Eleanor is content with her boring life—mostly. She’s even fine being the quirky sister in a bevy of beauties. So imagine her surprise when one of her brother’s Sydney Smoke mates hits on her at an engagement party. Her. The weird sister, who wears vintage dresses and prefers her books to parties.
Bodie is shocked the next morning to find the soft, sexy virgin who seduced him with corsets is his best friend’s little sister. If he could kick his own ass, he would. And two months later, she’s got an even bigger surprise for him. Now he needs to convince the corset-loving wallflower that he loves her uniqueness if they’ve got a chance at forever.
He always did love a challenge…
Each book in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series is STANDALONE:
* Playing By Her Rules
* Playing It Cool
* Playing the Player
* Playing With Forever
* Playing House
* Playing Dirty
About the Author
Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written seventy plus contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. Her books bring all the feels from sass, quirk and laughter to emotional grit and panty-melting heat. At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and several years later she did. They have two grown kids who have flown the coop for distant shores which enables their travel fetish.
She loves good books and great booze although she'll take mediocre booze if there's nothing else. For many, many years she was a registered nurse which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them! She's just taken a sea change and gets to create sexy stories whilst overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean. Life is good.
Read an Excerpt
Eleanor Davis had always felt like some kind of wildebeest in a family of gazelles, but tonight she was a wildebeest in a herd of the bastards. It was party time at the watering hole, and she was surrounded by gorgeous, preening animals.
Everyone sparkled and shone beneath the myriad fairy lights in the beer garden of one of Bungindally's oldest drinking establishments. Most of them had come to the outback town all the way from Sydney — twelve hundred kilometres east — for the annual city country rugby match, which had been played a few hours ago, and stayed on to celebrate her brother, Ryder's, engagement to Juliet.
But despite their city glamour, they seemed right at home in the middle of nowhere. Locals and sporting celebrities rubbed shoulders effortlessly, all laughing and indulging in animated conversations. They looked interesting and interested in each other, chatting away in their lively little groups as she watched from the sidelines next to a potted palm.
Part of Eleanor wanted to be amongst it all, but her heart raced in a bad way at the thought. She was just too socially awkward, and frankly boring, to risk it.
She hadn't realised quite how boring until tonight.
A single, twenty-six-year-old woman still living with her parents on a cattle station in outer woop woop like some Jane Austen heroine. One who grew up with her head stuck in a book and preferred reading about nineteenth-century dating customs than swiping left. Who'd rather wear Victorian undergarments than red lacy thongs. Who spent her evenings moderating an online forum discussing bustles and corsets and etiquette in the court of Queen Victoria instead of hitting the local pub and talking to real people.
Yep. She was that boring. As compared to her sports star brother, who lived in Sydney and was leaving with his fiancée for Italy at the end of the footy season. Or her three gorgeous, social butterfly, married sisters.
Sadly, Eleanor's most intimate relationship was with her Elna. Unfortunately it was a sewing machine and not a Swiss vibrator, despite its multiple speeds and settings.
She'd been born in the wrong time — that was her problem. She was a nineteenth-century wallflower trapped in the age of Tinder.
No wonder she was still a virgin.
She was probably the oldest bloody virgin in Bungindally. Hell, probably the entire country. She was probably going to die the oldest virgin in Australia. Sigh.
Unless she settled. God knew the ratio of single men to women out here definitely ran in her favour. But she'd known all the eligible guys since childhood. Most of them were here tonight, and she called almost all of them her mates.
Her older sister, Lisa, teased Eleanor that she was waiting for Mr Darcy. To which she always replied, better Mr Darcy than Heathcliff. But was it so wrong to want to be swept off her feet by a tall, handsome stranger who'd romance her, court her, ask her father for her hand in marriage?
Eleanor glanced around again. Plenty of tall, handsome strangers around tonight, but none that seemed unattached or interested in a wallflower, for that matter.
She spied her brother, Ryder, standing with their parents and two of her three sisters. They were all remarkably alike — tall and fine boned. Even beneath Ryder's muscles there was a definite leanness to his skeletal makeup. Eleanor sighed, lamenting once again that she'd missed out on the Gallic genes and been burdened instead with the more robust traits from the Hungarian side of the family.
Eleanor's gaze fell on her future sister-in-law, who was standing with a small group of women she knew to be WAGS — wives and girlfriends — of the Sydney Smoke rugby players. More blessed creatures. So tall and thin and graceful.
One of them, Harper, was curvier but had the height to carry it off. Unlike herself, whose size twelve frame was completely disproportional. Wide hips, small waist, and boobs that, while on the big side, were not large enough to balance it all out. And, at five foot, she definitely lacked the height to carry any of it off.
