The Redhead Plays Her Hand (Redhead Series #3)by Alice Clayton
Grace’s star is on the rise with a new TV series, but then the director asks her to lose fifteen pounds. When she goes public with her struggles with weight, she suddenly develops a huge fan club of people who are happy to see a curvy actress speak up, and she becomes a flashpoint in society’s ongoing conversation about what’s beautiful and what Hollywood’s responsibility is to portray women of all shapes and sizes.
Meanwhile, Jack is voted the Sexiest Man Alive and becomes a little too enamored with the star lifestyle. But while he can have anything he wants, he can’t have the one thing he really needs: a public relationship with Grace, which his manager says will hurt his career. When Jack begins to spiral downward into parties, booze, and Hollywood brat behavior, it’s time for Grace to set him straight—and maybe dare to walk the red carpet together, hand in hand.
Read an Excerpt
Redhead Plays Her Hand
No, I can’t do this.”
“You have to do this. You promised you’d try.”
“I know what I said, but now that it’s time, I’m too nervous.”
“A promise is a promise.”
“You can’t make me do something I don’t want to, you know . . .”
“Okay, we’re going to try this again . . . We can go as slow as you need. Ready, love?”
“Jesus, I guess . . . I still can’t believe I agreed to this . . . This hurts so much.”
“You’ll feel better once we get going, I promise.”
I closed my eyes, took a breath, opened them once more, and nodded. His eyes met mine in the mirror, and he grinned that grin he knew always won me over.
I dug my hands into his hair, running my fingers through the silky curls and scratching at his scalp. I blinked back tears. I lifted a chunk straight up, picked up the scissors . . . and cut.
And cut some more.
He kept encouraging me because he wanted it short.
When he’d first asked me to cut his hair, I’d refused. I told him no way. He reminded me that if he got this done at a salon, it would be on Twitter within minutes, and the paparazzi would surround the place.
“But I love your curls. I need your curls! Please don’t make me cut it. I-I-I’ll do anything!” I begged, kneeling at his feet dramatically. We may have been in the shower at the time.
“Would you not make such a big deal about this? But as long as you’re down there . . .” He grinned, and I stood up immediately.
“Hell no. You cut that hair, and you can wave good-bye to any kind of oral action. Your Mr. Hamilton will not be very happy about that,” I threatened, picking up the shower gel. The scent of coconuts filled the air.
“Bollocks, I can play that game too. You want to go without? I can remove certain things from the menu as well.”
You can’t let him take that off the menu . . .
Dammit. He had me. A day without oral is simply a day not worth living.
So here we were, in the guest bathroom, inches and inches of glorious shaggy blond hair on the floor around us, as his grin got bigger and bigger.
And my frown got, well, frownier and frownier.
By the time he felt I had butchered it successfully, I was almost in a full-on meltdown.
“Jesus, George, I ruined it!”
It was sticking up in places, flat in others, and just generally a disaster area. It looked like a five-year-old had cut it.
“Hmm, it does have a sort of whacked look to it, doesn’t it, love?” He laughed, running his hands through it, throwing an errant curl to the floor.
“I may vomit,” I whined, setting down the scissors.
“Come on, Crazy, finish it.” He pressed the clippers into my hand.
Clippers? “Finish it?”
“How many grunts do you know without a buzz cut?” he asked, trying on his new southern accent. Alabama by way of London, interesting combo.
“When you said you needed to get ready for this movie, I had no idea I was going to have to bear the brunt of it.” I sighed and picked up the clippers after he adjusted the setting. He’d dialed it way down. This was gonna be short.
“How exactly are you bearing the brunt of this?” he asked, pulling me between his legs as I stood before him.
“I’m the one who has to look at you, Sweet Nuts.” I winked.
“Buzz me,” he commanded, eyes twinkling.
I buzzed away. As the hair continued to fall, we talked about our schedules, all the changes that were to come.
Jack’s name was on every woman’s lips across the world, in every woman’s dreams, and on every casting director’s hot list. Holly, my best friend and Jack’s agent as well as mine, had been flooded with offers. Directors, producers, talk-show hosts—everyone wanted a piece of him.
And I had a piece of him. Frequently.
