Trina Clemons needed the money. Why else would she-the most organized, prepared student in school-spend the summer as a nanny and partner with the biggest slacker ever? Now she's ready to tackle nannyhood with her big binder of research and schedules. Just don't ask her about the secret job of "fixing" the bad habits of a certain high school player...
Slade Edmunds prefers easy hook-ups, and Trina is definitely not his type. She's all structure and rules, while Slade wants to just have fun. Fortunately, Trina has no idea about the bet Slade made with his best friend that he can totally get her to unwind by the end of summer...
Then the weirdest thing happens. There's chemistry. A lot of it. But nothing gets between a boy and a girl like a big, fat secret...
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.71(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
Read an Excerpt
Playing The Player
By Lisa Brown Roberts, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Lisa Brown Roberts
All rights reserved.
Friday, May 31
"Trina, just think about it," said Mrs. Gonzalez. "You'll still be the supervising nanny for the kids. Slade will be your ... apprentice nanny."
I swallowed quickly, almost choking on the white chocolate cookie crumbs. I hardly ever disagreed with adults, but we were talking serious responsibilities: taking care of two vulnerable five-year-olds for the summer. No way should Slade Edmunds be entrusted with their care. I had to stand my ground.
I took a breath then spoke. "But if it's like that apprentice TV show, I get to fire him if he doesn't work out, right?"
Dr. Edmunds studied me. She was the apprentice nanny's mom, and a psychiatrist. No doubt she was analyzing me, trying to figure out how to sway me over to her side.
"Trina," Dr. Edmunds said, "I understand if you have a few reservations about working with my son. I know Slade has ... um ... a ... go-with-the-flow personality."
I snorted. Go with the flow? That was the understatement of the century. Slade was the original slacker, right down to his pathetic fashion sense, living in old T-shirts, faded shorts, and flip-flops. He even tied back his shoulder-length hair with a shoelace, which most girls thought was all grungy sexy.
Not that his wardrobe or messy hair hindered his social life. He was one of the most popular guys in school. Everyone loved him. Jocks, stoners, honor kids, geeks, GSA, NRA. Teachers, too, even when he totally screwed off in class. They fell for some sort of charm that everyone saw.
Everyone but me.
"Trina, sweetheart, let's discuss this rationally." Mrs. Forrester poured me a glass of iced tea, with mint leaves frozen in the ice cubes.
Curse these desperate housewives and their Food Network tactics.
It was hard to resist Mrs. Forrester. I'd babysat her daughter, Gillian, since she was two years old. Gillian was a total spaz, but I loved her. I was looking forward to nannying her and her preschool BFF Max Gonzalez, even though they were nothing alike.
He's all, "Ew! Gross. I hate dirt. I hate swinging. I'm dizzy. Let's go home." And she's all, "Woo hoo! Let's go down the slide backward and chase the geese into the pond and wear our lunch boxes on our heads!" Maybe it was true about opposites attracting, at least in preschool.
"I'm prepared to offer you an increase in your salary if you'll go along with this idea, Trina." Dr. Edmunds's gray eyes locked onto mine.
Wait, what? Extra salary?
She kept her gaze focused on me, and it occurred to me that Slade must have gotten his legendary topaz eyes from his dad. Apparently when Slade activated their golden power, half the girls in my school willingly peeled off their panties. It would take a lot more than gorgeous eyes to get me out of my underwear.
But what had his mom just said about money? As in, a raise? I reached for a snicker doodle. These moms could pry state secrets out of James Bond with their awesome cookies.
Dr. Edmunds massaged her forehead. She suddenly didn't seem as intimidating as when I'd first met her. The other moms watched her sympathetically, and I felt a twinge of guilt for asking if I could fire Slade if he didn't work out.
"So maybe you can explain exactly what you want me to do," I said, as the sugar melted my resolve.
Dr. Edmunds's face lit up, and I caught an echo of the infamous Slade grin. His grin had magically persuasive properties, too, from what I'd observed when he talked his way out of detentions.
She cleared her throat and glanced at the other moms, who nodded encouragingly.
"Here's the deal, Trina. Slade needs to learn some responsibility. And I know he's capable of it, even though his father says ... Oh, never mind. Anyway, I know how responsible you are. You're always on the honor roll, and Mrs. Forrester raves about your babysitting skills, and didn't you organize that Burger Barn boycott last year?" She paused to take a breath. "Which I supported, by the way."
"Slade's great with kids," Mrs. Gonzalez piped up. "Max is taking swim lessons from him at the rec center, so I've seen him in action."
I tried not to snort again. Okay, so it just so happens that I don't know how to swim (yet), but that's a whole other story. But seriously? Paddling around with kids in the shallow end and blowing bubbles? How did that compare to having complete responsibility for children all day? Including potential potty emergencies?