Which was why she was wearing one of her own creations tonight. She'd made the bodice from a pattern based on a popular dress in London in the 1890s. It was low cut, made from a russet-coloured shot silk, the corset beneath emphasising her small waist while pushing up her cleavage.
The cap sleeves sat wide on her shoulders, clinging precariously to the notch of her collar bones. It was too sophisticated and classy for beer wench but walked that line with the expanse of décolletage on display.
She glanced down at her plumped-up cleavage. She so would have rocked the nineteenth century. If only she didn't like things such as personal hygiene and voting rights so damn much.
The rest of the dress was more modern, the skirt falling in a modest Aline to her knees — camouflaging her hips rather than emphasizing. She had contemplated going all the way and making the full outfit complete with bustle and floor-length skirt decorated with handmade satin roses and tiered frills, but people in town already thought she was kooky enough — no need to let the city folk in on it, too.
Not that Ryder or the rest of her family would have cared. They were well used to Eleanor and her fixation with everything nineteenth-century England. She could have worn a replica of Queen Victoria's wedding gown and none of them would have batted an eyelid, and she loved them for it.
They put up with her eccentricities because they were family and they were proud of how she'd turned her obsession into an online business. Making one-off, historically accurate gowns for people had started out as a hobby but had morphed into a profitable part-time job.
Unfortunately, not many people found it as endlessly fascinating as she did. In fact, most people's eyes tended to glaze over when she got started on her favourite topic.
Which was why she loved the online forum so much. People there understood her. They didn't find her boring or the subject dull. In fact, they could go back and forth about it on the screen all night. As long as the dodgy outback internet was playing nice.
But online people weren't real, as her middle sister, Jenny, kept telling her. They couldn't bow low over your hand, they couldn't ask you to dance the Cotillion, or hand you up into a carriage.
And they couldn't pop your cherry, either.
She had no idea why she was so damn fixated on her virginity tonight. Maybe it was the thick fugue of testosterone in the air.
Deep down she'd always considered her virginity — her maidenhead — a gift. Something to give to the one. Old-fashioned? Yes. But a steady diet of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen had filled her head with romantic notions, and she'd been utterly swept away by the idea of saving herself.
She cringed at how unfeminist it was. But it wasn't like she thought all women should do the same. She couldn't care less how many men other women slept with, she wanted to wait. The problem was, there'd been no sign of the one in nearly a decade and her virginity was starting to feel more like a disease than a gift.
Technically, she doubted she actually still was a virgin. As far as presence of hymen went. She'd been riding horses since she was three, been using tampons since she was fifteen, and Carol, her third sister, had bought her a lipstick-sized vibrator for her eighteenth birthday which she'd run the batteries down on in a few days.
She was pretty sure that sucker had been worn away a long time ago.
But in all other ways, she was a virgin. With a capital V.
Fabulous. She was going to die a boring, spinster virgin. Probably at her sewing machine.
Peachy. Just peachy.
* * *
It'd been a long time since Bodie Webb — Spidey to his teammates — had fallen so completely and utterly in lust with a woman at first sight. And he met a lot of women. Hot women by anyone's standards. But being dumped by his long-term girlfriend over a year ago had left him cynical and jaded.
At the grand age of twenty-six.
The woman standing by herself near the far wall, trying to look invisible, had dragged him right out of his funk. Made him forget all about the slight groin strain he'd sustained during the game as well.
She was different. Not like the others. Not like his ex. She was hot all right but ... softer, with hips and a waist Bodie could probably span with both his hands. And there was an air of uncertainty about her, like she'd rather be anywhere but here.
He, for one, was glad she wasn't.
And look at that, she didn't have a drink.
Bodie glanced around, trying to locate Ryder for an introduction because she sure as hell wasn't one of the Sydney entourage. But his best mate was laughing with his family and Bodie was more than capable of handling it himself.
He took a moment to straighten his tie before grabbing a glass of champagne and a schooner of beer off the tray of a passing waiter and heading in her direction. He didn't take his eyes off her as he made his way through the crowd, smiling politely as people greeted him but not stopping to chat. The closer he drew, the more he liked what he saw.
God, she was gorgeous. Soft and lush. And not just her boobs, although God almighty she had a cleavage he wanted to dive into. He'd been with busty women, but none of them had been soft and pillowy. They'd been high and firm, the sort that didn't move much of their own accord.
He'd bet his last cent he could bury his head in the cleavage he didn't seem to be able to take his eyes off and suffocate in all the plumpness. The same went for her mouth, all soft and full too. The closer he got, the more it seemed to scream kiss me.
He could get totally lost in that mouth.
It formed into a little O as he stepped out of the people milling in the middle of the beer garden and smiled at her. She'd obviously not been tracking his approach and her eyes, the colour of whiskey, widened in surprise. He swore he heard her quick intake of breath despite the loud murmur of conversation around them.
