Friday, February 3, 2017

~*♥Blog Tour with Review♥*~ Playing the Player (Sydney Smoke Rugby #3) by Amy Andrews

Title: Playing the Player
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby #3
Author: Amy Andrews
Release Date: Jan 30, 2017
Add to TBR

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.

Each book in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Playing By Her Rules
Book #2 Playing it Cool
Book #3 Playing the Player


Linc rang Em at the same time he had the day before. Every part of him ached from a morning of gruelling training, but in a good way. The kind of way that made him grateful for his fitness, that made him feel alive. And pumped.

Pumped to make this phone call. Pumped to hear Em say yes.

“Hi, Em Newman speaking.”

She had one of those teacher’s voices. Firm but kind, with just enough fuck-with-me-and-I’ll-send-you-to-the-principal edge to keep a guy in line. That kind of voice that had never really worked on him when he’d been in high school, but then he’d never had a teacher as sexy as Em Newman, either.

He might have turned up more often if he had.

“I think I’ve been going about this all the wrong way,” he said, picturing her sitting at her desk, her mouth pressing close to the phone receiver so she wasn’t overheard.

“I’ve been going for traditional names. But it’s not Ermintrude. Or Emma. Or Emily or Emmeline. So I’m thinking now your parents might be hippies, and it’s actually something like Ember. Or Emerald.”

There was a long pause then a deep sigh. “Why do you care?”

“I want to be able to call you by your real name.”

“Well, the kids call me Miss Newman.”

Linc chuckled. “Oh. Don’t tempt me.”

Another heavy sigh. “Are you just going to ring me every lunch hour?”

“Sure. If I have to.”

“Don’t you have...push-ups to do? Or something? Balls to kick. Tries to score?”

He grinned. “Training finishes at twelve, and in case you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to score right now.”

“Linc...” He’d have to have been deaf not to hear the exasperation in her voice. “I have papers to mark.”

“You are hell on a man’s ego, Miss Newman.” He loved the way “Miss” rolled off his tongue, and a dozen dirty thoughts about naughty teachers with crazy curls bending over to help a student with a problem, their shirts gaping to reveal pretty bras flitted through his head with a predictable effect on his dick.

Who knew teachers could be such a fucking turn-on?

Certainly not a guy who’d spent a good portion of his life avoiding them at all costs.

She snorted. “I have a feeling your ego couldn’t be brought down with an elephant gun.”

He laughed, not even bothering to try and dissuade her from the accuracy of her statement. “The Nerd Chicks are in town on Friday night.”

She didn’t say anything for a beat or two. “You know who the Nerd Chicks are?”

“I do now.”

Linc had spent a long time online last night trying to come up with something that’d blow Em’s mind. He’d finally found An Evening with the Nerd Chicks. Apparently they were three women with science backgrounds who ran a popular YouTube channel discussing all things science and had taken their show on the road.

“We should go together.”

There was another pause, but he thought he could hear her breath hitch. “Top marks for trying, Linc. But it’s sold out. It sold out in about half an hour.”

“Lucky for you I have two V.I.P. tickets.”

He definitely heard her breath this time. Hissing slowly out this time in a long exhale. “Thank you”

“No? Did I mention you get to meet them afterwards?”

A soft noise that sort of sounded like a whimper or maybe even a low growl caressed his eardrum. “I said no.”

But it was the most unconvincing no Linc had ever heard. He could practically feel her conflict. “Come on, Miss Newman,” he pressed. “Why deprive yourself?”

“Because, Linc,” she muttered, her voice terse, “afterwards I’ll probably fuck you in your ridiculously sexy car.”

Linc’s pulse spiked at her direct prediction. Even if she had sounded utterly depressed over it. He laughed. “And that’s a bad thing?”


“Okay. What if I promise to not let you fuck me in my car? Or anywhere else?”

It wasn’t going to win him the bet—but he really didn’t give a fuck anymore. Linc just really wanted to take her to the show. Because she obviously wanted to go.

She snorted. “I can be very persuasive.”

Title: Playing the Player
Author: Amy Andrews
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports - Rugby
Series or Standalone: Standalone Series (Sydney Smoke Rugby #3)
Rating: ★★★★1/2 Stars (rounded to 5 for Goodreads and Amazon)
Reviewer: Melyssa

I am in love with this rugby team.

I’m the first to admit that I don’t understand a lick of it, so I’m super thankful with each book that the author goes out of her way to explain some terms, but from life inside the game to life outside of it for this unique band of characters, I think I’m becoming increasingly more in love with it. Taking it as far as to even look up and watch games online.

But the game is not the only thing I’m in love with. The team either. Each individual character, in all their different ways, I’m enamored and captured by. Tanner did it first, then Dex, and now, the man I swear would have been destined to be a cad forever, in Linc.

I fell super hard for this playboy, super freaking fast. Much like Em did. It was such a pleasure to watch this man, a guy that had basically slammed the door on love and marriage based on family history of it, do just that. He came, he saw and he conquered and then you know what happens next? Love conquers him. Slaps him right upside the head until he can’t deny he’s in it and well, for this reader, it was a beautiful thing.

But it didn’t come without a lot of work on his part and a lot of humorous moments, which I will say, is one of the other reasons I enjoy reading this author so much. She always brings a level of humor that has me almost snorting drinks out of my nose, even when things are picking up and on the more serious end and it keeps me from falling to deep into any of the more emotional and heavy moments.

I hadn’t experienced this author before this series and have since been slowly going back into her older works, but the humor, the steam/heat level, and the characters themselves as they’re brought to life are just three of the things that will always keep me coming back for more.

So, what was it that kept this story especially with all the things I enjoyed about it, from reaching five stars?


Now that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy her. I did. I actually enjoyed her a lot, especially given her penchant for science and her teaching background. What I had issues with was in a way she reacts later in the book. I understood it, deep down, but at the same time, being as team Linc as I am and being even more connected to him and his way of thinking about this particular thing (knowing his background, etc.) it was harder for me not to want to smack my kindle (and pretend it was her) when it happened.

I didn’t feel that aspect of their relationship needed to be rushed, especially with how new they were.

That being said, it all worked out in the end, for me as the reader. I got what I wanted with this story the same way I did with the others and I wouldn’t change a thing because even if I was annoyed with Em, there’s no arguing that at the end of the day, it was a very real and very human response. Even if it wouldn’t have been mine.

So, to sum this all up, Amy Andrews has done it again and it’s my hope that this series continues and that I get to see more of this team, this band of brothers in future books. But whether I do or I don’t, the author is stuck with this book reading fan for life.

My thanks to the author, Net Galley and all others involved in letting me read this story before official release. Linc’s journey, much like the two before it, is one I’m so grateful to have taken before the rest of the world.

Amy is a multi award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written over sixty contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. She's sold over two million books and been translated into thirteen different languages including manga. Her sizzling books feature lots of sex and kissing. She likes to make her readers tingle, laugh and sigh and please don't mess with the HEA!

At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and she did. They're still living out their HEA and have two new adult children who are spreading their wings and flying the coop. She loves good books, frequent travel and great booze although she'll take mediocre booze if there's nothing else.

Amy spent six years on the national executive of Romance Writers of Australia including a two year term as president and after many years of unofficial mentoring of emerging writers, now runs her own manuscript assessment business, Word Witchery, which specialises in romantic fiction. With unique insight into what makes a story that sells, Amy aims to help every manuscript shine.

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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