Playing With Forever

Playing With Forever

by Amy Andrews

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Overview

Playing With Forever by Amy Andrews

Country boy, Ryder Davis has the world at his feet. A stellar rugby career, a winning way with women and a beach view that keeps him in blue sky and bikini babes. He's living the dream. The last thing he needs is a Great Dane called Tiny destroying his feng shui.

Dog whisperer, Juliet Morgan is about to start living her dream and she's counting down the days. In two months she'll finally be moving to Italy and no man's going to stop her this time. Not even a rugby superstar with a badly behaved pooch.

But when Ryder skids into the animal shelter looking for help Juliet agrees to assist him with his canine issues. Pretty soon they're assisting each other out of their clothes and tumbling headlong into a sex thing with an expiry date.

Neither of them expected it to become more. But when for now starts to feel like forever Juliet hits the panic button. Ryder knows he has to play the long game and let her walk away. After all it's not over until the final hooter sounds and all's fair in love and rugby.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640632523
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 09/25/2017
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby Series , #4
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 231
Sales rank: 40,945
File size: 1 MB

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

CHAPTER 1

Ryder Davis may have been country to his bootstraps but there were definite advantages to city living. For example, it was rare to find women walking around in itty-bitty bikinis back home. Here, in his apartment overlooking Sydney's Coogee Beach, he was spoilt for choice.

He doubted there was a better way to recover from a gruelling training session than slugging back a beer on his deck, appreciating the bounty.

And the booty.

There weren't too many people on the stretch of golden sand at two in the afternoon on a Monday. It'd pick up in a couple of hours when school was out, the calm surf conditions more family friendly than the trendier Bondi. He'd go down for a dip later after he'd finished icing his right Achilles.

Two years after snapping the bloody thing, it still had a tendency to inflammation. After a decade of playing rugby at an elite level, he knew his body well enough to know it wasn't serious. He knew the treatment — rest and ice — and knew it'd be fine for training tomorrow.

He sure as shit could have done without it, though.

The cries of seagulls and the sound of laughter from the beach came to him on the light breeze and he pulled his black Akubra lower on his forehead as he breathed in the salt and sunshine.

It wasn't the outback, but with the Pacific Ocean as his front yard and the big stretch of sky overhead reminding him of home, it'd do.

Life was good. Fucking good. He was one lucky bastard.

His doorbell rang and he ignored it. It rang again and he sighed. There was only one person who rang twice — old Mrs Henderson from next door. Usually asking for assistance with a jar that wouldn't open or a light bulb that needed changing or dragging her cat off the top of the kitchen cupboard where it insisted on hanging out even though it apparently had no idea how to get down.

He drained his beer and hobbled inside, tossing his Akubra on the couch. He was shirtless and needed a shower, but the old biddy appreciated some eye candy. He knew that because she'd told him. And who was he to disappoint?

It was not Mrs Henderson.

It was the coach's daughter, Valerie King. She didn't mind some eye candy, either, and blatantly checked him out. One of the perks she'd told him when they'd first met six years ago. But she was like a kid sister to him. Not to mention Griff — his coach — would probably murder him and bury him beneath the hallowed turf of Henley stadium if he knew she was here.

"I'm so pleased you're home."

Normally, Val's striking red hair and cute freckled face was the first thing that registered, but not today. Today, it was what was standing beside her — the most enormous Great Dane he'd seen in his life. It was white with black spots — like a Dalmatian had mated with a Clydesdale — its pricked-up ears almost reaching Val's shoulders. Her gaze told him she had a problem and he was the answer. He sure as hell hoped it had nothing to do with the supernatural creature by her side.

He narrowed his eyes. "Oh?"

She affected a wide-eyed innocent look but dropped it when she realised it wasn't working. "Is your Achilles playing up again?" She tipped her chin at the bag of frozen peas strapped to his lower right leg.

"It's fine." He dismissed the distraction, preferring to get to the elephant on his doorstep. He suspected he was about to be conned. "I didn't realise you had a pet, Val?"

Her nervous laugh confirmed it. "Tiny's not mine."

Ryder blinked. Tiny. Someone sure had a sense of humour.

"He belongs to a work colleague. She's gone overseas for two months and I agreed to puppy sit."

Ryder blinked again as he inspected the animal. Its big pink tongue lolled from its mouth. "Puppy?"

"I know, right?" Another nervous laugh. "She failed to mention that Tiny was a rather ... large puppy."

Ryder sincerely doubted that Tiny had ever been a puppy. "And the reason why you're both on my doorstep is ...?"

"I was wondering ... I was hoping —"

"No." Ryder interrupted her with a firm shake of his head. If this had been yesterday — April Fools' Day — Ryder would have suspected a set-up. His teammates taking the piss. But it wasn't. "Absolutely not."

"But you like dogs."