She blinked, clearly taken aback, sable lashes casting shadows on her cheekbones. A quick glance over her shoulder, as if to check it was her he was talking to, caused a funny little twist inside Bodie's chest.
What was wrong with the men around here?
Flyaway strands of her mahogany hair had escaped some kind of up-do to brush her practically bare shoulders, but he forced his gaze north because he didn't want to be some asshole who fixated on her chest. Her mouth was shiny with gloss the exact shade of her dress.
She didn't say anything, just continued to stare and seem as if she was trying to become the potted palm she'd taken a step toward.
He thrust the glass of fizzy liquid in her direction. "Champagne?"
He was usually smoother than this with women. But then, he hadn't ever really needed to do the talking. Women were good at that shit, plus he'd been in a committed relationship for a lot of years.
But damned if he didn't want to talk with this woman. This real woman. He hadn't realized until he'd seen her how many women he'd dated that had been all points and angles. Rail-like cheekbones, prominent ribs, coat hanger shoulders, stick-out hip bones, hard lacquered nails, bony spines.
All sharp angles, no curves. No softness.
She was regarding the glass of champagne like it might be laced with Rohypnol and him like he'd mistaken her for someone else. It was a refreshing change from women who eyed him hungrily like he was a hunk of meat. A life support system for a cock. A notch on a bedpost. Women who only wanted him for his rugby celebrity.
Or his trust fund.
He smiled again and waggled the champagne flute at her. "I could see you didn't have one, and being the only sober person at a party really sucks."
Bodie forced himself to keep his gaze trained on hers and not the ripe offering of her breasts being presented to his peripheral vision as if on a platter.
He was not some caveman who couldn't keep it in his pants.
She took the champagne, her fingernails — not short but not long, painted a soft pink — were pretty against the frosty glass. She opened her mouth to say something but stalled, instead raising the glass to her lips and gulping the champagne down in one hit.
Bodie smiled as she stared at the empty glass, obviously surprised at how quickly it had gone down. "Let me get you another."
"Oh no." She took a step closer and put her hand on his forearm.
For a brief moment, the aroma of orange blossoms enveloped him, then her hand slid from his as her cheeks went a very cute shade of pink. "I'll lose my inhibitions."
Bodie had always been with women who were bold and direct. Proudly uninhibited. Who knew shy and retiring was such a fucking turn on?
"In that case." He shot her a slow, easy smile, his gaze taking in her entire neckline before returning to her eyes. "I think we should definitely get you another."
A kind of strangled half breath escaped her lips, and he felt a similar hitch in his own breathing before his attention was snagged by a passing waiter. He swiped another champagne glass off the tray and passed it to her. "I'm Bodie. Bodie Webb. The guys call me Spidey."
* * *
Eleanor knew who he was. Her brother talked about Bodie a lot. They were practically best friends. It wasn't how she'd pictured him, though. Not that she'd really ever pictured anyone on her brother's team.
She was proud of Ryder and his stellar career, but, living all the way out here, she hadn't really followed it closely and frankly, rugby just wasn't her thing. She'd even taken a book to the game today.
Perhaps if she hadn't, she might have noticed Bodie sooner, even if the preppy guy in front of her didn't fit her preconceived ideas of a pro rugby player. Sure, he was tall, but then everyone seemed tall when you were five foot. And he was built. Eleanor could see the definition of his muscles beneath his snowy-white shirt and the fabric of his trousers.
But there was a clean cut appeal to him. Very white collar with his dirty blond hair trendily short at the back and sides, the longer bit on top artfully jushed. Not to mention his designer three-day growth manicured to within an inch of its dirty blond life.
He was more poster boy for Abercrombie and Fitch than the Sydney Smoke. Sure, the width of his shoulders told her he could play tough and dirty on the field, but give the man a pair of buckskin breeches and hello, Mr Darcy.
Was twenty-six too young to have a hot flush?
He was watching her, expectantly waiting for a reply, but Eleanor had completely forgotten what he'd said. Her body was in the middle of some kind of weird meltdown. Because a hot, tall, sexy rugby player was talking to her.
Flirting with her, if she wasn't very much mistaken.
She didn't know why he'd chosen her or why her heart was beating so rapidly or why her lungs felt like they weren't getting enough air. If this was the vapours, then it was no wonder smelling salts had been so damn vital in the nineteenth century.
Not that smelling salts would do much for the seditious whispers coming from her vagina.
Him. He's the one. Pick him!
God. Since when had her vagina started talking to her? Twenty-six years of silence and it chose tonight to go rogue? In front of this wickedly beautiful man?
What the hell was in that champagne?
"And you are?" he prompted.
There was a smile in his voice. Clearly, her inability to open her mouth and make words come out was amusing. She bet he had that affect on a lot of women. She took another sip of her champagne to find her voice.