"Just think how much easier it will be for you, having someone to help wrangle the kids," insisted Gillian's mom.
Right. Like Slade was going to be Super Nanny. I fiddled with my binder and the sharp plastic corner dug into my leg. I remembered how I'd been stuck next to Slade during bio class last year.
"What is in that thing?" he'd asked, staring at my binder like it was a pile of toxic waste.
"Only my entire life," I'd told him. "Homework, college apps, articles on time management, recipes, medical records —"
"You keep your medical records in there?" He'd stared at me in mock horror with those hypnotic topaz eyes, but I was unmoved.
"Not my medical records. They're for the kids I babysit. In case of emergency." Because you never knew when disaster might strike.
He'd busted a gut laughing in my face. "You're a trip, Clemons." His eyes weren't so pretty then.
Mrs. Gonzalez's voice jolted me back to the sugar-fueled tribunal. "We'll still pay you the full salary we agreed on for taking care of both kids."
That didn't make sense. "Don't you need to cut my salary in half? So you can pay Slade the other half?"
The moms gave one another cryptic looks that made my spine tingle.
Dr. Edmunds sighed wearily. It must be hard being a slacker mom. Or, a mom to a slacker. Whatever.
"Mrs. Gonzalez and Mrs. Forrester will pay you as agreed previously," she said. "And I'll pay you an extra half salary to ... um ... subsidize the time you spend mentoring Slade."
Mentoring? That was so not going to happen. But I was still confused about the money. "Then who's paying Slade? He's not going to do this for free, right?" Not even he was that clueless.
The moms grabbed cookies from the platter. Apparently I wasn't the only one who used sugar as a stress buster.
"I'm paying him," said his mom, her voice soft.
I stared at her, shocked. What kind of guy would let his mom pay him to be "mentored"? And wasn't she violating some code of ethics, doing this to her son? Maybe I should report her to whatever board regulated shrinks.
"He's not going to know," she said quickly. "He's going to think the payment is coming from Max's mom. We're presenting this as you being Gillian's nanny and Slade being Max's nanny. But of course you'll be the one in charge."
My stomach flip-flopped. "I'm sorry, but I can't agree to that. It's not right. And it's not fair to Slade." I couldn't believe I was defending the guy, but this was crazy sauce.
"All right, Trina. I'll pay you an additional full salary," said Dr. Edmunds, not missing a beat.
What the heck?
"Think about it, Trina," said Gillian's mom. "You'll earn your full salary from me and Mrs. Gonzalez. And an extra full salary from Slade's mom. Didn't you tell me you wanted to buy a new laptop?"
These women were crazy. Maybe they were drunk. I narrowed my eyes suspiciously at their glasses of tea. Suddenly Slade's mom jumped up and started pacing, which had to be tough in the tight skirt she wore.
I reached for one of the homemade granola bars she had brought, then almost choked on the chalky, sandy grit lodged in my throat. Yuck. Apparently Slade's mom was an even worse cook than mine. That might be the only thing he and I had in common.
"My son is a good guy," Dr. Edmunds said, and paced some more. "He has a good heart." Pace. "He just needs to learn some organizational skills." Pace. Pace. "And he likes kids. This job will give him a chance to show what he's capable of." Pace. "To prove to his father ..." her voice trailed away and she turned to me, her eyes full of unspoken pleas.
"I-I'm sorry," I stuttered. "I never meant to imply that Slade's a bad guy." A total player, definitely. A slacker supreme, for sure. "But this whole idea just feels wrong and dishonest. Imagine if he found out —"
"He won't find out." Dr. Edmunds's voice was firm.
"Not even his dad knows," added Mrs. Gonzales.
Slade's mom shot her the evil eye, and Max's mom shrugged, looking embarrassed.
"This feels like a really bad movie," I said. "One where you just know everything's going to blow up in a huge mess at the end."
I pictured Slade flipping out on me and shuddered at the image. Most popular guy in school goes ballistic on Bird Brain.
Bird Brain. I'd been pushing that memory away, but now it overwhelmed me.
In middle school, I'd started a petition to save a hawk's nest in a tree the city was going to cut down. But Slade had nicknamed me Bird Brain and totally mocked my petition, so hardly anyone signed it, and the tree was chopped down. And the hawks didn't make it.
So yeah, Slade was not my favorite person, not by a long shot. But this whole mentoring idea was whacked out. On top of all the money weirdness, there was the whole question of how incompetent he'd be with the kids. I just knew I'd end up nannying three kids instead of two.
Then again, if Slade was incompetent, maybe I could justify the extra salary from his mom. A new MacBook Air would be so much nicer than my ancient desktop PC. My mom couldn't afford to buy me a new computer on her salary.
