A sexy category romance novella from Entangled's Brazen imprint...
Scoring is only part of the game...
Today, I was supposed to get married, but thanks to my dick of an ex, there's no happily-ever-after in sight. So tonight, I'm aiming for a happy ending, one that involves a whole lot of champagne, and the hottest sex of all—revenge sex. Garrett Kelly is just the man to satisfy my needs, both in and out of the bedroom. All I need to do is to make the first move...
For one night, he's everything I wanted and needed. Of course, now I've gone and crossed the line between friendship and…something else. Getting involved with an unreliable guy is always a bad idea, and falling in love? Even worse. Now my little game of hot-sex-and-revenge has taken a hell of a turn—and this time, there are consequences.
Previously released on the Ever After imprint in July 2013.
About the Author
Diane Alberts has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn't until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she's not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another.
She is a multi-published, bestselling author with Entangled Publishing, Swoon Romance, and Decadent Publishing. She has, as of this date, four books with Entangled Publishing, one book with Swoon Romance, and five older books with Decadent Publishing. Diane is represented by Louise Fury from the L. Perkins Agency.
Read an Excerpt
A Take a Chance Novella
By Diane Alberts, Shannon Godwin
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Diane Alberts
All rights reserved.
Garrett Kelly might have been a laid-back middle school math teacher by day, but at night he was a basketball coach who yelled and cussed and fought for his team. And right now? He was yelling. And in his head? He was cursing up a storm. Mainly because his star player, Chris Worth, stood frozen mid-court of the middle school gymnasium.
What the hell was going on out there? Chris never choked. Never missed a chance to win a game. But he was just standing there. Not moving.
"Dribble the ball, Chris!" Garrett screamed down the court, his entire body tense. The damn score was tied at fifty-six with thirty seconds left and he still wasn't moving. Garrett looked up in the bleachers at Kiersten Worth, Chris's aunt and legal guardian ... as well as acting mother, who shrugged back and scrunched up her nose. "Move!"
Chris finally launched into action, dribbling in between the opposing team's defense as if they merely stood still, and banked another two points. The crowd went wild, both with moans and shouts, depending on which side they were rooting for.
"There you go. You got this down, boys," he called out, rubbing the back of his neck. Now, they just needed to figure out how to prevent the other team from scoring in the next twenty seconds, and they would be able to maintain their undefeated record. And if they failed? He might have to give them all double homework duty on Monday.
His assistant coach, and best friend, paced behind him. "If they let this kid score, I'm gonna lose it," Mike whispered. Then he raised his voice and shouted, "Arms up, defense!"
"You're preaching to the choir."
Garrett tensed as the opposing team headed down the court. Sending a prayer above — God had to like basketball ... He was a man after all — Garrett clenched his hands tight. The other team's tiny point guard dodged between two players, only to be caught off- guard by Chris. Chris snatched the ball out of his hands and dribbled down the court. He squared off and took a shot just as the buzzer sounded.
"Yes!" Garrett said, turning to give Mike a high five. "And the streak continues."
"Thank God," Mike grinned.
They lined up all of the kids in the most unorganized row ever, slapped hands and huddled for an after-game pep talk. After they finished, Mike and Garrett headed toward the waiting moms, who hovered like vultures waiting for their meal.
"Oh, God, Susan is eyeing me again," Mike groaned, rubbing his forehead. "Help me."
"Well, you shouldn't have slept with her, dumbass," Garrett replied, smiling at the woman in question as they approached the crowd. "I warned you to avoid her like the plague. Her ex-husband had to get a restraining order against her. If that doesn't scream caution, I don't know what does. You have no one to blame but yourself."
"Yeah," Mike shrugged. "But she's hot. That throws the crazy scale askew."
Garrett rolled his eyes. He scanned the crowd for the woman who wouldn't be chasing him. Kiersten stood in the back of the well-wishers, waving at Chris and beaming with pride. Her straight blond hair looked silky smooth today and Garrett's fingers twitched with the desire to see if it was as soft as it looked. But friends didn't fondle other friends' hair.
Or so he kept telling himself.
Chris held his index finger up to Kiersten, obviously needing a minute to collect his stuff and say his good-byes. Though Chris's mom had died in a car crash when Chris was an infant, the boy had never lacked for a mother. Kiersten, though barely more than a child herself at the time, had stepped into her sister's role without hesitation. She had even refused to let her older sister take on the responsibility, since Brianna had just had a baby with her husband. That was just one of the many things Garrett admired about her so much.
"Don't even think about abandoning me for her," Mike said between clenched teeth, following the line of his gaze. "You don't stand a chance and you know it. Besides, she's still depressed over Pete leaving her. Fucking asshole."
