girl like you/ with auburn hair and tawny eyes/The kind of eyes that hypnotize me through…”

Well, it was in Game Plan that I learned that very tall, voluptuous redheads who put their hair up in buns, dress in severe, drab suits, and wear glasses are seen as plain. Honestly, what kind of man would be attracted to that type? 😁

The story is this: a serious young college professor refuses to give a football star a passing grade and then clashes with his coach. There are plenty of fireworks as they butt heads and experience sexual tension.

For the heroine, Claire, the only men who are interested in her are mature males (read: old dudes in walkers). Plus there’s a dumb, hulking student who’s described looking like actor Bill Fagerbakke who played Dauber on the series “Coach” and voiced Patrick Star of “SpongeBob Square Pants”. Poor Claire, the pickings are so slim when you’re cursed with wretched plainness!

Then enter Jake, the tall (much, much taller than Claire), green-eyed, former athlete whose alpha maleness makes him one of the rare few who can see through the facade of glasses, bun, and plain suits and appreciate the hot, sexy woman beneath. He pursues her, and 3/4 of the way through the book, he thaws through her frosty demeanor.

Final Analysis of Game Plan

Today, after reading about 1,000-1,500 romances, Claire and Jake’s love story would probably not blow me over as it did then. Back then, it was a simple romance about an ultra-macho football coach and a shy, undersexed college professor who drove men wild, although she didn’t know it. I guess Game Plan was one of those right books at the right time. This was a pleasurable read to my easily impressionable mind.

(PS) The Will Davies cover is nice to look at, but did the hero resemble a young Michael Douglas or am I seeing things?


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