"That" — he pointed at the animal — "is not a dog." Tiny's head angled side to side as if he understood every word. "That is a horse."

"You like horses, too."

"Not in my apartment."

"Please, Ryder."

He hated it when women used that voice. It appealed to his good country boy upbringing.

And she knew it.

"My flatmate freaked out and you've always said how you've missed having a dog since you left the farm. It's a win/win."

"I live in an apartment," he reiterated. It was big as far as apartments went but still ... Tiny looked like he could leap over the four-story block in a single bound.

"You know it's not true that Great Danes need a lot of room, they're just as content to be inside dogs."

He shoved his hands on his hips. "Is that a fact?"

"I Googled it."

Ryder didn't say anything, just stared at her, waiting for her to read the hell-no on his face.

"He's fully house trained," she went on hurriedly, "as long as you can take him out a few times a day. You know, before and after training and before bed. Think of it as extra fitness sessions. Pleeease."

"Don't you have anyone else you can give him to?"

"No one who wants or needs a dog as much as you. And did I mention how much chicks dig guys with dogs? Go out with Tiny and they'll flock."

"Val ..." Ryder shoved a hand through his hair. "I play in one of the country's most elite rugby teams. I'm on the tele. And billboards. In my underwear. I do okay with the chicks."

That was an understatement, but he didn't like to brag.

"Yes, but these will be the right kind, not the ones who only want you for your body."

Ryder gave a half laugh. "Newsflash, Val, I like those chicks. They're my kind of women."

"Ryder." She tisked. "You told me your mother wants grandchildren."

"My mother wants George Clooney to move to the farm, too, but that ain't ever going to happen."

She frowned for a moment. "Okay ..." She brightened. "How about this? What if you take him for a few days, just until I can find someone else? Please. He's really very sweet and well behaved. Look." She half turned and said, "Sit, Tiny."

Tiny sat, looking at Ryder like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth as Val said, "Good boy," and stroked her palm back and forth over the dog's big, boofy head. "Please?" she pleaded. "For me?"

Ryder sighed, feeling himself weaken, and rubbed a hand over his forehead. "Goddamn it, Val."

"Yes." She grinned and did a funny little jig then launched herself at his chest. "Thank you, thank you!" She dropped a quick peck on his cheek as she thrust the lead into his hand. "I'll just go and get his stuff."

Tiny stood and looked over his shoulder at Val as she scurried to the lift. He turned back to Ryder and barked.

"Sit." Tiny blinked and remained stubbornly on his feet. "It's going to be like that, huh?" He barked again. "Yeah," Ryder sighed. "Of course it is."

It took two hours for Ryder to fully understand he'd entered the ninth circle of hell. Or rather, he'd been dragged, as Tiny pulled on the lead, clearing a path along the seafront more efficiently than any tornado.

Little children saw the massive animal loping along and ran screaming for their mothers. Tiny, of course, thought this was a game, careening from the path to chase them onto the grassy areas, barking excitedly at them or the myriad seagulls hanging around hoping to score some hot chips.

Taking the beast for a walk had seemed like the sensible thing to do. Familiarise Tiny with the area and the places he could pee. But Ryder hadn't counted on the dog's split personality. Placid, well-mannered puppy with Val had quickly morphed to frenetic, evil, devil's spawn with a penchant for indoor plants and gnawing on chair legs.

"Tiny!" Ryder cursed Valerie under his breath for the hundredth time as his shoulder was yanked again and he was pulled along, his Akubra threatening to be unseated from his head.

Just as abruptly, and also for the hundredth time, Tiny stopped to pee. The dog had peed on every bush, car tyre, and blade of grass, not to mention every one of the huge Norfolk pines that lined the sea front. He'd dragged Ryder around and around the massive trunks like a fucking quality inspector until he found just the right spot to cock his leg.

He knew dogs liked to mark their territory, but this was ridiculous. Satisfied with a quick squirt he took off again before Ryder could exert any control. A child flying down a slippery dip in a play area squealed excitedly and Tiny's ears pricked up.

"Oh no you don't."

But it was too late. Tiny dragged him in the direction of the playground and a group of excited toddlers. They hollered in fright when they saw Tiny bearing down on them.

Not that Ryder could blame them.

Tiny wasn't aggressive, just energetic. And badly behaved. He knew the dog just wanted to play with the kids, maybe lick a few faces but, to a bunch of shorties, Tiny probably looked more Cujo than Scooby Doo.

Ryder managed to create enough drag on Tiny's lead to prevent toddler skittles, apologising profusely to a bunch of scowling mothers as the dog dragged him on to the next shiny thing.

His Achilles hurt like a bitch, his shoulder was practically dislocated, and women were scowling at him.

Women did not scowl at Ryder Davis.

