Monday, January 30, 2017

Review: Playing the Player by Amy Andrews

Playing the Player by Amy Andrews
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby, Book 3
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781682814161
Release Date: January 30, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

After a long history with crappy guys, high school teacher Em Newman is going man-vegan. Four months of revirginization has opened her eyes to her doormat imitation but, baby’s got spine now, and some smooth-talking—even if he is sinfully hot—rugby player, won’t be adding her as a notch anytime soon.

Lincoln Quinn loves rugby, women, and poker. And he likes to win at all three. When his team mates bet him he can’t break through Em’s resolve, he’s more than up for the challenge. But this lady has a shoebox of stipulations before she’ll even go on a date with him, much less use that mouth for kissing instead of giving orders.

Something’s gotta give but this time Em’s not settling. And Linc’s questioning everything he ever knew about matters of the heart.

A rugby star who plays hard on and off the field meets his match in a teacher who has no problem making him work for it in Playing the Player. Amy Andrews has a gift for penning romances that are funny and sexy, and this book definitely has humor and heat in spades.

Linc and Em charmed me with their banter and were definitely hot together – both things I expected going into this book. What I didn’t expect was them touching my heart. I absolutely loved peeling back the layers to their characters. At the start, Linc and Em seem like opposites when it comes to love. She’s a relationship-only girl and he’s a player through and through. However, both of them faced childhood abandonment, which helps them understand one another and how they approach relationships. Linc’s upbringing made him cynical about love and he doesn’t believe in marriage. Em, in turn, craves love and commitment and has been burned repeatedly in her search to find it. They both think they won’t work in the long run, but their attraction to one another is impossible for them to resist. I loved the sexual tension between them and the buildup leads to one hell of a payoff. Em and Linc are explosively hot as a couple, and to make things even better, they’re fun.

I was a bit wary going into Playing the Player because I’m not a fan of the romance trope where a character and his friends bet on getting someone into bed. However, because I adore Ms. Andrews’s writing – and am completely hooked on the Sydney Smoke Rugby series – I was willing to give Linc a fair chance. I’m so glad I did. I won’t spoil the story, but I will say that Ms. Andrews turns the tired trope on his head and spares readers from false drama. I was actually delighted with how things turned out, and I truly loved watching their relationship develop. Em and Linc are perfect for each other, and it was a joy to see them come to that realization as well.

Playing the Player is the third book in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. What I love about the series is that each book has been filled with great characters, steamy scenes, and wonderful banter, yet while they’re tied together in terms of tone and world, each story is unique. The interaction between the teammates and the women who love them only add further dimension to the world and make me incredibly eager for more books. All in all, I loved Playing the Player. Linc and Em’s love story was a blast to read – so much so that I wanted to dive back in for a re-read right after finishing it.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.