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Red Card #1

Risky Play

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Even one-night stands deserve a second chance in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s novel of sporting desire.

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

288 pages, Paperback

First published March 19, 2019

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About the author

Rachel Van Dyken

167 books17.9k followers
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Hey guys I'm rarely on Goodreads, if you need to reach me feel free to email!
EMAIL ME: rachelvandykenauthor@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 872 reviews
Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,276 reviews24.7k followers
March 14, 2019
RATING 4.5 STARS

Risky Play is book one in the brand new series, Red Card, by Rachel Van Dyken. This book was just fantastic. I instantly fell in love with both the hero and the heroine. They were both strong and vulnerable. They made mistakes but they held themselves accountable for them. Read on and let me tell you about them.

Mackenzie (Mack) DuPont grew up the only daughter of parents that owned a wine dynasty. Wine was her life and she was a wine taster for the company. From birth, her best friend and constant companion had been Alton Davis so it was no surprise when they eventually became engaged. But at the alter, in the middle of the wedding, he walked away.

“Thirty years I’d been part of a duo. And now, now I was just me.”

red wine and glasses

It’s been six months since the wedding that didn’t happen. Mack has lived her entire life being the good daughter, the perfect fiancé. She decides it’s time for an adventure. She goes on the honeymoon she had planned to surprise her ex with to Puerto Vallarta by herself. On the plane she finds herself next to about the most gorgeous man she has ever seen. But this is the new Mackenzie, the adventurous Mackenzie. So she gives him a fake name. She doesn’t want him to know her as the sad woman that’s been all over the tabloids.

soccer field

Slade Rodriguez is a professional soccer player, the best striker in the world. He has his own reason for needing a break, for needing to forget. He took the biggest risk of his life and is changing soccer teams. He had to get away. So before it was time to start training with his new team in Seattle, he randomly chose a resort in Puerto Vallarta for a vacation.

couple cliff diving

A kiss on the plane led to a night beyond either of their imaginations. But just when Slade is beginning to think his luck is finally changing, something tragic happens to cause him to leave, leaving Mack to wake up alone. In the weeks to follow, Slade needs to blame someone for his grief so he blames Mack.

Mack needs a break from working at the winery so she begins working for her Aunt as a personal assistant. Her new client is supposedly a big soccer star. Luck seems to be laughing at her when she comes face to face with the man that left her in Mexico, the man she hasn’t been able to get off her mind. The man who now seems to hate her.

“He wasn’t mine to save”

cute bull dog

Even though Mack should hate Slade, she sees his pain and can’t help but want to help him. So she decides to wear down his anger through his stomach. She cooks for him. And wear him down she does. Slade is reminded of the woman he began to fall for in Mexico. But he’s been so awful to her. Could she ever trust him again? Could she ever give him a second chance?



I couldn’t put this down. These two needed each other so badly but it seemed like everything was trying to keep them apart. Don’t even get me started on her awful ex. He was truly the villain of the book. I fell in love with both Slade’s manager, Matt, and his teammate, Jagger. And then there was Slade’s adorable bulldog, Alfie. To top it all off, the ending, the last chapter, was perfection. I didn’t expect that at all and I totally swooned. The epilogue was adorable. This was such a good book and I can’t wait for the next book which is Matt’s story, Kickin It. What a great start to this new series!

For more about this book and so many more, come and visit me at Carol's Crazy Bookish World.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/44036...

Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
792 reviews858 followers
March 5, 2019
Dammit. DAMMIT! DNF @60%

I don't even know where to start with this one. There were so many things wrong. The hero was a total dick.

The heroine was jilted at the altar, goes on vacation, meets a man, they give fake names to one another, have wild sex. While deflowering her he gets a message from his dad and doesn't call back. Hours later his dad passes away and because the hero was too busy sticking his dick into the heroine to return his dad's call he leaves her in the middle of the night and now he blames her inwardly. Yep. He's a real charmer.

Back home she works now for an agency who does chores for the rich and famous. Slade is a soccer player and famous, something Mackenzie didn't know because of their fake names. So she is assigned to him and the first thing that comes out of his mouth is "are you stalking me?" The second thing is this:

"Whatever you think is going to happen between us—won’t. Just drop it. I’m not going to marry you just because I saw your pussy.”

A real keeper. And so full of himself. And there he started out so sweet. It was like he had a personality transplant.
He kept throwing insults at a completely innocent young woman and was overall a freaking douchebag. I've read and loved those before, it can be done well but this one? Hell to the no. Hell. No.

I just couldn't do it. I couldn't.

Dud #3. Dammit.

Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,831 reviews5,505 followers
April 27, 2019


Rage quit.

It isn't often that I'm screaming, "NO!" while listening to an audiobook, but I wanted to throw this out the window (I didn't, because I was listening on my phone, but still...).

This story both made no sense and also enraged me.

First of all, Slade is a huge dick. No woman should have to be nice to a guy who treats her like utter trash for literally no reason. He blames Mac for something that she actually has zero to do with (no misunderstanding, he just blames her for a reason I couldn't begin to fathom), and then repeatedly says horrible things to her. No thanks. I don't care that he was going through some "things," Mac doesn't have to be nice to him, and I think it's damaging to teach women that they have to be sweet and forgiving to a person who deserves no forgiveness, who hasn't even apologized.

Secondly, there is NO WAY a billionaire's daughter would be doing menial assistant work. If you are a billionaire (A freakin-billionaire!!), and you want to clear your head and escape, you do not take a job as cleaner/dog-walker. There is no way, in any world, that that would happen. It just wouldn't. I don't care how down to earth you are, it just doesn't make sense.