"Trina, this will benefit both of you," Dr. Edmunds said in a soothing voice. I knew she was trying to hypnotize me into doing what she wanted. She probably had years of practice with anxious clients.
"You'll have someone to help you with the kids, and Slade will learn from your example." She paused. "You mentioned having the right to fire him. How about if we compromise? You send me a weekly report on how he's doing, and if we agree that he's not improving, we'll discuss whether or not he stays on."
Report on Slade's progress? My stomach twisted in protest.
But that laptop was calling my name. And with the money I'd earn, I could help Mom out with expenses. Things had been tight lately, and even though she worked overtime at the hospital, we rarely had money left over for fun stuff. Maybe I could splurge on pizza nights and pedicures for us.
Max's mom handed me a coconut macaroon, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Sort of like me, since I was about to cave.
"Okay," I said. "I'll do it. But you all have to swear to me that he will never, ever find out about this deal." I could only imagine how he'd feel if he found out his mom paid someone to mentor him. Ugh.
The moms nodded, their faces solemn with promises, and I wondered if this was how it felt to sell your soul to the devil.
I bet there were some awesome cookies in hell, too.CHAPTER 2
Saturday, June 1
"I'm sorry, Slade, but that's the deal. You either go to this interview or give up your allowance for the summer." My dad leaned against the counter, sipping coffee from his NPR mug. His gray ponytail hung over his shoulder. He was a walking hippie caricature, right down to the beard, Grateful Dead T-shirt, and Birks. With socks.
I slumped in my chair and stared at the half-eaten homemade granola bar in my hand.
This sucked. My parents were forcing me to interview for a freaking nanny job. Not a normal job at the mall or a movie theater where I could see my friends and get discounts on cool stuff.
Who did they think I was, Mary Poppins?
"Slade, I know you enjoy spending time with Max," Mom jumped in, playing mediator. She looked innocent, sitting there in her robe and fuzzy slippers, but I knew this crazy idea had to be hers.
Fact: Having one shrink parent sucks. Two shrink parents? Twice the suckage.
I ran my hand through my hair. "Max is okay, I guess." I rolled my eyes. "For a five-year-old." What did she expect? Just because he was in my guppy swim class didn't make us Vegas road trip buddies.
"Slade, you just have to go to the interview," Mom said. She blinked her eyes really fast, which freaked me out because I hated it when she cried. "Just go and see what happens. If you don't get hired —"
"Then he'll find another job, or forfeit his allowance for the summer," Dad said. "And give up driving his car."
"What?" I jerked so violently that coffee spilled out of my mug. Dad glared at me. He bought stupidly expensive coffee beans from some local roaster and acted like the stuff was liquid gold. One time I'd started the coffeemaker and forgot to stick the pot under the filter. Coffee had spilled everywhere and Dad had reacted like I'd kicked a puppy or something.
"Slade, it's time for you to start living up to your potential."
Not again. If my dad came with a mute button, I'd press it.
Mom cleared her throat. "I don't think we need to have this conversation right now, Mike."
Dad glared at her. "Karen, we talked about this."
"I know, I know." She sighed. "Which is why he has the interview today."
"That you set up," Dad snapped. "He didn't even do that part on his own."
"Sitting right here," I chimed in. "Hearing every word."
They both gaped at me, like they'd forgotten I was there. I sighed and took a long drink of the liquid gold, preparing my argument.
"I'm completely unqualified," I said. "I've never babysat. I can handle little kids in small doses. But all day? With the crying and whining and peeing their pants?" I shook my head and tried to look disappointed in myself. "It's just not a good fit. How 'bout I apply at Victoria's Secret?"
Mom narrowed her eyes. "Hilarious, Slade." She took a sip of her coffee. "You're going to this interview."
"For once, I agree with Slade." Dad crossed the kitchen and refilled his mug.
"Mike! What are you talking about?" Mom stared at him like he'd turned into an alien.
Dad shrugged. "Slade's right. He's completely unqualified. I can't figure out how you got Max's mom to even consider —"
"We're friends," Mom interrupted. "Book club. Bunco parties." She waved her hand dismissively. "She trusts me. I've told her all about Slade."
Dad and I looked at each other, and I suspected we were thinking the same thing: If she really had told Max's mom all about me, why would she give me an interview?
"Look," I said. "I get why you guys want me to get a real job. You've never made me work, other than the toddler swim lessons and lifeguarding, which were my idea, by the way —"
"That's what, a few hours a week?" Dad interrupted. "Since you're only a substitute lifeguard this summer."
I ignored him, focusing on Mom instead. "You gave me a car when I turned sixteen. You give me a decent allowance. You don't —"
"Decent?" Dad interrupted. "Your allowance is more than I made while I worked my way through college."
