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Playing for Keeps

(Hot Jocks #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  11,154 ratings  ·  1,054 reviews
I've never been so stupid in my entire life.

Elise Parrish, my teammate's incredibly sweet and gorgeous younger sister, should have been off-limits, but my hockey stick didn't get the memo.

After our team won the championship, our flirting turned physical, and I took her to bed. Then shame sent her running the next morning from our catastrophic mistake.

She thinks I don't
ebook, 190 pages
Published August 13th 2019
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,154 ratings  ·  1,054 reviews

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Kendall Ryan
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
HOT NEW RELEASE!! A hunky pro hockey stud makes a play for the girl next door in this steamy romance.

Now a USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestseller!
Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥
Even though I don't have an athletic bone in my  body and rarely watch live sports of any kind, I adore sports romance. I don't know why, but there is just something about the cocky, manwhore athlete that does it for me. LOL That being said, I haven't read one in a while, so I was super excited to dive into this one!

I've heard good things about Kendall Ryan, but I've never read anything by her myself, so I went into Playing for Keeps cautiously optimistic. Right away, I thought I was going to e
chan ☆

was really stuck between a 2 and a 3 star for this one. i've read 1 other kendall ryan book before and had the same issues with this one that i did with the other.

she's by NO means a bad writer, it just seems to me that she focuses a lot on quantity (putting out a lot of books really close together) at the sacrifice of deeper storytelling. that isn't mean to be shady, there just... isn't much to her stories that makes them memorable. i finished this book a day ago and can't remember the n
Vaishali • [V.L. Book Reviews]
R A T I N G: 1 loosely-held-together star to Playing for Keeps

The more you read, the more sharpened your bookish tolerances and biases become. My selective choices are neatly whittled down to what makes me roar with bona fide excitement and what makes me pout with pure exasperation. I know what I like. I know what I don’t. I’ve also discovered that I very much am an unholy glutton for punishment with the NA romance genre…I’m also a marveling masochist, that must be why I keep coming back to thi
✰ Liz ✰
"I know I should see him as nothing more than a disgusting manwhore, or as a second brother to me-but I've never felt anything remotely familial about Justin Brady."

Playing for Keeps is a delicious forbidden romance with a spunky heroine and one smoking hot hockey playing hero! Elise Parrish, a cute pre-school teacher, has always been off-limits to hockey star Justin Brady for all of his life. Elise is Justin's best friend's little sister and even though he knows she is not on the marke
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog
5 stars

I didn't expect anything less from Kendall Ryan, this was another sexy,fun and sweet read!

Elise has loved Justin ever since she followed him around when they were kids. Justin is now a pro hockey player and Elise a teacher.Elise was smart and sassy and Justin is sweet and sexy! Together they have a great dynamic, I like their relationship a lot!

It's refreshing and perfect for summer!If you are looking for something fun and sexy to read this is the best! I read it in one sitting!

Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Playing For Keeps is the first book of Kendall Ryan’s newest series. I loved it! This book was sweet, sexy, fun and easy. Justin and Elise are very lovable characters. The secondary characters are amazing too! I already look forward to the next book in this Hot Jocks series.

Justin is sporty, talented, ambitious, powerful and determined. He’s a professional hockey player. He loves playing hockey. The team has been winning a lot and that’s how Justin wants it. Justin has a great friendship with hi
Melanie (mells_view)
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet yet steamy, best friend’s little sister romance. Justin is a pro hockey player and Elise is the little sister of his teammate/best friend since forever. Elise is much more than that though. She’s always been a friend and more recently the woman he can’t stop thinking about. Elise has always had a crush on Justin, but knows that it will never and should never happen. Until one night changes everything. Well sort of everything.

In Playing for Keeps Justin and Elise are basically navigating
MELISSA *Mel Reader*
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
4.5 Stars!
(ARC provided by author)

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Justin Brady is a gorgeous 28 yr. old professional hockey player who is the star forward for the Seattle Ice Hawks. He grew up with his best friend Owen who is now his teammate and roommate. Owen and his younger sister Elise have always been like family to him. Recently something had shifted between Justin and Elise. She was all grown up now, and absolutely stunning. Her friendship means everything to him, and he can be himself with her. Normally if he wants
Jenny••Steamy Reads Blog••
These sport jocks these awesome authors dream up, a hockey player in this yummy as heck book, just keep getting better and this series is starting off with a bang

This book was loaded. Its sweet, fun, and so very sexy. It's hard not to adore Justin. And of course I love a good brothers best friend trope book, a sexy hockey star, and friends to lovers type book. So, if you want to add one to your list to fit in before summer is over, put this one on there. Totally worth it.

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Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kennedy Ryan Fans, Romance
4 The Line Got Fuzzy Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free-Are You Kidding Me, It's Free!!!
Kendall Ryan presents the classic tale of best friend's little sis crushing for what seems forever on her brother's bestie and then everyone grows into the adults they become. Which means...Hot Jocks and Adorable Pre School Teacher. This is a sweet fun read which follows the troupe but never bores.

Elise Parrish has been either following Justin or her brother, Owen, since they were practically out of diapers...well, s
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Playing for Keeps, is the story of Justin Brady, a professional hokey player, and Elise Parrish, a preschool teacher. Two individuals that have been in each others life since childhood. For years they both hid their feelings toward one another for the sake of their relationship and the feelings of the one common denominator, Owen Parrish. Elise’s brother and Justin’s best friend. They try and walk into a relationship without involving their feelings. But it really doesn’t work out that way.

Jul 18, 2019 marked it as nope-nope-nope
Manwhore and virgin

Is there just nothing else to write? I don't understand

*bangs head on wall*
Villains Do It Better
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hockey guys? Sign me up. I won't even hesitate diving into this.