Look, I can put up with some outlandish plots, but combine all that nonsense with a narration that grated on me and I'm out.

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Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,549 reviews3,802 followers
March 17, 2019
4

I'm gonna be honest here and say that I am a bit over the whole "virgin" trope. If I never have to read about another virgin again...that would be fine by me. That said, I am a fan of Rachel van Dyken's work and so I really don't want to miss out on the books she writes, so I figured I just had to trust her and give this one a go ;)

I'm in gif - Google zoeken

And I am so glad I did because Mack was pretty awesome !!

MacKenzie is the 30-year-old heiress of a wine empire. She is a sommelier (wine taster) at her father's company. She has also just been left at the altar...by her best friend Alton. The friend she grew up with, the one who was always by her side and who was supposed to run this wine-empire with her in the future...

scorned bride gif - Google zoeken

She tries to resume her life but having to look at her ex-fiancee...(who already showing off his new girlfriend) is just a bit too much. So she decides to go on the honeymoon she bought for the two of them alone... She could use a bit of a time-out...an adventure ;) She wasn't prepared for an engine malfunction though... And while the airplane's engine has exploded, so does Mack's heart when she kisses the handsome man sitting next to her...

kiss on airplane gif - Google zoeken

Slade Rodriguez is a pretty famous soccer player looking for his own time out. Life has thrown him a few curve balls, and he needed to get away from it all. He wasn't expecting the beauty sitting next to him...kissing him...while the airplane rocks it's way down...

Being in the same resort, and on the same floor even, they decide to take their chemistry a step further. 

sexy kissing gif - Google zoeken

But tragedy strikes a few hours later and when Mack wakes up...there is no sign anywhere from Slade... 

Having no place to go, she decides to go and work for her aunt for a couple of months, so she won't be confronted with her jerkface ex again... since her father refuses to fire him. She didn't expect to come face to face with a different kind of jerk though..

hey assbutt gif - Google zoeken

I absolutely loved this book. The back and forth banter was amazing and I laughed my ass off !! Mack was no weak and wilting heroine by any means. She was so strong and sweet and funny. I am glad I put my prejudice about the whole "virgin" thing aside. 

It took me a bit longer to warm up to Slade, but he worked hard for it so I have to give him my stamp of approval as well ;) 

approved stamp gif - Google zoeken

The side characters were pretty awesome, and I really fell head over heels in love with Matt... He's definitely my kind of guy and I hope he will get his own story soon.

That's not to say I won't be looking forward to Jagger's book, because he was great as well... Can't love em all the same though :P 

I highly recommend this series !!!

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Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,091 reviews1,892 followers
March 20, 2019
NOW LIVE!
Amazon US * Amazon UK



Risky Play is the first book in Rachel Van Dyken's new series, Red Card. The story follows jilted bride Mackenzie Dupont and soccer star Slade Rodriguez in a game full of sexiness, angst, and romance.

Slade was just...gah! He had the heat and the intensity and the swoon worthy personality that I love in my heroes. I adored him from the first moment we met him and only loved him harder as the book went on. Even during the moments that I wanted to just slap him silly for being so cruel to Mackenzie instead of facing his own pain. That vulnerability drew me to him just like it did Mackenzie and I loved seeing those moments where she was so forgiven and understanding.

I really admired the strength it took for her to put her own feelings aside to help Slade. She wasn't a pushover at all but when she saw that he was hurting so much from the loss of his father she did what she could to help him. It was really fun to see that explosive start they had with all their chemistry in the beginning and then to see them come together again later when they had to deal with their own lives again and couldn't just escape on vacation. It made for a great character development and added the intrigue of waiting to see how they were going to handled their feelings.

Overall, I thought this was an amazing story and I definitely recommend reading it. There are some secondary characters also that I really hope we get to see more of so I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this series.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jenny••Steamy Reads Blog••.
987 reviews1,800 followers
March 22, 2019
Slade Rodriquez, world’s best soccer player. He’s sexy, he’s hot, and he just made the biggest career move from Europe to the United States MLS.



What he doesn’t need is to lose his focus on a woman. However that decision is taken from him when he runs off on a mini vacation before the season gets under way and meets and falls for Mackenzie DuPont. But the world again takes away his options when a tragic phone call is received.

Waking up after a perfect night with a man she just met and instantly had a connection with, Mack rolls over to find the bed empty, along with the attached empty suite. Left with several unanswered questions, she realizes that for the second time, she’s been left all alone, stood up and by herself.



This story, it grabbed me from the get go and I couldn’t put it down until the end, until I knew exactly how this story ended. I’ve always enjoyed RVD writing and stories. She has the ability to wrap you up in her writing.

This sports romance, the jilted left at the alter bride, the scorn tough guy, and all the things and all the people that happen in between from the first look of instant attraction between two broken and lonely people and a happily ever ending, is such a fun journey to go along. One I would recommend to you romance lovers that love sports (soccer), wine, family, instalove, hot men, loving women, give this one a chance and order it today!!











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Profile Image for Sentranced Jem.
1,025 reviews564 followers
March 8, 2019

PSX_20190308_184516

Title: Risky Play (Red Card #1)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: March 19, 2019



6% into the book, I read something that made my heart skip a beat. So of course I took it as a sign that I was going to love Risky Play.

I LOVED Mack and Slade. I loved their chemistry so much!