I rolled my eyes. "As I was saying, you don't make me pay for my car insurance. Or gas for my car." I sighed. "So I get it. But I'd really like to choose what jobs I apply for."
Dad stroked his beard. "Karen, I believe our son is showing a modicum of sense. For once."
Mom got all blinky-eyed again, then took a bite of her cereal and chewed for a long time.
Finally she spoke. "All right. I'll make you a deal, Slade. I still want you to go to the interview. If Mrs. Gonzales doesn't offer you the job, then you can apply for any job you want." She frowned at me. "Except Victoria's Secret."
I glanced at Dad, who shrugged. "I'd take the deal if I were you."
I nodded at Mom. "Deal."
My parents had zero faith in me, but they showed it in different ways. Dad attacked me head on. Bs should be As. Cs were unacceptable, even though I got them all the time. Making state in swimming was good, but why didn't I medal?
Mom was more subtle. "That's great you got a B minus on that essay. But if you'd worked a little harder, it would've been an A. And by the way, how many laps did you swim today?"
Honestly, they'd both be shocked if I got a job offer. On one hand, I'd like to shock them.
On the other hand, actually getting the job sounded like a nightmare come true.
Mrs. Gonzales shoved a cookie platter under my nose. I took one with brown sugar and cinnamon. Snicker strudels? No, that wasn't right. I took a bite. Whatever it was, I liked it.
"Slade, I'm so glad you're interested in this job. Max just adores you."
Max played on the floor with his mountain of rubber dinosaurs. Judging from his suspicious expression, he didn't adore me. I grinned at him, but he focused his attention back on his T. rex battle.
Mrs. G. poured me a glass of iced tea. I started to drink it then noticed something weird inside the ice cubes. "Uh," I held out the glass. "I think maybe there's mold or something in the ice."
She smiled. "It's crushed mint leaf. For flavor."
Wow. How did chicks come up with stuff like this? I took a sip. Not as good as Dad's coffee, but not horrible.
"So, the job is Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, about nine hours a day, depending on our schedules," said Mrs. G. "The kids go to church day camp on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so you'll have those days off. We'll cover all the expenses of course, for outings and lunches, etc. The pay is ten dollars per hour."
Excerpted from Playing The Player by Lisa Brown Roberts, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2015 Lisa Brown Roberts. 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
Exciting clash between an intensely stuffy, rigid, studious school girl who reluctantly takes on the outrageously handsome and charming class slacker heartthrob as her summer co-nanny for two devilish five-year old imps Excellent read as Trina and Slade share their thoughts, secrets and emotional growth with this fascinated reader
An amazing YA story! Trina and Slade are nannying for best friends over the summer. These two couldn't be more opposite. Trina plans everything and carries an organized binder with her everywhere she goes. Slade is the laid back popular guy who's looking for a good time. These two couldn't stand each other in the beginning of the story. Slade hadn't always been the nicest to Trina over the time they've known each other and Trina doesn't think much of him. Over the course of the summer, Trina and Slade learn from each other and develop a friendship. But can their relationship survive when secrets are revealed? This was an awesome YA story. The characters were well-developed and I found myself laughing at some of the situations they found themselves in with the kids over the summer. This was my first book by this author but it definitely won't be the last!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts! This realistic fiction story introduces Trina and Slade. Two teenagers that seem to be polar opposites. Slade's mother has set up a babysitting job for Slade in which he will be team-nannying with Trina. Slade's mother feels that he needs help with his life-organization, goals and motivation, and she believes that Trina can accomplish these things. Trina seems on the verge of a nervous breakdown, especially when her schedule doesn't work out exactly as planned. Slade seems a bit arrogant when he's talking to his best friend Alex, but mellow at other times. About one-third of the way through the book, Trina starts opening up about her past and her worries, which helps with understanding her reasoning and intentions. Slade warms up to her and tries to become her friend. The book becomes more complicated and interesting the more it's read. Trina and Slade are both stubborn and get so angry that they almost lose their relationship. The supporting characters add a lot of realism to the story and help pull the story together. 4 stars for the romantic fun!
