Playing For Fun

Playing For Fun

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Overview

Playing For Fun by Tracey Alvarez, Book Cover By Design

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781530603725
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/29/2015
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

USA TODAY best selling 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.

Follow Tracey on Twitter as @TraceyAlvrezNZ or Facebook as http://www.facebook.com/TraceyAlvarezAuthor
Her website is http://www.traceyalvarez.com and don't forget to sign up to her newsletter here: http://bit.ly/JR3Asu

Customer Reviews

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Playing For Fun 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
This is Due South series book 6 and it stars best friends, Ford Komeke and Holly Parker. Betsy Taylor wants to fix Ford up with a woman and convinces him to sign up with an online dating service with Holly in charge of vetting the dates. There's only one problem, Holly might be a little jealous but doesn't want anyone to know. Ford knows Holly is jealous and hopes it might bring them out of the "friend zone". Perfect! I love watching Holly get jealous of the women Ford dates. This "friends to lovers" story is sweet and very sexy. It's well written with an amazing cast of characters. Bravo Tracey Alvarez for another awesome trip to Oban. I can't wait to come back. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all the new Zealand touches to her stories... this one did not disappoint. After happening across an earlier book in the series I've been hooked. Particularly loved this story of how 2 friends were able to get past the friend zone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JANE_LANE04 More than 1 year ago
I'm always excited when a new Tracey Alvarez book is released, and "Playing For Fun" was no exception. Something I've enjoyed about the Due South series is how different the situations are between each books' set of main characters. In "Playing for Fun," Holly and Ford have known each other since they were kids, but Holly had a crush on Ford's brother, Harley. Holly and Ford became closer friends when Holly moved back from a few years away learning to cut hair. There is a true friendship between them, with an undercurrent of attraction. I've been curious about Ford since "In Too Deep" when he was the safety buddy for West's free diving training. I felt for him, the guy who has been in his famous artist brother's shadow. I could see how his crappy childhood with his birth mother would affect his feelings about relationships and finding a partner. I was glad he had such a great relationship with the people he considers his parents and still found things to love about life. Holly has been a little bit of a mystery to me, so I enjoyed getting to learn about her. What a sweetheart! She may be full of teasing and fun, but she cares for those around her, making her own family. I can imagine her as a fantastic best friend. The story followed a fun, but realistic path for Holly and Ford figuring their stuff out. These are two great people, who deserve to be happy. One of the few things I wanted more of in "Playing For Fun" was Holly's family situation. I got a good sense of the sadness and fear surrounding Ford's childhood, but I didn't feel satisfied with the lack of acknowledgment of Holly's also junky family. It touched a nerve reading about how her parents relegated Holly to the bottom of the pile. Her parents moved away to be closer to their other children, have actually forgotten important life events. That situation is just as hurtful. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
asianlily More than 1 year ago
This by far the best of the series. I really, really enjoyed this book so much. In the past books, there were hints that these two, Holly & Ford, were attracted to one another. I, for one could not wait for their story. Their combustible chemistry simply burned up the book!! This could be a stand alone book. But if you want the full experience of these wonderful characters, it's good to start with book one of the Due South series, In Too Deep. I love Stewart Island & its residents. It's sooo nice to come back & visit with them again & again! Holly & Ford are best friends. They grew up together & have known each other since they were young. They both came fron unpleasant backgrounds. Ford & his twin, Harley were abused by their birth mother. Holly, the youngest, was simply ignored by her older parents. Holly had adult siblings when she was born. Holly was their late in life baby & just never paid attention to her. Luckily, Ford & Harley were adopted by their uncle & his wife. From the age of five, the twins grew up in a loving home. But Ford could not forget his past nor fogive his mother. Growing up, Holly spends time with Dixie, who was more of a mother to her than her own mother. Holly & Ford's past kept them from committing, especially Ford. The plot was very much like The Bachelor where Holly ends up helping Ford find a girlfriend. With an Online profile at a popular dating web site & photos to impress, there were two women that he considered. You'll have read what happened with those two on their dates with Ford. I love the rugby scene!!!! Love the Rugby scene in the first book also!!!! Holly & Ford are two people looking for the person to make them whole. They found it in each other. Their journey to find each other was not an easy one. Ford not only had to forgive his past & but his birth mother as well, to move on with his life so he can be with Holly. It was this obstacle that prevented their relationship from moving forward. I could not put this book down. I love reading about the other characters. You do end up loving after them & the rest of the quirky residents of Stewart Island. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