Ryder's lack of control over Tiny was even more ridiculous considering he'd grown up on a cattle property surrounded by dogs. Good working dogs that ran all day and thrived on hard yakka. He'd trained about a dozen of them himself to do his bidding, to obey any command through a series of quick sharp whistles.

Tiny did not respond to whistling.

Tiny was possessed.

The folks back home would be pissing themselves for sure if they could see him now. They'd say all that poncing around in his underwear for billboards had made him soft.

How Ryder managed to turn the dog around and head back to the apartment he didn't know. He was just pleased to be leaving behind the path of destruction before someone called the cops. Or an angry bunch of mothers came after him with their pitchforks.

Ryder had never been so happy to see the loom of his apartment block in his life. He was fishing his key out of his pocket, trying to figure out what the hell he was going to do with an out of control horse-dog when he remembered there was an animal shelter a few blocks away.

Perhaps they'd be able to give him some advice or point him in the direction of a home for wayward dogs. Maybe dish out some canine calm- the-fuck-down pills.

At the moment, he'd take anything.

Tiny took off excitedly at Ryder's urging, much to the chagrin of people on the footpath. He galloped along like a drunken racehorse, swerving in the path of everyone they passed.

Consequently, they overshot the shelter entrance by metres and it took some effort to turn the dog around. Even more effort to get him up off his butt once he'd sat stubbornly down just outside the entrance, looking up at the sign over head — Coogee Animal Rescue Centre — as if he was reading the fucker.

Underneath was a list of services. Adoption, health checks, micro- chipping, dog walking, grooming, desexing and, much to his relief, dog obedience classes.

Perfect.

Ryder pulled on the lead, but the dog dug its nails into the path and didn't budge. "What?"

Tiny glanced at Ryder, then back to the sign, then at Ryder again. Jesus. The dog couldn't walk in a straight bloody line but he could read?

"I'm not leaving you here." He forced a reassuring smile onto his face, but the dog didn't look convinced. "Seriously. I'm just going to enquire about the dog obedience thing."

Ryder tugged on the lead. Tiny resisted, continuing to stare at the sign with a doleful expression.

He sighed. "I'm not getting your nuts chopped off, either, if that's what you're worried about." Tiny blinked and didn't budge. "Dude." Ryder laid his fisted hand over his heart. "Solidarity."

Tiny, apparently satisfied with that, rose and bound into the shelter, yanking on Ryder's arm. They both skidded to an unceremonious halt in front of the counter as Tiny's paws lost their grip on the polished cement flooring.

The place was hot, laden with the sound of distant barking and the aroma of wet dog. There was no one behind the counter but a harried, "I'll just be a sec," came at him from off to the left.

Ryder's gaze sought the source, a woman, standing at a bank of sinks, her attention on some kind of fluffy mutt, its front paws up on the sink edge, covered in soap suds. It yapped at them and Ryder tensed for some macho male bullshit from Tiny, but the massive dog just stared at the midget animal dog, his big pink tongue lolling from his mouth.

"Shh, Bessie." She sluiced water from the retractable shower head down her sudsy arms and gave them a quick shake. "You stay there, missy," she said to the dog before turning to attend to Ryder.

"Oh." Her eyes — blue — widened for a moment as she wiped her hands on an apron. Had she recognised him?

Or did she just like what she saw?

The thought was quickly swept away as Ryder took in the wetness of her navy T-shirt dominated by a huge paw print logo smack bang in the middle of her chest. And what a lovely chest it was, her big breasts nicely displayed by the dip of the V-neck and the cling of wet fabric.

Ryder loved boobs almost as much as he loved rugby. Big ones, little ones, and every size and shape in between.

Her face was flushed and dozens of strands of her long sun-bleached hair had escaped some kind of ponytail/bun construction. They stuck to her face, forehead, and neck and she had a patch of soap bubbles on her cheek. She wiped at the strands and bubbles with the back of her hand as she walked toward him.

Her apron hung halfway down her tanned legs, but Ryder could see enough of them to know he wanted to see more. Tiny's tail swished across the floor as if he agreed.

Ryder relaxed for the first time since he'd clapped eyes on the ridiculous animal.

Thank you, universe.

"Can I help you?"

"I hope so." He gave her one of his famous country-boy smiles as he glanced at her name tag perched on the slope of her left breast. "Juliet."

Juliet Morgan.

Up close she was even more gorgeous. A dark ring around the lapis blue of her iris set off the dark fringe of her lashes. Her nose was of the cute button variety. And her mouth was perfectly bowed.

She was very girl next door. Tanned and beachy, glowing and healthy. His gaze flicked to her left hand. No rings. In fact she wore no rings at all.

"I've been lumbered with this great lug of dog through a friend of a friend for a couple of months and he has some ... behavioural problems I need to manage ASAP."