Playing the Player was beyond adorable. I couldn't stop smiling or keep the laughter contained that kept bubbling out of me. I honestly can't remember the last time a book made me laugh this much. Plus it had the perfect amount of angst that pulled at my heart. Playing the Player was the perfect feel good story and such a huge win! Ironically, I started out this book unsure if it was going to work for me. Slade Edmunds came across as a slacker who seemed to have maturity issues and Trina Clemons was a control freak who didn't know how to let loose and have fun. But I was so wrong. So very wrong! Because while that may have been my first impression of them, I got to learn who they were. I got to understand why they were the way they were since we got to alternate being in both of their heads. And I absolutely loved the both of them! Trina got a job being a nanny to both Gillian and Max. Well technically she was Gillian's nanny and Slade was supposed to be Max's nanny. But here's the thing, Gillian was being paid to nanny both kids and she was also being paid to report back on how Slade was performing to his mom. Slade's mom was friends with the kiddos mom, and thinks that Gillian will help her son mature and grow up. It sounds like a recipe headed for a huge disaster right?! While I guessed how a few things would play out, it definitely didn't take away from the story that unfolded! The two little kids they were nannying, Gillian and Max, were beyond crazy and energetic! They made me laugh so hard. Saying they added chaos to Trina and Slade's day is a huge understatement. And Slade and Trina already have a rocky past. He's the reason she earned the nickname Bird Brain years ago. Plus they are literally the polar opposites from one another in almost every way imaginable. Slade was relaxed, calm and enjoyed being a player so no one could break his heart again. Trina was controlling and had the minutes of her day planned down to a T. So between the two of them and the crazy kiddos, things were bound to be explosive, hilarious and emotional! And as time proceeded, Spade's playboy charm started to affect Trina, and Trina's cute pixie ways started to cloud Slade's head. Playing the Player was so cute, and it was filled with such a charming story! I have to say that my favorite scenes by far were the shredder incident, oh my gosh I went from laughing so hard to crying! And the climbing wall. Butterflies, excitement and nervousness consumed my thoughts while those moments took place. If you're looking for a book that is going to make you laugh, feel giddy, and fall in love then this is definitely your book. I can't wait to discover the other books this author has written! PS I have to give a huge shout out to Trina's best friend, Desi and Slade's best friend, Alex. They were so full of life and added so much to the story-line! *ARC kindly provided by Entangled: Crush via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
"Playing the Player" is a predictable rom-com about Trina and Slade. Trina is very organized and likes to stick to a strict schedule/the binders she has made for every event in her life. Think Amy Poehler's character from Parks & Rec. Trina is really looking forward to her summer babysitting job, watching two young children, Max and Gillian. The book begins with Trina finding out that they want her to "tutor" slacker and playboy Slade. They propose to set this up as having him be a formal babysitter- his mom will pay him- and double Trina's salary. Although Trina feels like this isn't fair (not to tell Slade) and that she really does not like Slade, she needs the money for college. Slade hooks up with Barbies routinely and has a pretty laidback attitude, which shows up when he teases everyone around him. He's teased Trina in a way that she feels like he's frequently making fun of her (objectively, it does seem that way). He works as a subbing lifeguard and teaches a kid's swim class. Kids like him for his cool. He takes the job for the money and to get his parents off his back (although, really, he already has a job lifeguarding/teaching- even if just a couple days a week). He makes a bet with his friend that he can get Trina to loosen up by the end of the summer, and he plans to do this by turning on his charm. Very quickly, Trina can tell this summer will not go the way she thought. Kids have no schedules and don't care about time. They freak out when you least expect it and you can't stick to such rigor. Slade often seems to be poking fun and making things harder for her. As the days go on, they both begin to learn from the other- Trina learns to loosen up and Slade learns to get some structure/plans. And pretty early, they both start to crush on the other. Overall, it's a well written book and a quick read. The summer moves pretty fast! It's very predictable, and they are both pretty uncomplicated characters. There are no secrets in this plot. That being said, if you are looking for a light, fun romantic read, this is the book for you! It's easy and light-hearted, plus the romance is very sweet. Sometimes predictable works, and this is a great example! In summary, I think this is a fantastic beachy read for lovers of YA romance. Please note that I received this book from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I want to thank Entangled Crush for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review. I've definitely been on an Entangled Crush kick lately. All the books they are putting out under this imprint have drawn me in and made me happy. So I"m not surprised this one did the same! Trina and Slade are from different sides of the social scale. So when they get thrown together, it's no surprise there are some clashes. They are to be expected. But there are also tons of learning experiences for both, and that's what makes this story so much fun. Trina is the nerd who is organized to a fault. She also has a tendency to think her way is always the right way. And she has past experiences that make her very cautious of others and of what she does. She doesn't trust easily, and she doesn't let others into her world. Enter Slade, a total opposite to Trina. He's laid back and let's things fly. He's also known as a player. Not wanting to open his heart to anyone for fear of getting hurt, he keeps his distance and refuses to get into any kind of relationship. He's also a take the bull by the horns kind of guy, flying by the seat of his pants and letting things land where they may. You can imagine when these have to work together there might be some tension. Being a nanny team for two small kids isn't easy. Trina has her binder, full of ideas that will keep the kids busy with learning experiences for the summer. Slade, on the other hand, wants to plan fun activities, and scoffs at Trina's idea of being so organized. Yet, the two begin to compliment each other as the book progresses. And, believe it or not, they learn from each other: Slade to be a bit more cognizant of his ideas and Trina to be a bit more relaxed. Of course this wouldn't be a teen romance without some angst and a bit of misunderstanding. But in the end, it's all worth it. If you enjoy fun teen romances with interesting learning experiences and swoon worthy kissing, then this is the book for you!