Truth me told I loved the character development in this book the most.
Slade may have his fame, fortune and good looks but geez, this man can be cruel and crude. So I'm not going to lie and say that I was rooting for him from the get go. But I will also say that there was an undeniable pull between Slade and Mack that made me want them together.
Slade and Mack had such a fun, witty, spunky chemistry along with emotional heartfelt moments that really made me second guess my thoughts regarding Slade. But Praise the Lord! Slade took his head out of his ass and he redeemed himself! Because half way through the book, I was gunning for him. I was gunning for them.

Risky Play is without a doubt absolutely SENSATIONAL!

Rachel Van Dyken has written a book that is heart-stoppingly perfect!
By the end of the book, I knew that I loved loved loved every single emotion that I went through reading this book.
I felt frustrated when things didn't do smoothly for Mack and Slade.
I blushed at Slades words to Mack.
I felt the angst.
I felt the sizzling lust and the incredible chemistry between them.
But most of all, I was happy.
This book is fun, it's sexy, it has characters who you can swoon over, it has amazing secondary characters, it has a storyline that just captivates you from the get go.

What more would you want?

I highly recommend this book! I can't wait to read more books from this series. YAY!!!

4.5 new1
Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,023 reviews685 followers
March 19, 2019
This was such a great read!

Six months after Mackenzie is left at the altar, she takes advantage of the honeymoon trip she had planned. When one of the plane’s engines goes out, she frantically turns to the man next to her and asks him what the one thing he regrets is. His answer warms her wine tasting heart and then she does the one thing she that ensures she will die with no regrets. She kisses the ever loving heck out of him…and he returns it.

description

Slade has learned the hard way to not trust freely. Living in the spotlight only makes that lesson more of necessity. The first Slade we meet however, is carefree and ready to indulge in whatever this is that simmers between him Ashley/Mackenzie. However, when tragedy strikes, the guilt weighs him down and makes a decision that will leaving lasting marks on Mackenzie’s heart.

Mackenzie has never felt like she was enough. There was no one to fight for her, to hold on to her, or to share passion with. Add in that the man she had known all her life turns out to be so different than what he showed her, and her trust level drops dramatically. Is it any wonder that when she reunites with Slade and finds a hard, bitter and angry man that that lesson is solidified in her mind?

Slade gives us some awesome grovel as he sets out to win his woman. There are several jealous and possessive moments as well as some pretty great protective scenes as well. Slade shines as a great example of a book boyfriend. And when he finally has the all clear to make his move on Mackenzie again, he gives it one hundred percent. And the steam pouring from my Kindle as a result was proof of that!

description

I loved getting to know Slade and Mackenzie. Loved the way they each had their own issues and were able to find a place to deal with them. Some of the steps to get to their happy ever after were angsty and painful, some made me want to smack Slade across the top of his head, and some were actually hilarious. The secondary characters were fantastic and I cannot wait to get more from them.

Really, this was just a fun romantic read with plenty of alpha goodness and some alpha hole actions that required lots of groveling and a heroine that grows into her own and finds a strength she never recognized.

description

Dual POV
Safe
Triggers
Profile Image for Nina.
739 reviews275 followers
March 19, 2019
Thanks again to Skyscape for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Mackenzie Dupont is left at the altar, she decides to treat herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico where she loses her virginity to pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez. However, she doesn’t know that he’s one of the biggest soccer stars in the world and he doesn’t know she’s a famous Seattle heiress. But the following morning, Slade is gone. After suffering a tragic loss, he has his reasons for leaving and even though it’s not the right thing to do, he’s blaming Mackenzie for it and never wants to see her again. So they’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up on Slade’s doorstep as his new personal assistant.

Just like all of Rachel Van Dyken’s books I’ve read so far, Risky Play was a very fun and well-written novel and it’s definitely one of those books you can easily just read in one sitting. I also laughed a lot while reading it, so if you’re having a bad day and you’re looking for something that’ll cheer you up, Risky Play is the right choice.

Another very important aspect of any book of course are the characters and the characters in this novel were great. My favorite one by far was Alfie, Slade’s dog, and every scene he was in made me smile so much. My only problem with the novel was that Mackenzie was a bit annoying and over the top during the first few chapters. Thankfully though, she became much more likeable soon afterwards and I ended up really liking her.

All in all, this was a great novel and I really enjoyed reading it. I can’t wait for the next part to come out this summer but in the meantime, I really have to finally check out all the other books by her I still have on my kindle because I bet they’re all going to be great reads!

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Profile Image for NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}.
1,300 reviews85 followers
March 22, 2019
***4 "It's time to jump!!!" stars***



"Thank you for not giving up on me."

I can't lie!!!! I'm always enjoying a story by RVD!!! And i liked this story, as well!!!
It was sweet! It was fun! It was interesting!!!
I liked the main characters very much and I'm wondering for others too, especially Matt and Jagger!!!
I already know that the second book would be about Matt, but hell, i need Jagger's story too!!!
Please, Rachel, please!!!
I didn't like him in the begining, but he grew on me!!!!



It all started with a groom ditching his virgin bride on the altar...
That said bride, Mackenzie was her name, six months later, she's deciding to take the honeymoon that she had planned by herself...
A fight to Mexico, a goergeous man beside her on the plane, an engine failure, a first last kiss before they crush, fake names...
And those two spent a life changing experience together in one day and night...
And then Mackenzie woke up in a bed... Alone!!!!



"Why was I never enough to fight for?"