"Really?" Her gaze switched to Tiny, who wagged his tail, looking completely angelic. Ryder could have sworn the damn mutt was smiling. "Look at you, you gorgeous boy," she crooned, unlatching a section of the counter, lifting it up and ducking through it to join him on the other side.

Tiny wagged his tail harder as Juliet approached, one hand held out in friendly greeting. Tiny, whose head came to her breasts, took full advantage, nosing her right in the cleavage as the woman slid her hands on either side of his face and cooed at him. "You are adorable, aren't you?"

Tiny licked, actually licked, her cleavage, then shot a shit-eating grin in Ryder's direction. If the dog had eyebrows, one of them would be arrogantly cocked.

Ryder blinked. The damn animal had more game than him.

"Are you sure?" She leaned forward to drop some kisses between Tiny's eyes, pushing his snout even farther into the cushioned heaven between her breasts. "He seems very placid."

Tiny gave an ecstatic little shiver, his tail a blur as it dusted the floor. "Trust me. He's the antichrist."

"Oh, I don't believe that," she said to Tiny, her voice light and teasing, her mouth a cute little moue. "Look how sweet and well-behaved he is. Good boy." She kissed him again. "Good boy."

Ryder would be sweet and well-behaved if Juliet called him a good boy while cradling his head between her breasts.

Hell, he'd roll over and play dead if she wanted.

"You're putty in my hands, aren't you, big guy?"

Ryder wondered how wrong it was on a scale of one to ten to be turned on by a woman baby-talking a dog. "He's faking it."

Tiny had been the same with Valerie. Tiny was a flirt. A complete and utter hound dog!

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Playing with Forever"
by .
Copyright © 2017 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.