Playing for Keeps honestly sounded like a book that I've already read. I'm sure that statement is true but I still highly enjoyed this book. Thankfully it was a super quick audio with a nice little romance. In it, you will meet Justin and Elise. Both are likable characters, have amazing chemistry, and sort of made for each other.

However, that's that dreadful hint of being a nonexistent relationship due to the damn bro code. I get ho
And now I've spent three months trying to get her out of my head, but I'm starting to understand she's the only girl I'll ever want.

⬆ That's from the blurb, what does it mean? Does he go around having sex with countless OW trying to get her out of his head as is typical with these types of romances??? Or did this author deliver some originality on a familiar trope???? I need answers 😭
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
That's it?? I am confuse. Playing for Keeps almost have no twist/ drama. And.... I like it. Miss Ryan done something right with this light story.

The trope os brother's best friend. Something forbidden but it was downplayed. This is a type of story where you want lazy, easy, vanilla read. Playing for Keeps serves it's purpose.

3 stars
maura delaney
3.5 stars!

This was a solid sports romance and a great start to the series, which I will be continuing on with. To be honest, I don't have a ton to say about this book, other than the fact that it was enjoyable, but probably could have been improved by a little more depth and development of the characters. However, I am very curious to read the next book because from what I know of that hero and heroine I think it could give me that depth I am looking for.

Overall, this was fun and enjoyable, bu
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 13, 2019 marked it as not-interested
Shelves: based-on-reviews
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like the hero is another manwhore and he f**cks around on the heroine after they sleep together...That is a big no from me.
Five hockey stars for Elise and Justin 💕!!!


I love reading Kendall's books because they always make me laugh so much 😁.

But this one was different from the other books which I've read this year 😉.

After a few office romance books, Kendall surprised us with new hockey series 😍!!!

Everyone knows how much I love a good sports romance and if you add brother's best friend and friends to lovers tropes, you know that I will fall in love with that book 🖤.

And that happened with this one 💙!!!

"Playing f
Yikes, I really wanted to read a fun, lighthearted romance. But I just couldn't get myself to enjoy this one.

This was in fact a lighthearted read, it's sweet and fun. However I feel that the characters could've been better developed, acting more like college students rather than their 24 and 28 year old. It started out this way and I just couldn't make myself to relate with them.

Playing for Keeps is a standalone hockey romance by Kendall Ryan. It is book #1 of the Hot Jocks series. A standalon
Andrea Fleury
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elise and justin

Elise and Justin have known each other since they were young kids. Elise has always had a crush on justin. He just never knew it. Now they are adults . Justin and Slides brother are best friends. Own a condo together and are professional hockey player on the same team. Justin loved to sew his wild oats with puck bunnies.. But maybe after looking at Elise in a different way . He will become Friends with benefits.??
Nessa Richardson

Ain’t it for me. 0 chemistry whatsoever. Every “cutesy” detail about Justin and Elise was in the past. She just tells them to us, the reader, as if we were supposed to feel something for them from that. I don’t really like the format and it was a boring read for me, very predictable too. I guess this book just aimed to be a fun, quick, light-hearted read.

3/10 worth the read.
Sentranced Jem
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-2019

I didn't even second guess when I found out that Playing For Keeps had two of my favourite tropes: A sports romance and a best friend's sister/brother's best friend.


I'd say this book was just plain adorable but then on a flip side this was such a fun steamy read too. Playing for Keeps has the best of both worlds. Gosh! I loved the characters in this book. Justin and Elise are seriously stinking cute!

It had just the right amount of 'complication' and drama to keep a readers interest. The adorable
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“When she’s beside me, all my nerve endings light up with a feeling I can’t explain. I feel alive. Raw. On edge.”

“It’s never been about winning with her, and I’m not playing a game. All I need is one more shot at redemption, and I’m determined to get it.”

“He kisses like he plays hockey–with complete confidence and laser focus.”

Playing for Keeps is the first book in the all new exciting Hot Jocks Series from author Kendall Ryan. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but on these hot summer days, ther
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing


Kendall does quick and dirty so well, and Playing for Keeps is a great example of that.

Justin and Elise are incredibly likable. Their chemistry together is great, and their need to sneak around and keep their relationship a secret provides many comedic moments.

The plot is relatively straightforward. Sports conflict with the puck bunnies, older brother best friend conflict - all the things we come to expect from the trope. And while the conflicts are expect
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was so great. I first listened to it on Audible and I loved being able to revisit them. Justin and Elise were such a great couple. Their story is a friend to lovers’ romance and I loved it. This is one of my favorite tropes to read. I love watching them finally realize their person has been there the whole time. Justin and Elsie were no exception. Elsie is considered forbidden territory because her brother Owen and Justin are best friends. All it took was one drunken night and all that ...more
Meredith Wilson
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gah! I loved this sweet friends-to-lovers story! Kendall Ryan always delivers a story jam packed with feels, passion and a heart-racing romance. This one was quick and light and dirty and fun. Playing For Keeps is a deliciously forbidden, brother’s best friend/best friend’s sister story that was an absolute pleasure to read.

I really loved this pairing. Elise Parrish is a kind and beautiful preschool teacher who has always been off-limits to the sexy hockey star Justin Brady due to the unwritten
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A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 3 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Tod ...more

Other books in the series

Hot Jocks (7 books)
  • All the Way (Hot Jocks, #2)
  • Trying to Score (Hot Jocks, #3)
  • Crossing the Line (Hot Jocks, #4)
  • Down and Dirty (Hot Jocks, #5)
  • Wild for You (Hot Jocks #6)
  • Taking His Shot (Hot Jocks, #7)

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