because bibliophiles require refreshment

Playing the Player by Amy Andrews

I think I may have an Amy Andrews problem. And by that, I mean that I am mildly obsessed with her books. She’s become a complete auto-click for me and I’m hoovering through her back catalogue. Playing the Player is no exception to how her particular book magic works on me.

This one, the most recent in the Sydney Smoke series about a professional rugby team, centers around Lincoln and Em, both of whom we’ve met in a previous book. I think it’s a standalone, but I can’t be fully sure since I’ve read the series and I know I filled in mental blanks. Lincoln is both a rugby player and a woman player and the book opens with a challenge set to him by his teammates – get in Em’s pants within a month.

That challenge is set because they all know he’s been after her and she has shut him down – repeatedly. We get his POV that he’s confused as to why she’s so cold towards him, but feels confident he can wear her down. Her best friend is about to get married to one of his teammates – it’s not like they’re not going to see each other. Between his charm and his sex appeal, he reasons, surely he can wear her down.

What Lincoln doesn’t know, but we do, is that Em is already 100% sold on him physically. Emotionally? That’s the trickier bit. After years of dating “men who leave”, she’s decided to hold out for one who sticks. She is resolved to not mess with Lincoln, no matter how strongly her body reacts when he’s around. She’s a grown ass lady and she can control herself.

Except of course she can’t. Of course Lincoln is too much. And them together? Almost too much for me – in the best way. Their banter is second only to Andrews’ description of their intimacy. These two sparkle together and it’s a joy to watch them fall for each other, to see them be brave with each other, and to be along for their journey.

You’re going to need a cooling beverage for this one, petals. I read it with a Bertha’s Revenge and FeverTree tonic, with lime twist, and it was the perfect accompaniment. If you like sports romances, or sexy romances, or romances where the boy realizes that she’s worth risking his greatest fear, get this. It’s a quick read of wonderful escapism – and in the world these days, that is a true gift.

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I got a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for a review. Full disclosure, though, is that I accidentally deleted the free copy, was too embarrassed to email and so bought it on Amazon. Completely worth the money. 

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