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Playing with Forever 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars! Playing with Forever by Amy Andrews is the fourth story in her steamy and fun Sydney Smoke Rugby series. This time it’s Ryder Davis who finds himself falling in love – except the woman of his dreams has dreams of her own that don’t include him. When Ryder’s friend (and his coach’s daughter) Valerie comes to him for a favor, he can’t say no. Even though it involves house sitting a very large, very naughty dog named Tiny. Desperate for some help in controlling him, he makes his way to an animal shelter with obedience classes and meets Juliet Morgan. Juliet has a temporary position at the shelter, with plans to leave for Italy in two months. It was something she and her mom were supposed to do together, but when her mom got sick with cancer she made Juliet promise to go someday on her own. It’s been five years, and a failed relationship in between that derailed her plans to go right after the funeral, and this time, she won’t be swayed. The attraction between her and Ryder is mutual and she’s up front with what she’s willing to give of herself until she leaves. A sex only, friends with benefits fling is all that’s on the table, to which Ryder happily agrees. But when Ryder finds himself wanting more, will it be so easy for Juliet to leave him behind after all? As far as I’m concerned, this author writes some of the hottest sex scenes around. Like, steam up your mirror, serious heat. The chemistry between Ryder and Juliet is smoking hot, and it’s a no brainer that Ryder would take Juliet up on her offer of hot sex, even with an end date. They have a lot of fun together (not just in the bedroom) and the more the get to know each other, the more Ryder realizes that Juliet might be ‘the one’ for him. But Juliet is firm in her decision not to fall for any man, even if he is handsome, and kind, and funny and generous. Her trip to Italy is non-negotiable. The conflict is therefore pretty predictable but still entertaining to see how they are going to work things out in what seems like an impossible situation. At some points Juliet’s insistence on keeping things casual is a bit over the top which frustrates Ryder but doesn’t stop him from wanting to be with her. The dog sitting aspect adds for some humor, as does the classic teammate interactions with Ryder’s rugby mates. Since some of them have already found partners in previous books, they are quick to tease Ryder about Juliet. Plus, we get some great on field action scenes as Ryder’s team goes through some wins and losses. Juliet’s determination borders on stubborn denial of the truth and in the end she’s the one who gets to do the big grovel, a fitting turnaround from the way it usually plays out. It’s a fun, sexy, laugh out loud romance, and another great story in the series!
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
3.5 out of 5 stars Sometimes you just need an easy, fast paced read with likable characters and hot sexy times and I have to say, this totally fit the bill! Totally entertaining and hot! I'm going to keep this short and sweet... I liked both characters. Juliet and Ryder had a lust at first site thing going on and I thought it was flirty and sweet and I enjoyed the start of their relationship. Throw in a crazy dog and it just upped the entertainment value. Juliet is a woman on a mission wanting to go to Italy so it was fun watching them navigate this building relationship when there was an end date. There's a bit of conflict and emotion mixed in to round it all out making it a solid story. I liked what we learned about them, not super deep but enough to get your invested. I enjoyed the overall story. The second half flowed much better than the first. It took me until about 20% for everything to click for me. I liked their interactions and their playfulness and when they finally opened up a bit and realized their feelings. Nothing is overly in depth, pretty surface stuff but enjoyable non the less. Great ending and awesome happily ever after. I'm pretty neutral about the secondary characters, they were an entertaining element added but it was a bit confusing who was who. I could tell there was a fun camaraderie with the men though so I kind of got it. The writing was good. I loved that it was dual POV. The take away is that it was super entertaining and hot and it made for a great afternoon read. :-) Complimentary copy received for honest review.
Rubys_books More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way. This series keeps getting better and better with each and every book that comes out and I can't help but fall in love with Sydney Smoke's players. It was nice to read a book where the roles were flipped, where the woman wanted a no-strings attached fling, while the man is leaning towards a proper relationship, I found that very refreshing. I also loved how Andrews at one point goes to show how comfortable two people can get with each other, that it's only really a matter of perspective, really. Ryder and Juliet have very different perspectives when it comes to how they view their relationship, and it's really interesting to read about that. I liked Ryder. He was very funny and very sexy, and I liked that he was honest about how he felt about Juliet even though she wanted none of those pesky emotions. I also loved what he did for Tiny. He's such a good man just for taking care of Tiny as if that dog was his. I also liked that he admitted he needed help in managing Tiny, which is not something that most people even think about when getting a dog. Juliet's story was pretty heartbreaking, really. I do understand why she didn't want a real relationship, although throughout the book it was pretty obvious she was lying to herself the whole time by not giving the proper title to what she and Ryder had. That was the thing I struggled with the most, the fact that ultimately she wasn't being honest with herself and with Ryder. At the same time, I liked that she was open and honest about what she wanted from the start, she didn't lie about her intentions. Before I finish this review, let me talk a little bit about Tiny. The book starts with Ryder being emotionally conned into taking care of Tiny, and it is incredibly funny to see how he struggled with that dog. On one hand, I laughed like a lunatic, because it is funny, especially when Ryder took Tiny for his first walk and the first morning together. On the other hand, I cringed a little bit, because it was like I was reading about my dog at times (the walking part). I felt super happy to see that Andrews did a fantastic job into working dog training into the situation, which let's be honest, is something that not a lot of people think about when getting a dog. So yay for dog training. The book was fast paced, it was funny, and it ended almost too fast. I am in love with this series, and I can't wait for book 5, because I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a book 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Andrews as always writes another Sure Thing to make you feel warm and fuzzy around the heart area. I just love her!
