Playing To Win by @tarynltaylor

Playing To WinRating: 5*

Trope: Sports romance

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: The captain of a hockey team and a reporter stumble across a betting scandal

Review: I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally stumble across a 5* Harlequin read! It’s been awhile since I’ve thoroughly enjoyed one half as much as I did this one.

Its brilliance lies in the fact it nails it in these three areas:

1) The main characters had sizzling chemistry and the secondary characters were all interesting and had a role to play. Also a minor secondary romance was thrown in for good measure.
2) There was actually a plot which had depth and it wasn’t just sex-sex-sex.
3) Most importantly the characters waited 50 or more pages before jumping each others’ bones. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that this is a Blaze read but for the story to work for me there has to be UST, groundwork and build-up.

So yes the characters … Luke and Holly are interesting and engagingTaryn Leigh Taylor - Luke in their own right but what I really enjoyed was their interaction with the secondary characters. Holly’s interaction with Ethan was brilliant, her relationship with her Dad was interesting and I liked the history between Luke and his brother and his parents. The ‘surprise’ relationship between Jay and Paige was a great addition.

The whodunnit betting arc was a nice counterpoint to the romance but didn’t overwhelm the story but my favourite plot bunny was how Holly’s mock-idea of dumbing down hockey turned into a career opportunity for her and how she had to pretend she knew less than she did about sport.

I hope beyond hope that there are more books to come in what would be an excellent series. We have met 2 other team players at least that deserve their own happy ever after, not to mention Ethan who could do with a little romance of his own (maybe with his physiotherapist?!).

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