Wednesday 15 July 2020

Review: Play My Game - Lara Adrian

New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian returns to the sizzling, emotional world of the 100 Series with Play My Game, a contemporary romance between a tormented, brilliant painter and the beauty he is determined to have at any cost.

She stands out like a flame in the dark. Out of place in my orbit, she is a bright splash of color in an abyss of darkness. An innocent in a den of sin. And I, Jared Rush, am a master of corruption.

Like my paintings—dark, carnal images that have crowned me the king of the avant-garde art world while also making me a very rich man—I don’t flinch away from my baser instincts. And now, every one of those instincts is hungry for the fresh-faced beauty who made the mistake of wandering into my lair.

I don’t know her name yet, but that’s inconsequential. I know who she belongs to. And while she has nothing to do with the bad blood that’s been festering inside me for decades, I can’t help thinking about that old, unsettled score. I’m thinking about payback. And I already have a price in mind. One that begins with her.

When it comes to getting what I want, I always play to win. But in the end, will the cost of my vengeance be more than I can bear to lose?

While this novel is Book 5 in the 100 Series, featuring characters introduced in earlier books, PLAY MY GAME can be read as a complete standalone with a swoon-worthy HEA and no cliffhangers. 

100 Series:
For 100 Days
For 100 Nights
For 100 Reasons

100 Series Standalone Romances:
(These stories are set in the same world as the 100 Series but can be read completely separately with each book featuring a HEA for a different couple)
Run To You
Play My Game

Visit Lara Adrian's website for more information

I've been a huge fan of Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series for years now but I also really love her contemporary romances and Play My Game was right up there with the best of them. We've met the mysterious and brooding artist Jared in previous instalments of the 100 series so I was already looking forward to his book, I'm not sure if we saw Melanie before but she is friends with Eve so does have a link too. As always it was fun spotting previous character cameos but Jared and Melanie rightly take centre stage for their story.

Melanie is actually pulled into Jared's circle when she finds out that her boyfriend has a gambling problem and has got himself in trouble. Jared offers to bail him out but only if Melanie agrees to pose for his latest painting. She has no idea that she's been caught up in a revenge plot that Jared has been planning for months though and her life is about to get extremely complicated. I was glad to see that the boyfriend became an ex the minute Melanie discovered how much he'd been lying to her so if you're worried about any potential cheating issues you can dive into this book without fear. I actually had a huge amount of respect for Melanie from the beginning, she knows her own value and she won't put up with anyone treating her badly which makes her easy to root for. I always love a heroine with a backbone!

Jared is dealing with some pretty big demons and has been using alcohol as a crutch but when he sees how much it upsets Melanie he realises that he needs to do something differently. The attraction between them was pretty instant but I liked that it took time to develop into a relationship. Even though Jared went into things with an agenda he realises pretty quickly that Melanie is important to him and this didn't end up being a story with a huge amount of drama. I don't know about anyone else but 2020 has been bringing more than enough stress into my life so I really appreciated being able to just relax and enjoy this story! If you enjoyed the previous books in this series then you're bound to love Play My Game too but it would work just as well for someone who is new to the series as there are only a few cameos to link it to previous books.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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