31924680

Book Cover Rating:  4

Genres:  Romance, Adult, Sports, Domestic Abuse

Release Date:  January 16, 2017

Read:  January 7, 2017

Series:  A Beautiful Game Book One; not a standalone

Told in dual POVs, first person

Synopsis:

International football star Fletcher Adams always has an eye on the ladies and, more often than not, one on each arm. The sexy football pin-up knows he needs to make changes in his life, but changes don’t come easily. It’s time to head home to Scotland, away from everything that distracts him, and concentrate on Playing the Game.

Jessica Taylor, a young ambitious business woman, has her whole life mapped out. With her own home, a boyfriend, and a baby on the way, her life is moving along according to plan. When the unimaginable happens, her world crashes down and the happy life she had is plunged into darkness.

A meeting of chance brings together two very different people from different worlds. Both are trying to move forward from pasts that haunt them. While Jessica is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, Fletcher is trying to prove he’s calmed his wild ways and is ready to be the man to help piece her heart back together. Will Fletcher Adams be the right man to save her, or will she be the one to save him?

My Review:

Playing the Game (A Beautiful Game, #1)Playing the Game by Karen Frances

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Playing The Game” – A Beautiful Game book One – is by author Karen Frances.
My Rating: 5

*Not a standalone*

This is one of the hardest reviews to write, for me. I have truly been reflecting on this review for a week. I did love it! However, unfortunately, the cliffhanger unravelled all the good feelings I had. It left me speechless and angry. However, I wasn’t speechless for long because the foul words that spewed from my mouth went on for a while. I guess you can infer that I am not a fan of cliffhangers. At all! While plenty of my fellow readers don’t mind them, it’s not my thing. I am impatient and don’t want to be kept waiting months for my happily ever after. When I dove into this book, I was not aware of how it would end. Had I known, would I have still read it? Probably not. That said, I promise to give the fair rating that this story deserves, keeping my feeling regarding the cliffhanger from influencing that.

As an avid reader of romance I was thoroughly engrossed. The first few chapters were a bit slow while the author was building the story. This was an emotional book. I will keep details and spoilers out of my review. As far as the “feels” go, Playing The Game had it all. I mean that very literally. There was an underlying suspense aspect that hangs around most of the book. It kept the story engaging and intense. Although our H/h begin a relationship (but not immediately) there is always an element of darkness hovering, keeping them in a cautious state of mind.

Fletcher is the stereotypical “player” athlete. He has recently come to a crossroad in his life and he realizes it’s time to take a different path. Currently an international professional “football” star, he asks management for a transfer. The transfer brings Fletcher to his childhood home of Scotland where he settles at his deceased grandparents home. There is a sad story there. This was the only place Fletcher ever felt like it was “home.” The only placed he ever felt loved.

Fletcher is determined to stay away from his usual brand of trouble; what led to his public reputation as a womanizer. When Fletcher meets the beautiful and broken Jessica all his instincts to protect come to the forefront. But he knows Jessica deserves better than the likes of him. That said, Fletcher tries to keep their interactions short and light. Although he keeps a respectful distance at first, that doesn’t last.

Jessica thought life was going well. And then in the blink of an eye, it wasn’t. Jessica didn’t know how to get through a single day without heartache and emotional pain. Meeting Fletcher is what helped begin her healing process. Her healing was slow and gradual but Fletcher was there to keep her focused and on a positive path. Their development emotionally as a couple starts slowly and continues cautiously. I was so impressed with Fletcher. He was an amazing hero. He was kind and patient. He was also protective and went out of his way make life easier for Jessica. I will say again that Playing The Game is packed with all the “feels” so be prepared for anything.

So…..regardless of the evil that is the cliffhanger, I was completely into this book. Fletcher grew so much in character, as well as Jessica. I absolutely can’t wait (I mean that literally) for book two. Fletcher and Jessica’s love for each other is strong and I believe they will overcome what comes next, even though I know their road to happily ever after is beaten and battered with emotional obstacles.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader’s copy of this novel, given to me by the author via Give Me Books Promotions**

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