Sunday, August 18, 2013

ARC Review: Playing With Her Heart by Lauren Blakely

Playhing ing With Her Heart
Caught Up in Us #3
Author: Lauren Blakely
Publication Date: August 18, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When you’re acting the role of a lifetime, how can you know if love is real—or all just a part of the show?

Twenty-three year old rising theatre star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending her long-distance crushes add up to something real, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. Cast in her first Broadway show, she desperately needs to keep her façade intact, but that’s before she comes face to face with her devastating new boss…

Hot-shot director Davis Milo knows the first rule of directing: never fall for your leading lady. Captivated by Jill’s raw talent, he fights his feelings, but watching Jill on-stage with another man is more than his jealous streak can take. Keeping things professional isn’t an option. He wants all of her.

Soon the ingénue and her director are staying late in the empty theatre, their private rehearsals spiraling into new, forbidden territory. Caught up between fiction and reality, Jill struggles to find the truth in all their staged kisses. But how can she be sure that what she feels is real, and not a part of the play? And when two people spend their lives pretending, what happens after the final curtain falls?

For mature audiences 18+ due to sexual content and language.

Trophy Husband was the first Lauren Blakely book I read and I was hooked! I am a Lauren Blakely reader forever now. I need her books to take me to my happy place. She is a writer that continues to amaze me and each book is better than the last, Playing With Her Heart being no exception. I definitely think it is her best work yet.


Have you read a book by Lauren Blakely yet? If not, I command you to go read one now. Seriously though, I absolutely adore Lauren. Not only is she a super sweet person but she is an incredibly talented author. She never fails to lift my spirits and she shares hot photo teasers like you wouldn't believe. I can't tell you how many times those photos have turned my day around. Playing With Her Heart rocked my world and the passion between Jill & Davis lit the pages on fire!

I really, really liked Jill. She is probably one of my favorite MC’s out of Lauren’s books. While I loved Kat & McKenna, there is just something about Jill that makes her special. She has this way about her and she truly loves acting for the passion she fills about it and the feeling she gets up on stage. She doesn’t care about being rich and famous, she just wants to throw herself into a character and feel alive. She has an emotional secret that has been eating away at her for 6 years and acting is the only thing that eases the pain. She lives this secret life because no one knows her secret and I really felt sad for her because it was clear that it was still eating away at her. She also carries this unrequited love for a man that doesn’t really know she exists and having the opportunity to work with him gives her the opportunity to finally make her dreams come true. However, she didn’t count on or expect Davis Milo.

“He says my name like it’s dessert. Like it’s something he wants to eat.”

What can I say about Davis Milo. He is sexy, smart, successful and the ultimate alpha male. He had a rule against dating actresses because of a past heartbreak so when Jill ignites something inside him, he doesn’t know how to handle it. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t stay away from her or stop touching her or stop thinking about her. I found it extremely sexy the way he claimed her to himself and how jealous he got when he thought about her with someone else. It didn’t bother me because it wasn’t in a possessive way, it was his internal struggle that he dealt with. As much as he tried to deny his feelings for Jill or tried to stay away because of his fear of heartbreak, he knew there was something different about Jill and he eventually caved to his desires.

“You are my sin.” He brushes them gently against my earlobe. “And my heaven.” Then the barest of kisses on my lips. “And everything in between.”

Jill and Davis have some serious chemistry and their sexual tension was so fun to watch. All of her dreams are finally coming true and Davis is a huge part of that. She has spent six years trying to heal the open wound within her heart and finally making it to Broadway is a huge step for her. Not only is she finally cast in a Broadway show, but she will get to work with Patrick, the man she has loved from afar for the past six years. She has lived a secret lonely life to punish herself but Patrick was who she dreamed of since she saw him in a show and his performance saved her soul. Davis has one rule: never date an actress. This was a rule he made after having his heart obliterated by one 3 years ago. From the moment he sees Jill audition on stage, he wants her for this part but he also wants her for himself. He spends a lot of time conflicted by his feelings and trying to deny the sparks that fly between them. When they first kiss, Jill is very confused because she had been in love with another man for so long and the passion she felt with Davis was super shocking to her. Davis is conflicted because he guards his heart so carefully and Jill has somehow penetrated the gates. I loved the tension between the two of them as they share these moments of passion and then subsequently try to deny each other. They both bounce back and forth only to find themselves in each other’s arms once again.

“You’re like a drug to me. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get enough of my fix. I’m going to need more and more hits and even so I’ll only grow more addicted to you.”

The moment Davis realized that he wanted Jill, damn the consequences, he went after her and he did everything he could to win her over. As Jill developed a friendship with Patrick, she slowly began to realize the feelings she had for Davis and that maybe her love for Patrick from afar was how she had protected herself from her fear of the past. The more time she spent alone rehearsing with Davis, the more she desired him. When things got serious, she couldn’t let go of the past and she ran. I was so glad Davis didn’t let her go easily and I loved the way she opened up to him and finally shared with him the secret that haunted her. It was a healing moment for Jill and I could tell that she finally felt free. Opening the gates to Jill’s past allowed her to fully let Davis in and they each could finally admit their love for each other.

“Nobody else has me. Nobody else will. Nobody else can.”

This book was such a light, sexy read but it still had an emotional element that added just the right amount of depth to the story. Davis and Jill were both a little jaded but finding each other helped them move forward and believe in true love again. This book also had the perfect mix of plot development and sexual tension. The plot was fun and realistic, the writing was impeccable and the sex was steamy. This is the kind of read that makes me smile and keeps me up late into the night.
~IPOD Picks~
“If I Lose Myself” by One Republic
“Just a Feeling” by Maroon Five
“Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato 


About the Author:
Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in TROPHY HUSBAND, she thinks life should be filled with hot men, cool clothes, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.

*An e-Arc of this book was provided to me by the author and Inkslinger PR for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and unbiased.*

Thanks Lauren & Kelly


  1. Awesome review Chelsea! I loved this book to pieces! My favorite of Lauren's yet! (And I love them all!) You're right- the tension and chemistry between Davis and Jill really skyrocketed this book for me. Lauren knows how to write it so well!

  2. Honestly, I hate the cover! I must be missing a gene or something but covers like that make me cringe. The book sounds fun though and well if you are commanding I suppose I better add it to the wish list!
    I like that it made you smile and kept you up late, always a great sign :-)

  3. Thanks! This was definitely my favorite so far too and that is saying a lot. Lauren's books definitely get better and better. It was definitely the tension that made this book. Well said :-)

  4. LOL, I know you hate half naked male covers. They are hit or miss for me but I have to admit, I love this one because I can totally picture this guy as Davis. Despite the cover, you should definitely check this out. Lauren writes fabulous fun, sexy reads.

  5. Lol I'm with Trish on the covers! What's with them? No I haven't read an LB book but if you command it, I guess I should get myself to Amazon! :) Great review! xxx

  6. LOL, I love you Irish girls! :-) I hope you like her books as much as I do. Definitely good for a sexy, fun read!

  7. Wow, great article.Really thank you! Want more.


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