Body Games by Jessica Clare
Series: Book #5 in the Game Series
Author: Jessica Clare
Annabelle Tucker is still reeling from last season’s Endurance Island, when the man she loved played her for a fool. When producers ask her back for a new season it’s the last thing she’s interested in…until she hears her ex, the gorgeous but duplicitous Kip, will be there. Revenge and a grand prize? Yes, please!
But someone’s there to throw a kink into her plans. Someone tall and cut, and with the sexiest gray eyes. Jendan Abercrombie’s on an opposing team, but it doesn’t mean that Annabelle can’t lust after him, right? She’ll just have to save all that lusting for post-show, when she’s free to follow where her loins lead.
When a tribal twist puts them both on the same team – naked – will Annabelle be able to resist his very apparent charms? Or will she have to vote Jendan out to save her game?
Review: I must admit, this title made for an interesting read! It’s apparent if you read the blurb that this is sort of a roughly based book version of the television show Survivor (which I love by the way!) Of course there are differences, but for all intents and purposes that is what it is….:) So, of course, I had to give this series a try! Granted, this is book five in the series, and I have yet to read the previous ones (the first of which is free on Amazon, by the way!) That didn’t really hinder me when it came to reading the book at all though – was really easy to just jump right into it.
My only real complaint is the first person point of view. My own personal opinion, of course…:) I used to absolutely avoid anything told from first person POV, but now there are a few cases where it is pulled off beautifully and actually adds to the story. In this case, it actually seemed to render a little bit of a disconnect for me when it came to the characters. It’s one of those books where it’s a great story, but rather than feeling like a part of it you feel like you are on the outside looking in. I will definitely be reading prior books in this series though, and reading any additional books to follow!
Excerpt: “All right, guys,” Chip’s voice interrupted my self-loathing. “As I said before, everything you’re starting the game with is in that box right here.” He gestured at the row of colorful boxes lined up at his feet, each one no taller than his knee. “You’re not even allowed the clothes on your back. At the signal, find your box with your name and change into your gear. Once you have your gear, the game starts. This is your first challenge.”
I shivered. The game was beginning already. I was ready for this, though. All weekend, I’d brushed up on my skills that I’d learned from my last round on the island. I could make a decent fire with coconut fluff if given time and supplies. I was flexible and in shape. I studied puzzles and the local flora and fauna on the flight out so I wouldn’t be unawares. I was as ready as I could be.
“When I say go, you will change into your playing gear. Once you are changed, take your box and haul it across that line on the far side of the beach.” He pointed into the distance, and I could see a row of cameramen lined up next to a finish line with tiny waving flags. It was about a hundred yards away. Not a fun sprint, but a do-able one.
“The last team to change out of their clothing and into their Endurance Island gear will not be nominated for Judgment – they will be eliminated. Today is your first day in the game…and it will be the last for two players. This is immunity, Judgment, and execution all in one swoop.”
As a one, contestants started to cast confused looks at each other. We were all thinking the same thing – we were going to have to change clothes on the beach? In front of each other? Really? What the heck was up with that? This was national television, not cable, so I knew that any boobs or balls would be pixelated out, but I wasn’t relishing the thought of getting naked in front of anyone, much less fifteen other someones…
And an entire camera crew watching, to boot.
Okay. I told myself I could do this. I studied the box, thinking. Inside, there would probably be a team shirt designation or something along those lines. Maybe a slip dress. I could probably wiggle into something without flashing my boobs to the world.
“Everyone ready?” Chip raised his hand, a gleeful look on his face. He quickly lowered it. “Go!”
There was no time to think. Everyone hauled ass forward, sand spraying as sixteen pairs of feet ran toward the row of boxes across the beach. The wind whipped strands of hair into my eyes and Kip quickly shoved ahead of me. I slowed momentarily, letting the stampeding rush of bodies swarm ahead. It wouldn’t do me any good to push ahead of Kip only to be slammed to the ground by a rogue elbow. I trotted as close behind the others as I dared, and reached the colored boxes a few steps after the others.
My hands landed on my box the moment the first gasp of shock went up.
That made me jerk upright. I looked away from my box as I pulled off the lid, staring down at the line.
A woman was holding up a pair of sneakers and waving them in the air. “This is all that’s in my box!” Others were pulling off their lids and murmuring as well. No one sounded happy. For that matter, no one sounded like they knew what to do.
Others held up their items – no one had anything but shoes.
I tossed the lid of my yellow box aside. Sure enough, there was a pair of dainty yellow and white sneakers laid neatly inside my box. That was it. I picked them up and shook them out, in case there was a clue of some kind to where the rest of my gear might be hidden.
“I don’t understand,” Kip said. “No one has anything but shoes.”
“That’s right,” Chip boomed from nearby. “For this season of Endurance Island, you’ll be playing stripped of every luxury. And that includes clothing.”