My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).
Amy Andrews turns the heat on high in Playing It Cool! This second Sydney Smoke Rugby book is sexy, heartwarming, and features a hero and heroine who grabbed my heart from the start and didn’t let go.
Dex is a smokin’ hot rugby player who has worked his butt off to make it to the big leagues. He grew up poor and is holding tight to his work so that he’ll never go back. His determination fuels him day and night, which is why he wants to focus solely on rugby. Women are a distraction, but Harper hits all the right buttons for him. She’s a curvaceous Amazon who makes him drool, and when he sees her stepbrother insulting her about her weight, he can’t help but put the jerk in his place by asking Harper out. Harper is the kind of girl who has “commitment” written all over her, but what harm could one date do? Then he learns one date could never be enough, not with his impossible-to-resist attraction to her. I absolutely loved how Dex was head-over-heels in lust with Harper from the start. He appreciates all of her (not just her looks) and loves that he can be a normal person around her, not a sports star. That doesn’t mean Dex is a perfect hero. He screws up – badly – with Harper and puts his foot in his mouth more than once. Even so, I was rooting for him to pull it together, embrace life fully, and be the hero Harper deserved.
And speaking of Harper, she is definitely my favorite thing about Playing It Cool. I have a soft spot for heroines with body images issues, and Ms. Andrews really did a great job of making this part of Harper’s character without it defining her or overwhelming the story. Harper is a strong, talented woman with a big heart and a bit of a nerdy side. She’s got an absolute [insert your preferred curse word here] of a stepbrother and he and his equally wicked mother have been beating Harper down for years. Harper has confidence, but it does take hits, which I found realistic and only had me cheering her on more. I loved watching her come fully into her own over the course of the story. Harper doesn’t let herself be walked on and she’ll never settle for less than she deserves and that made her an absolute kickass heroine to me. And an awesome heroine like Harper deserves an excellent love story, and she and Dex have a red-hot one. The two of them own their sexuality and their chemistry is palpable – truly an excellent combination.
Playing It Cool is the second story in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series, but it can easily be read as a standalone (though you’re missing out on the fun if you skip Playing By Her Rules). I loved seeing more of the team and I can’t wait to watch more of those Sydney Smoke rugby players fall in love. All in all, I absolutely adored Playing It Cool. It’s fast-paced, hot, fun, and touched my heart at unexpected moments.
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.