One month forward, their lives is about to collide again...
Slade had changed his whole life in an instant since something bad happened to him, and that was the reason that he flew away to Mexico to get his head clean before the season start again... Slade is a world wide known football player who has tranferred from Europe to U.S.
That night with that stranger was a night that he'll never forgot, but that night tragedy hit him and he left that girl behind...
Unfortunately, he doesn't want to see her again!!! And now, he is about to take the biggest surprise of his life...
His new assistant, is the girl that he left behind and the problems are starting...



"She was the only woman on the planet who didn't want something from me...
She'd hugged me, touched me, and didn't do it for herself.
It was for me.
In fact, everything she did was for me.
And I fucked it all up by not only putting the cockblock in place, but making her feel less than.
Less than.
When she'd only been more to me."


Mackenzie, after her wedding's fiasko, wants nothing to do with her father's business, since her ex is being a big part of their company...
So, for some months, she is deciding to do something entirely different than her greatest love!!!
Imagine her surprise when her new employer is the man that she can't forget!!! And that man doesn't resemble the man in Mexico at all!!!! This one is grumpy, rude, angry and with behavior problems!!!



"He'd hurt me.
He'd made me feel insecure.
Ugly.
He changed the way I saw myself.
He didn't deserve my help.
But I was going to give it anyway.
Because it was the right thing to do."


So what will happen with those two???
Slade has absurb angry feelings toward Mac, but still... He is finding himself drown to her.
Mac still wants him, but he can not trust him anymore...
Well, i liked them both a lot... Slade was too sweet in the beginning and it seemed a little bit unreal to me, but then i liked the grumpy and asshole side of him... Even though, his "dislike" for Mackenzie was totally insane...
I understand that he was in a bad place at the moment, but Mac was his cure!!! He just didn't know it!!! LOL
As for Mackenzie? Thank God that Alton abandon her in church!!!! He really saved her life!!! Bahaha...
I liked her very much and i liked how patient she was with Slade's assholiness!!!
Those were really perfect for each other!!! Even thought they had too many bumps to jump in the process!!!



"For the first time in my life -it felt like I wasn't going to jump and have to catch myself.
I had someone by my side. Just as eager to tatake the leap.
Just as willing.
To catch me after the fall."


***ARC kindly provided via NetGalley for the exchange of an honest review***
Profile Image for Penny Reid.
Author 107 books20.4k followers
Want to read
March 19, 2019
✓ European Soccer Star
✓ Jilted Bride
✓ Virgin One Night Stand
✓ Enemies to Lovers
✓ Hot and Steamy Fun.


Now Available and FREE with KU:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Ca4Vr6
Amazon Universal: mybook.to/RiskyPlay

Even one-night stands deserve a second chance in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s novel of sporting desire.

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

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Profile Image for ♥ WishfulMiss ♥ .
1,069 reviews119 followers
March 19, 2019
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I liked this insta-love read. It had angst but it also had a lot of sweet tender moments for the MCs. For a sports romance, it was surprisingly safe and I really did end up falling for Slade and Mackenzie.

Both MCs have been burned in the past. Mackenzie was just left - literally - standing at the alter when the guy she’s been groomed since childhood to marry (and her supposed best friend) walks out on her and a church full of people. Then there’s Slade who is getting over a very public break up. When they both meet on the plane and end up at the same vacation resort, these two aren’t ready for anything serious. But they both decide to just live in the moment.

But things don’t last long when Slade gets devastating news the morning after his night with Mackenzie. Not able to handle his own grief, Slade up and leaves without a word. While drowning in guilt, anger and depression, Slade shuts down and starts to self-sabotage.

When these two are reunited again, its a complete 360. Gone is the sweet guy who boosted Mackenzie's self esteem and in his place is an emotional mess of a man who can't forget that the amazing night he spent with Mackenzie is tainted by a loss that completely through him upside down. I loved Slade in the first half of the book, had to warm up to him again in the second half but ultimately he redeemed himself when he stood up for his h and I loved that he admitted he was wrong and set out to win Mackenzie back.

I really liked Mackenzie's character. I'm not sure I would have reacted the same when it came to Slade but the way the author wrote the h, I felt her determination to stick with Slade was genuine. She was sweet, funny, all around nice and gave as good as she got when it came to Slade.

I loved that the angst isn’t drawn out or cliché , their obstacles come more from their inner emotional struggles. They both help each other heal and they both give each other support, friendship and tough love when it’s needed. It was a nice second chance romance.

Memorable Moment: I loved the almost dream-like time the MCs spent at the resort. They were both so trusting and open with each other. Even after exchanging fake names, they were good together, even if it was a really short period of time. It also helped that we get to see how good Slade could be. It helped show that there was a good guy under the anger and sadness.

Would I recommend? Sports romance readers will love this one. The writing was smooth and the characters were fleshed out and complex. The physical and emotional pull between the MCs is a huge plus :)

* * * ARC provided for an honest review * * *
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


SAFETY INFO:
Profile Image for Elle Kennedy.
Author 185 books50.4k followers
Read
March 21, 2019
✓ European Soccer Star
✓ Jilted Bride
✓ Virgin One Night Stand
✓ Enemies to Lovers
✓ Hot and Steamy Fun.


Now Available and FREE with KU:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Ca4Vr6
Amazon Universal: mybook.to/RiskyPlay


Even one-night stands deserve a second chance in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s novel of sporting desire.

