Format: ebook, 169 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, Indulgence line
Year of release: 2013, August 12
Source: Received an e-ARC from publisher for review
My rating: 4,5 of 5 stars – Awesome Read
Blurb from Goodreads:
Up-and-coming photographer Judith Ashton is pretty sure she has everything in her life under control. That is, until a blast from the past comes back to taunt her, in the shape of Caleb Steele, her older brother’s best friend…and the man who broke her heart eight years ago. Their chemistry is combustible, but she’s been fooled once by this player, and she’s not going there again.
To pro rugby player Caleb, Judith has always been his Kryptonite. But his former playboy lifestyle is the last thing she wants to be involved in. In the midst of her brother’s threats to back off, and the deal of his career sending him far away from her, he knows he’s playing with fire. And this is one game he’s going to lose.
TALKING DIRTY WITH THE PLAYER has the brother’s best friend/best friend’s sister romance trope! WOOHOO! This alone would make me want to rush to buy and read this book. But the fact that I loved the first book in this series and that the heroine is the first book’s hero’s sister was just icing on the cake.
Judith is cool and in control, determined not to let Caleb and her attraction to him affect her. She allowed that once and it didn’t end well. Caleb is competitive and cocky. He knows he shouldn’t want Judith especially after the way he treated her after their one time together 8 years ago, but never one to back away from a challenge he can’t help needling her.
I adored the chemistry and banter between Judith and Caleb. It sizzled and was a joy to read. They are amazingly written characters with depth and layers to them that I thoroughly enjoyed peeling off to get to the core of them. Jackie Ashenden did a brilliant job with them. As the reader you know they are going to end up together no matter how much they fight it and still I read the journey to their HEA with abated breath as it wasn’t an easy road and the hurdles they had to overcome were steep.
I love Jackie Ashenden’s writing. It’s witty, character-driven and sexy. She manages to mix back-story, characterization and romance in a perfect way and lace it with enough humor to keep me mesmerized and wanting more once the book is finished. And next to the humor she’s not afraid of writing about the heavier themes like alcoholism and abandonment. She never fails to touch me emotionally with her writing and make me tear up.
Luke McNamara is the third guy in the trio of friends with Joe and Caleb. I’m guessing he will get a story too and even have a suspicion about his heroine. I cannot wait to get my grabby little hands on their story!
If you love contemporary romances that are sexy and character-driven, romances that seem light and fluffy but underneath the surface are intense and emotionally gripping, this series is the one to read and you need to keep an eye on Ms. Ashenden’s books!
– the dance at Joe and Christie’s wedding > I loved that scene, dancing and verbally sparring, no better base for sexy tension!
– the sexy texting > hehehe love me a sexy text convo
Sure, Caleb was hot. If you liked tall, muscle-bound beefcakes with eyes you could lose yourself in. The kind of smile that made you lose your mind as well as your panties. The magnetic, sexy bad-boy charm that promised all sorts of naughtiness.
Perhaps this was a mistake. Perhaps this was going to be too much for both of them. But if so, it was too late. Because right about now the flammable mixture of memory and chemistry was going to blow up in his face.