Wednesday, October 2, 2013

REVIEW ~Playing with Her Heart by Lauren Blakely~

Title: Playing with Her Heart
Author: Lauren Blakely
Series: Caught Up In Us #3
Release Date: August 17, 2013

My Rating: 4 stars

From the NYT & USA Today Bestselling romance author, a sizzling and addictive story of a woman with a broken past and the man who can’t fight his attraction to her…

Twenty-three year old rising theater star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. But then she comes face to face with her new director – sexy, sophisticated, possessive, all-alpha Davis Milo. He tries to resist the actress he’s cast, but the attraction between them is too powerful, and soon their private rehearsals spiral into new, forbidden territory. The passionate connection, the intense chemistry is undeniable, and it hits them anywhere, and everywhere – in the theater, on the piano, in the limo, in the restaurant…But the tragedy in Jill’s past stands between them. Davis has walls too, so they can either face their fears together, or risk the deepest love and greatest passion either has ever felt…

Playing with Her Heart is a hard one to review for me. It kept me off center the whole time, and not many books can do that. I usually have at least some idea of where a book is going, but not with this one. This is the first book I have read from Lauren Blakely, I know it is 3rd in a series but everyone was raving about it and they are technically standalones so I decided to dive in. I was surprisingly captivated by it. I find it hard to find a book/series where I have not read the plot line before. Playing with Her Heart was a new experience for me, I’m not used to a fun-loving contemporary having such strong emotions between the characters. We usually get all the angst and emotion, or all of the light-hearted love and humor. It's refreshing to read a book that has a perfect mix of both.

"You can play her, and you will play her. Hell you are her. I can feel her pain in you. Her secrets. Her sadness. How wounded she it. Most of all, I can feel her hope."

We start off with Jill who is just beginning her career on Broadway. I liked her character, she has a nice head on her shoulders, and does not have that starry-eyed quality that one might see in a newbie. Then we have the veteran Director Davis Milo. Davis is the perfect fit for a brooding director, and he has got quite a dirty mouth! From the minute Davis sees Jill he is attracted to her, he can’t get her out of his mind and has to have her as is leading lady. Circumstances and the real world come into play and Davis does not get his way. Jill still ends up in the play and their late night practice sessions begin to heat up. Surprisingly enough it was not all sex right out of the gate, the author actually makes you wait for it, but there is plenty of heat throughout these pages. The story seems to be more concentrated on their actual relationship than their physical attraction. It was interesting to see the characters build their relationship and deal with the obstacles upfront instead of waiting for a blow up moment at the end. 

"He's fucking me with his words, and I am turned on beyond belief."

I really adored the interactions between Davis and Jill, and I could not wait to see where their story was going to lead. I think part of it was a bit predictable but it did not keep me from devouring this book in a day.  It wasn't predictable in a boring way, Ms. Blakely kept my attention the entire time. I really could not put it down! I will definitely be reading the preceding books in the series and any future books by Lauren.

Happy Reading!

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