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

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Profile Image for Tracy  C.
537 reviews37 followers
March 19, 2019
Risky Play shines in true Rachel Van Dyken style. Mackenzie and Slade had some great witty banter and awesome chemistry. I could really relate to Mackenzie"s desire for a true partner. My heart broke a bit for her. And even though Slade made a big mistake when he was really emotional. she allowed him to have another chance to prove himself. Makenzie and Slade were super hot together and I can't wait for RVD to work her magic with Matt and Jagger!
Profile Image for Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥.
496 reviews303 followers
March 17, 2019
Risky Play was an emotionally heartfelt story that started out with a bang. It had everything I've come to love in a Rachel Van Dyken book. Characters that felt real, a story-line that pulled at my heart and scorching hot scenes that made me fan my face. But there was also a strong hate to love vibe that made this story such a winner. If you're a fan of sports romances, Rachel Van Dyken or hate to love romances then definitely pick this one up!
“More champagne?” He pointed to my hand still clutching the champagne with a vise-like grip.
“Yeah,” I croaked.
“Are you by yourself?” he asked a few seconds later.
“Yes.” Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
“Do you want to be?” he asked softly.
I shook my head, no…
Just then he hopped over the partition, swept me into his arms, and lowered his head.

Six months after we watched Mackenzie be ditched at the altar, she treated herself to her honeymoon. Alone. She met a man named Slade on the airplane and I absolutely loved how their time together progressed, eeks! With fake names, a whirlwind day of fun and a night that was steamy and romantic, it was absolutely addicting watching them be together. But that next morning, Slade left without a word. While they never thought they would see each other again, one month later Mackenzie ended up being Slade's assistant. And it definitely wasn't a warm and fuzzy reunion.
He was barely touching me, and my body hummed to life.
I stepped away.
I had to.
I didn’t trust him.
I couldn’t.

While Mackenzie was the heiress to one of the largest wine brands, she was completely down to earth and I easily connected with her. She was kind, patient and I loved that she took risks and was brave. But my heart hurt for her. Mackenzie had been burned by men and never seemed to be enough for them. So when Slade started using Mackenzie as an emotional punching bag, she held nothing back and stood her ground. She didn't understand why she was now hated. But she'd much rather spend her time with Slade, instead of going back to the winery. Where she would have be around the man who left her at the alter.
“You’re making this harder than it should be.” I crossed my arms.
“And you make me harder than I should be. And yet, here I am.” He crossed his arms.
Don’t look down. Do not. Look. Down.
I gulped.
His smile broke out into a huge grin. “You were saying?”

Oh Slade. He was such a complex man. And one that I absolutely loved. He was the number one soccer player in the world, but his trust was definitely jaded from his past and his fame. But thankfully we got to see his softer side in the beginning. When he was in Mexico with Mackenzie, Slade was charming, seductive and fun. But when we saw him a month later, he was cold and callous. He could be so mean and hurtful to Mackenzie, it hurt to watch. Since we alternated between Slade and Mackenzie, you'll find out why he is the way he is. He was so bad, but I also knew just how amazing he could be.
I had to convince myself that the man in Puerto Vallarta didn’t exist.
Because if he did?
I wouldn’t let him go.

As Mackenzie invaded Slade's life, doing her job, I was so proud that she would continually throw Slade's attitude back in his face. She never took it lying down. And probably the most amazing thing about Mackenzie is that she took a bad situation and found a way to be positive about it. I absolutely loved her! As the story progressed, I loved seeing peeks of the old Slade. The one I fell so hard for. When his charming or seductive side would come out, I couldn't stop the smiles. But best of all I loved watching the moments when Slade was fiercely protective of those he cared for. It was crazy hot!
Her hands dug into me, clung to me like I was going to let her go, and it broke my fucking heart that she might actually think I would do that because of our history.
I wasn’t letting this go.
Her go.

While the sexual tension was absolutely delicious, I loved when Rachel Van Dyken took them a step further. Not only was it seductive, but I loved how she could seamlessly lace humor into those moments. There was a shower scene that had me laughing so hard I was crying. But outside of Slade and Mackenzie, there was also friendships that I adored reading about. Matt and Jagger were my two favorite side characters, you have to meet them! Also you have to meet Slade's dog, Alfie. He was such a cutie! So yes, I definitely recommend this book! Risky Play made me laugh, cry, smile and fall in love. And it gave me ALL the tears with that ending. It was so perfect! Now I can't wait to read the next book, which is about Matt. That man made me crack up and smile so hard, I can't wait to hear every single one of his thoughts!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

For more of my reviews, please visit:
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Profile Image for "Avonna.
1,094 reviews296 followers
March 26, 2019
Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com

RISKY PLAY (Red Card Book 1) by Rachel Van Dyken is the first contemporary romance in a new series featuring pro soccer players.

Mackenzie “Mack” Dupont had her fiancée walk away from her at the altar. Splashed across all of the society pages, Mack’s humiliation leads her to taking her already scheduled honeymoon trip to Mexico alone to get away. She is ready to lose her virginity and live life on her terms.

Slade Rodriguez is now the highest paid striker in the American soccer league. After finding out his fiancee was pregnant with a teammate’s baby he knew he had to change his life and location. Before the new season begins, he is off to Mexico to hide out and get away from the paparazzi.

When Mack and Slade come together, what they hope can be more turns into a one-night-stand with Mack waking up alone and wondering why everyone leaves her.

