Playing it Cool by Amy Andrews
Published September 12, 2016
eARC via Publisher + NetGalley
Amazon || Goodreads || Aesthetic
Harper Nugent might have a little extra junk in her trunk, but her stepbrother calling her out on it is the last straw… When rugby hottie, Dexter Blake, witnesses the insult, he surprises Harper by asking her out. In front of her dumbass brother. Score! Of course, she knows it’s not for reals, but Dex won’t take no for an answer.
Dexter Blake’s life revolves around rugby with one hard and fast rule: no women. Sure, his left hand is getting a workout, but he’s focused on his career for now. Then he overhears an asshat reporter belittle the curvy chick he’d been secretly ogling. What’s a guy to do but ask her out? It’s just a little revenge against a poser, and then he’ll get his head back in the game.
But the date is better than either expected. So is the next one. And the next. And the heat between them…sizzles their clothes right off.
Suddenly, this fake relationship is feeling all too real…
Please excuse me for a brief moment while I just SQUEAL all the SQUEALS for the ending. It’s a must. Pinky swear.
Okay, babes. When Harper’s asshat of a step-brother is his usual self in front of the holy trinity of hotness rugby player, Dex, things suddenly begin to spice up a bit in Harper’s life. Dex asks her out. Asshat brother sputters and acts aghast. Harper is dubious of the player’s intentions, and the rest is a give and take and fall face first into emotions you don’t really want (Dex) and also emotions that you kind of need (Harper).
Let me just talk about Harper for a bit. Because this chick is awesome, and resilient, and so full of love (side note: did anyone see that one Criminal Minds episode where the killer was trying to recreate his mother’s murder/suicide and played “I’ve got a great big bottle (bundle) of love? No? Just me?) and y’all I just think that she’s the bee’s knees. Harper is a super strong, take-no-shit character. She does not need a significant other’s love to make her whole; she’s whole all by her own damn self. That being said, affection is nice. So is having someone to wake up to in the morning, and ask you how your day was, and is genuinely interested in hearing all about the things that make you who you are.
For Harper, that’s art.
Like any good book, plot twists are a must. I think that PLAYING IT COOL did a really nice job of making the twist seem like something that the characters would, like, legit do. And not something that was done because we need to keep the book going.
Please, do not do that. If the book wants to end, let it.
The mad bliss, downfall and confusion and stupidity, the Come to Jesus Moment; all of it completely worked. By doing all of this, the author also set the reader up for the next book (need, yes, please, give me) while not deviation from Harper and Dex’s story.
Can I get a woop woop?
I’m going to pretend you did the woop woop. For my own personal ego.
Overall, following their lust/love/undying devotion to each other was SO MUCH fun. I like the characters, the plot, and the cover is, well, you can see it. I don’t know what it is about rugby. Maybe it the fact that nobody’s got any brain cells when the games over, or maybe it’s the pack mentality—whoops, those are the things that worry be about sports. Let me rephrase: I don’t know what it is about Dex (probably his weird reactions, and his abs. I mean, let’s be honest.) but that man is swoony. Swoony squared. He and Harper work. This book works.
And basically you must read it.