Title: Playing for Fun
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South – #6
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: December 15, 2015
PLAYING FOR FUN is the sixth story in Tracey Alvarez’s best-selling Due South books set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like Jill Shalvis, Marie Force, or Bella Andre, then you’ll enjoy diving into these heart-warming, sexy & seductive small-town romances with authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone.
Wanted: A woman for Ford.
Ford Komeke can’t deny he could use an up-skill in the dating arena. It’s a local in-joke that his game, as far as women go, sucks. Thanks to the meddling of New Zealand’s worst octogenarian matchmaker, he’s got an online dating profile, a new wardrobe, and a haircut from Stewart Island’s sexy hairdresser, Holly Parker. But since he’s well and truly mired in the friendzone with Holly, what’s the harm in exploring his options? A little jealousy could work wonders.
Offered: Dream job with a catch.
What do you say when you’re offered an un-turn-downable career opportunity? You say, hell-to-the-yeah! Only there’s a problem. To get the dream job Holly must leave Stewart Island and her two best friends, Shaye and Ford. But if Holly can distract Shaye with wedding planning and set Ford up with a nice girl so she can stop imagining him naked, neither will notice if she exits stage right. Neither will notice if her feelings for Ford stop being strictly platonic.
Warning: One kiss is never enough.
As addictive as the chocolate stash Holly hides in her fridge, one kiss forces them out of the friendzone—way out of the friendzone. Heat and hunger explode, but the ugliness in Ford’s past hold his heart hostage. Playing for fun or playing for keeps? Holly and Ford must decide because the consequences of falling in love means that someone’s heart or someone’s dream will ultimately end up shattered.
Every time I read a small town romance novel, I feel like it’s Christmas time for me! While I’ve read my fair share of them, I’ve never read one that is set in New Zealand which I found pretty exciting because I’ve always wanted to go there. Aotearoa, as the Maori called it. Before we get to the romance part of the story, I really would like to say first that I appreciated the glimpse of the Maori culture in this novel. I have always been intrigued by them and had always meant to do read a little more about them but I never found the time. Anyway, if you are not familiar with the Maori, you might find yourself a little confused with how much the author threw around terms and practices of the culture, etc., but I can assure you that you’ll fall in love with them as a whole as I have had by the time I finished this book.
Now onto the review! This was a crazy friends-to-lovers story. Really, I’m not even using the word ‘crazy’ lightly, but I actually mean that in the good way. It’s a little quirky, gives you a ‘familiar’ feeling (I don’t quite know how to explain it), and it’s definitely a book that stands out! Holly and Ford had been friends for as long as they could ever remember, but what they don’t know is that they’re attracted to the other but are also both so deep into the friendzone. It was back and forwards with Holly and Ford, that you’ll find yourself annoyed and frustrated–especially when it came to Ford!
A charming (exasperating) group of ladies have decided that it was high time for Ford to have a woman of his own. Holly didn’t agree, because she herself had always liked Ford more than she ever let on but that didn’t really matter now because if Ford did end up getting the woman of his dreams (via an online dating site) or not, she’ll be away for the job that she had had always wanted.
Overall, I really really really enjoyed this book. It was fun and charming and the sex scenes are hot. While the plot is considerably familiar, the way it is executed is impeccable. Steamy contemporary romance lovers shouldn’t miss out on this book!
While this book is the sixth in a series, this can be read as a standalone. I have a mind to read the series from the start to get the full experience of Due South. After all, it was easy for me to fall in love with these characters.
This copy was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
About this author
Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.
When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.