First, I just want to say how much I really enjoyed this book overall. I admit that I’m a fan of the 90s cheesy teenage chick flicks like 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s All That, and Drive Me Crazy, to name a few. This book captures the overall feel of those movies with perfection. Lisa Brown Roberts has a wonderful grasp of the words she uses in this book. Not just the prose, but the use of current slang and terminology among teenagers. It gives the book a very authentic feel, but isn’t overly used, so it will still be fully readable and understandable by those not familiar with current lingo. There are two main characters—and therefore two main points of view—in Playing the Player. We have Trina, the perfectionist—bordering on OCD, who has two secrets: a personal family secret, and a not-so-personal secret. We then have Slade, the boy with the notorious reputation for being both a slacker and a playboy, who also has a secret, à la the movie She’s All That. Due to Trina’s not-so-personal secret, the two of them must work together as nannies for the summer. As expected, there is an instant clash—Trina’s perfectly scripted and detailed planning vs. Slade’s go-with-the-flow approach makes things interesting right away. Add in a pair of kids who I think any parent (and even anyone who’s ever had a babysitting gig) can relate to, and you have yourself a perfect disaster. The one thing that really struck me throughout this book is the fact that, had the kids been reversed to who their “main nanny” was, I think there may have been a lot less stress. But, of course, in the real world we are faced with constant Murphy’s Laws, and it seems this is one of them. I have to say that Max totally stole my heart. I know that kid is fictional, but I absolutely adore him! Through various circumstances, Slade and Trina start to trust one another, and Trina ends up confessing her personal secret to him. It definitely marks a turning point in their relationship, and Lisa Brown Roberts makes this beautifully clear. But then, shortly after, Slade’s secret is revealed, and it breaks Trina’s trust in him. The back and forth of point of view is absolutely crucial here, and it is conveyed masterfully. Things look like they may just work out… and then Trina does something careless, something that would normally be seen as out-of-character for her yet, given her character development through the book, actually works. And all hell breaks loose. My only complaint with this book (and it’s not really much of a complaint, mind you), is toward the end things feel a little rushed. Slade’s reaction to Trina’s final attempt at reparations does have a bit of an out-of-character feel that doesn’t follow fully with his character development. But that said, it still works. It certainly didn’t take me out of the story, it just kind of made me raise an eyebrow. Ultimately, I truly adored this book and its characters. The secondary characters were great (especially the kids) and their was even some wonderful development with them, as well. My recommendation: BUY THIS BOOK. If you are even remotely into YA romance, you will love this book.
There is so much to love about this book! Anyone who follows my reviews knows I like my teen romances on the angsty side, and this book has plenty of it. The kind of angst that made me laugh and tear up a bit. Trina is a spitfire of girl, who needs order and predictability more than she needs a partner. Slade is a total player who refuses to let any girl get close enough to break his heart again. Trina is uptight, serious. Slade is easy-going, rolls with the punches. These two were created to ignite sparks. And that they do. I adored Trina and Slade so much, and pulled for them throughout the book -- both as individuals and as a couple. They're both were really well developed and immensely likeable, even with their flaws. What I love most about them, though is how they bring out the best in each other. This is the way couples should be -- both real and imaginary. Plot The plot is fun and moves quickly, the banter is playful and witty, and there are some really great moments involving the kids they nanny that provide some of the best of the lighter moments. There are some dark parts, too, as we learn about Trina's past, discover why she is the way she is. But mostly, this is the story of Slade and Trina, two opposites that attract, and how their differences both connect them and drive a fair amount of conflict. Characters In addition to adoring Slade and Trina, Gilly and Max, their five-year-old charges, are a breath of fresh air. Trina's mom and Slade's parents come across as typical parents without being two-dimensional. But it's Desi and Alex, Trina's and Slade's respective best friends, that really round out the story. Both are well-developed and authentic. I'd love to see future stories from either of their points of view. Or better yet, both. Ending One of the better endings to a young adult romance I've read this year. Can't wait to get my hands on the next Lisa Brown Roberts novel! Top Five Things I Loved about Playing the Player: 1. Trina's binder. Her organizational tool of choice leads to some of the funniest moments in the book. 2. Alex and Tim. Seriously, such an adorable couple. I could read a whole book about them. 3. Desi. She's one of the best friends a teen girl could hope to have -- fierce, loyal, sweet, and funny. 4. Gilly. OMG! She's like a redheaded nightmare and the sweetest thing ever, all rolled into one. There's a scene with her at an indoor climbing wall that made me laugh out loud. 5. Trina and Slade. Their romance was really well done, believable, and likely to stick with me for awhile. Not easy to do in a sea of teen romances. Bottom Line Playing the Player is a fun, fast, read with likeable characters, lots of humor, angst, and incredibly sweet moments. Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Trina and Slade know one another from school. Now she is assigned to him for a summer job project. His mom wants to teach him responsibility and show his father he is growing up. Trina also knows that Slade is a player. He is known for never being seen with the same girl twice. She knows she is not his type so she is trying not to get any of those ideas... Slade cannot believe how easy the money is with his new job. Too bad he has a partner in this. She is kind of wound tight and he is hoping he can make it through the summer without having to quit. Trina has found right away that Slade is not only smart, but his charm with the girls goes a long way with this nanny gig. He has already been helpful, the kids love his ideas, and he is really trying to do the job well. Slade is finding himself attracted to the brainy girl. Trina has so much more than a brain and he cannot stop thinking about her. Even when they are not working together. Can this be more between them? I loved this story! I thought the characters were very fun and easy to read. They came across very full of life and the banter was really good. Good clean book with a great storyline. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley.com and it publisher for review purposes only.
