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Playing for Keeps (Hot Jocks, #1)
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Playing for Keeps

(Hot Jocks #1 )

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,489 ratings  ·  424 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, 366 pages
Published August 13th 2019
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,489 ratings  ·  424 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.

Includes 3 Bonuses!

✔ An extra scene in his POV that you DO NOT want to miss!
✔ A steamy novella about a rookie player on the team that you can't get anywhere else (all male POV)
✔ An exclusive sneak preview of chapter 1 of the next book in the series is included at the end

"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 market
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!


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 so
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
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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 😭
Sarah - Musings of the Modern Belle


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
F.S. Faqir
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Playing For Keeps has me hooked on these hockey players.

Kendall Ryan is my new addict. She writes stories that give you exactly what the can says.

If you were looking for a brothers best friend romance with a few pro hockey players, then that is exactly what you get. Along with a bit of a secretive relationship, this story is crystal clear on what it is and for that reason I enjoyed it.

I've read a few brother's best friend romances and there's usually a lot of angst or emotion built in so it was
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*
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was completely captivated by this friends-to-lovers story between a hot, sexy hockey player and his best friend/teammate/roomie's younger sister. Their story was fun, flirty, and full of moments I could definitely identify with. I started reading and couldn't stop...always a good sign! Sexy Justin came to life in my head immediately. Sensible and sweet Elise was smart, sassy and very likable. They grew up together, but will they grow old together? You won't want to miss this first book in Kend ...more
Lori DeSisto-Sarat
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Super cute best friend’s little sister romance. That I just couldn’t stop listening to. It was fun flirty slightly quick and a little dirty. Wowed from beginning to end a perfect addition to my audio library.
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
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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Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Elise has always had a crush on her brother’s best friend, Justin. Now both are professional hockey players on the same team and she enjoys hanging out with them. She’ll never act on her feelings for Justin...until one night when both are drunk and they sleep together. Too embarrassed to say anything, Elise pretends as if nothing did Justin. They act like this for a while until they can no longer deny the chemistry. Then a no-strings-friends-w-benies arrangement is born. Both agree ...more
Amanda Anderson
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute story! Brothers best friend is always a one click for me. Add hockey players in the mix and SCORE FOR ME! I liked how at the very beginning of the book, Justin and Elise drunkenly got together. There was no super slow burn and nothing happened until 65% into the story. I really enjoyed the book and it was a win for me.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hot with a side of friendship! Ashley @ Carolina Chic's Read

Justin is the bad boy player whose past makes him gun shy for relationships. Elise has know Justin since she was a little kid and he has been her brothers best friend. Elise has been in love with Justin as since she followed him around when they were kids. She is always kicking puck bunnies out of her brother (Owen) and Justin's apartment. Until one night changes everything...

I enjoyed this story and narration, I am excited to listen t
Candyce Kirk
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hockey romances are my absolute favorite and the author didn't disappoint with Playing for Keeps. Justing and Elise are really fun characters. I loved the balance of romance, friendship and in this case hockey. Add falling for your best friend's sister to the mix and you've got the perfect combination.

Elise has always had a crush on Justin, but with him being her brother's best friend, not a chance that was happening. She's a pre-school teacher and loves her job. Elise may have not had much expe
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
Heather Nobbs
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and didn’t want it to end. This is the first book in a new hockey series and if the next two books are anything like this one then this series is an absolute winner! Justin and Elise are childhood friends and to top it off Justin is best friend’s and teammate to Elise’s older brother, Owen. Which means Elise is on the Do Not Date list. Of course they are both attracted to each other and try to fight it especially after a one time drunken encounter which doesn’t turn ...more
Monica Murphy
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sexy. Sweet. Emotional. And so much FUN! I devoured PLAYING FOR KEEPS in two days! If you love sports romances with ultra sexy heroes, then this book should be your next read. :)
Anna Kluskie
May 01, 2019 marked it as to-read
Please 🙏🏻♥ ...more
* A review copy was provided by the author *

~ 5 Stars ~

I love it when a favorite author of mine ventures into a new arena of stories to write and Kendall Ryan has done just that. She has ventured into the sports romance novel and I LOVED it!!! I thought it was the perfect mix of sports talk and romance.

What I also loved about this book was that it was a friends to lover and a forbidden best friends little sister story. I loved the connection between all of the characters. It was also great watch
Obsessive Book Whore
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this sweet story! I am a sucker for friends to lovers tropes and this one was phenomenal!

Justin likes Elise; Elise likes Justin, but neither one of them knows it and Justin won’t go there because Elise is the little sister of his best friend, roommate/teammate. One drunken night is all it takes for those feelings to ignite. But once morning comes Elise is minus her V Card and left feeling dejected when Justin doesn’t remember their night together...or does he?

Elise leaves Justin’s bed an
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
R.f. Greenwood
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, arc
I honestly don't think there is a book of Kendall's that i won't absolutely love. Everytime i pick up a Kendall Ryan book i know it's going to be a easy read, I'm going to love it and that will be final.
But then i read it and i underestimate how much i actually love it. It throws me off everytime.
Justin and Elise are so amazing. I loved reading their story and how it unfolds.
I loved the secondary characters, i loved everything about this book.
Justin was perfect, well not perfect because nobody i
Jennifer Marie
Kendall Ryan is one of my all-time favorite authors! I have read all of her books and loved every single one of them. Playing for Keeps was amazing! I was looking forward to reading this and she did not disappoint!

This is the first book in the Hot Jocks series and focuses on Elise and Justin. Elise is a teacher and Justin is a hockey player. I loved Elise and Justin. Elise is smart and sassy and she's had a crush on Justin since she was a kid. Justin is hot and sweet, and has been warned off El
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed Playing for Keeps by Kendall Ryan.

The storyline is well written, well paced, entertaining and my attention was held from start to end.
I enjoyed watching Justin and Elise relationship unfold, they made me laugh, smile and swoon on multiple occasions. I loved them together and they totally deserved their happily ever after.


Playing for Keeps is a sweet, romantic read and great start to the Hot Jocks series.
Looking forward to reading Owen and Becca's story next in All the
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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 (5 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)