Before the success of Time, a movie based on a series of popular erotic short stories that had been released this past fall, Jack Hamilton had been your average, ordinary British-guy-about-Hollywood. At only twenty-four, he had been in a few small, independent films and acted a bit in repertory theater, but once he was cast as Joshua, the Super Sexy Scientist Guy who traveled through time, seducing women across the centuries, his life changed. He was now one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood, and Holly was determined that he would not just be another flash in the pan.
Holly Newman was a great friend and a great agent. She had a killer instinct and was known for finding new talent. She had carefully crafted the careers of several of the most respected actors currently working, and she was poised to do the same for Jack. Declining several big-budget action films, she now guided Jack to a smaller film: a gritty, documentary-style picture about soldiers in Afghanistan. Jack could easily have headlined a huge summer blockbuster, but instead he chose to work in an ensemble cast, where the story was important.
And what was really important right now was shaving his head. He was a young soldier from Alabama, and he needed to look the part. Sigh.
“Did you just sigh, Grace?”
“I did.” I took one last pass with the clippers and smoothed my hand over his shorn scalp.
“Is it really that bad?” he asked, nerves flitting over his face.
I smiled and scratched at his head. He leaned into it, just as he always had, and I looked carefully at him. The green eyes were the same, beginning to darken just the tiniest bit as my hand stroked the back of his neck. His hands tightened on my hips, drawing me close again. His hair was gone, but the heat was still there. In fact, his features seemed even stronger now. Cheekbones, jaw, everything even more chiseled, and his two days’ worth of scruff even sexier than usual. His tongue dipped out of his mouth just so, teeth then nibbling on that lower lip in the way he knew would evoke a response.
“I have to admit, now that I can truly appreciate it, it’s kind of . . . hmmm,” I ventured.
“Kind of . . .”
“Sexy. Really?” His thumbs traced a tiny pattern along the skin just above my drawstring. Which he was now tugging on.
“Yes, yes, it’s true. Even with my butchering your hair, you’re still the sexiest man in America.” I sighed again, this time in a different way, as his thumbs fumbled apart the buttons on my shirt.
“Only America?” He laughed, his newly cropped fuzzy head tickling at the skin below my jaw as he nuzzled into my neck.
“You’re pushing it, George,” I warned, my stern voice giving way to giggles that broke free as he pushed me up against the bathroom door.
“Only America?” he insisted, raising my hands and holding them over my head.
“Okay, the Americas. North and South combined.” I bumped my hips into his as he pressed into me.
“Speaking of south,” he breathed into my ear, one hand slipping slowly beneath my . . .
“Who the hell is that?” he muttered, keeping me pushed against the door, hand continuing its path toward my . . .
Ding dong. Ding dong.
“It might be Michael. He said he might stop by tonight.” I slid out from in between Jack’s body and the door and looked at myself in the mirror. Rumpled, flushed, happy.
“Bloody Michael,” he grumbled, grabbing for me as I made for the door.
“Bloody nothing. You two are friends now. Behave yourself.” I laughed, dancing away from his grab as I headed out into the hallway and toward the front door.
“Finishing this later!” he called after me, and my heart skipped a little.
“I’ll hold you to that,” I called back, thinking of all the ways he could and would finish this. And how I would most certainly let him. Since Jack and I had started seeing each other last year, the chemistry between us had been and remained off the charts. He’d finish it. He’d finish me right off a cliff.
I laughed as I heard him groan, knowing he was adjusting himself not so discreetly now. I straightened myself up a bit, then opened the door to see my friend Michael smiling back at me.
“Sure took you long enough,” he chided.
“I was detained.” I gestured for him to come in as he looked at my feet and laughed.
“You look like the missing link. Something you want to tell me?” He pointed down.
I looked and noticed I had clumps of Jack’s hair between my polished toes.
“Ah, well, haircut gone bad,” I explained, waving him inside as I went to the kitchen to get a broom. I had left a trail.
“Haircut gone great, you mean,” Jack corrected, coming into the kitchen and running his hand over his head.
“Wow, what happened to you?” Michael chuckled, brown eyes full of mischief.