And drown out the one between her legs still chanting him, him, him.
If she told him she was Nell, the name by which she was known, he'd probably know she was Ryder's sister. And then he might stop flirting with her. Hell, he might stop talking to her altogether what with all that bro code rubbish.
Unless she was some kind of bet.
Now that made sense. Why else would this outrageously sexy guy be flirting with her? Ryder had told her about Linc's bet over Em, so it sounded feasible. But surely Ryder wouldn't let the guys make a bet over his sister?
Unless he didn't know?
Whatever was going on here, bet or no bet, she wanted it to go on for longer. A twenty-six-year-old isolated-spinster-virgin had to take her opportunities where she got them.
Excerpted from "Playing House"
Copyright © 2018 Amy Andrews.
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
A love story between awkward, shy and very much virginal Elenore and hot famous rugby player Brodie who happens to be her brother best friend. Elenore is tired of waiting for the one and when Brodie approaches her on her brother's engagements party she gives him more than just her virginity. Brodie is surprised when Elenore won't see him again after they spend the night together and when he finds out that she is Nelly his best friend little sister he is in a way satisfied with her decision. That doesn't keep him from dreaming and lusting about her and when she is back in his life with shocking news he is determined to keep her by his side forever. The story is funny especially Elenore and her love for previous centuries it is hot from all the exercises in and out of bed and is also emotionally with everything that happens between them. We see that Brodie's life is not so perfect and that Elenore really brings him joy. In short period of time they both go through a lot and in the end, they are brave enough to give each other a chance to love and be loved. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
Playing House started out strong--I loved when Eleanor's vajayjay started talking to her ("Twenty-six years of silence and it chose tonight to go rogue?"--LOL) and her geeky historical romance-loving heart spoke to me from the first page. But... It soon seemed like her newly-awakened body parts were doing more thinking for Eleanor than her actual brain was. She was distracted not once, but twice from telling Brodie some very important news that he really, really needed to know ASAP by that body part's "needs." Brodie would have been totally within his rights to be upset by this, but fortunately for her, he took it in stride. Actually, he took pretty much all of the craziness in this book (far and large said craziness was caused by Eleanor) unbelievably calmly, proving time and time again what a stand up guy he was. Eleanor, by contrast, veered wildly between listening to her newly-vagazzled you-know-what and her Victorian-era "romantic sensibilities" about what her relationship with Brodie should be like instead of, oh, I don't know...talking to him, occasionally? Though there were bits I liked here--the beginning and end especially had some cute, entertaining moments--in the whole I didn't find this one as strong a read as the first three books in the series. (I somehow missed Eleanor's brother/Brodie's BFF's book, Playing With Forever ). Hopefully this is just a one-off, because I usually really enjoy Ms. Andrews' writing. Rating: 2 1/2 stars / C I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
What a beautiful story! I loved Bodie and Eleanor, from start to finish. I loved her because she was a little quirky, wallflower, totally different from most leading ladies, and blossomed with Bodie. He gave her the opportunity to find out what she wanted and go for it. Bodie saw something different in Eleanor, and that drew him to her and I believe it made their bond stronger. They had such a fun and flirty, sexy and hot, but a very solid connection to each other. The ups and downs they went through had me rooting for them. The last chapter will have you swooning and smiling. I hope when the series is over, Ms. Andrews will do a epilogue that wraps up all the couple's. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Sexy Read 3.5* Eleanor is a 26 year old virgin, who loves Regency novels by Austen and Heyer and is an expert on Victorian clothing. Living on a cattle station she doesn’t exactly get to meet any eligible men, and anyway small talk is not exactly her forte. However, that all changes the night of her brother’s engagement party, when Bodie Webb spots her. Likeable characters, with some humorous lines that had me chuckling. Shame about the amount of bad language which detracted from the story for me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
This is the fifth story in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series by this talented author. When one of the team players returns home to celebrate his engagement, his younger sister Eleanor is surprised when one of his team mates comes over to talk to her. The attraction is mutual - and highly unusual for the usually staid Eleanor. Eleanor is the quiet one in the family, the one who is enthralled by everything Victorian, from stories to clothing and even etiquette. She's always said she would save her virginity for the man she'd marry but she can't resist the opportunity to lose it with Bodie - though he doesn't know her brother is his team mate! In fact he would never have broken the bro code if he'd known - or would he? This is a quick but very hot and steamy read. Forget the locker room, there's enough steam whenever these two get together for other folks to wonder if something is on fire! The two may well be opposites in many ways but the development of their relationship is well portrayed and there are plenty of obstacles in the path of their true love to keep the reader enthralled and turning those pages! With a virtuous wallflower and a rugby playing manwhore, the broken bro code and some unexpected new expectations, this is a lovely addition to this hot series. I requested and received a copy of this novel, via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Loved this! Eleanor Davis's brother Ryder plays for the Sydney Smoke rugby team, she is hiding behind a plant at his engagement party when one of his super-hot team-mates, Bodie Webb catches her eye and tries to seduce her. Eleanor (Nell to her family) is a 26 year old virgin, someone who loves Victoriana more than modern day clothes and manners, but she has decided that virginity is a pesky thing and she wants rid - if only she can pluck up the courage. Of course she knows that Brodie would run a mile in the opposite direction if he knew she was Ryder's little sister (and a virgin) so she keeps her identity a secret. All my favourite tropes combined. Best friend's little sister? Check. V-card? Check. Accidental pregnancy? Check. Hot sporting hero? Check. Kooky heroine? Check. Knowing that this was an Entangled Brazen imprint in advance prepared me for all the smexy times (and boy do they have a lot of hot raunchy sex, when Eleanor finally gives up that V-card she does it with a bang, phnarr phnarr) but honestly it felt right in the context of the story, two people who have a raunchy one-night stand and can't stop thinking about one another, even though they know it's a bad idea. I loved Eleanor and her quirky, kinky dress sense, I love that Brodie is turned on by Victorian clothing and thinks Eleanor is beautiful when she and her sisters think she is not. I loved everything about this hot, sexy read. So, I thought there was a pattern of liking/disliking these books, like I only like the even-numbered or odd-numbered but nope, I've now loved three out of five, roll on number six! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Oh my goodness, this was adorable. I’ll admit that I was a bit worried about the whole virgin and pregnancy thing, just because I’ve been burned by some of those in the past, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is also has the “best friend’s little sister” trope, so while this could’ve devoted into trope stew, they actually complimented each other well. Eleanor is one of Ryder Davis’s four sisters, and she lives with her parents on their cattle station out in woop woop (an Aussie term that means the middle of nowhere). She’s a bit of an outlier in the outback, as she’s enamored with Victorian England – the clothes, the customs, the courting – and anything Austen or Heyer. Besides helping out on her parents’ farm, she also runs her own successful business sewing reproduction clothing. When she’s hit on by her brother’s teammate, Bodie, at Ryder’s engagement party, she decides it’s finally time to lose her v-card. Only, she didn’t expect the ramifications of the night to possibly derail all of her romantic hopes and dreams… Bodie has been out of the dating rat race for a while after being dumped by his cheating ex. The only son of a wealthy businessman, he’s a disappointment to his parents for refusing to get married to his equally prominent ex, and for abandoning his father’s business to play rugby. It’s no surprise that he’s drawn to Eleanor, who’s soft and shy and real, the opposite of everything his previous relationship was. Even after finding out that she’s his best friend’s little sister, he still can’t get her or their one night stand out of his head – he looks up Victorian porn, for goodness’ sakes – so he’s excited she looks him up when she’s in Sydney two months after they did the deed. I was initially unsure what to make of shy, wallflower, historical-romance-obsessed Eleanor. I have a pretty well developed vicarious cringe response, and the first chapter or so worried me, but her later interactions with Bodie firmly cemented her as pleasantly quirky rather than tragic. She’s taken her hobby and turned it into a lucrative business, and has developed her own Victorian-influenced style. She's also not blind to the problems of Victorian England, but she's happy and able to take the good and leave the bad. While she does acutely feel different from her classically beautiful family, she’s also happy with what she has and unwilling to compromise on what she wants. More importantly, Bodie appreciates her unusual hobby and quirks, and though they’re pretty much exact opposites, their relationship is steamy and fun, though a bit shallow. When Eleanor arrives in Sydney to confront Bodie, they end up having sex two times before she finally tells him the real reason she wanted to see him. Though it seems silly, I actually appreciated that they didn’t understand each other’s hopes and dreams in the few short weeks they spent together. The serious event at about three-quarters through was a complete gut-punch. While I do expect some angst from Ms. Andrews’ books, they’re generally pretty cozy and light-hearted. So it felt like that bit of tragedy blindsided me, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it in regards to the book as a whole. Overall though, I enjoyed the book, though it felt like a departure from the previous books. This is a wonderful series, and Amy Andrews remains an auto-buy for me! Definitely recommended for any fans of rugby romances! I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest re
I have enjoyed every book in the Sydney Smoke series but Eleanor and Bodie are by far my favorite!! Each of these books read as standalones but this series gets better with every book. Eleanor is obsessed with all things Victorian and is more comfortable blending into the background than being the center of attention like her brother, Ryder. Bodie is a trust fund baby and talented rugby player who was burned by his ex-girlfriend. When Bodie sees Eleanor across the room at Ryder's engagement party, he's captivated immediately. Eleanor throws caution to the wind and decides to take Bodie home but without sharing her virgin status or who she is to Ryder. After their night together leads to a big surprise, they have to navigate family drama and getting to know one another. I loved Bodie and Eleanor so much!! They brought out the best in each other and when they messed up, they tried to make up for it. I laughed so much and, surprisingly, cried more than once. I wasn't expecting the amount of angst in this book but it made me feel so much more connected to these characters than any of the books before it. I love this series and I can't wait to see what comes next. *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
Steamy and adorable! When the player isn't so much of a player anymore, watching him find "the one" is super fun to see ... and with his rep, she's not buying it for a minute, and he's going to have to earn each and every thing she gives him! Watching the mighty fall under the spell of a prim and proper bombshell is music to my eyes! They're adorable together, spicy as all get out, and just a joy to watch get their happily ever after! Wallflower Eleanor decides to take advantage of the fact that she somehow caught sexy Bodie Webb's attention at a party. She's had it with living the life of a spinster, and she's going to live it up for once in her life! Bodie is under her spell and loves it! But when he realizes he's just slept with his best friends little sister, he knows heads are going to roll. But man ... he really digs her! He's in for the shock of his life a couple of months later ... but he hopes he can convince her how much she's been on his mind while they've been apart ... and how much he wants her and only her!