I completely loved reading Playing the Player, the author did a great job bring something new to the book that just made it enjoyable to read. It was a total page-turner for me and that says a lot about the book. From the great cover to the intriguing synopsis, Lisa Brown Roberts brings a whole new twist to your typical good girl vs player type-of-story. In the beginning we meet Trina Clemons, an organizational girl by nature, who also takes her job as a nanny very seriously. Needless to say, she has a binder full of ideas and schedules to drive one crazy, and even though everyone gives her second looks after meeting her, she is very good at her job. It is because of this that she is given a top secret task by the moms of the kids that she takes care of. She is to train, Slade Edmunds, and keep him from getting in trouble, and she is going to get a raise. That pretty much seals the deal for her, especially when she needs the money to get a new computer and to help her mom. But the minute she is faced with two toddlers and Slade things start to get very real for her, and she is going to have to decide whether putting herself in that situation is worth it after all. For Slade Edmunds, his looks and popularity are very important to him. But when his mom tells him that she got him a job as a nanny, he is not very happy at all. Yet he accepts the challenge and is willing to do anything to prove to his parents that he can do whatever comes on his way. Soon he meets Trina and although their relationship is a bit rocky at the beginning, it slowly turns into something else. It all seems to be working out, but the secret that Trina and his mom have kept from him have hurt him the most, and that is when he will have to decide what to do next. I absolutely loved the overall idea of this book, and how the author executes every scene. The characters have their own issues that they need to resolve, but when the two are together, they work very well together. Overall, I highly recommend it. :) ***ARC provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.***
I first became a fan of Lisa Brown Roberts after reading How (Not) to Fall in Love earlier this year. I was instantly drawn to how accurate her portrayal of teenagers were, keeping their romance at the appropriate age level and extremely realistic. And I was happy to see that this story had the exact same feel. Trina and Slade are complete opposites and thrown together for a summer of nanny two children. Both go into this arrangement with a secret… which is sure to inevitably bring about the drama. Trina is a strictly Type A organized-beyond-imagination type of girl, while Slade is a laid-back lifeguard who loves the ladies. They couldn’t be more opposite, and this brings about a boatload of trouble more often than not. These two spend their days butting heads, while trying to nanny these two extremely difficult (one more so than the other) children together. I really enjoyed this story, which brought me back to my days of babysitting siblings during the summer when I was a teenager. (Days I DO NOT miss, AT ALL! Man, I’m so NOT a good babysitter…) I was giggling more often than not while reading about their days battling these two tykes. Yes, this story was cliche… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This incredible author took the often-done concept of “good girl changes player” and made it her own. This wasn’t only about Trina transforming Slade into something different, but even more so about Slade changing Trina as well. These two learned and grew as individuals while spending this summer together, and I loved every minute of it. “I didn’t know what we were doing or what any of this meant. But I intended to follow it all the way through, because for the first time in forever, I felt fully alive.” I read this a few weeks ago while sitting outside on the deck in the sun. It was such a great summer read for me, quick and effortless, and fun above all else. I love how innocent and pure Lisa Brown Roberts’ stories seem to be. Yes, there is drama, per say, but her stories are never dark, never filled with turmoil, and are always accurate to the age group of the characters. These characters reminded me of teenagers I knew growing up, all of their faults and bad decisions included. I even saw a little bit of myself in Trina, which was a little eye-opening, to say the least. A very realistic story that will leave you smiling and happy. Another extremely enjoyable, gives-you-the-warm-and-fuzzies read from Lisa Brown Roberts. (Thanks to Entangled Crush for the review copy!)