Michael and I had gone to college with Holly and had been friends for years. Well, we had been friends, until a one-night stand clouded everything that had been good and made it ugly. We didn’t speak for years, and then through a series of coincidences, he ended up casting me in his new musical a few months ago. This time another near miss of a one-night stand had almost ruined everything, but we came to our senses and remained great friends.
And more. While the musical we had worked on together in New York didn’t go anywhere, there was enough interest in the project to keep it alive in a new way. Right after the holidays we found out that there was a production company interested in developing it into a TV show. In the vein of HBO and Showtime, Venue was the new cable channel everyone was watching. Edgy comedies, dark dramas—their TV lineup was making a lot of waves. We brought a few of the original cast in from New York, shot a quick pilot, and Venue bought it. And they were putting Michael’s new show right in the middle of their fall lineup.
Michael’s original concept was a traditional musical, with a modern twist. Staged workshop style, we had worked with a live band. Now the story of Mabel, an aging beauty queen going through a divorce and redefining her life on her own terms, was set against the backdrop of Los Angeles—a perfect town for reflecting back the warped way our culture views women and aging. The show was now a cross between Glee, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Sex and the City. It was witty, it was sexy, and I was the star. Wait, I was the star?
Yes, Grace, you are the star.
I shook my head to clear it, still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
“You got water in your ear, love?” Jack asked me, watching me shake my head.
“Shut it, you,” I warned as he gave my behind a pat on his way to the fridge. I settled on a bar stool and watched two of my favorite people in the world circle each other. It was true: they were friends now but tentatively. Jack knew Michael and I had almost, well, almost while I was in New York. And while Michael and I were friends and only friends, I knew it was tough for Jack. But true to form, he was more of a grown-up than I was, even nine years my junior. And they were now easing into this weird guy friendship.
“No seriously, man, what’s with the skin?” Michael asked again, catching the beer Jack threw at him. Without asking. Again, weird guy thing.
“Movie. I start shooting next week. Couldn’t put it off any longer,” Jack explained, taking a long pull on his beer.
“That’s right, the new Daniel Richards picture. Afghanistan? There’s some great buzz about that already. A writer friend of mine consulted on it. Looks like it’s gonna be intense. You’re shooting out in the Mojave, right?”
“Yeah, we’re doing some here, then out to the desert. Should be a good time.” Jack smiled, tipping back his bottle and draining it. Grabbing another from the fridge, he sat down on the bar stool across from me, still rubbing his head absently.
“What’s a good time?” I heard a new voice from the hall chime in, with heels clicking on the floor. My other favorite person in the world.
Holly came into the kitchen, appraised the crew assembled, and sighed dramatically. She nodded to me. “Asshead,”
“Dillweed.” I nodded back, pointing to the bottle of vodka I had removed from the freezer and raising an eyebrow in her direction.
“Yes. God, yes. You would not believe the day I had. I hate this town! Remind me never to work with anyone who used to be on the CW ever again,” she cried.
I busied myself making dirty martinis. Holly pulled herself onto the counter, kicked off her heels, and put her feet in Michael’s lap, pointing at them.
“Rub. And you, Buzzy, get behind me. Work on these shoulders,” she instructed, gesturing Jack over. With a grin he obliged, and Michael’s surprised face gave over to sheepish as he began working on Holly’s heels. Stacked like a porn star, Holly’s natural good looks tended to make all men a little gooey around her, present company included. I handed her the cocktail, grimacing as she sucked it back quickly, presenting me with an empty glass.
“Seriously, fruitcake, it was a dilly of a day. I’m gonna need a double. And harder, please, Michael.” She moaned as he hit a spot in the middle of her instep. I laughed as she began to tell us about her day, and I made her another cocktail. I caught Jack’s eye over Holly’s shoulder, and he winked at me.
Life was good.
An impromptu dinner party ensued, and after dinner was over, we all ended up on the cushiony chairs in the backyard. Winter in Los Angeles was chilly at nighttime, at least enough that the cashmere throws I brought out were necessary. Snuggled into a large love seat, Jack played with my hair as we laughed and chatted with our friends. Strings of white lights dotted the fig and plum trees out back, and the potted lemon trees that framed the patio threw off their fragrance into the night. I leaned into Jack’s warmth, his breath heady and thick with brandy as he and Holly went back and forth about his shooting schedule. He’d be leaving in a few weeks, but this was different from when we’d been apart in the past. This time I got to stay here, in my home that I’d worked so hard on and barely gotten to enjoy before heading off to New York. Now I was able to work where I lived, and I relished my surroundings.