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a freaking hot book for Ryder and Juliet! They hit it off immediately, in more ways than one. I thought it was great and hilarious how she kept him on his toes. It was pretty cool that she turned the tables on him by being like a guy - love them and leave them type. Ryder liked it at first but it was pretty sweet how he realized he felt more before she did. Definitely refreshing on this role reversal. But the story was made right by the end with their lightbulb moments and love declarations. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Laura_F More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Sydney Smoke! Each book has been light, entertaining, and fun to read. My favorite thing about this book is that it's the opposite of most romance. The lady isn't looking for strings in the relationship and the guy is all in. Juliet is moving to Italy in six weeks and isn't going to let anything, especially a man, get in her way of fulfilling her dream. She's already done that once. When she meets Ryder, she's willing to teach his temporary dog obedience and have a friends with benefits relationship until she leaves. Ryder, a star player for the Sydney Smoke, doesn't have any trouble with the ladies but isn't as opposed to relationships as some of the members of his team. When the coach's daughter coaxes him into taking care of a friend's dog, he turns to the shelter down the street for help with this monster of a dog. Ryder has six weeks to be with Juliet and maybe convince her that they could work even after she moves to Italy. I loved that Ryder was trying to do basically anything to be with Juliet, from suppressing his feelings to thinking of ways to make it work after she moves. Never once was the suggestion that she shouldn't go and live out her and her mother's dream. Juliet was strong and fiercely independent but her refusal to see how Ryder was different from her ex got old as the story progressed. I hope there's more Smoke coming!! *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
Kindle_Loving_Mom More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this 4th book in the series. I liked #1, but loved #2 & #3. I didn't love this quite as much as 2, and 3, but it was still great, sexy fun! Ryder Davis is a cowboy through and through. He grew up on a farm and only moved to the big city to realize his dreams of playing rugby professionally. He can't wait to get back to his family's land, once his playing days are over. He's a pro athlete, so he enjoys all the benefits that entails, including plenty of hot, willing women. He's never been inclined to settle down before, though he isn't against the idea as some of his teammates are. He just hasn't found the right girl. When he gets talked into dog-sitting a huge Great Dane puppy, who only seems to like, and listen to, women, he realizes he needs some major help. Before Tiny destroys his entire house. Juliet Morgan works temporarily at the local animal shelter, and teaches puppy preschool classes. Her job is only temporary because she's finally realizing her dream, and moving to Italy in 2 months. Her mom raised her alone, and she was obsessed with Italy. She even named her daughter Juliet! But, sadly, her mom never got to Italy before she died, and Juliet is going to go no matter what. She might have let her ex knock her off her course, and use her, and her money, for the better part of 5 years, but no man is going to hold her back again. She meets Ryder at the shelter when he comes in for help with Tiny, and though she's attracted, she doesn't want to get involved. Ryder and Juliet's chemistry was STRONG, and it was more than either of them could fight. They both agree to a no-strings fling, since Juliet will be halfway across the world in 2 months. But, when Ryder starts realizing he is having a change of heart, it complicates everything, big time. I liked their banter, and their interactions with the giant dog were hilarious too. Tiny was a total flirt, and was such a funny side character. More character than pet, for sure! As always, I loved getting glimpses of Ryder's teammates, who we've met in prior books. It's nice to see how things are going for them. I liked Juliet, but she really ticked me off sometimes with how adamant she was about keeping things between them simply about sex. I get that she was protecting her heart, but every time she got irate about something stupid like a toothbrush at his place, I wanted to slap her face. I also got ticked at Ryder for not being honest, and just taking what he could get. I get that he is a dude after all, and even once feelings get involved, he's not going to turn down a sure thing, but I was a bit disappointed in him. They were so perfect together, and I was just constantly waiting for them to realize it too! After 4 books, the Aussie lingo isn't nearly as jarring for me as it was the first time, and the author always includes a glossary in the back, in case you get lost! I really enjoyed this story, and I've been so happy with this series overall. I really hope there's even more to come!
Lorizen More than 1 year ago
What a hot and fun story this is! I loved Ryder, Juliet and the infamous Tiny! Tiny is the star of this show! He's a ladies man for sure. The dog lends a lot of humor to the story in all the right places. Ryder gets roped into "babysitting" Tiny by the coaches daughter, Val. He's a soccer player and a good one, but at heart he's still a country boy. Juliet works at the local animal shelter biding her time until she leaves for Italy in 2 months fulfilling a long time wish and she's got a few other goals in mind. Ryder and Juliet meet when Tiny walks Ryder right into her and she wraps both of them around her little finger. Juliet gives Tiny obedience lessons... she gives Ryder a few as well. A little discipline never hurt right? Ahem... yes well these two are hot and heavy and the chemistry is off the charts. Ryder has never felt about a woman the way he feels about her. She's, well, she's a little different. I'm going to leave it at that. There were times I didn't like her very much for probably the same reasons we don't like some men in books we read. Ryder was 100% in, which for someone so well known and a national sports figure and underwear model too..... is unusual. I loved the way he pulled her into his world and the things they did together were great. Juliet seemed to hold back a little, but when it came to the bedroom, car, wall, etc she was all in. Interesting twists and wow can Amy ever write the steam. Grab the fan and ice down! It's smoking. Amy always writes a great story and this one is right up there at the top!! It's a must read. 4.5 stars **arc from NetGalley and Entangled in exchange for a fair review**