This was such a cute and fun book that I just devoured it immediately. It was a perfect summer read. Nothing too heavy... just good fun and romance. Sometimes the best type of book, if done well, and Lisa Brown Roberts did it right! I loved the fact that going into this nanny scenario, both characters are keeping a secret. Slade has made a bet with his friend that he can't get the uptight and structured Trina to loosen up, and Trina was hired by Slade's mother to be a co-nanny where all her wonderful organization and structure will rub off on her son. I love that this put them at cross-purposes immediately. Lots of great conflict here that became so interesting and funny. I loved both of the characters. Both had a certain idea about how their job as a nanny would go, and I as a reader made some assumption myself. It was hysterical how things just didn't work out the way they, or I, thought they would. Number one because Slade is better at this nanny thing than everyone thought he would be, and the kids were much different than Trina thought they would be. Some of the scenes with those kids had me laughing my head off. But I loved how this job brought out their characters and really let you get to know them. The romance was not instalove, but built slowly, with a little bit of love-hate at the beginning to spice things up. As I said before, this was a fast-paced story, and I read through it very quickly. I loved the characters, loved the conflict, and was very satisfied with the romance. The author did a fantastic job making me love her people.
4.5 stars Playing the Player was such a fun, sweet and entertaining read. Loved both Trina and Slade, they were likable and very relatable. Trina is the nerd who is organized to a fault, she thinks her way is the right way and doesn't let people get too close, she doesn't trust easily. Her past has left her cautious of taking risks and just letting go and having fun. Then we have Slade, the boy who is totally opposite to Trina. He's laid back, loves life and just having fun. He's known as a player but behind this is a boy who is scared of being hurt so he doesn't do relationships. Slade made me laugh with his quick wit and sarcasm, loved him. Watching these two work together as nannies was a hoot, Trina with her daily binder all organized and set out to the min and Slade with his lets just go with it attitude you knew this wasn't going to go well. But as things start to go wrong Slade steps up and takes charge, what we saw was a boy a lot smarter than he lets people see. Watching this Slade made Trina warm to him and start to let her walls down. It was heartwarming seeing them get closer and opening up to each other. For me the two 5 year old's Gillian and Max that Trina and Slade were in charge of nearly stole the show. I laughed out loud so many times, I couldn't help but love them both dearly. Gillian was funny and such a spit fire, god I loved her =D And Max, what a sweet sensitive little boy he was, seriously I need a book about them in the future lol If you're looking for a sweet, fun and heartwarming read with great characters you'll love Playing the Player. I was so caught up with the story I read it in one sitting :)
Trina Clemons and Slade Edmunds couldn't be more different: she follows all the rules, is extremely organized and loves schedules; he is a slacker, a player and loves to go with the flow. But now they are going to spend the summer together as the nannies of two 5 year-olds. Although at first their partnership seems to be difficult, as the time passes they get to know each other and a relationship starts to blossom. But they are keeping secrets from each other, both from their pasts and how they got the nanny job. How will they react when they find out the truth? Playing the Player is an awesome YA book. The story is very captivating and I couldn't stop reading it. It has everything a good YA book must have: drama, angst and lots of funny and awkward moments. Trina and Slade are total opposites, but they really complement each other. I loved the chemistry between them. A tragic event in Trina's past made her a very cautious person that likes to have a plan to the unexpected. She loves her mother and to fight for the underdogs. I loved how she started to let loose and have more confidence in herself after spending time with Slade and the kids. Slade is a bad boy slacker and a player. He had his heart broken by a girl before and now he doesn't believe in falling in love, but he has a big heart. He becomes more responsible after spending time with Trina and the kids and I loved to see how much he changed. Max and Gillian are awesome! I loved them! Like Trina and Slade, they're total opposites but they're best friends. Overall, Playing the Player is an awesome YA book. Lisa Brown Roberts wrote a fantastic story that keeps the reader wanting more and created great characters that make the reader connect with them. Can't wait read more of her work!
A fantastic YA read that I absolutely adored. Very well written with characters I could easily relate to. While I'm long past my YA years, some things don't change. The struggles to find out how to be the best you and fit in are the same in every generation, and this story shows two extremes. Trina is the classic over achiever, overly prepared and organized and unfortunately not always as flexible as she needs to be. Slade the classic slacker, smarter than he lets on and always looking to have fun rather than work hard. When these two are paired to Nanny to young children over the summer they have to find some way to work together. It may be the best summer they've ever had! I highly recommend this one!