"Agreed." Garrett shrugged. "We're friends, is all. Stop trying to make it more than what it is."
"Are you so sure about that? Need I remind you of high school?" Mike called out. "Move on and leave her alone."
Mike, of course, referred to the huge crush Garrett had held on to all throughout his teen years. But he was over it. He'd grown up and moved on, as people did. "You have no clue what you're talking about," he said before walking away.
"Yeah, I do. She's my sister," Mike retorted. "And you're an as —" Mike broke off and looked at the kids surrounding them. "Uh, an astounding fool."
Garrett rolled his eyes at his friend's quick recovery, waved over his shoulder — with one finger conspicuously higher than the others — and stalked to Kiersten's side. All of the other moms let out a sigh and zeroed in on Mike. The poor sucker stood no chance, and deserved every second of it.
The closer Garrett got to Kiersten, the faster his heart thumped in his ears. It felt more like he was sprinting down the court for a winning shot instead of walking up to his longtime friend. She saw his approach and straightened, cheeks rosy. Her green gaze latched onto his, pushing him away without saying a word. "Coach Garrett, how are you doing tonight?"
Her voice washed over him like a soothing balm. He shook his head and grinned at her. "Kiersten, you can call me Garrett."
"Not here," she murmured. Her gaze flitted over his shoulder to where Chris probably approached. "Don't want to give anyone anything to gossip about."
He pasted his generic playboy-smile on and ran his fingers through his hair. "No one would get the wrong idea. It's quite obvious we're just friends. Speaking of which ... are we still getting together for drinks tonight?"
"Yes," she said quickly. "Now be quiet. Chris is coming, and I don't want him to get the wrong idea."
The wrong idea being that she was actually interested in more than friendship from him. Garrett knew all too well that wasn't the case, even if he occasionally wished it weren't. "Right."
"Hey, coach," Chris said. He walked over to Kiersten's side and looked at Garrett with eyes far too wise for a thirteen year old. "What's up?"
Garrett cleared his throat. "Nothing much. I'm just letting your mom know about practice on Monday at five."
"Oh, okay." Chris looked up at Kiersten expectantly. "Ready to go to Friendly's?"
"I'm always ready to go to Friendly's," she replied. When she slung his gym bag over her shoulder, her gaze met Garrett's for one brief second. "Good bye, Coach Garrett."
"See ya," he murmured.
He watched her walk away, the swing of her hips teasing him. Over the past three months, they had been getting together at her place to have a few drinks on the weekends, but not as lovers. Just as friends. Very platonic friends. It's all they could ever, and would ever, be. He was her kid's teacher and coach. Though the school didn't frown upon such things ... other parents did.
All it would take was one game where he played Chris longer than another kid and all hell would break loose. So no matter how much he might like to discover how those swinging hips felt in his hands ... he needed to keep his head on straight.
And his hands at his sides.
Rolling his shoulders, he headed back to Mike. Upon seeing his return, Mike flashed him a dirty look. "About time," he muttered under his breath. "Done drooling over my sister?"
Garrett ignored him. "Okay, everyone. Listen up. Practice is Monday at five. We'll see you all then. Coach Mike and I have to go over some end-of-game plays, so we're gonna head out now."
The women dispersed, leaving him and Mike alone. Mike scowled at him and punched his shoulder. "Look, fuck-wad, stop chasing her."
Garrett ground his teeth together. "I'm not chasing her."
And he wasn't. They were friends. If there were a moment or two where he wished they could be more, then so be it. That's life. It didn't mean he had to act on the desire. Making a move, especially an unrequited move, certainly wouldn't do at all for his image — the image he'd worked very hard to build. He was the perfect picture of the content bachelor with no intention of ever changing his ways.
"Looked to me like you were chasing her," Mike said.
Garrett gritted his teeth. "Then you weren't looking close enough. I'm over her. I've been over her since college. You're the one who needs to move on, man."
"I did." Mike eyed Garrett in a way that all too clearly conveyed that he doubted Garrett had.
"Yeah?" Garrett grabbed the clipboard. "So did I."
"Good. Now, I need to drink a few beers and find a woman with a lot of daddy issues and no attachment issues whatsoever," Mike said, gathering up his jacket and clipboard. "You in?"
Garrett hesitated. After all of the ribbing Mike had been giving him, the last thing he wanted to admit was that he was spending his Friday night at Kiersten's. "Nah. I think I'm getting sick. I'm gonna go home and take it easy tonight."
"Like you've been doing almost every weekend lately? Are you going to shave your legs and douche, too?" Mike snapped. "What the fuck, man?"
