Thursday, February 4, 2016

Playing Hard by Melanie Scott

Book Description

Baseball star Oliver Shields has always lived for the game-and now the New York Saints have finally made the play offs. The season isn't over yet, but meeting gorgeous Amelia Graham seems like a bonus grand slam-until one night of partying threatens to take Oliver out of the game for good...
UNTIL SHE puts his heart in play...
All work and no play has always been Amelia's motto, earning her a coveted job on Wall Street and the freedom she's always longed for. Oliver is a real player-in more ways than one-and a distraction she doesn't need, especially when she's trying to win a chance at her dream assignment at work . When flirtation turns to attraction so fierce neither one of them can say good-bye, will Oliver and Amelia step up to the plate-and give love a chance?
AVAILABLE: February 2, 2016

New York Saints Series
The Devil in Denim (Book 1)
Angel in Armani (Book 2)
Lawless in Leather (Book 3)
Playing Hard (Book 4)
Playing Hard is the forth book in Melanie Scott's New York Saints series.  This is the first book that I have read by this author and it won't be my last.  Each book can be read as a standalone. 
1st baseman Oliver Shields has played with the New York Saints for 15 years when he was drafted right out of high school at 17.  Oliver eats, sleeps, and dreams baseball.  And although he knows that he can't play the game that he loves forever, he would like the chance for a few more good years before he has to hang up his glove forever.  And under the new Saints management, this season is a very promising one.  The Saints have FINALLY made it to the post season and the team is all celebrating together when FATE gives Oliver a visit. 
While tasked with driving a drunk teammate (and making sure he gets home), Oliver is in a car accident that leaves him with a potentially career-ending injury. 
Amelia Graham knows that she isn't responsible for her pseudo-brother's, Finn Castro, poor behavior at the Saints' party or the accident that happened when a teammate was taking him home.  But when Finn doesn't feel the need to check on Oliver in the hospital, Amelia goes to see how his teammate it doing.  Come to find out, Oliver is the man that she had a flirting-session with at the party.  The two begin a relationship around 'Words with Friends' and spend more and more time with each other learning each other's dreams and that life can be more than just baseball.  
But as Oliver and Amelia get closer and closer, loyalties are tested and not everyone is destined to walk away a winner.
Here was the problem I had with this book, and the reason I gave it a below 4 star review: the Castros.  All of them, but Finn and Em especially.  I thought they were HORRIBLE people.  I don't think I've disliked a group of secondary characters as much as these people.  I thought they were elitist, cruel and manipulative.  Ugh.  And the problem is that Finn is the next book in this series and I have absolutely have NO interest in his story.  To me, nothing he nor his sister, Em, can do to make me like them.  I think they treated Amelia like a servant and/or a waste of space.  I mean, Oliver has a career-ending injury and the whole Castro family acts as though he got a little boo-boo.  These people were unreal to me...
Other than those jerk-offs, I LOVED the just about everything else in this book.  I thought Amelia and Oliver were perfect for each other and really liked the way their relationship progressed throughout the book.  
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
**I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.**

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