PennySparkles More than 1 year ago
There is just something fantastic about these Sidney Smoke hunks and the women who steal their hearts. I’ve been waiting to get to see Ryder in action for a very long time, and Playing With Forever didn’t disappoint at all. His nice-guy, country-boy charm, alphaness in the bedroom (and various other locations) and his caring and funny personality along with that totally hot bod made him one of my favorite heroes of late. The fact that he is the one pushing for the relationship throughout the story was just the cherry on top. This story starts when he gets saddled with a ginormous Great Dane called Tiny, who then proceeds to destroy his living room and act like the puppy antichrist. This is how he arrives at the shelter where Juliet works and signs up for puppy-preschool classes. Juliet and Ryder have insta-chemistry which they, in turn, proceed to act on in full force. Repeatedly. In various positions and locations. I mean, these two together are crazy hot and they just can’t keep their hands off each other. While I completely loved Ryder and I will be forever devoted to him (more like until I start my next book, but you know what I mean) I struggled a little bit with Juliet. Having been burned in the past, she’s bound and determined not to make the same mistake again. She was nice, caring, funny and not afraid to just be herself, all things I love in my heroines. My issue with her was with her absurd bouts of ridiculousness whenever anything close to actual feelings would come up. They do start a “time-restricted-just-sex-no-emotions” type of affair, but it quickly becomes clear to both that things are not as black and white as they’d like. But she kept stubbornly denying this and blowing up whenever she felt like her dream was “threatened”. She wouldn’t even acknowledge that Ryder was nothing like her ex. This drove me batshirt crazy, and if she were an actual person I would have gone and beach slapped her… then I’d steal Ryder from her, but that’s neither here nor there. Whenever Juliet relaxed and let their natural chemistry flow I loved them together, and she does eventually get her shirt together. I still adored everything (else) about Playing With Forever and I can’t wait to know which of the rugby hunks will go down next… though I’m still confused about the league and union stuff. I guess I’ll just have to go hunt an Aussie rugby hunk for real! *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Ryder Davis was anticipating quiet times to make sure his ankle problem would be taken care of, but that’s when the coach’s daughter rang his doorbell and begs him to take care of a dog for a short while. A gigantic Great Dane. Just for a few days, she said. Tiny is very well-behaved, she said. What choice did Ryder have? How could he refuse his coach’s daughter? And, well, in a matter of hours, Ryder is waiting at the Animal Rescue Centre, begging for help, namely dog obedience classes for Tiny. And a gorgeous, blonde angel answers his call: Juliet Morgan. The Sydney Smoke Rugby series is nothing short of amazing, and within a couple of pages and knowing Amy Andrews, I knew PLAYING WITH FOREVER would be spectacular. I was laughing myself silly at the dog’s antics, or rather Ryder’s woes. Juliet doesn’t know a thing about rugby nor that Ryder is a star, and they click right away. Juliet is all for a little no-commitment sex with a handsome chap, which will be a fun distraction for the two months before she leaves for Italy. My darlings, I cannot recall two characters who have such blistering chemistry! It’s a wonder I did not see sparks coming out of my ereader! There is a lot of sex in PLAYING WITH FOREVER; incandescent, sizzling, jaw-dropping sex, that is fun, joyful and playful. I am know to skip lines here and there when it comes to sex scenes, but not when it comes to Ms. Andrews, and certainly not with this book. This woman writes sex scenes as if she invented them! Also, I would not advise reading this book in public, because, well, do it at your own risk. But there is also so much more than mind-blowing sex in PLAYING WITH FOREVER. I loved Ryder and Juliet; they are free, young, sympathetic, genuine, and just adorable. Ryder is definitely a candidate for book boyfriend of the year. There is the expected fabulous banter between the Smoke teammates, and the exchanges between Ryder and Juliet are just as wonderful. Amy Andrews is a supremely talented writer, so witty, bawdy, and clever, and I think her writing has never been better: casually elegant and delightfully naughty, she makes it all look so effortless. I’m already giddy at the thought – if I can still count properly – that there should be two more books in this series! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Ryder Davis was anticipating quiet times to make sure his ankle problem would be taken care of, but that’s when the coach’s daughter rang his doorbell and begs him to take care of a dog for a short while. A gigantic Great Dane. Just for a few days, she said. Tiny is very well-behaved, she said. What choice did Ryder have? How could he refuse his coach’s daughter? And, well, in a matter of hours, Ryder is waiting at the Animal Rescue Centre, begging for help, namely dog obedience classes for Tiny. And a gorgeous, blonde angel answers his call: Juliet Morgan. The Sydney Smoke Rugby series is nothing short of amazing, and within a couple of pages and knowing Amy Andrews, I knew PLAYING WITH FOREVER would be spectacular. I was laughing myself silly at the dog’s antics, or rather Ryder’s woes. Juliet doesn’t know a thing about rugby nor that Ryder is a star, and they click right away. Juliet is all for a little no-commitment sex with a handsome chap, which will be a fun distraction for the two months before she leaves for Italy. My darlings, I cannot recall two characters who have such blistering chemistry! It’s a wonder I did not see sparks coming out of my ereader! There is a lot of sex in PLAYING WITH FOREVER; incandescent, sizzling, jaw-dropping sex, that is fun, joyful and playful. I am know to skip lines here and there when it comes to sex scenes, but not when it comes to Ms. Andrews, and certainly not with this book. This woman writes sex scenes as if she invented them! Also, I would not advise reading this book in public, because, well, do it at your own risk. But there is also so much more than mind-blowing sex in PLAYING WITH FOREVER. I loved Ryder and Juliet; they are free, young, sympathetic, genuine, and just adorable. Ryder is definitely a candidate for book boyfriend of the year. There is the expected fabulous banter between the Smoke teammates, and the exchanges between Ryder and Juliet are just as wonderful. Amy Andrews is a supremely talented writer, so witty, bawdy, and clever, and I think her writing has never been better: casually elegant and delightfully naughty, she makes it all look so effortless. I’m already giddy at the thought – if I can still count properly – that there should be two more books in this series! