Friday, October 23, 2015

Review - Played by Clare James

by Clare James
Series: Elite PR, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 19, 2015

Play. Or be played.

The music should be enough. End of story. But Aaron Major is finding out it's not, and now his agent has hired a firm of suits to help launch his debut album, turning his life into a goddamn circus. Smile here. Play there. Be nice. Well, screw that. If Aaron wanted to spend his time shaking hands and kissing babies, he would've gone into politics.

Helping launch the career of country singer Aaron Major should be a cakewalk for PR pro Melody Sharp. Aaron is charming, sexy, and oh-so-appealing when he's on stage. Off stage, though, he's her worst nightmare. A stubborn, ornery, reclusive nightmare without a lick of business-or fashion-sense. The only way he's going to make it in music is with a serious makeover-and quite possibly a personality transplant.

Soon, they're engaged in a game of give and take, and though it's Melody calling the shots, it's Aaron who holds all control...

This was a quick, fun read that had some sweet, a bit of heat, and some fun characters that kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. I really like the setting of this series - the Elite PR firm is filled with some great characters that all seem to have an interesting story to tell. After being introduced to Melody in the first book (Caught), and then being hooked in by a small teaser about Melody at the end of that book, I was looking forward to finding out more and seeing how her happy ever after would play out.

I really enjoyed Melody and Aaron. Both have experienced some pretty tough times and are trying to turn things around. Aaron is trying to clean up his act and find his way back to the top of the country music charts. Melody has to find a way to salvage her PR career that she has single-handedly derailed and decide what’s next for her in her life – stay in Atlanta and continue trying to make a go of things, or head back home and admit defeat. When fate brings these two together the timing couldn’t be more perfect – not only can they help each other find redemption in their respective careers, but they also manage to find their way into each other’s heart.

There was definitely tension between Melody and Aaron, and you just knew that keeping things professional was going to be virtually impossible for these two. For me, this story was a bit on the tamer side of a Brazen book, especially since it always seemed that there was something keeping these two apart – be it an interruption or their own doing by agreeing to keep things professional. And even once they agreed to cross that line it seemed they just couldn’t get their timing right. There were a few steamy scenes, but there was more sweet than heat, which for me worked just fine.

I really enjoyed the backdrop of the PR side of the music scene and watching Melody pull off the launch party. The secondary characters added nicely to the story, be it Aaron’s manager who was out to sabotage Aaron & Mel’s relationship, or Aaron’s brother who let us see a real caring side of Aaron that otherwise wouldn’t have come out. And of course a trip to Elite PR wouldn’t be complete with at least a mention of the Weasel and Miranda, and I loved meeting Genn – she had me laughing with her dressing for success, or rather dressing to keep the bosses hands off of her!

Overall this was fun read that had a lot packed in between the pages. I would definitely recommend this one anyone looking for a quick read with some sweet, some heat and a nice happy ever after!

I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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