Megan's Reviews > Playing Dirty

Playing Dirty by Amy Andrews
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it was amazing

This is my favorite in this series since book 2, Playing It Cool! I've always enjoyed each story but there was something truly special for me about Harper and Dex in book 2, and I felt that way again here!

Valerie King is a lot of things. A "ranga" (an affectionate Aussie term for redhead), a great baker, a serious rugby fan, and a lover of all things vanilla. She is also a daughter. To her mother, at least. She's not really sure what she is to her father anymore, as he's spent most of the last 22 of her 24 years, ignoring her, rebuffing her, pushing her aside in any number of ways, and overall making her feel invisible. She understands why he does it, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. When she's drinking alone in a bar on her 24th birthday, and a sexy rugby player tries to pick her up, she figures, who cares about her father's one stupid rule to stay away from rugby players. He'll never know, and it'll certainly make her feel better.

Kyle Leighton was just traded to the Sydney Smoke and he's thrilled to be playing for his childhood rugby idol, and learning from him. He grew up in a bogan (Aussie for redneck) family, and he always takes care of them, whenever anyone gets into trouble. But, he doesn't really have anyone taking care of him. When he walks into the bar and sees sexy Val, he just knows he needs to talk to her. He doesn't expect it to go so completely well. But, after she disappears the next morning, he's sad he has no way to find her. When she shows up outside his locker room, he thinks luck is on his side again. Little does he know his coach is about to be apoplectic with rage, because Kyle, who he already doesn't like, broke his one rule of staying away from the coach's daughter. But, Kyle had no idea who she was, and now it's too late, he's already hooked.

Kyle and Val's chemistry was through the roof and I loved watching their interactions. Their banter was sexy, and funny, and they couldn't keep their hands off each other, even when they really tried to. I loved their connection, and I loved that they both realized that kind of connection doesn't come along every day. They both had a lot at stake by continuing to see each other, but they couldn't help but be drawn back to each other. They also truly cared about each other's well-being, emotionally and physically, and I appreciated the compassion they showed one another, in different ways.

Val's family history was quite fraught, and I was glad to finally understand her, and Coach Griff, and their non-relationship a little better. They've been simmering in the background since book 1, and I have always been curious. The reveal was quite heartwrenching, and it definitely allowed me to feel more for Griff than I have before. Val hasn't had an easy go of it, and I'm surprised she's as well adjusted as she is, to be honest. Obviously that was all her mother's influence, and I could sense her gratefulness that her other remaining parent didn't emotionally abandon her as well. I also loved the guys on the team, and how they all consider Val a little sister. Most of them knew her better and seemed to care for her more than her own father, and while they made her feel a part of the Smoke family, it still never really felt like enough.

Kyle's family was a riot, and I loved how he loves them all, regardless of their failings, perceived or otherwise. Kyle himself was quite the romantic hero, and I loved how he was basically all in from the beginning, even though his career was possibly on the line. He knew Val was something special and he wasn't willing to lose her. He even put her happiness and well-being above his own, even if it was misguided, and she didn't understand it at the time. He did screw up, and she let him know it, and I loved the epic grovel he performed, and the way everything worked out. Also, the epilogue was fabulous and gave me all the feels, and I smiled my way through the entire thing.

I highly recommend this entire fantastic sports romance series, and this book was an excellent addition to it. The Aussie-isms are plentiful, so if you struggle, just remember the author includes a glossary in the back of each book!

ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Megan from Alpha Book Club
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Reading Progress

June 13, 2018 – Shelved
June 13, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 27, 2018 – Started Reading
June 28, 2018 – Finished Reading

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