After a long history with crappy guys, high school teacher Em Newman is going man-vegan. Four months of revirginization has opened her eyes to her doormat imitation but, baby’s got spine now, and some smooth-talking—even if he is sinfully hot—rugby player, won’t be adding her as a notch anytime soon. Lincoln Quinn loves rugby, women, and poker. And he likes to win at all three. When his team mates bet him he can’t break through Em’s resolve, he’s more than up for the challenge. But this lady has a shoebox of stipulations before she’ll even go on a date with him, much less use that mouth for kissing instead of giving orders. Something’s gotta give but this time Em’s not settling. And Linc’s questioning everything he ever knew about matters of the heart.
Mmmm, there's just something appealing about those hot rugby player types, I don't know what it is exactly. Maybe the itty bitty shorts? Anyhoo, after reading "Playing it Cool", the second in this series, in under two days and loving every minute, I was super stoked to pick up "Playing the Player". Did it live up to my lofty expectations? Uh, not quite. Let me explain:
- This was a speedy read, with fairly quick pacing.
- I appreciated the lack of angst. For example, when Em found out about the bet, she realized it was a silly, stupid mistake on Lincoln's part and didn't hold it against him for long.
- The banter between Em and Linc was great, and I loved it when Lincoln was trying to guess what "Em" was short for - I never would have guessed in a million years!
- I liked that Em was a really smart science geek and loved her teaching job. Probably someone I would like to be friends with.
- There honestly wasn't much of a plot here. I mean, Lincoln and Em didn't really do a whole lot together, besides the sexy times, but I think the not-sexy times were my favourite. For example, the Nerd Girls show could have been elaborated on, as well as the time Linc did a rugby clinic at Em's school. Any details of these happenings were simply left to the imagination, but I think by leaving out the details, while reducing the reading time, also cut down on the amount of character and relationship development.
- I felt Lincoln's transformation from player to devoted boyfriend happened a bit too quickly for me to believe. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, I just think his complete 180° turn might happen 10 degrees at a time over the course of a year or so.
- I just didn't like "Playing the Player" as much as "Playing it Cool", and I think it's because Linc and Em were lacking the same amount of character development as Harper and Dexter had.
So although I didn't love this one as much as I'd hoped to, I still liked it, and I am definitely wanting to check out the rest of the Sydney Smoke Rugby series when I get a chance. Fans of Amy Andrews or steamy sports romances won't want to miss "Playing the Player", either!