Slade has tragic personal reasons for vanishing from Mexico without a goodbye. Grieving and blaming the stranger for his loss, Slade is shocked when Mack shows up at his door as his new personal assistant. Mack cannot believe who opens the door for her new temporary job. They both have a lot to learn about each other after all the lies. Slade needs to let his grief and anger go and Mack refuses to be walked all over anymore. What they do not know is that they have a common enemy who wants to ruin them both.

Mack is such a great heroine. She had a lot of emotional growing up to do. She starts out just rolling along filling everyone else’s expectations and doing all the right things. After having two major emotional upsets, she learns to stand up for herself and make herself first and she does this without becoming bitter or hard. I love sports, but I do not necessarily like the players, young men with too much money, too many women and bad attitudes. I had a hard time liking Slade and his treatment of Mack at first when she ends up working for him, but he did redeem himself and had me cheering for him in the end. The author’s writing has made me interested in finding out more about the other players in future books.

I loved the dialogue in this book. It feels realistic and had me laughing out loud and near tears at times. Ms. Van Dyken brings her characters to life on the page. The sex scenes are hot and explicit and at times funny, but they never felt gratuitous. The secondary characters were fully fleshed out and realistic. This is a new to me author that I am looking forward to following in the future.
Profile Image for Beatrice Masaluñga.
1,135 reviews1,656 followers
May 7, 2019
ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Five Reasons Why Risky Play is a Miss:

1. The romance escalated quickly. Mackenzie's wedding was called off when his dumbass fiance walked out of the altar. She traveled to Mexico where she met Slade on flight and they instantly clicked on. They had a one night stand later on which is off because I expected these two are brokenhearted from their previous relationships and these two seems unaffected by it.

2.The hero is a jerk. Slade got on my nerves when he's moody and disrespected Mackenzie. I was livid when he treats her like trash and justifying he had problems in life isn't a valid excuse. Like dude, don't take it out on her.

3. I'm pretty sure Mackenzie is bored to death. It is unbelievable for someone like her who would work as a housekeeper / dog sitter. This lady is like a princess in her home barely doing household chores and suddenly she's working in this kind of job? Convince me, sis. She needs to get her priorities straight. Why not distract herself by helping her father managing their multi-billion family company? I would totally buy this more.

4. Mackenzie and Slade barely have a chemistry. It just simmers. Maybe because I'm annoyed by them and I don't see the sparks between them? I wish they took their time getting to know each other and work on their personal issues first.

5.The only characters I care about are Matt and Jagger. These two stood out more and I'm disappointed Slade and Mackenzie are too bland for my taste. I'm continuing the series though because it's Matt's story and I hope Jagger has a book too.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,799 reviews617 followers
March 24, 2021
Risky Play is.... not that risky. It is typical NA sport romance with more on romance instead of the sport. The sex scenes are mediocre. Not even graphic. That is my disappointment. I was hoping mediocre plot, but hot steamy sex.

I am not a fan of Miss Van Dyken. Only when I have nothing interesting to read, I started to pick up old books just to keep me going.

Risky Play is OK read during reading draught.

3 stars
Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,121 reviews1,176 followers
October 30, 2018
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Mackenzie was just left by her fiancé - in front of all the high society wedding guests!

Alton has been her best friend since they were born - they were going to have a happy life together. But when she's honest with herself, she never really love-loved him like a girl should love her future husband.

She still has to work with him at her family's wine company - time to use that honeymoon ticket! Off to Mexico we go.

And on the plane we meet Slade. He's just left his England soccer team to play with Seattle - career suicide - but he couldn't stay in London anymore. His girlfriend is expecting a kid from his former best friend!!!

There's no better way to get over someone than to get under or over or behind someone new! ☺

Mackenzie and Slade meet on that plane, but because they're both more of less in the public eye, they decide to give each other a fake name: Ashely and Hugo. LOL!

After some very sexy moments in that Hotel they will never see each other again anyway! Right?

NOPE! ☺

Let the fun times begin!

What will happen with Mackenzie & Slade?
WILL THERE BE A HAPPILY EVER AFTER???
BUY THE BOOK TO FIND OUT!


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Well, that was adorable and so funny!

I really loved reading it!

We have this mega-sexy, mega-famous international soccer star and the virgin wine business heiress. And they so belong together, but they have to go through a lot of fighting until we might see a happy end on the horizon.☺

Turns out Slade's nemesis is on his team now too and he was a groomsman in Mack's wedding - and he's now interested in her too. Plus, her ex is not really the nicest guy. He's not done with her yet either.

Add to all that lots of sexy and hilarious and sparky and adorable and footbally and moving moments. Plus a cute dog and family and friends and problems and feelings. What do you get? A really great sports romance. I loved it. Can't wait to read Jagger's and Matt's books!

The only thing that bothered me - and that will take away half a star from my rating.... nothing to do with the story, but the author. Rachel's first line in the acknowledgements? She thanks god. I just can't deal with that in my romances. If I wanted to read christian romances, I'd buy them. Which I never in a million years would do. And before I go on another anti-religion rant, I will stop this here.
Oh - and another tiny little thing. I think Mackenzie was a bit too old. A 30 year old virgin? 26 would've been ok too.☺

GREAT ROMANCE! I LOVED READING IT!
I wouldn't mind if Netflix came along and made something out of it!!

RISKY PLAY was a really adorable & funny sports romance - full of feelings!
Run to your nearest amazon for your own Slade - this one is MINE!!!!


