Why I read it: I enjoyed the first two books in the series so I bought this one as soon as it came out.
What it’s about: (from Goodreads) When love is at stake, all bets are off.
Fast and hard. Despite her best intentions, that’s the way Tatiana Belikov rolls, and over the past year she’s tumbled head over heels for her former ex-lover. Hot, indulgent, and ready to cater to her every dirty whim? There’s no way she could resist.
Wyatt Caine is the house, and the house always wins—but love is a precious commodity that rarely crosses his table. His game plan? Drown his woman in pleasure before she realizes he’s hardly a safe bet.
Their happiness burns brighter than the spotlights on the Strip, but when his past rears its ugly head, casting a shadow on their bliss, Wyatt has an important decision to make: time to fold…or go all in.
What worked for me (and what didn’t): I’ve come to expect hot sexy scenes in this series and this book did not disappoint – there’s even a brief f/f/m scene which was both kind of tame but super hot so I think it would work even for those who may not usually read f/f.
In this story, Wyatt and Tatiana have been together for a year. They haven’t said “I love you” but both are thinking it. Both are also nervous about fully committing out loud – for fear the other might not be ready or might run. What I really like about this series is that even when they have fears, even when their thoughts are at times immature and knee jerk, they act like adults. The set up was that Tatiana and Wyatt were together as teenagers/young adults and split amicably (but nevertheless both of them had broken hearts) ten years earlier. They split because they were immature. They didn’t have what it took back then to push past their fears and insecurities and communicate like adults. When they got back together, both of them decided to consciously act like grown ups. And they do. I found this both sympathetic (they’re not perfect people and they still have irrational thoughts and fears and knee-jerk reactions – just like everyone does) and also kind of charming. Given that my least favourite trope in romance is the Big Misunderstanding, it only stands to reason that I would have much love for the opposite of it. Sensible adults getting over themselves and putting their relationship first. That is so romantic and sexy to me I can’t even tell you.
How dare he shut me out—
Whoa. Back up.
Tatiana punched her inner teen girl into submission. No. This wasn’t about her. She didn’t get to make it about her.
Skeletons in Wyatt’s family closet is the conflict here – but it’s cleverly done – it does draw the couple closer and they learn that they can each be trusted not to run away or give up.
I thought that perhaps the epilogue was unnecessary. I enjoyed reading it and I loved the diversity of it which was just there and not highlighted in neon saying “look at me I’m diverse!” – but rather just Wyatt and Tatiana and they’re normal – which is multicultural living – but I’m not sure it added much to the story other than to show them happily ever after. I never doubted that would be the case so for me it wasn’t needed. I can’t complain about more Wyatt and Tatiana though.
There is also a bonus short story contained in the book – a steamy sex vignette, set after the events of Play With Me but before Risk & Reward.
I have enjoyed this sexy, sex-positive, funny and grown up series. Recommended.
“It’s weird, how I can put aside my own feelings and consider yours. It’s like I’m in love with you or something.”