"Yeah, that's exactly right. I'm going to go home and douche. See you later, asshole," Garrett called over his shoulder. "Don't forget that we have our own game tomorrow."
Mike called out, "See you then. Wear a pretty skirt for me, will ya?"
Garrett flipped him off and stalked out of the gym. The cold air blasted his face as soon as he walked outside and he inhaled deeply. Damn, he loved winter. Tiny snow flurries drifted down from the sky and Garrett took a minute to appreciate the sheer beauty of the unblemished white snow falling around him. Too bad it wouldn't stick to the ground. It wasn't cold enough in Vegas for that.
But it sure looked pretty.
And then it struck him how very much like life falling snow could be. It looked great at first glance, but within minutes all you had left was yellow snow and gray streets. Nothing ever stayed pure and fresh — which was why he avoided romantic entanglements.
It wasn't because the only woman he really wanted didn't want him. No. All he needed was a warm body in bed every once in a while and he was good to go. It didn't matter who she was or where he found her. Intimacy was overrated and overbearing.
Unfortunately, the more he told himself that ... the less he believed it.CHAPTER 2
Kiersten glanced in the mirror and smoothed her hair back out of her eyes with a trembling hand. Tonight, she was going to do something completely out of character. Terrifyingly so. When she had been sitting in the bleachers earlier, reflecting on the fact that today was supposed to have been her wedding day, she'd compared her life now to what she'd expected it to be. And quite honestly ... it sucked. Pete was probably married to his skanky secretary by now. Blissfully and happily getting ready to raise cheating little babies to match their cheating, lying parents.
While she hadn't even gotten laid since the break-up.
Today was supposed to have been her special day — the day she said I do. As the time had ticked down on Chris's game, it also had ticked down on her contentment to just ... be alone. Then it came to her — she didn't have to be alone tonight. She could give a final fuck-you-Pete and sleep with the one man Pete had always been threatened by.
Pete would never know, but she would.
And it would feel good.
Now all she needed to do was tell Garrett.
She hoped she hadn't misread the interest in his eyes. And hoped he wouldn't turn her down. She was choosing him as her target because of three reasons. One? Proximity. He was coming to her place tonight anyway. Two? He used to have a crush on her back in high school and probably still wondered what it would be like between them, so less likely to reject her. And three? That whole secret fuck-you factor he would give her.
Maybe it was childish but so what? Pete had decided he loved to bang his secretary more than he loved Kiersten, so why shouldn't she celebrate tonight with a little too much wine and a good bout of forbidden sex?
And hopefully some sore legs tomorrow.
Yeah. That's so what she'd envisioned for this day when they had sent those save the date cards out.
Kiersten sent a quick goodnight text to Chris, who was sleeping over at his cousins' house, and hurriedly brushed her hair. At most, she only had thirty minutes before Garrett arrived — and the furriness of her legs appalled her more than words could say. After a fast shower and an even quicker make-up session, she stood in front of her closet gripped with indecision on what to wear.
Could she really go through with this impetuous plan? Seduce one of her only friends?
When Pete had destroyed the tiny bit of faith she'd had in humanity, she had fallen to pieces. All her life, she had avoided relationships so Chris wouldn't have a father figure enter his life and just as quickly leave. But then the one freaking time she trusted a man and let him in, he'd cheated on her with his secretary and they'd called the whole thing off.
She had been brokenhearted but Chris had been even worse off.
She would never do it again. Wouldn't bring an unstable man into his life like she had before. She'd been right to avoid love. All the love she needed she got from her family.
But she wouldn't think about that asshat Pete. She would drink with Garrett. Get a little stupid. Let loose. And have some casual, no strings attached sex. If she could do that with anyone in her life, it would be Garrett. He'd always been by her side, rooting her on.
Looking at her with those hot, blazing blue eyes that seemed to undress her without a simple touch. Her stomach tightened just thinking about him and that look. And given his years-long single status, he didn't seem to want a relationship any more than she did.
But what if he wanted more than she could give him? A series of pictures ran through her head of how he would fall in love with her and ask her to marry him. Have kids with him.
She shuddered at the mere thought.
Nah. He wouldn't want that. He'd never even acted on his crush in high school, so how serious could it have been? Not once in all of their time together had he even given her a slight hint he wanted those things. Hot glances? Yes. Happily ever after? No.
He was like her. Independent. Unattached, and content to stay that way.
Marriage obviously wasn't for the Worth children. The only one of them who hadn't been messed up from their parents screwed up marriage was her older sister, Brianna. She was married with three kids. Her first husband had died, but Brianna had met another man she'd fallen head over heels in love with. Thomas Jones. Now they were married and happily living their normal lives in their normal house in their normal world.
