Series: Heartbreaker Bay #7
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Setting: San Francisco, CA
Source: ARC, Edelweiss
Also in this series: About That Kiss, Hot Winter Nights
Also by this author: My Kind of Wonderful, Nobody But You, Accidentally on Purpose, About That Kiss, Hot Winter Nights
If you’re planning on falling in love…
When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s yoga pants, he’s a suit. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.
you’d better be sure…
Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.
… someone is there to catch you.
Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.
Can a girl with scars and baggage really be with a billionaire who has his life together? Playing for Keeps is an opposites attract type story with 2 people who have way more in common than they think initially. Caleb, AKA Suits, grew up poor, sickly, and bullied. He made sure his family never struggled again as soon as he was able. Sadie, AKA Mercedes, never fit in with her family and they never stopped reminding her of it. She is trying to make it on her own, but each day is a struggle.
Sadie has walls that Trump would be envious of. This girl is so closed off its like trying to escape North Korea (all right, no more political comparisons). She is broke and struggling to build her tattoo clientele, but she is also proud and stubborn. Her family hasn’t been kind to her and she struggled with mental health issues. Now, she tattoos people who want to cover up scars, which is amazingly cool. I had trouble really liking Sadie because, honestly, she is VERY judgmental. I found this ironic given how her family judges her, but she thinks she knows Caleb from the start and makes some pretty judgmental comments disparaging him even though he has been nothing but nice and honest. Caleb calls her out on it, which I thought was great. She does admit to this character flaw, and that helped me warm to her.
The thread that ties these two together is what totally won me over though: Lollipop, the 3 legged dog! Caleb and Sadie’s relationship grows from their “co-parenting” of a rescue dog. As a dog lover myself, and someone who has 2 rescue dogs, I agree with Lily about this: You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat an animal. I loved seeing these two kind of use Lollipop as a reason to see each other. Sadie doesn’t want to admit her feelings, so she literally and figuratively hides behind Lollipop. Caleb is so sweet to this dog I could hardly stand it. Both Caleb and Sadie make mistakes-they both have trust issues, baggage, and crazy families. While they both tend to make mistakes, both of them own up to it and it made their relationship feel believable!
Playing for Keeps will tug at your heartstrings whether you are an animal lover or not because Caleb and Sadie will warm your soul! Their story is filled with past hurt that has to be overcome, mistakes made by both, but that makes the journey so sweet.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: yes
- Trope: opposites attract
- Triggers: View Spoiler »Sadie was a cutter; Caleb was bullied as a child « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: standalone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes, with brief epilogue « Hide Spoiler
She shook her head.
“Look at me. Please?”
It was the damn please that had her opening her eyes. He’d closed the gap so that if she so much as took a breath, they’d be touching.
So she did just that. She took a deep breath, and then their bodies were up against each other, his warm and hard. Everywhere. “What’s happening?” she whispered.
“I believe you’re deciding between kicking me in the nuts and kissing me.” One side of his mouth curved very slightly as he lifted their still joined hands above her head, against the wall.
“But that last part might just be in my dreams.”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Yes, it’s just in my dreams?”
She meant to say yes again, she really did.
She even opened her mouth to say it, because this was insane, this incredible . . . craving she had for him. It made no sense. Less than no sense, and yet . . .
She went up on tiptoe and touched her mouth to his.