Playing For Fun is book six in the Due South series by Tracey Alvarez. I was generously provided this book in exchange for an honest review by the author. I have loved this series from the start and have been so excited to go back to Stewart Island and see the people I have grown to love throughout this series. This book focuses on Oban’s resident mechanic, Ford Komeke, and the part time hair dresser and Ford’s best friend, Holly Parker. Ford has been single and without the company of a woman for a very long time. Some of the older residents of Oban have decided it’s time to find Ford a woman. So they think the best way to do so is to start an on-line dating profile for him and to enlist Holly to do a make-over. Ford and Holly have been best mates for so long but Ford has other feelings for Holly, non-friend type feelings. Maybe this on-line dating thing will make Holly jealous and he can find out if maybe she might feel the same way too. Holly isn’t happy with the way her life is turning out. She went to school to get her license so she can work in a salon. But in Oban, she doesn’t think there is any way to do that full time and live on it. So she is working full time for the grocery store and part time out of her home doing hair. She has been given the chance to move off island to a full time beautician position, her dream. But that would mean leaving everyone she loves behind. Including Ford. After some very disastrous dates, Holly and Ford decide to try just one kiss to see if there is a spark, and baby oh baby is there ever a spark. But finally Holly admits to Ford that she is leaving the island. So would they be better off just remaining friends or could they have a few hot weeks together before she leaves? As Holly and Ford attempt to navigate the friends to lovers path, Ford’s past comes back to haunt him. A past he has kept hidden deep inside him. A past he doesn’t want to share with anyone. But as the relationship changes between he and Holly, the secrets he is keeping hidden threaten to tear them apart. “What was it about this woman that completely undid him? How did she simultaneously make him feel as weak as a kitten and as strong as Superman?” I have read all of Tracey’s books, both this series and her Far North series. I don’t think there was a single book in there I didn’t fall in love with. This one was no exception. Tracey has a way of pulling us in, making us feel like we are a part of the community we are reading about. I completely fell in love with Holly and Ford. The connection between these two was seriously hot and they steamed up the pages. But they both needed and deserved so much more. I could not put this book down. You can read it as a stand alone but I encourage you to start at the beginning of the series and get to know all of the residents of Oban. I hope you’ll fall in love with them just as I have.
BookMomto6 More than 1 year ago
I have been in love with the people of the Due South series since I read my first one months ago. To finally get to read more about Holly made my day as she seems deserving of her own story. To follow Ford’s foray into online dating made me laugh. The ruling matriarch in the small island town feels Ford needs to get online to find someone from off the island as that may be his only chance to find a woman. Ford doesn’t trust the 80+ year old and her band of merry women so he says that his best friend Holly has to be in charge of his online dating. Holly thinks finding Ford a woman will end her thoughts about her best friend that are anything but friendly. The dating that takes place in this book highlights the beautiful setting of Stewart Island. There is heartbreak at a death in Ford’s life and there are some interesting women who come to the island. Definitely pick this up and read it, even if you have never read any of the other Due South books. It is great as a stand alone but is the perfect book six in the series. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
trosado More than 1 year ago
4.5 STARS! This was my first book by Tracey Alvarez. I have been meaning to start this series for some time. After reading Playing For Fun, I am upset at myself for not starting sooner. This was such a sweet, fun and moving book. I was in love with Ford from the start. He was the perfect combination of strong and sensitive. Holly complimented his personality with a strength and sass all her own. The friendships that surrounded this couple complete this books package. I'm excited to get to know them in their own stories as I read this series back list. What moved me most in this story was Ford's back story and his challenging childhood. Ford is also Maori, which gave this story the type of diversity not plentifully seen in many of today's romances. There is such a rich history with the Maori and it was woven so well within this story. I'm impressed with the author's knowledge as well as the way Ford's ethnicity was not THE story, but just part of who he was. I have to give thanks to Rosalind James for drawing my attention to Tracey's work. I am a new one-click convert. Thank you to the author for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