Then there was her and Mike.
Mike didn't spend more than a night with the same woman — if not an hour — and Kiersten refused to even try relationships ever again. She was broken. Unfixable. She didn't want to get married, or even fall in love a second time. Didn't want any kids besides Chris. She was fine alone.
But she needed to get laid. Needed to prove to herself that she wasn't a complete failure who couldn't attract a man — much less keep him. And Garrett seemed like a sure bet, given the way he looked at her when he thought she wasn't watching. Like she was a woman, and he was a man. And he wanted her.
Or at least ... she thought he did.
After pairing a scoop neck sweater with a black skirt and applying a quick spritz of perfume, she made it downstairs just in time to feel her phone vibrate in her hand. He was here. When she opened the door, he stood there smiling at her, a bottle of Asti in his hand. The porch light illuminated his perfection, as if God was reminding her just how exquisitely he had made this particular male specimen.
"Hello," she said, motioning him inside.
"Hey," he murmured. His blue eyes swept over her body, leaving heat everywhere they touched. She normally wore sweats and a T-shirt when he came over to hang out, so he was probably wondering at the short skirt she wore. "Wow. You look pretty tonight."
Her cheeks heated up. "Thanks."
He came inside and she busied herself closing the door and locking it. The chill of the metal cooled her hunger for him — to some degree. "Is Chris gone?" he asked.
"Of c-course," she stammered. "He's at Brianna's for the night."
Garrett strode into the living room and set the bottle down before unzipping his coat. His black shirt clung to his finely tuned body, and her fingers twitched. Everything from his black hair, to his six-pack, down to his damn boots screamed out for her attention. And those blue eyes were mesmerizing. She could get lost in them for hours.
"That's good." Running a hand over his shirt to smooth it out, he cocked his head. "So we've got the whole place to ourselves, huh? No whispering required."
Excerpted from Play Me by Diane Alberts, Shannon Godwin. Copyright © 2013 Diane Alberts. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Play Me is the story of Kiersten and Garrett. I really fell for this story the whole way through. The writing was terrific and grabbed me right from the start. The storyline was smooth and quick moving. Everything was perfect. Kiersten is a single mom. Well, sort of. When her sister was killed in a car accident, Kiersten stood up and took over and became the guardian to her sister’s son. The whole single mom aspect really spoke to me, since I am one myself. So right away I felt like I could identify with Kiersten when she felt it was easier to just go without – without men, without sex, without love. I mean, you have your kid, and that’s enough, right? Except she learns the hard lesson that sometimes it isn’t enough. So when she takes matters into her own hands and pins down her lifelong friend, Garrett, for a night of naked fun, I think “great!” Except Garrett has feelings for Kiersten. He always has. And he goes along with the proposal because how could he not? But before the night is over, he realizes the mistake. And Kiersten is a stubborn stubborn woman. She made me mad. Garrett tells her he doesn’t want casual, he wants more – and she denies him! She denies him out of fear, nonetheless! Garrett does the only thing he can – he asks for distance to get over her. This book tied me in knots! Kiersten kept making me mad, over and over. Garrett kept setting himself up for heartbreak. I wanted these two to get together so badly! And when Kiersten shows up pregnant, Garrett really steps up. I mean seriously, this man is doing everything right. Every move he makes, makes me want to love him more. But Kiersten? The woman is a rock! She kept crushing my dreams of a HEA, damnit. I really like that Diane writes these flawed women, and men who are attentive and caring. I don’t always want to see the man as this tough as nails barrier between the woman and love. Because sometimes it’s just as much the woman’s fault. And even though this is only the second book in this series that I’ve read, I’m loving the way its going. I even hear the next book up is for a character from this book, Mike. I really enjoyed Mike. He’s Kiersten’s brother and Garrett’s friend. He had some awesome one-liners and a strong position on “no love involved”. So seeing him getting bit by the love monster is going to be awesome, I just know it.
