Play It Safe by Kristen Ashley
Publication Date: January 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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No connections. Play it safe. These were the rules Ivey lived her life by.
Until she hit Mustang, Colorado, a perfectly imperfect town where the citizens were welcoming and one of them included the tall, beautiful, macho man rancher cowboy, Grayson Cody.
On the run for a decade, Ivey knew she was supposed to play it safe. But she was tired of being on the run. She wanted a normal. She wanted real. She wanted a home.
And she wanted Grayson Cody.
And Grayson Cody wanted Ivey.
No one who looked at them couldn’t see they belonged together. There was one man in this world for Ivey and one woman in this world for Grayson Cody.
So they fell in love.
But just as quickly as they fell together, they were betrayed and torn apart. Separated for years, Ivey was certain her life would not include her rancher cowboy. Until the town of Mustang reached out to her when Gray was in trouble. Even though she thought he broke her heart, she charged in to help. Then Gray and Ivey discovered they were betrayed and, not only that, Gray had an enemy who would stop at nothing to defeat him.
I just want to start by saying, that blurb is a hot mess. I trust Ashley as an author, but I still avoided reading this book for years because of that blurb. I downloaded the Kindle version with the audio add-on so I’d have something to listen to at work. I’m not a big audiobook person because I don’t like how slow they move. I adjusted the speed to 1.5x, however, and that really helped. I liked the narrator for this one.
Ivey and her brother Casey have been on the run for ten years, trying to escape a bad home life. Now 22, she makes a living as a pool hustler. When they land in a small Colorado town and she meets Gray, for the first time in her life she wants to stay put and form connections. The entire town adopts her as their own and she and Gray fall into each other pretty quickly. Ivey knows he’s the one for her, and Gray seems to feel the same. When her brother shows up and says they’re both in danger, Ivey leaves to protect Gray, but someone is conspiring against Gray and they play things so Ivey thinks he betrayed her.
7 years later Gray is in a bad spot financially. He’s about to lose his ranch. Ivey is now a Vegas showgirl with wealthy friends, so when she gets word she bails him out. Which is when they realized they were played. Unfortunately, the threat to Gray still exists. Rediscovering their love becomes a lot harder when they’re faced with constant danger….
Parts of this book moved slow, but I really enjoyed the small town and the romance. The cast of secondary characters was just as delightful as always. I thought the suspense plot was silly and the villain over the top, but I loved the way the story moved in and out of their lives.
Though this isn’t my favorite of Ashley’s works, I really enjoyed it. The audio made me want to search out some of her others to see how they compare.
3.5 out of 5