allromancereader More than 1 year ago
In all honesty, I struggled with this book at the beginning. It moved way too slowly for a long time at the beginning. Almost to the point that I considered putting the book down. It took a lot longer than I thought it should have to get to the meat of the story. There was just too much back and forth between Ford and Holly with "Ford this" and Holly that" But once it finally did, I enjoyed the book. One thing I really enjoyed was Maori and New Zealand language and traditions. They were well placed in the story and really added to the depth of the story. I also really enjoyed the interaction with previous residents of Oban that we've met in former "Due South" books. It's great to check in and see how their lives how progressed, and what's happening in their lives affects the hero and heroine of the current story. I also loved the octogenarian input into their lives. Adding a comic component like that in a book always adds to the richness of it. The love story between Ford and Holly, once it finally got started, was sweet and wonderful and I was happy to see they finally worked through what were easy communication issues to dig to the root of what they needed to do to make themselves happy. Together. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
SiobhanDavisAuthor More than 1 year ago
Anyone that follows me on social media will know I am a massive fan of Tracey's Due South series. I was therefore very excited to get the opportunity to beta read this book in advance of publication. What can I say? I LOVED Holly and Ford's story and I ADORED being back in the amazing small-knit community that Tracey has created, and it was FANTASTIC to catch up with some of my favorite characters (especially Shaye and Del, they are my absolute favs) Ford had a very difficult early childhood, and he is still showcasing the scars. He's also very much lost in his twin brothers shadow. Mrs. Taylor (the community busy body with a heart of gold) decides he needs a woman and she ropes in his bestie Holly to help with her matchmaking. Holly and Ford are great friends but she's been harboring more than friendly feelings for him for some time. There were lots of hilarous scenes where Ford is on dates with some crazy chicks! LOL funny. Holly has an opportunity to leave the Island, and she is torn. On the one hand there is Ford, and her adopted-grandma, and her BFF Shaye, but on the other hand most of her friends are all married or engaged and she feels like she's skirting the fringes of their lives. This is more than just a simple friends to lovers story. Ford needs Holly to help him overcome his demons, and she needs his love to keep her where she has always belonged. Ford clams up whenever the conversation gets heavy, where Holly really needs to see him vulnerable, so she knows she can truly trust him and plan a future with him. The path to true love and real trust is not an easy one and it's filled with plenty of angst and heartache. This was a fantastic read for a book that is still undergoing final round of editing. It's testament to Tracey's considerable talent that I'm already rating it 5 stars - it was seriously that good. The worldbuilding and character development was solid, pacing is perfect, and the writing is amazeballs as usual. It's also filled with plenty of sexy times and funny dialogue, both of which I've come to expect from this author. If you love this series then you must read this book. And if you haven't checked out this series yet then what are you waiting for? In Too Deep, Book 1 is free on all major online retailers. Thanks to the author for gifting me a review copy in exchange for my honest review. This has in no way influenced my opinion.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Another entertaining read in the Due South universe! Playing for Fun is a friends-to-lovers romance, and it's an entertaining example of the genre. Holly and Ford have known each other forever--way back when, though, Holly thought she had a thing for Ford's twin, Harley. Before perpetual bachelor Harley took off to pursue his dream of being an artist, however, he let her down gently but firmly. Fast forward several years... Holly now admits that what she felt for Harley was nothing more than a schoolgirl crush. What she feels for Ford, on the other hand, is an...awareness. One she's sure will fade away when 1) he finds a nice girl who's not stuck in the friendzone with super glue, like Holly is and 2) Holly moves to the mainland, back to the salon where she did her apprenticeship and where she would be able to finally do the salon work she loves full-time. So, yeah, that's the plan. Find Ford a woman, and move to Invercargill. What can go wrong? Ford's adventures with online dating are amusing--he changes the photo Holly set his profile up with with a dodgy one, and a few of the comments he gets as a result are entertaining. Slightly disturbing, but entertaining. When women start coming to the island for dates, though, the