I had created a space for myself exactly the way I wanted. Built into the hillsides of Los Angeles there were certainly bigger and grander homes, but my Laurel Canyon bungalow was exactly what I wanted. And having Jack move into it with me? Well, that made it all the more homey.
As Holly and Jack got louder and louder, trying to hammer down some interview she had planned for him, I leaned across to Michael.
“You still looking to rent a new place?”
“Yep, the corporate housing has been fine, but now that I’m setting down some roots I think I want something a bit more distinct. This agent I have, though, is showing me all these rentals on Wilshire—in the corridor, all those high-rises. They’re great, but I just left New York. I’d like something a little closer to the ground.”
“I can see that. Roots, hmm . . . Do you want to buy? Great time to buy,” I prodded.
“Not quite that rooty. I still want to rent. I want rental roots,” he answered, causing Holly to stop midstream in her conversation with Jack.
“I’ve got a great rental agent. I’ll have her send over some listings. You want a house? Pool? Standard L.A. bachelor pad?”
“House, yes. Pool, perhaps. Bachelor pad, no. No neon.” He grinned.
“I can totally find you that. I’ll go with you to look at houses next week if you want,” she offered, sipping at her brandy.
“That’d be great. You sure you have time?”
I snuggled closer to Jack.
“Of course. I can take an afternoon off. The business will still be there. And speaking of business, Jack, we need to talk about—”
“Holly, don’t you ever quit? Enough for tonight, okay?” Jack snapped, surprising us all. We turned to look at him as he ran his hands through his nonexistent hair. He sighed, then gulped the rest of his brandy. With heavy eyes, he looked at Holly.
“Sorry. I think I’m just tired,” he muttered, eyes falling back down to his glass.
“No worries, Jack. We can talk tomorrow. Call me in the morning?” she asked, pushing herself out of her chair with a quick glance at me.
I shrugged my shoulders and stood as well. “You’re leaving?”
“I should get going—early meeting tomorrow with some kid with three names. When did everyone decide to name their children with such long names? If I see one more Noah Jonathan Blahblah I will lose my mind. Truly,” she exclaimed, pulling Michael out of his chair. “Come on, you can walk me to my car.”
“Okay, sure, yeah, of course. Um . . . ’night, Grace! See you later, Jack,” Michael called back over his shoulder as they made their way into the house.
“’Night,” Jack said, wrapping the blanket more firmly around himself. I waved at the two of them, then turned to stand in front of him.
“You okay?” I asked, taking his empty glass and setting it down on the table. I was pulled quickly into his lap, his strong arms wrapping around me suddenly and completely. I was pressed against him, his body caging me in, close to him.
“Sometimes, I swear, she just doesn’t know when to quit!” he exclaimed, sighing into my neck as he clutched me closer.
“She’s just doing her job, Sweet Nuts. Don’t take it personally.” I snuggled further into his arms.
“How can I not take it personally? It’s my life she’s managing, not just my career. I just— Fucking hell, I don’t know.”
“Hey, hey. I know, shush,” I soothed, scratching his scalp and feeling him relax into me. His brandy breath was heavy around us, and I was reminded once again of how young he truly was. No one could possibly have prepared him for the life and all its trimmings that had been thrust upon him when he took his defining role. He held up remarkably well, all things considered.
We quietly rocked for a moment, the canyon still and quiet around us.
“Hey, did I tell you the good news?”
“What’s that, Crazy?” he asked, his lips tickling now at the edge of my shirt. Apparently he had rallied.
“I get my own trailer! Can you believe that?”
“Of course you get your own trailer. You’re the star of the show, love,” he reminded me.
That still did not seem real to me.
“Listen, it’s a pretty big deal. Not all of us are big film stars,” I reminded him, settling more firmly on his lap.
“Now when you say big, what exactly were you referring to?” he asked, gently but firmly thrusting up against me.
“Oh, please.” I laughed as he buried his face into my neck, blowing brandy-scented raspberries.