I really really enjoyed Play Me! :D I thought that Garrett was a fantastic guy, and I definitely understood Kiersten's reluctance for relationships! I also really enjoyed their chemistry! :D This is the first book I've read in the Take a Chance series, so I'm not sure if I might have missed a bit of the groundwork that set the stage for Kiersten and Garrett's relationship, but I did feel like there could have been a bit more of the romance that was shown to the reader. I felt like a lot of their relationship happened before the book even started, and I'm not really a fan of being told how someone feels instead of being shown...I like to see it all, I may be a bit voyeuristic in that way, but anyway, I just felt like so much of the buildup for their relationship was skimmed over, and I wish we could have seen a bit more of it, or maybe had a bit more from Kiersten at least about her feelings. Garrett's were pretty clear, but Kiersten's kinda popped up outta nowhere! :P Even though I felt like we could have seen a bit more of their relationship, I did really love what was there. I loved seeing Kiersten finally open up to her feelings, and I just really enjoyed Garrett...he could've fought a bit harder at times, but considering he kept getting rejected, I didn't really blame his reluctance either. All in all though, I'm so glad how Play Me turned out and really enjoyed Kiersten and Garrett's story! :D Overall, I thought that Play Me was a short, but sweet romance with characters that I definitely cared about. I'd recommend this one to fans of contemporary romance with relationships that develop in pretty unconventional ways. ;D *This review also appears on my blog and my other social media accounts. *I was provided with an ebook by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
4.5 Game Winning Stars! And chalk another one up to Diane Alberts for Play Me. Third in the Take a Chance series, I loved this one just as much as the other two. Not only are her covers wonderfully scrumptious, but the stories behind the covers are just as tantalizing. In Play Me, Kiersten is having herself a little pity party on the day she is supposed to be walking down the aisle, realizing she never should have opened herself up to a man and have her heart shattered. She doesn’t want to make that mistake again, but she also has needs she wants to see to for just one night. Enter Garrett, Kiersten’s life-long friend and son’s basketball coach. Garrett has always loved Kiersten, but remained in the ‘friend zone’ until she proposes they have their one night of fun. Garrett is all for that one night, but he wants more than that. He wants to be able to love her freely. But that one night happens, it was wonderful, and Garrett can’t bring himself to go back to the way things were which is exactly what Kiersten wants. Unfortunately for them, neither of them get what they want when Kiersten finds out that she’s pregnant from their one-night stand. Kiersten wants to raise this child as a single parent with help from Garrett, if he wants to be a present father, but what she doesn’t expect is Garrett wanting to move in and have everything to do with his child. Finally agreeing to this ridiculous idea, Kiersten fears that Garrett will continue to break down her walls and capture her heart, which would lead to another heart break. Garrett only wants the chance to prove that he is the one and only man Kiersten can and will only ever need, but can these two live together before they push each other too far in the wrong direction? Kiersten is a strong, independent, and extremely stubborn woman who has been wronged one too many times and Garrett is the man who has to face that wrath. Garrett is also the man determined to pick up the pieces of what she has lost and be what holds it all together. I fell in love with these two and both of their stubborn ways. Play Me was a book I didn’t put down until the end. (I received an ARC for my review and this is my honest-to-goodness, straight from the heart review!) *The Take a Chance series can be read individually or continuously, but I recommend the latter :D*
Loved this story .L.M.A.
Outstanding story line.So close to real life. I could not put it down. This was my second story by this young lady. Looking forward to number 3
I am such a sucker for books that are friends to lovers type.
You have to read all of her books she is so great with romance and I love her.
Very good book & my headline couldn't be any truer.
3.5 stars Garrett has wanted Kiersten since high school. Although she's his best friend's sister, that hasn't stopped his heart from developing deep feelings for her. He knows that Kiersten has had a couple of rough years and doesn't want to add to her troubles by admitting his feelings for her. But when Kiersten, in a moment of weakness, offers herself to him he can't help himself and gives in. Even after they engage in a 'friends with benefits' relationship, he still wants more but is scared of how to approach her with his plan. So he hold on and spends time with her hoping one day she may come to feel for him what he feels for her. Kiersten can't deny that she's attracted to Garrett but his reputation as a player precedes him and she's not in no position to get her heart broken. But now that circumstances have changed for them both, how can she kept her heart out of the equation when the handsome man does everything in his power to win her over? I liked this story very much but contrary to the previous one, I didn't feel Kiersten and Garrett's emotions or chemistry jump off the page as much. I did enjoy their interactions. Their flirtatious banter and honest dialogue lent itself to reveal a side of them they mostly kept hidden. Their emotions, although somewhat tame, still were in present, especially towards the end when everything came to a close. Even though their chemistry was not as strong as I thought it would be it still was hot to see them together. Especially since Garrett added his emotions to the mix. It was hard to see how affected he was by their situation, but with his sense of humor and care-free attitude he kept the story light and entertaining. Of course, the introduction of the secondary characters added to the story. I especially enjoyed Mike, although it was a treat to see Thomas and Brianna again. Although this story might not have been everything I was expecting it still had that romantic quality I've enjoyed from the other stories. With interesting and complex characters, humor and some sexy scenes, Play Me was a great read.
A enjoyable read.