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Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,717 reviews1,266 followers
May 24, 2019
Risky Play was the kind of book that made me wonder why I'm not reading more Rachel Van Dyken. I was positively addicted to Mack & Jade's love story, and, having just turned the last page, I'm already hungry for more from this new series.

I mean, I was sucked in immediately to this fun, emotional romance. All the magic of romance books is present here: witty banter, sparky chemistry, heartfelt emotion, and strong characters. I will admit to giving a little side-eye to the virgin heroine, but Mack was fantastic. She was that perfect balance of strong yet kind. She had her fair share of insecurities, but they were justified and she didn't dwell on them. She was giving without being a doormat. She was a very nearly perfect heroine and in the end, I could not have adored her more.

Slade wasn't nearly so likable, but for me his heart of gold was always on display even if he often deserved a solid slap in the face. He was surly and rude, but never truly mean, and it probably helped that Mack was no wilting violet. Part of the reward of getting a hero who is not so nice, is getting to see the evolution from closed heart to open heart and, man, there is nothing more rewarding than that. I loved the way Slade slowly came around. I loved the undercurrent of possessiveness and protectiveness even as he was determined to push Mack away. And, in the end, I adored him every bit as much as I did Mack.

In all, this story just felt good to me. It was the perfect escape. My heart leaped on board and fluttered, ached, and soared right in time with the storyline. Even the conflict, when it came, didn't phase me. I was already fully invested in the happily ever after and, when that came? It was perfection. So rewarding. So fun. So so recommended! ~ Shelly, 5 Stars

____

Risky Play was another delicious read by Rachel Van Dyken. Mackenzie Allistar DuPont and Slade Rodriguez were delicious. I loveeee soccer stories and could not wait to start this. The banter, chemistry and bromance in this story gave me life!

When Slade and Mackenzie were both on the run from some past heartache, they both fell into each other's arms for some solace on a tropical vacation. I loved that they found each other during a painful time and were able to forget about their worries with one another. But when a painful reality sets in, and Slade and Mackenzie are reunited, Will Spade's coldness and hardened heart push Mackenzie away for good?

I enjoyed this story a lot. It had the typical Van Dyken humor and banter with a dose of edginess from Slade. There is nothing I love more than a mean boy and Slade grabbed that title with two hands when he was first reunited with Mackenzie. But more than a mean guy I love a sassy girl and I found that Mackenzie was not quite as sassy as I would have liked. It seemed like all she did was cry or bat away tears when Slade was mean to her. Quite a few times she decided to make it "right with him" when he deserved a swift kick in the behind with his behavior. I would have loved to see her hand him his balls and then some on a few occasions instead of running away (to walk the dog or cry.) The grovel in this story was very well done however and I loved the ending so much.

All in all this was a fun read and I look forward to Matt's story! 4 stars! ~Ratula 
Profile Image for Dali.
1,749 reviews433 followers
June 4, 2019
Rachel Van Dyken scores a goal with the launch of her Red Card series and the fun, sexy and witty soccer romance, Risky Play.

Having thoroughly been left at the altar, wine heiress Mackenzie Dupont decides to go on her honeymoon… alone. Thinking that her plane would crash in route to tropical Puerto Vallarta, she impulsively kisses the sexy stranger sitting next to her only to safely land and find out he’s staying in the pent house next her. Throwing caution to the wind she spends a magical night with him only to wake up alone yet again.

Infamous soccer player, Slade Rodriguez wanted to get away before heading to his new team and home, but when tragedy strikes he can’t help but escape and blame the gorgeous stranger who captivated him to distraction. But he’ll only be able to go so far before Mackenzie shows up at his front door announcing she’s his new PA.
She’d hugged me, touched me, and didn’t do it for herself. It was for me. In fact, everything she did was for me.

His grief and pain fuel his anger but deep down he can’t deny his attraction towards Mack nor the way she patiently sooths his soul. And when an outside force threatens them both, they must learn to trust each other in order for them to overcome the difficulties before them.

I’ve always been a big fan of Rachel Van Dyken’s writing, which is unfailingly a joy a read with a great blend between spark flying moments that fuel the push and pull between the main characters, the emotional instances that drive the romance and the very sought after swoony-ness. I enjoyed every sweet, witty and steamy filled page of Risky Play.

Both Slade and Mack were fantastic characters. I loved the way they were attracted to each other from the very start. It went beyond the physical, they made each other laugh and smile and found an instant ease between them.
“I’m going to keep you,” I said to myself, my voice carrying across the wind like the universe heard my promise and was going to help me keep it no matter what. I felt it in my soul. ~ Slade thinking of Mack

Of course that quickly changed and went downhill. Slade went from swoony to douchy when faced with heartbreak. But being in close proximity forced him to do some introspection and truly see beyond the surface, to get to know one another and ultimately fall in love. I loved Mackenzie for her patience and loving heart. I so wanted her to find that what she most wanted, a partner.

Risky Play is a sweet, fun and steamy, fast paced story I had trouble putting down with many shareable bits and a twist I didn’t see coming. I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series.

Risky Play is book #1 of the Red Card series by Rachel Van Dyken. It is told from both points of view, and has a happy ending.

Amazon -> https://amzn.to/2td2OyP

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. I am voluntarily reviewing this title. *

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Profile Image for Sawyer Bennett.
Author 176 books13.6k followers
Read
March 19, 2019
✓ European Soccer Star
✓ Jilted Bride
✓ Virgin One Night Stand
✓ Enemies to Lovers
✓ Hot and Steamy Fun.