4.5 Stars I'm a big fan of this series and I loved this addition. Bodie and Eleanor were just so endearing and so perfect for one another. What made this book so good for me is the way Bodie accepts Eleanor for who she is. She's a little quirky, but that's why I loved her character so much. You have to look no further for top notch book boyfriend material then Bodie. Through the whole book and especially at the he will have you swooning. There is one part that just broke my heart and had the tears flowing. This book definitely has the fun and light hearted vibe, but there are also the heart clenching moments. Over all a definitely a must read.
Swept Away! Amy Andrews knows how to bring you Romance that will melt your heart ... and other things. This story was brilliant, beautiful, emotional and sizzling hot. You will simply love it. Eleanor and Brodie’s story stole my heart and touched my soul. Their attraction is instant, their chemistry levels off the charts. I loved how Brodie was absolutely taken by Eleanor and all her Victorian glory. He saw only her and wanted only her, a fantastic Romance. These two were definitely destined for each other. LOVED IT! I just cant get enough of Amy Andrews Stories. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Best friend's little sister is my very favorite trope, so I was very excited to read this one. I've really enjoyed this whole series so far. Bodie "Spidey" Webb is a pro rugby player for the Sydney Smoke. He grew up in a very wealthy family, and his dad wants him to enter the family business at some point. Bodie has no plans to ever do that. He loves the game too much, and he loves his team. In fact, his best friend Ryder Davis is one of his teammates, and that's what brings him to the middle of nowhere, Australia, where Ryder grew up, for his engagement party. Bodie had a bad breakup about a year ago, and he's been sewing his wild oats ever since. So, he doesn't expect to be laid flat by one look at a wallflower of a woman at Ryder's party. He just knows he has to talk to her. Eleanor "Nell" Davis is Ryder's youngest sister. Her other sisters are all classic beauties, each already married off. She's always been an odd duck, born in the wrong century. She's obsessed with everything Victorian era: the clothes, the manners, the courting. Everything. It's why she's still a virgin at 26. She's been waiting for THE ONE. But, when she sees Bodie at her brother's party she's drawn to him like she's never been to another man. She decides to shake off her virginity once and for all, which can only happen if she doesn't mention to him the small fact that she's Ryder's sister. Her brother calls her Nell, so when she uses her full name to introduce herself, he's none the wiser, and she's not actually lying. They have an amazing night together, but it has unintended consequences, for both of them. Bodie and Eleanor have amazing chemistry and I loved watching them interact. He actually showed interest in the things she loved (especially her Victorian undergarments!), and he makes her feel beautiful and wanted for the first time ever. Bodie loves her quirky personality, and her unusual hobbies, and he's endlessly intrigued by her. I really appreciated the way they were together, and even the reveal to her brother didn't go exactly as I expected, which I liked as well. Though they were different, they were entirely compatible, and I loved watching them both realize how perfect they were together. I always enjoy revisiting all of the other characters from the previous books, as well as the other side characters who've yet to have their own stories. I'm looking forward to Donovan, the single dad's story, as well as the coach's daughter. And Coach Griff too, for that matter! I really hope we get all of their stories before the series comes to a close. This was a very emotional book in many ways, much more so than the others have been. The main characters deal with some tough issues, and while everyone doesn't always handle things perfectly, they find a way to figure it out. I really loved Eleanor as a heroine. She was so unique and I just really enjoyed her outlook. Bodie was also so much more than I gave him credit for. He really didn't shy away from love, though he'd been burned before. They were truly perfect together. I definitely recommend this book, and this series. It's so much more than your typical sports romance series, and I love that. The Aussie-isms are hilariously fun, and I truly appreciate the glossary of terms in the back of the book. I look forward to more stories in this awesome world.