It was a good book.
as seen on Gone Pecan Characters I just realized that I usually start with the woman, but today, I want to start with the hero. Garrett is in love with his best friend’s sister and has been since high school. He’s been secretly meeting with her to have drinks, thinking that they’re friends and nothing more, but he can’t seem to help himself with her. Then one night, Kiersten makes a move on him and she ends up PREGNANT. Oops. Kiersten is just trying to scratch an itch and if it happens to be with someone who made her cheating ex-fiance jealous, all the better. Kiersten knows that Garrett has a thing for her, and she’s attracted to him, but she just cannot get past being thrown over by her ex for his secretary. She thinks she’s somehow not worthy or just not the type of person who can find romantic love. Kiersten does have plenty of love to go around, as witnessed by her becoming mother to her late sister’s son, who she’s raised since he was a baby, and she loves her brother and sister, but she thinks she’ll just have to live without that great love that her sister has with her husband. But now she has a baby on the way and it looks like Garrett is making a move to become a permanent piece of her family puzzle. Overall Thoughts: It was a sweet romance. I loved Garrett. He was so head over heels for Kiersten that even his best friend, her brother, would call him on it and tell him he needed to move on. Garrett was at turns hopeful and dejected around Kiersten because she made all the decisions. If it was up to him, he would have married her immediately upon learning that she was pregnant with his child, but Kiersten had her wall firmly in place and had no intention of ever letting Garrett, or any man, breach it. I really felt for him because I just couldn’t get behind Kiersten’s issues. Her distrust of Garrett was misguided, especially since she’d known him practically all her life and knew the kind of man he was. But all in all, I did like the book and I want to read the other two books that came before it (hopefully there is a little more exposition of Kiersten’s family dynamics). The sex scenes were fantastic and really made the book better in my opinion. I thought it was a sports romance book, as I mentioned on twitter, because of the basketball on the cover, but Garrett is a basketball coach and that’s the extent of that. I wanted to read it straight through and put off doing my homework and it was totally worth it.
Play Me by Diane Alberts is a quick little CR novella that could easily be read in an hour or two. Perfect for waiting in the Doctor's office or the DMV. The bare bone roots of the story is about family and romance. Our heroine is Kiersten. She's getting out of an ugly relationship and decides to have revenge sex with Garrett, an old friend whom she's always had the hots for and happens to be her brothers' BFF as well as her sons' coach, perfect choice! Garrett has always had a thing for his best friends little sister, Kiersten. She has never shown interest in him and he has no problems keeping their relationship platonic but damn, now that she's single again, he can lust openly for her. One night, after one of her son's games, she decides she wants to have drinks with Garrett and wouldn't you know it, one thing leads to another and they end up having a "one night stand". Both seem to be happy until Kiersten turns weird and stops talking to him for 3 months, then shows up on his doorstep saying she's preggers. Garrett isn't one to shuck his responsibility and decides to man up. Together the two decide to create an unconventional family which has the possibility of forever, if the two can get past their baggage. I really enjoyed this novella. It's a nice contemporary HEA. I loved that the hero quickly decides to take on his responsibility and the whole situation is handled expertly. In fact, what I loved most about this story is the play between the two characters. Garrett knows he wants her and respects her issues as well as his own. At no time did the story not feel like two responsible adults were making responsible decisions taking everyone into account, which you don't see a lot. It was definitely an equal relationship that allows love to blossom in a very realistic way. I'd say, give it a shot!