“I’m proud of you,” he whispered, his hands now roaming freely across my back, familiar yet still very much capable of making me shiver. “Are you cold?”
“No, George, I’m all kinds of warm,” I breathed into his ear, shivering once more as he literally swept me off my feet and inside to our bed.
Meet the Author
Alice Clayton worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read: laptop). She enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her. And she finally got her Bernese Mountain Dog.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I loved the previous two books but this one did not reach the mark. I found Grace a little abnoxious at times, got tired of her bubble-head behavior. And Jack, who got me interested before because he could be more mature than her despite their 9 years age difference, became a frat boy. The plot was not too solid and scenes were quite repetitive. The end was the best but getting there was the problem.
The Redhead Plays Her Hand. Alice Clayton Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews. I loved the first two Redhead books, but its some months and several hundred books since I read them, so a re read was in order to bring me back to Grace and Jacks world. I could have dived straight in, but I think re reading made me appreciate the story so much better. Ah Jack – I fell in love with him all over again. Grace – I could empathise with her so much, she's older than Jack, only nine years but the media have been making much of that, and of course she's had such a lot to overcome to get where she is, and that kind of knock to her confidence brings back all her own fears about herself and her history and about Jack.... She's been a huge success in the Mabel Unstable play, and its now being turned for TV with her keeping the lead role. The producers though are adamant that she lose weight, and that’s tough as she's not overweight, but the media mania for stick insects persists. Add to that the ageist comments that make her out to be a cougar, and she's feeling under pressure again – and who could blame her....and Jack seems to be having his own crisis, friends with a co star “bad boy” he seems to be out on the town all the while he's away from Grace. Is the Hollywood lifestyle becoming too much for him to handle? There's pressures between him and Grace and him and manager Holly, and with her still forbidding him to be seen out publicly with Grace its creating some intense friction between them all. Its a fabulous read, after all the heartbreak of book two when Grace has her meltdown this time its Jack feeling the pressure and its a very emotional read wondering if Grace and George will get their happy ending....and when things go wrong there's pages and pages of sadness, lots of emotion, lots of misery for me to wallow in :) – and that makes all the difference as once things begin to look up its like climbing out of a deep hole. I love authors that can write this deep, intense emotion into a romance, I don't want sweet and light, everything bland and boring, I want overwhelming highs and lows, and to feel lost in the characters emotions. And of course the media frenzy about Grace' age – the other way round and its “way to go man” - but older woman, and she's written off as some media hungry cougar hanging on the coattails – sad isn't it, and the book writes it exactly as we see it played out in real life. Ditto Grace' weight - we've an obsession about females and image and yet men don't have all that to put up with, grey for them is distinguished not ageing, weight gain – they're not fatties, tubby, overweight, any of the labels women get but... well, they just “fill out a suit well”. Then there's wrinkles , on a women she's ageing, in need of facelift/botox but for a man – just adds character...so annoying and this book takes all that and that's what makes the plot and people come alive for me. Fabulous ending too – ties up the trilogy brilliantly. Stars: five – fabulous novel. . NB: ARC supplied via Netgalley
I love this series but i dort of expected better because her other books were better than this.
I laughed, I cried with Grace and wanted to shake Jack very very hard....yup it was awesome! Loved these two characters....
You will laugh out loud in parts of her books - excellent.
Just loved this series Grace is beautiful however Jack is Hot!!!!
The latest Red Head book does not disappoint. I was a bit apprehensive to read this story after I read the brief description. It appears like the Red Head and her Brit may be another casualty in Hollywood. I love Grace and Jack and even though I know they are fictional characters, in my mind they are living happily ever after with red head kids in tow. What does a woman do when the man she loves appears to be spiraling out of control? Throw in that he is almost a decade younger and the new “it boy” in Hollywood and complicated doesn’t even begin to describe the situation. This book has Grace acting like a grown up and trying to navigate her relationship, her blossoming career, and the unfair stereotypes placed on an actress in Hollywood. She doesn’t constantly freak out or meltdown when things get tough. She is more secure in her relationship and with her body. Grace truly comes full circle as an actress and a woman. There are a lot of steamy scenes, triumphs and a little heart break in this latest installment, but I loved this book as much if not more than the first two
I couldn't put this book down. I read the first two awhile ago and thought it might be hard to get back into but it wasn't at all. Very well written with a great story line and of course unbelievable chemistry between George and Gracie.