Let me just start by saying how much I absolutely adored PLAYING HOUSE. This book pulled me in from the very start and I devoured it in just a few hours. 'Brother's Best Friend' is one of my favorite romance tropes and I feel like it was handled so well. Just the right amount of family drama but not enough to detract from the blossoming relationship between Eleanor and Bodie. What starts as a passionate one-night stand progresses in a really natural way, despite some unusual circumstances, into more than just lust. I loved how easily Bodie and Eleanor could tease and laugh together both inside and outside of the bedroom. Those gentler, sweeter moments enrich the story just as much as the hot, steamy sex scenes. And trust me, things get pretty scorching when these two get in a room together. My favorite part of the whole novel was how wonderfully it married together Victorian sensibilities with the struggles of modern dating. Eleanor is an Austen-loving romantic who always held onto the hope that her Mr. Darcy would one day come along. She lives and breathes Victorian fashion, running her own online business and creating replicas of nineteenth century garments. She's an old soul at heart, and has always been made to feel like the socially awkward girl who doesn't quite belong in her time. Being a big fan of historical romances and Austen, I really felt a kinship with Eleanor. It's hard sometimes to reconcile your love of romance and old fashioned courtship with the realities of modern dating. “She was a nineteenth-century wallflower trapped in the age of Tinder”. Boy, do I feel you on that one, Eleanor. Bodie, despite being a professional rugby player who can get any girl he wants, really embraces those parts of Eleanor's personality, and her curvy body, which have always made her feel out of place. He wants her – no one else. And words can't describe how incredibly adorable and sexy it is that he discovers a proclivity for Victorian ruffled undergarments when most guys would prefer skimpy lace thongs. In a world that's always told Eleanor she's quirky and weird for her old fashioned sensibilities and her romanticism, Bodie appreciates how special those things really are and dives in head first. I could go on and on about how supportive and sweet Bodie is and how sexy I find his dirty mouth but I'd rather leave that up to you to discover for yourself. Suffice it to say, I really fell for both Eleanor and Bodie and would love to read more in this series! If you love a shy, curvy, wallflower heroine and a brawny hero who embraces all the quirky, romantic, old-fashioned parts of her, this is one you can't miss! It's the perfect blend of historical and contemporary romance – for the reader who has always felt a bit like they were born in the wrong century. I'm all for finding my Mr. Darcy...but I wouldn't mind at all if he were a bit more like Bodie. Disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.
Wonderful heartwarming romance I've really enjoyed Amy Andrews' Sydney Smoke series, and I think Playing House is one of my favorites in the series. Eleanor and Brodie were such realistic likable characters. There were some serious ups and downs through the course of the story but I loved how the author showed the characters vulnerability and their ultimate growth. I also appreciated the glossary of Aussie terms at the back of the book. I look forward to reading more books in this series. I received an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
Another fun and sexy book in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series. This time we meet Bodie Webb and Ryder's little sister Eleanor. What a fun pair these two are! Bodies a rare breed. A relationship kind of guy but since his last relationship failed spectacularly he's been living the no strings life. Then he meets Eleanor and finds himself wanting more with this woman. Unbelievably she turns out to be the little sister of his rugby team member and best mate. This could get ugly fast or it could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to him. Love this author's writing style with all her Aussie-isms. I definitely recommend this one.
Eleanor was born in the wrong century. From the victorian clothes, the literature, the dashing men, to the time when being a virgin was coveted. She comes from a family that are tall, lean and beautiful while she's short, curvaceous and daydreaming about another time in history. The last thing she expected was for Bodie Webb to take notice of her. Bodie has no idea the woman who caught his notice is none other than his best friend and teammates younger sister Nell. All he sees is a woman who's shy, sweet and with all the right curves. Eleanor is a refreshing change from the tall, skinny woman who are usually throwing themselves at him for his status and money. One night won't be enough for him but he gets a rude awakening when he finds out Eleanor is Nell. The number one rule is never mess with a teammates sister. Playing House just might be my favorite of the series. I love when we have quirky characters because its not the norm. I also get a kick out of the handsome, popular jock falling for the wallflower. This book was very sweet and I loved it! ARC provided by NetGalley.
