Title: Playing it Cool
Author: Amy Andrews
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby #2
Genre: Sexy Contemporary
Length: Short novel
Harper Nugent might have a little extra junk in her trunk, but her stepbrother calling her out on it is the last straw… When rugby hottie, Dexter Blake, witnesses the insult, he surprises Harper by asking her out. In front of her dumbass brother. Score! Of course, she knows it’s not for reals, but Dex won’t take no for an answer.
Dexter Blake’s life revolves around rugby with one hard and fast rule: no women. Sure, his left hand is getting a workout, but he’s focused on his career for now. Then he overhears an asshat reporter belittle the curvy chick he’d been secretly ogling. What’s a guy to do but ask her out? It’s just a little revenge against a poser, and then he’ll get his head back in the game.
But the date is better than either expected. So is the next one. And the next. And the heat between them…sizzles their clothes right off.
Suddenly, this fake relationship is feeling all too real…
Source: ARC from Entangled: Brazen via NetGalley
Oh, now this is more like it! I had a few issues with the first book in this series, but I’m a fan of this author so I was willing to give it another go. I’m so glad I did, because I really enjoyed this tale of a sexy, earthy rugby player and the plus-sized woman he falls for. It’s got plenty of heat and despite both characters saying they’re only in it for the sex, I loved how they connected outside of the bedroom as well.
Dex is a pretty uncomplicated guy on the surface. He came from a poor background, worked hard to get where he is and is determined to make a success of his career for as long as it lasts. No distractions. Which means no relationships. Until he meets Harper and is determined to rescue her from her jerk of a brother – which has absolutely nothing to do with the chemistry between them. Not a bit. Until it has everything to do with that, of course.
I loved how appreciative Dex is over pretty much everything about Harper. He loves her body, he loves her geekiness, he even appreciates her art. He’s also amazing with kids and an all-round awesome guy. Aside from his issues, of course. Which are definitely not a good point, but if he didn’t have them to bring him down he would be almost sickeningly perfect.
I liked Harper too. Considering her step-family, she could be excused for dressing in tents or never leaving the house, but she’s actually pretty comfortable with who she is. Or, at least, she certainly gets that way thanks to Dex’s open delight in her curves. I also liked that she isn’t clingy and never tries to change Dex, even though she does let him get away with far too much towards the end. Still, when she finally stands up for herself, she certainly goes all the way.
I am a little iffy about parts of the ending. I didn’t like the way all the good of Harper’s art is derailed by a pretty dodgy auction, and as much as I loved the conversation between Tanner and Dex about Dex’s feelings, what came next was just way too over the top for me.
Overall, though, this was a good, sexy, fun read. The characters are interesting, they actually have a relationship to go with their chemistry (even if they won’t admit it) and I just plain enjoyed it. I liked catching up with the rest of the team too and look forward to seeing just who is up next.
Playing it Cool is Out Now!
Visit Amy Andrews for more details.