Playing Dirty by Taryn Leigh Taylor
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Blaze
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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A game they both want to win
Lainey Harper has never been a puck bunny. She wants nothing to do with hockey or hockey players--not after what she's been through. So why can't she resist Cooper Mead?
Portland's newest hockey star, Cooper, is all muscle and charisma. And he's Lainey's worst nightmare. Hooking up with him would bring back memories that Lainey needs to keep buried. And risk the hard-earned anonymity she's sacrificed everything to protect.
When Lainey finally gives in to Cooper's sexy charm, the chemistry's intense--but so is the media exposure. And now Lainey's got even more to lose than her secret--she's got Cooper.
Lainey Harper grew up in a hockey family and loved it. That is until her father walked out the door when she was 10 and never came back. She did end up playing hockey, however, but ended her career scoring on her own net and never living it down. Now she’s back in Portland, OR trying to sell the bar that her father left her when he died. She wants nothing more than to sell it and get back to her life.
She meets professional hockey player Cooper Mead when her half-brother, Brett, brings him into the bar. Cooper tries to get her number time and again but she doesn’t fall for his lines. Despite that they end up hot and heavy after hours. Lainey decides it was just sex and tries to move on. Cooper, however, can’t get Lainey out of his mind and keeps showing up wherever Lainey is. When she’s photographed with Cooper her past comes back to haunt her and she pushes him away. Lainey has to decide what she wants with Cooper, if anything, and what that means for her future.
Lainey was a wonderful character. She was down to earth and realistic about life. Yes, she had issues but she was open to change and that made a huge difference in the way I saw her. Cooper was just a sexy as hell hockey player and I really liked him. He was kind yet rough and tumble. He has his own issues and secrets and because of them he tries to act, at times, like someone he’s not. I loved how he dealt with everything in the book (I don’t want to give it all away) and how he came to tell Lainey, and others, about his issues.
The romance and sex was extremely hot and well written. Taylor didn’t overdo it and throw too may sex scenes in when they didn’t further the story along, and I appreciated that.
This was a great little book. Lainey really had a chip on her shoulder when the story first started but throughout the book she came to realize many things about herself and the way she saw life, her father, her brother, and love.
Rating: 4 out of 5
FYI – This kind of looks like it’s the second book in a series but the life of me I couldn’t find a series name. The first book is Playing to Win.