sight of Ford with someone else nearly makes Holly sick. Fortunately, they're not quite working for Ford either. But then the two of them share a kiss, and in one of the most awkward conversations ever, Ford finds himself suggesting they try out a relationship. Holly manages to overlook his clumsiness, though, and before you know it they're "playing for fun" at a relationship. But it's only temporary, because Holly's leaving soon. Or is she? These two have a lot thrown at them here--Holly's career decisions, Ford's current family drama and his painful and messy past, Holly's downstairs neighbor who needs more help than Holly can give, but who refuses to move to the Sonny"hell" (as she calls it) rest home... How can they resolve all their issues and be together? Would it be worth it to even try? Of course it is:) And now that Holly and Ford manage to work their way to their HEA, dare we hope that Harley will make his way home so that he can find his? ;) Rating: 4 stars / B+ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
MariePalmer More than 1 year ago
This is book six in the series and I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.. I don't even know where to start- Holly and Ford are two amazing but complex characters who between them have a whole boatload of emotional luggage, we have met them both numerous times in the earlier books in the series and I think this is part of what makes the series work so well, the interaction not only between the two main characters but also the rest of the support cast who are a constant throughout the series.....constant meddlers, a constant pain, the kids with cute quips throughout all the books all mean it's like returning to family when another book is released. Ford comes across as a typical, easy going guy but dig a little deeper and he has a whole whirlpool of emotions going on, obviously Ford is a typical 'bloke' about these and is convinced that if he just ignores them they don't exist. He may be panty melting hot but he is equally stubborn and maybe a little blinkered, most definitely in need of a good woman.....enter Holly. Thoughtful, fun, fiesty and always the first to offer help Holly is loved by everyone but is completely lacking in self confidence and self worth. It will take a very special guy to convince her of how amazing she is and help her to fly. Unfortunately for her Ford whilst being very willing has no idea how to put this into practice and let anybody else in. This has got to be the most emotional book of the series, from laugh out loud funny, to 'oh my god!' they didn't outrageous,from 'gasp' he cannot really be that stupid, to heart wrenching sadness and pain, not forgetting the steamy, hot love scenes this rollercoaster of emotion will keep you turning the pages completely immersed in Oban and oblivious to the world around you. Only start this book if you have the time to finish it as you will not want to put it down. Ford and Holly definitely make this book but it is also lovely to catch up with Ben, Kezia, Jade, Zoe, Piper and all the rest of the crew, especially not forgetting Mrs Taylor and her matchmaking mischief! The question is can two lost souls not only find each other but also grow stronger together whilst facing the traumas of their childhood without destroying each other first.
MSalmeron More than 1 year ago
Stewart Island’s self-proclaimed matchmaker has a new project and his name is Ford Komeke. Wrangled into helping out is his long time best friend Holly Parker. Unbeknownst to all, is that her time on Stewart Island is drawing to an end. Holly readily takes on the task of finding Ford the perfect woman so that that when she leaves, she can pack her burgeoning feelings for him away forever. Ford and Holly grew up together and have long been best friends. They have each other’s backs and words are unnecessary for them. Holly, also being the island’s hairdresser, is overly qualified to clean him up and present him, to his best advantage, to all the women looking for love on Kiwi-Match. Knowing Ford, as well as she does, Holly should have no trouble weeding out all the potential perfect mates for him. How would Holly feel if she knew that Ford already has the perfect woman in mind? Can Ford conquer his past demons, accept that he is worthy of being loved, and convince Holly that she has always been the perfect woman for him? Playing for Fun is another winner for Tracey Alvarez. This sixth installment to the Due South Series is another emotional rollercoaster filled with sexual tension that will make you scream. All the lovable, quirky, characters from previous books return to create a heartwarming backdrop to Ford and Holly’s escapades. We are also introduced to Ford’s twin brother Harley (yes, there are two of them), who I am seriously hoping will be the subject of the next Due South book. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
dinnafash More than 1 year ago
