Oh, man! Devon Gray has definitely done it. I admit that I wondered how Ms. Gray could top her debut novella, Addicted. After all, Addicted was HOT!!! Addicted reached out, grabbed me by the throat and did not let go until I’d finished the last page. It is an awesome read that I still highly recommend today.
So, when I downloaded Playing for Keeps from The Wild Rose Press, I had my doubts that it could be as good. Seriously, I know how hard it is to produce a story that has to meet the high expectations garnered by the previous book. For this reason alone, I just knew it couldn’t be as good. Of course, I am readily admitting that I was dead wrong.
Emma and Christian have a history together. A history better left buried. But burying the past is hard to do when the present won’t let you forget it. As soon as Emma sees Christian manning the bar at Bud and Alley’s, she knows that her last few months of freedom before her real life begins have just taken a turn down Alice’s rabbit hole. How is she going to get through the summer knowing the man who left her high and dry after taking her virginity six years earlier is merely steps away? Especially when she wants him just as much now as she did back then.
Christian is in an even bigger pickle than Emma is. After all, it wasn’t his decision to walk away from her before. When she finally lets him get close to her again, he finds himself falling just as hard and fast as he had when she was only eighteen. But how in the world is he going to convince her that he isn’t the playboy she thinks he is? Especially when she has convinced herself this is just a summer fling?
Playing for Keeps followed suit with Addicted and grabbed me from the very first paragraph. I was drawn into the story and hurting right alongside Emma as she recalled the last time she had seen Christian. This story was heart wrenching and sexy. I was partying with the characters and jamming with the band at Bud and Alley’s Annual New Year’s Bash.
As much as I loved Addicted, Playing for Keeps definitely stands on its own merits. I send tons of Kudos out to Ms. Gray for an excellent second book. You have definitely marked yourself as an author who can satisfy her readers’ high expectations. Check out the past couple of weeks on Ms. Gray’s blog for some neat interviews that helped make this book as good as it is.