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 STARS! Sizzling attraction flares the moment their eyes meet for the first time ... and takes us on a wild ride of passionate encounters, tender moments and dreams of somehow there being a happily ever after for them! I adored Ryder from the start. He's a fun-loving guy, but has such a kind heart. Juliet on the other-hand, I would have liked to have smacked a few times. :) I enjoyed them together, but I wanted her to appreciate what was in front of her eyes more. Loved the book! Sydney Smoke Rugby player Ryder Davis is living the life. He had to leave his beloved family farm in the outback to do it, but he's loving living on the beach and playing the best rugby of his life with his bunch of rowdy pals! What he's not ready for is having a huge dog with a mind of his own thrust upon him ... he needs help, fast! Juliet Morgan happens to be at the desk of his local animal rescue when he pops in to see if they have any tips on how he can stop this dog from tearing his house apart one room at a time. She's gorgeous and returns his sexy flirting with welcoming smiles and promises of a good time twinkling in her eyes. She's not out for anything but a good time right now because no relationship is going to hold her back from living her dream when she moves to Italy in a couple of months!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic sexy fun read! A hot rugby player, a beast of a dog named Tiny that stole the story, and the sexy little dog trainer that stole both their hearts made for one great story. Ryder and Juliet had great chemistry and the two characters worked amazingly well together. Once I started this one I couldn't put it down. And with the others in this series, the Aussie glossary that is included is almost as much fun as the story itself. Definitely a book I'm recommending.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
WOW! Steamy – HOT – Wonderful – A True Delight! Ryder Davis is a rugby player – but oh so much more! He is a cowboy, a brother, a son, a friend, a people person, dominant on and off the filled and skilled in both arenas, too. He knows what he wants and he wants… Juliet Morgan – she is into fine arts BUT working temporarily at a dog shelter when he walks in and is blown away by everything about her. He signs up for a puppy training class hoping it will assist him in dealing with the dog sitting he is doing BUT he also hopes it will get him closer to Juliet. …and BOY did he get closer to Juliet! I loved the way Ryder and Juliet talked, teased, tantalized and tormented one another only to then completely satisfy one another without any inhibitions. Two strong characters that knew what they wanted and were more than able to verbalize their needs…Whew! Juliet is leaving in eight weeks for Italy. Ryder is busy playing Rugby. With an expiration date on their relationship it can only be physical – right? BUT what if you meet the right person at the wrong time? Do you stick with your dreams or create new ones? I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking for more books by this author. Her writing resonates with me. Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for the ARC – this is my honest review.
BananaTricky More than 1 year ago
DNF at 63%. I tried twice to read this book but it just didn't work for me, not even a cute dog could keep my interest and I'm not sure why. Amy's Sydney Smoke series has been a bit hit and miss for me - two I loved and two I didn't like at all, sadly this falls into the latter category. Ryder Davis is an Australian rugby player for the Sydney Smokes. Rich, good-looking and a national hero he has no problems attracting women. When the coach's daughter calls in a favour he is stuck dog-sitting the world's largest, and worst-trained, puppy. Juliet Morgan is temping at the Dog Centre until she can afford to fulfill her dreams of living in Italy, just like she promised her mother before she died. When a hot guy arrives looking for dog obedience classes she is happy to assist, but she won't let him derail her dreams of travelling, been there and done that before. And honestly, that's all I've got at nearly two-thirds through the book Juliet and Ryder have progressed to a short-term friends with benefits arrangement and that's about it. My gripe would be too much sex and just not enough plot. Actually, I've just realised that this is published by Entangled Brazen - the cover made me suspicious - that makes soooo much sense because that is my general complaint about the entire imprint. So my bad for complaining about what is more a feature of the publisher. Anyway, I couldn't see this going anywhere so I gave up. I still love Amy Andrews' writing but I will definitely check the publishing imprint before I request. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Linda__ More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, but it was kind of mixed bag for me. It felt like the first half of the book was all sex and very little story. I've literally read erotica books with less sex than was in this novel. After the halfway point, the book developed a bit more substance with it's plot. I've loved every prior book in this series and normally love the author's work, but for me, I'd give this one 3.5 stars (thus rounding up to 4). Having said that, fans of the author and this series will want to read this novel. The author is on my must read authors' list.
MBurton More than 1 year ago
It seems rare to find books where the Hero is all in and the heroine is the one resisting. Because of that, I usually enjoy these stories more. I loved that even though Ryder never really saw him self settling down with one woman for long, he recognized that Juliet was different. I loved this quote that Ryder explains to Juliet as to how he knows he loves her. "When you've been with a lot of women, you know when one is different, Juliet." It's not exactly romantic but it gets the point across. Unfortunately, Juliet has trust issues due to a past boyfriend using her, causing her to set her dreams aside for him. She doesn't want to make the same mistake twice, so Ryder had his work cut out for him to convince her he was different. On a side note, I love when an author has a dog in a story that is just as good as a side character. This has been a great series and I look forward to more. ARC provided by NetGalley.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
The dog is the star and the romance plays a close second in this immensely entertaining, laughably tempting, hard to put down romance. The sports star with the sexy physique and his pick of women is brought down to size by a mischievous pooch and a slip of a woman with big dreams and a talent for dog whispering. Playing With Forever is every woman's dream. To find a guy that may not be perfect, but is willing to take a chance all in the name of love.