Thank God we are back in Oban again! As in all her books, Tracey Alvarez brings all the people in this community to life, and they are all people you want to get to know and stay friends with always. And now the spotlight turns on Ford, a town mechanic and dreadlocked guitarist who often plays at the Due South, and who has wandered in and out of the other stories in the Due South series. As has Holly, who works at supermarket to pay for rent and food, but spends time at her true avocation, styling hair and helping everyone look and feel their best, including Mrs. Taylor, who could more or less be considered the town Matriarch. Mrs. T. and her posse tell Holly that Ford needs a woman, and as his BFF, she (Holly) should do something about it. (Maybe Mrs. T knows Holly has been crushing on Ford forever—well, at least since she got over her teenage crush on his twin brother. Or maybe she doesn't.) But the impetus (unstoppable force?) is there, and Ford, presented with the idea, is dragged into the wide wild world of online dating. His only request? That Holly be the one to set up his profile on the dating site. But first she talks him into letting her help buy new clothes AND cut his hair. When I received my advance copy of this I thought I would read a bit every day or so. HA! The first night, at 3 am I am screaming “Oh no she DIDN'T!” at the first woman who comes to the island to date .Ford. And then I am screaming at Holly for making him look so good so all these other women are drooling over him and not making the move herself! (then the spousal unit wakes up and tries to remind me these are fictional characters. HA, fat lot HE knows!) But there are reasons, good reasons, that neither Ford nor Holly wants to mess up their perfectly good friendship. Holly has already decided to leave the island to pursue her big dream in a salon on the mainland. Ford has a really screwed up sense of self worth due to his childhood before being adopted and brought to the island. However, they both feel a little “something something” for each other, but successfully hide it from the other. Yet, the same night he rejects sex with his hot-to-trot date, they decide to test the friendship barrier with one kiss, just to see. Whoa Mama! Only then she drops the bomb that even though they both felt body slammed after the kiss(es), she was leaving town and would help him pick the next round of online dates. Everyone in the community gets in on the action after that and leads both Ford and Holly on the two steps forward, one step back journey to finding the love and happiness so many of their friends have found, complete with detours caused by heartbreaking family dramas. Take this journey with them and you will be sucked into the world that is Oban and Due South and enjoy every minute of it! (I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which I am thrilled to give because I LOVED THIS BOOK!)
WinnieL More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Tracey Alvarez's Due South Books and I have loved all of them. Playing For Fun is no exception. This is friends turned lovers story and it is full of explosive chemistry. Ford and Holly make a really great couple despite the misgivings Ford have because of his past. What is also interesting is that the author touched on some Maori traditions later in the story and it is really informative. This story is full of emotions and it will be sure to capture your attention from start to end. Can't wait for more books from Tracey. ** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
HeyerF4n More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own. Playing for Fun is a story about friends turning into lovers. Holly had given up hoping that Ford would see her as anything more than a friend and had accepted a job on the Mainland but couldn’t convey her decision to any of her friends. Ford had “non-friend” feelings for Holly but was uncommunicative with women and so never let on that he wanted more. Even when Holly had won a date with him at a Bachelors Auction he had only exchanged five words with her. Things were not looking good at them getting together. I think the fact that Holly was leaving allowed her to go for what she wanted with the knowledge that if their relationship went pear-shaped, she wouldn’t have to deal with the fall-out in a small tight knit community. The story was such that it kept me turning the pages though I must admit that I found the bad language disrupted my reading rhythm; for many I guess this would not be an issue but thought it was important enough to point out. In this respect I much preferred Kezia and Ben’s story in Melting Into You, as the language was toned down due to the inclusion of two little girls in the storyline. Although part of a series, this is a standalone story and you can enjoy it without having read the others.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
What a treat! This is a book of friendship, love, family and so much more. Holly and Ford have both had it rough at times in their lives and have forged a solid friendship. When one of the older women on Stewart Island decides to find a wife for Ford and asks Holly to help with his makeover and online dating profile things begin to change. Both Ford and Holly feel more than friend-emotions for one another but are not sure they should do anything that might change the status quo. I enjoyed the fun light hearted parts and the deeper more meaningful portions, too. Communication is essential to a good relationship and this was an essential component in this story. I found the information about Maori culture, family, adoption, funerals and other things fascinating. I eagerly look forward to reading each book Tracey writes and want to thank her for the ARC of this book given to me to read and review.