Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen

Title:   Playing Dirty
Author: Susan Andersen
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Sisterhood Diaries #3
Main Characters: Cade Gallari & Ava Spencer
Release Date: July 2011
ISBN037377589X or 
Publisher: Harlequin 
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Borders- $6.39
Sexual Intensity: spicy

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review

Story Overview:
When high school golden boy Cade Gallari publicly revealed he’d slept with “fat girl” Ava Spencer to win a bet, he broke her heart. Now a decade older and a head-turner with her own concierge business, Ava isn’t the gullible dreamer she once was—and she plans to prove it when Cade, hotter than ever, breezes back into town with an offer she can’t refuse.

A documentary film producer, Cade is shooting a movie about the mysterious mansion Ava inherited. And he wants her as his personal concierge. She’s certainly professional enough to be at his beck and call without giving him everything he wants. Like another shot at having her in his bed. But Ava doesn’t count on Cade’s determination. Because he’s never gotten over her. And he’s not above playing dirty to score a second chance at a red-hot future…

My Review:
They have a lot of history between them and the majority of it has played out in a highly contentious way. Cade found himself in elementary school being drawn to Ava's infectious laughter and joy in life, so he reacted in the way that most little boys do...by tormenting her. In turn, she called him "Buttface Gallari." This type of interaction continued through high school until they found themselves as biology partners for 6 weeks. There was a mutual attraction, but unfortunately in the midst of it all, Cade found out some devastating news and, acting as an immature teen, he acted out in a way that shattered Ava's fragile heart and humiliated her. Now it's 13 years later and they are having to figure out how to get past it all to work together.

What a wonderful book. There is so much emotion between Cade and Ava even if a lot of it is truly bad. Heartbreak and humiliation make up a lot of it, but underlying it all for both of them is an undeniable attraction. Cade is still incredibly drawn to Ava. He has tried to apologize to her many times over the years, but she doesn't even want to discuss it. She would rather ignore the subject, even though there are also huge lingering trust issues for her because of the "incident." They both were left scarred from the events that happened in high school. The question is can either of them work past it all...

I loved both of these characters. They are working so hard to be mature and not to lash out at each other, although that is the automatic reaction for both of them. They can deal with anyone else in the world just fine and pleasantly, but they get together and they react to each other like oil and water.

I liked the overall story line for this book. Cade is making a film in the old mansion that Ava inherited with her childhood friends Poppy & Jane. It creates a wonderfully elegant ambience for the book. Unfortunately, there is also a mild suspense story line about a missing fortune in diamonds. It is such a minor part of the book, that it could have been left out and personally, I wish that it had been. That small part of the story line did nothing but detract away from Cade and Ava's story. It was really the only part of the book that I didn't like.

This book did have a great cast of characters. I have read a ton of Susan Anderson's books over the year and with this being #3 in the series, I am guessing that I have read at least one of the other books in the series before. Regardless, I think that I need to find the first 2 in the series and read them. And personally, I think that we need to put a little bug in Ms. Anderson's ear that we need Beks (Cade's asst) story as soon as possible!!


Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

The side storyline about the jewels is the only part of the book I didn't like. I felt it rushed the ending :( I did really like this book and plan on picking up the first two since I have not read them :)

Julie said...

I would like this book. That is all. :)