Play Me is the third story in the Take a Chance Series by Diane Alberts. I have read, and enjoyed, the first two and was really looking forward to this story after just looking at the cover. Well, Diane has done it again…..this story rocked! Kiersten Worth was not supposed to be spending this day alone. It was supposed to be her wedding day, but thanks to a cheating fiancé, there will be no wedding bells for her. Luckily, she has been spending time with Garrett, a childhood friend of her and her brother and her son’s basketball coach. She’s looking forward to seeing him tonight for one of their casual chill-on-the-couch-with-a-movie nights when she decides to hatch a plan to get her ex out of her head, even if just for one night. She knows Garrett has had a crush on her for years and tonight she plans on taking advantage of that. Yep, hot and sexy Garrett is just the man to get the job done. After her itch is scratched, surely they will be able to go back to their carefree relationship as friends….until the unexpected happens. Garrett has watched Kiersten from across the gym floor at basketball games and dreamed of what it would be like to have more with her….more than just a close friend. But he knows that’s just a fantasy. He’s best friends with her brother and her son’s basketball coach and that’s all he will ever be to her. Imagine his surprise when he heads to her house for a typical night in and gets way more than what he’s ever imagined. Here’s the thing with those friendly hook-ups….most of the time they just don’t work. The awkwardness that follows can ruin the best of friendships and it just may ruin Garrett and Kiersten’s. Fate won’t let that happen though and when Kiersten finds out she’s pregnant, Garrett comes up with a plan to make things work for all of them…..hopefully. What a great read this was. High emotion and intense at times but with such caring and love interspersed throughout it gave the story great balance. Kiersten has been hurt and just can’t shake it. I can’t blame her, really. She doesn’t want to want Garrett and tries to push him away at every turn because she thinks it’s the best way to keep what’s left of her heart safe. Lucky for her Garrett is focused and headstrong and won’t give up without a fight! Damn, I do love me some Garrett! He’s loyal, trustworthy, reliable and damn sexy with a huge heart. He’s not ready to give up on Kiersten or their growing family. They have a rough go of things and have to really work through some major issues. I will admit I wanted to shake Kiersten a few times while reading and tell her to grab Garrett before it’s too late but if you know me, you know I love characters that get me to feel! Oh, and the chemistry between them and their schmexy scenes are positively delicious! I was fanning myself more than a few times…..yum! If you’re looking for a yummy, heartwarming and entertaining read, I say get Play Me on your to-read list! This is a series I will always look forward to seeing more from. Thank you, Diane, for another fabulous story!
I won't lie, the cover sold me. I love sports related romances. While this one isn't heavy into the sports aspect of the story, I was happy with it. I seem to be reading quite a few friends to lovers kind of books lately. I love these kind of stories. Garrett has had a crush on his best friend's sister for years, but he never thought he stood a chance to actually be with her. Well, after one of her son/nephew's basketball game (Garrett is the coach), he heads over to her place for their usual hang out nights. He's taken by surprise when Kiersten basically attacks him. The result: one bundle of joy on it's way. Garrett is a good guy, so naturally he wants to take care of her and the baby. He wants to make it a permanent situation. Kiersten, however, is having some doubts. Sure, she cares for Garrett. There's no doubt about it, but she's been burned by an ex in the past and she's not quite sure she wants to take the chance not only with her heart, but her son's too. Ultimately, Garrett convinces Kiersten to let him move in and their chemistry takes hold of the situation. Overall, I really liked it. It's was a quick, sexy and sweet read for me. The sexy parts were steamy enough to make my heart beat a little faster and two people followed their hearts and fell in love. What more could I need? I didn't realize this was a series when I took it for review, but I'll definitely be checking out the other books in the series. If you're looking for short, sweet, but also has a little bit of sexy...check this out!
This was a cute short romance about Kiersten and Garrett. They have known each other for years and Garrett has had a crush on her since high school. Garrett teaches middle school math and coaches the basketball team that her son, Chris was on. Kiersten recently broke up with her cheating fiance’ and she decided to have a night of wild sex with Garrett. He was hoping for more but she didn’t want a relationship. I liked Kiersten because she showed her independence by raising her nephew as her own son. However, I was also very frustrated with her because she wouldn’t give Garrett a chance. She was afraid to open up her heart because of her ex-boyfriend. Garrett was definitely a catch and he was so patient with her. He told her want he wanted out of the relationship and would give her time but they could not go back to being just friends. Then they found out she was pregnant and Garrett stepped up to the plate and moved into her house so that they can become a family and raise the baby along with Chris. They think they can keep it platonic and stay in separate rooms but I knew that wasn’t going to last. Even Chris was asking why they couldn’t be a real couple. Finally Kiersten came to her senses and realized that she loved him but was it too late? Had she pushed him away already? I enjoyed this romance because the author invested time in us getting to know the characters and their romance. I was rooting for Garrett not to give up and for Kiersten to come to her senses! I have not read this author before and found out that this is part of a series and will go back to read the prior stories. Rating-4 Heat Rating-Hot Reviewed by: Donna McClaugherty
Well I have to say the 3rd book in this series did not dissappoint at all. Yes it is a short read but I have to say once I started it I could not stop. I found the to main people Kiersten and Garrett very much likeable. The plot was fast moving and I thought touching. Perhaps if people had as tough as time in life as Kierstein the would understand where she is coming from. I understood the place which she was coming and I thought the Author got it just right. I like she was strong and tough just like Garret. I of course loved all the books in this series I hope there is more coming. Thank you Diane Alberts from all of us who Happily ever after had a few bumps in the road. Buy it you won't be sorry. It is a qucik read so go into with that in mind. I am sure that you will enjoy it. If you are looking for deep a story and in depth development well read War and Peace. Me I loved this and all I have read from Ms Alberts.
