Tempting the Player by Kat Latham

Tempting the Player LathamWhy I read it:  After reading and enjoying Knowing the Score recently, I bought the rest of the books in the series. I mistakenly thought this was the second book but it’s the third. It works as a stand-alone and does not spoil the second book but my sense of order was nevertheless offended by my error!

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Libby Hart and Matt Ogden are perfect for each other—as friends. They’ve known each other for ages. They act as each other’s plus-ones. They even share custody of a dog. And if there’s always been a little spark between them, so what? It’s never been worth jeopardizing their friendship.

Professional rugby player Matt is fighting for a starter position with the London Legends—and that’s not the only thing he’s fighting. A crippling fear of flying means he’s struggling to get his career off the ground. He has no time for a relationship, even if Libby does make him ache. As an airline pilot, Libby’s looking for a stay-at-home husband so she can have a family without sacrificing her high-flying career. Matt’s certainly not that man.

But just because they don’t have a future together doesn’t mean they can’t have a right now. When Matt asks Libby for help overcoming his fear, they agree to take a vacation from their platonic relationship—whenever they fly together, they can have sex. It’s the perfect way to resolve all that built-up tension. As long as they can avoid getting a little too comfortable…

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I do enjoy a friends to lovers story and, as I mentioned in my review of Knowing the Score, I like the author’s writing style and voice. All of those things worked for me here and I did enjoy the book.  But there were some things which didn’t work for me so the experience wasn’t quite as successful with this one. Not, I might add, in any way that would make me cautious about reading more from this author however.

July Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Yours All AlongYours All Along by Roni Loren – B-  This novella is a kind of prequel to Call On Me which I reviewed for Dear Author this month. I read it in the wrong order but it doesn’t really matter. The only thing Call On Me “spoils” is that they are happily together and romance readers already know that’s how it’s going to end so it’s no big deal.  Actually, it was probably beneficial that I’d read Call On Me first because I knew Devon and Hunter were still very happy together many years later and that helped give me a sense that they were very much right at the end of Yours All Along.

The novella is set in 2007 and flashes back to 2003 when both men were in college and roomed in a frat house together. Devon, openly gay, became close friends with Hunter, who comes from a wealthy controlling family with high expectations. His State Senator father is a homophobic bigot and expects certain behaviours from Hunter – and they definitely don’t include being gay. Hunter had previously identified as straight but over time, his attraction for Devon develops. I suppose it is a version of an Out for You story but it felt authentic to me. When Devon and Hunter met they were just 20 so it seemed not unbelievable to me that Hunter may not have previously realised his same sex attraction. This is particularly so because it was only when he came to California for college that he felt any sense of freedom to be himself at all.

Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

HimWhy I read it:  I was provided with a review copy via the authors.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Ryan “Wes” Wesley and Jamie Canning meet up again for the first time in four years at the NCAA Frozen Four Championship in Boston. They met at “Elites” a spiffy hockey training summer camp they both went to as kids.  Every year, Wes and Jamie hung out together at the camp in Lake Placid and their bond of friendship was strong. 

Wes is gay and out at college but preparing to head back into the closet, at least for a while, when he starts playing for a Toronto NHL team after graduation. He figures he will need to prove himself to the team before he can risk his sexuality becoming known.  His plan is to be celibate for a good long while. Not something he’s looking forward to.  At college, Wes didn’t hide his sexual orientation but he also didn’t flaunt it. It was kind of an open secret and apart from with one of his (straight) buddies on the team, it wasn’t discussed.

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