Playing Dirty by C.L. Parker
Monkey Business Trio #1
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review
Challenges: COYER 2015, #ShelfLove 2015
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Shaw Matthews plays to win, and he intends to snag a coveted partnership at San Diego's hottest spots agency by signing America's top athlete. Only one woman stands in his way: rival agent Cassidy Whalen. But eliminating the competition will be Shaw's pleasure when he concocts an ingenious plan to seduce Cassidy and show the beautiful ballbreaker who's the better man for the job. That is, until Cassidy turns the tables--and their steamy encounters start breaking all the rules.
Cassidy has worked hard to make it in a man's cutthroat arena, and she isn't going down without a fight, not even against the six-two alpha hunk whose rock-hard body awakens desires she's never known before. As Cassidy shares night after night of unending passion with Shaw, the game begins to change. Now Cassidy stands to lose everything--unless a fiery contest of wills can become a winning proposition for two people who keep raising the stakes.
Playing Dirty is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.
I'm always down with a enemies-to-lovers story and Playing Dirty is a good one. I quite enjoyed the underlying message of the power of perception and who our preconceived notions can so negatively influence our opinions. I also thought it was fun to watch as Cassidy and Shaw got down to playing dirty.
Cassidy grew up in a small fishing town where everyone works hard. It's no surprise that she puts those lessons to good use in her job as an entertainment agent. Cassie is organized, put-together, always prepared kinda girl. She's worked hard to get where she is and is looking to make junior partner in her agency. There's only one road block - Shaw Matthews.
Shaw had a much more unconventional upbringing. It's made him who he is and he's worked hard to become the man he is. He's dedicated, tenacious, and willing to go that extra mile to land a deal. He's also looking to become partner in his agency and the higher-ups have seem fit to pit him against his nemesis, Cassie, to make that happen. And he'll do whatever it takes to beat her.
I have to admit to having an uh-oh moment at the beginning of the book. A moment where I was thinking What?? But I was very satisfied with the direction things were actually taking. Once Cassie and Shaw went to battle, as it were, over landing a football player for their agency, we got to see what they were made of. I think what I liked most about watching Cassie and Shaw play dirty is how much they learned about themselves as they got to know more about each other. They were forced to let go of some of the preconceived ideas about who the other was - particularly Cassie. We learned more about Shaw than Cassie, but I'm assuming we'll learn much more about her in the next installment.
Besides Cassie and Shaw, I also fell in love with the supporting characters. So much so that I was anticipating the subsequent installments to focus on them. But the ending proved that at least the next in the series will once again be about Cassie and Shaw.
The antagonism between these two took a little while to understand but I did enjoy the light show as the sparks flew. Playing Dirty, although it stuttered out of the gate for me, ended up being a fun read and I'm really anxious to see what happens next.