Don’t waste your time reading this, just get this amazing book! I dislike stories about virgins: Eleanor Davis is a virgin. I don’t go looking for “older brother’s little sister” stories either; maybe because I don’t have a brother. When reading the blurb, one gets a good idea of what the “surprise” is, which is not my favourite trope either. Why choose to read PLAYING HOUSE? Because I adore Amy Andrews, the Sidney Smoke Rugby series is brilliant, and I loved Bodie – Spidey – from the previous books. And no, you don’t have to read the four dazzling, wonderful, amazing four other books in this series in order to savour PLAYING HOUSE. Ha! I have mentioned something of the sort before, but it needs reiterating: sometimes I wonder if sex hasn’t been invented so that Amy Andrews can write about it because she does it so incredibly well, that she had this blasé reader enthralled. Eleanor has chosen to Bodie Webb to be the one to take her virginity; when she spots him, her girly parts scream: “him, him, him”, and Bodie is smitten with her enchanting, pillowy bosom. And this, my friends, is the prelude to the steamiest, sexiest, sweetest, most wonderful sex scenes ever written. And guess what? Sex scenes bore me as a rule, I often skim them, or skip them entirely, and I was mesmerised by those in PLAYING HOUSE. Amy Andrews is a fabulous writer, but she outdid herself big time with PLAYING HOUSE. PLAYING HOUSE at first seemed to be wall-to-wall sex, and I did not mind one bit, which is an accomplishment in itself, as far as I’m concerned. Bodie and Eleanor are unique characters: Eleanor’s infatuation with the nineteenth century even provides her the means to earn a living; Bodie is far from your typical manwhore, and boy, do these two ever send sparks flying! While reading PLAYING HOUSE, I laughed, I smiled, I nearly swooned, and I cried! Because as you can deduct from the blurb, the sexfest has consequences, and have tissues at the ready, because at around 78%, I was crying so hard, I had tears running down my nose, I couldn’t stop crying, and I couldn’t stop reading; PLAYING HOUSE will not put you to sleep, I can guarantee it. I don’t know how Amy Andrews can top this superlative book, but I know she will; her talent is boundless, as she demonstrated with PLAYING HOUSE. I read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is a sweet and sexy romance that fans of the genre will love. In it, Nell is a throwback from another era, right down to making (and wearing) vintage clothing from the Victorian era. She marches to the beat of a different drummer and feels as though she's disconnected from most people and living during the wrong time period. Brodie is an elite athlete playing with the Sydney Smoke rugby team when he meets Nell. Her brother is Brodie's teammate, but Nell conceals that from him, creating all kinds of problems for Brodie....along with a few surprises. I loved both Brodie's and Nell's heart and the way it motivated them throughout this story. While somewhat predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed the telling of this tale. This is a wonderful series that should be at the top of the TBR list of every romance fan. The author is on my must read authors' list.
This is book #5, in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment of the series, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order. Eleanore AKA "Nell" has a family who does not understand her. They have no idea why she prefers to think about an earlier era in history, as well as design costumes appropriate for it. She has other matters she finds pressing, so she tells herself to take a chance. Bodie has no idea he has met the little sister of his teammate and best friend. If he knew, he would never be thinking hot as Hades ideas about her. Much less acting on them. When he does find out, can he forgive her for wanting a life of her own? This story was so sweet and yet so very sexy. Right at the beginning, these characters had steam coming off the pages as I read. The sparks were flying and I felt them as if I was there in the story. I was excited to see such an amazing addition to the series. ***This ARC copy was given in advance for honest review purposes only.
Playing House by Amy Gamet Sydney Smoke Rugby #5 Amy Gamet is becoming one of my go-to authors. Every book I have read by her has been wonderful making me only want to read more of whatever she decides to write. This book delivered again…in all the ways that I was hoping it would ;) Quirky, immersed in the 19th century and the odd duck in her family and community Eleanor Davis is ready to leave her virginity behind. When Bodie Webb, rugby player and friend of her brother, introduces himself to her she thinks, “This is the one to do the deed”. Keeping her identity obscured the two have a night to remember – one and done, she thinks – and off he goes, after calling and asking if there might be more. A few months later when she gets in touch the sizzle is still there. She has something to share and that something is big. Bodie, a true gentleman, steps up, asks her to spend time with him and all seems to be going well until…it’s not. How it all works out right created a book I could not put down. I could so relate to Eleanor and the dilemma she thought she was in. I may not have been as shy as she was or from the back of beyond BUT I still could relate. I loved her quirks and her interests and her ability to state what her needs were then go for what she wanted. I found Bodie to be a wonderful book boyfriend that was so much more than a pretty face with a good body he knew how to use well on the pitch and off. His true interest in Eleanor, ability to stand up for her and loving ways were swoon worthy. The way Ryder, Eleanor’s brother and Bodie’s best friend, came to Bodie’s rescue and how Bodie used the information he was given tied this book up in a big shiny bow creating the perfect book for me to read yesterday. Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing-Brazen Imprint – This is my honest review. 5 Stars