Now Available and FREE with KU:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Ca4Vr6
Amazon Universal: mybook.to/RiskyPlay

Even one-night stands deserve a second chance in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s novel of sporting desire.

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

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Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,735 reviews1,477 followers
April 16, 2019
3 It’s Okay Stars

I feel like my reading preferences have changed drastically since independently published authors were starting to trend.

What I once loved and enjoy isn’t cutting it for me anyone. I use to love these no-fuss, no-muss kind of reads, but right now I find them lacking, sub-par and poorly contrived.

I like Rachel Van Dyken. Some of her earlier works have been a massive favorite of mine, but for the life of me, I think I’m just not into these light books anymore, or maybe I found the Hero too much of a dick and the angst too much in the beginning.

The first 30% of the book is hard to listen to because Slade was a massive asshole. I mean, not redeemable whatsoever. He’s angst, his chip on the shoulder was really harsh considering he took it out on the Heroine, Mackenzie, when it was not her fault whatsoever.

I just couldn’t take it.

The overall premise is cute. She’s a virgin, she was jilted at the alter, He’s a famous soccer player and **GASP** she doesn’t know it.

But that wasn’t enough for me.

I liked the narrators though. CJ Bloom is a favorite of mine. She has a light voice and sounds very girly. Eric London did a pretty good job in the European accent and it didn’t annoy me at all. I did find his reading a bit too slow. I had to increase the reading speed to 1.25x speed. Thank goodness for that function.

Like I said, I’m not sure these books are for me anymore or maybe I need to be in the mood. Or this one had too much angst in the beginning. I dunno, but it was free on kindle unlimited so there you go.
Profile Image for Paula White.
566 reviews24 followers
October 28, 2018
This book was great from the first page. Mack gets left at the alter, which is a really good thing when you get further in the book as her ex - what a...there are no words! She meets Slade, who is also going through a lot in his personal life - and they have one night. But that isn't the end of it - thank goodness. This book had a sassy h, alpha H and lots of wit! Loved Jagger and Matt - hope they get their own books. Really fun read and I look forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Annuccia Palmeri.
1,029 reviews61 followers
June 4, 2022
Non ha la stessa verve della VanDyken di anni fa, ma rispetto agli ultimi pubblicati è stato carino e lineare.
Profile Image for Mackenzie.
85 reviews
May 18, 2019
Song for summary: Collide by Howie Day

An alluring read! The characters are fetching, vulnerable, and wealthy; while the plot is a stunning combination of fate, loss, and love. Complete with an engine failure, an impromptu kiss, cliff jumping, a Spanish soccer player, and a Seattle heiress; Risky Play is a mesmerizing novel that shows just how complicated life can be when you meet your soulmate on a chance vacation only to have your world fall apart.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,464 reviews122 followers
January 19, 2019
Luvd this.

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I really enjoyed this book. When I read the blurb I was dying to read it. The story was really good I luvd how Slade and MacKenzie. Things weren't goin great for them and they needed to get away. Both characters were dealing with crappy relationships and the last thing that they needed was to jump into another. But sometimes you dont know what's around the corner. But instantly there was something between them. They both might not of been honestly with each other but I did understand why they both did it. Things were complicated for both of them life was just messy.

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I was hooked from the start of this book. I luvd Mack and Slade. They both changed so much they were good for each other. It was great to see that Mack had started getting strong she stood up for herself when Slade was being so horrible. Slade has a wicked mouth and he really knows how to hurt her. But she never gives up she has a job to do and she will do it. Even when things get unbearable. But I do feel sorry for Slade things aren't easy for him either. I just want to hug him. Plus the sexy is super sexy so ye hugging him would be great.

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I would highly recommend this book. I luvd everything about it. I'm really looking forward to more of this series I need more of Jagger he is a great character and Matt so I m really hoping for more from them.

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Profile Image for K. Bromberg.
Author 93 books18.2k followers
Read
March 19, 2019
✓ European Soccer Star
✓ Jilted Bride
✓ Virgin One Night Stand
✓ Enemies to Lovers
✓ Hot and Steamy Fun.


Now Available and FREE with KU:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Ca4Vr6
Amazon Universal: mybook.to/RiskyPlay

Even one-night stands deserve a second chance in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s novel of sporting desire.

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

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Profile Image for bookmarkbelles.
324 reviews48 followers
March 2, 2019
I devoured this book in one sitting y'all it was that good!
The story was so raw and emotional but it also kept me balanced by delivering plenty of witty banter and humour along the way.
It was seriously one hell of a ride and I felt every minute of it. *Grabs a glass of wine*

I love how this book is a "sports romance" but it doesnt center heavily on the sport itself like other books that i've read. I also loved that all the characters in this story were so well executed that as a reader I just couldnt get enough of them. I wish I could say more .....but I cant. I dont want to ruin anything for you and im notorious for accidental spoilers, sorry!
I also went into this book blind which is what I recommend you do too. Trust me you'll be glad you did.
Profile Image for Tzelina.
502 reviews121 followers
October 28, 2018
**Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for giving me the ARC in exchange for an honest review** #RiskyPlay #NetGalley

What a wonderful book!!! Risky Play was such a fun and unexpected read!! It was sexy, intense, sweet, romantic and just a wonderful joyride for me!! Love the flirting and chemistry between Slade and Mack!! I really really loved it, I was hooked from the first page, I couldn't put it down!! I definitely look forward to reading more in this series. Absolutely Jagger needs his own book !! Overall it was a truly fantastic read....I highly recommend this story!!
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