Playing by Her Rules by Amy Andrews Sydney Smoke Rugby #1
Publication Date: July 18, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled Brazen, Contemporary Romance
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29ETjxr
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29GgTcb
In this grudge match, the first to score…
When style columnist Matilda Kent accidentally lets slip that she was once involved with the captain of the Sydney Smoke rugby team, she suddenly finds herself elevated to the position she’s always wanted – feature writer. The catch? She’s stuck doing a six-part series on her ex. Still, there’s no way she can turn down a promotion…or the chance to dish the dirt on the guy who so callously broke her heart. …could win it all! Tanner Stone wants to be involved in a feature series about as much as he wants to snap an Achilles. But the thought of seeing Tilly again is a bonus—and has him more worked up than he wants to admit. Only he’s not prepared for how different she is – all cool and professional. His Tilly is still in there, though…and he still wants her, now more than ever. All he has to do is charm her into giving him a rematch. And this time, winner takes all!
Title: Playing by Her Rules
Author: Amy Andrews
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports - Rugby
Series or Standalone: Standalone Series (Sydney Smoke Rugby #1)
Rating: ★★★★1/2 Stars (Rounded to 5 for Goodreads and Amazon)
Rating: ★★★★1/2 Stars (Rounded to 5 for Goodreads and Amazon)
Amy Andrews, you lady have made one hell of a believer out of me.
I’ve never had the pleasure of reading works by this author before, but after this, the love story I just had the pleasure of devouring in one sitting, I can say without question I will be reading her again. Repeatedly.
Sports books have a formula usually. First, you’ve got the manwhore sports guy and the tamer different, sometimes even quirky girl that turns him around.
Forget what you know about previous books because this one, this guy and girl respectively, well they change the mold. We’ve got Matilda the writer, a woman with a backbone and who isn’t afraid to give it back as good as she gets it and then on the other end of the line we’ve got Tanner the rugby captain with quite possibly the best, and sweetest, heart of gold I’ve ever seen.
It should be stated right away that this is a second chance romance and in my previous travels, those books, they come with a lot of drama. Whether that be exes, family or the like, there is always usually something and the book is just drenched in it. That again, does not happen here. At all. The drama that is here, and there really isn’t much, is very realistic in that it stems from their past and what brings them to this point, making it a second chance romance to begin with. They are issues that they need to communicate about and overcome and in the end, I was so invested in seeing that happen that I couldn’t put it down.
I can’t let the review go any further without talking about the supporting cast here. Whether it be Matilda’s family (grandmother specifically) or Tanner’s teammates, they all brought something unique to the story and fit right in, making me love them all as much as I did the main characters. There was humor, in spades, with these people and they kept the book from becoming heavy emotionally, which was such a treat.
As far as hero’s go in romantic fiction, especially sports fiction, Tanner takes the cake. This man, the boy even, was such a beautiful soul. So unique in a story, and I bet if he was real, in life as well. He made a decision in his younger years that had long lasting repercussions but his heart, in that moment really was in the right place and honestly, the man he grew into, the person he became, was much the way he was then, but even better. He loved his girl, and nothing would deter him once they crossed paths again to right wrongs and get her back. He sold me. I swooned. Hard. He was just a beautiful character and there honestly wasn’t anyone better suited for him than her.
Matilda was spunky, a spitfire of sorts, determined, driven, but also real in that amidst all of that, she still felt. She still hurt from events of the past and even after learning everything, the truth of that time in their lives coming to light, still has the gumption to say “you know what, that is not okay”. I can’t put my finger on just one thing about her that I liked, because it was an overall thing, but she read very real and that made the connection to the both of them easy as pie to make.
My only issue with the story overall was the timing of the revelations between the two. I think for me personally, I wanted it a little sooner, so I could enjoy just a little bit more of them happy, but the way it was put forth didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the story for me much at all. I loved it. I’ll always love it. It really was one of the best sports books I’ve read.
The writing was fantastic, the characters were real and the love story was very organic. This is second chance romance at its finest.
If you’re a fan of sports related stories, second chance romances or even books with the right amount of humor mixed in with the emotional, I’d give this one a try.
My thanks to the author and all others involved in letting me read an ARC of this story. Tilly (ya ya, I know it’s Matilda) and Tanner’s journey is one that I am so very glad to have taken and been a part of. I can’t wait to see what the author brings to the table for this series in the future.
Matilda straightened her spine as they circled on an endless loop through her head. No matter how mellow she was becoming, she wasn’t in the game anymore, and she’d be damned if she was going to let him turn her on in front of a couple of hundred people. Not without a fight anyway.
See how he felt taking a little of his own medicine.
“You think,” she said quietly, deliberately shuffling her body closer until it was pressed along the length of his, “I should have told everybody that Tanner Stone went down to—” she lowered her voice for dramatic effect. “Lady town?”
He chuckled and it disturbed the wisps of hair at her temple. “Hmm. Maybe that would be a bit too much information.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Tanner,” she tipped her head back to look him in the eye. “A man with a gift like that shouldn’t be shy about it.”
“I’m gifted, huh?”
Amusement laced his voice but Matilda could also discern the husky edge to it and was intimately attuned to the tightening of his hand on her back.
Maybe this conversation was having an effect on him, too?
“You should rent a billboard.”
If he was confused by her banter, he didn’t show it, but he did search her gaze for long moments as they swayed to the music. Long moments during which she became aware of the hardening ridge of his arousal. Her pulse spiked as it pressed with more and more urgency against her stomach.
It was having an effect on him.
She shifted against him deliberately, goaded by his brazenness and the wild pulse between her legs. It felt good.
“Any time you want my services, you know my number.”
His voice was like gravel now and it was all she could hear as the world narrowed down to just the two of them, rubbing against each other more than dancing. The music faded, the people pressing in around them faded, propriety faded.
“Oh...you do house calls?”
“For you?” His gaze dropped to her mouth before flicking up again. “Absolutely.”
“That’s very selfless of you.”
“Not really. I get plenty out of making you come.”
Matilda’s breath hitched. If that was a line, it was a damn good one. “You wouldn’t want a little...” she shifted against him again and a triumphant buzz coursed through her body as his hand clamped harder in the small of her back, “something in return?”
He smiled but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Only what you’re willing to give.”
He stared at her mouth again. “That could be quite nice.”
“Maybe...” She slid her hand from his shoulder up into the hair at his nape, “second base?”
His gaze dropped to the artificial depths of her cleavage. “I do like second base.”
“What about a...blowjob?”
He glanced up, swallowing hard and huffing out an uneven breath. “I wouldn’t say no to that.”
“Oh?” she asked innocently. “You like blowjobs?”
“I’m quite partial to them.”
“Really?” More wide eyed innocence.
He lowered his lips to her ear. “If you think I haven’t been fantasising about your mouth around my cock, then you’re crazy.”
About Amy Andrews
Amy is an award-winning, best-selling Aussie author who has written fifty plus contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets and been translated into over a dozen languages including manga. She is a USA Today best-seller and has sold in excess of one million books featuring lots of sex and kissing. She likes to make her readers tingle, laugh and sigh. She loves good books and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else. At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and she did. They’re still married and have two grown kids who never stay away long enough to be missed. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.
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