The moment I read the synopsis I knew I wanted to read it. This is the type of story I like. I am not going to say that I did not want a bit more, but it was a good, short read. Kiersten is a young, independent woman who raised her sister's son and i admire her for that. Not many woman would give up their lives in order to raise a nephew when they have older siblings who are more fit to look after a child. Kiersten proved that even though she was still young at the time, she was able to properly raise Chris. I did not like the fact that she was afraid to live her life, but I do not blame. I am sure that many women in her situation would react the same. I liked Garrett, but I was unable to imagine him looking like in the cover. To me Garrett was a sensible guy who did everything everyone asked him to do. I really did not like the fact that he did not fight as much as he should have for what he wanted. Despite all this, I truly believe that he could easily be someone's dream guy. The story is a little bit short, but it is normal, but I would have liked more details. Those details that were missing would have made me like the book more. The plot is developed enough for a story of this length, there is no doubt about it. I recommend reading this book, especially this season since it is a great beach read. Reading time: 1 h 25 min
While this was a cute little book about friends to lovers with an unexpected (are they ever in romance novels) pregnancy, it just didn't sparkle for me in the way I like contemporary romances to sparkle. Even given the blurb, the obviousness of the fact that Kiersten would end up pregnant was overblown. I like Kiersten. She's a good woman who got cheated on by a no-good fiance and instead of just moping around on what would have been her wedding night, she decides to seduce Garrett. She's been looking after her sister's child for her entire life and truly considers him her own child. That's admirable, to say the least. What I didn't like about her was her back and forth wishiwashiness about whether or not they could make a relationship. He was certainly quite willing and interested. After all, he'd been in love with her (or at least had the hots for her) for years. Garret was a sports coach of Kiersten's son, and of course there's a little bit of an ethics issue there when Kiersten and he start circling the idea of a relationship to take care of the child they accidentally created. To Garrett's credit, he never hid from the fact that he wanted a relationship with Kiersten, even when she blew hot and cold on him. He was willing to pretend to have a no-sex/loving relationship to do right by their child, but he went into it fully prepared to convince her to change her mind. Thankfully, the teenager involved in this (the son) wasn't overly dramatic or pouty or anything more than simply a typical teenager who wasn't happy when his mom starts making eyes at a man, but he quickly adapts. It helps that he and Garrett were already friends, or at least coach/player before this. They further bond over videos. Just like men do. Hehe. Anyway, so I found this an okay book, but not a spectacular one. I certainly wouldn't say no to reading other books by Ms. Albert. Book provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Yesterday, I got the opportunity to read Play Me by Diane Alberts. Which happens to be Ms. Alberts third story in Take a Chance books. I must say that I enjoyed the this quick read. Kiersten Worth is a single mom to her nephew. She had be hurt badly by her ex-fiancee and has decided that it wasn't worth finding love again. The ex really did a number on her. Garrett Kelly has always had a thing for his best friends little sister and would do anything be in her life. Even if it calls for him to be the pal. All right, Kiersten drove me nuts. She's the type of heroine that says, "I need you" one minute then tries to push the hero away. Granted she was hurt by her despicable ex and in a way damage goods. So, she drags along her emotional baggage. Then you have Garrett who basically sticks it out and try to help her understand that not all guys are jerks. Seriously love Garrett and I love how he sticks by Kiersten's side no matter how hard she pushes him away. There was a couple of times where I thought he was going to throw in the towel, and I wouldn't blame him if he had. Overall, I enjoyed the story and truly rooting for them to work things out. I do love a stubborn hero, who doesn't know when to quick. So, if you are looking for a quit read with a hero who won't give up, you might enjoy Play Me. Copy provided by publisher
I won this book as an ARC and I read it very quickly. Let me just say I loved the book and I am a big fan of this series. If you have not read the first two in this series Try me and Love me, you really need to. Of the three guys in this series so far before reading this one was Thomas. But now I think Garrett is my favorite or a real close tie to Thomas. What I love about this men, is they are so caring and protective and really nice guys and very HOT men!! The characters are REAL and do not come across fake. I can not wait for the next story in this series. I like books that I really lose myself into and this series does that. Congrats Diane on another wonderful story. :)
Compelling Hero The hero of this book is compelling. He is a steadfast guy’s guy who teaches math and coaches basketball. He is emotionally brave, sexy, and funny. The heroine of this book uses the hero for revenge sex in the opening. She has a pile of issues with trust due to a cheating ex and family deaths. Her psychology isn’t properly explored so it is hard to have a lot of empathy with her and this brings the quality of the romance down. I was given this book for my honest review…so there you have it.