Just okay but the ending was soo very sweet!
This book is well written and very funny. I loved the series and hoping for maybe a 4th book.
Too short. Yep, I bravely believe that with all the drama and meltdowns we needed a few months longer in the happy Jack and Grace world. And Alice Clayton is so talented I hope in time she revisits their world. Especially since Grace had a few weeks in book 2 of thinking she just might want a child of he own....it would be halarious on so many levels. Too littlle pages on the last locaion...but that's Alice's fault because the first few beach scenes were the best ever I have read. Higly recommend the author and hope she keeps adding great characters with deepth and humor--and continues to breakdown the age/ weigh steriotypes we have had to endure. Thank God for Alice Clayton...she proves that humor is as important as dialogue, character develeopment, and fabulous secndary "chaacters". I feel blessed every timeI visit Grace, Jack and company
All I have to ask is there going to be another? I hope so, because I love, love, love her books and I love the characters in this series. I love the message it sends about going after your dreams and that it is never too mate for anything.
Just adorable....Alice Clayton has done it again....Please give us more or George and Gracie!
I've been anxiously waiting for this book for some time. I've been a fan of Alice Clayton long before she was finally given the recognition she deserved from the big six! But, I admit I was also hesitant. Would my beloved characters have changed to please the big guys? Rest assured, they may go through some turmoils but Grace and Jack are still just as sweet as ever. I've seen some knocks against Grace in a few reviews. Maybe it's because they don't identify with the way Grace reacted to her situations. She's new to Hollywood and I imagine that's incredibly difficult to be faced with the pressure becoming famous entails. Especially when she's attached to not only the "golden boy" of Hollywood, but also the newest it show of Television. She's not your typical star and she hasn't grow a backbone yet when it comes to how all those people might play her. I'm sure we all think that we someone tells us to lose weight in underhanded ways, we would tell them to get bent. But, the truth is, I'm not sure we would. Most have the drive to succeed, and if acting was our chosen dream, we would do anything to keep it. More especially, I understood Grace's reactions to Jack. I may not have liked him much in this book, but I thought he was true to character. We've all seen how Hollywood can strip young actors down to nothing. Now, it's a book and Clayton could have chose to have Jack be better than that. But, in all reality I think showing the weakness was better. Now maybe Grace could have walked away and decided Jack wasn't worth it. But, sometimes it's harder than one thinks. Even if it's the best thing for us in so many ways. I identified with it because in all reality I've been in that relationship that all it would have took was one "I'm Sorry." Is it the right decision? Only time can tell. The only difference for me was this book seemed a lot lighter on the sex than previous books and more on the actual dynamics of their relationship. It's not all about what happens in the bedroom!
First impression: I adored the first two books in the series, but I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about this one. I do love the new covers of the series. The story: Throughout this series, Grace and Jack have had their struggles. They're both in the entertainment industry, there's an age difference and they've had to be apart for long periods of time. But, they've somehow made it through and always with a sense of humor. In this book, their relationship starts off on solid ground, but the newest set of obstacles heads their way. The biggest challenge they face is that they've both become famous and they're still trying to hide their relationship from the public. The struggle to balance their fame and their love was harder than they thought it would be. I certainly had panicky moments when I wasn't sure if they could pull it together! The characters: I have always loved both Jack and Grace. Grace is the kind of girl I would love to be friends with. She has flare, but she's also very real. I was happy for her in this book, that she finally achieved some success in her career. I was also happy to see that in the end, she stayed true to herself. She also had to make some tough decisions regarding her relationship with Jack that I thought were commendable. I can't believe I'm actually going to say this, but Jack hurt my heart a bit in this book. His level of fame really got to him and he began making some questionable choices. He had moments of sweetness, but he just wasn't the same Jack I had originally fallen for. It makes me so sad to say that. What didn't work for me: I was a bit surprised that this book lacked a bit of the humor I had fallen in love with in the first two. There just wasn't much witty banter between them. And their sexy scenes lacked a bit of their magic. I also found myself a bit irritated with the press releases. I don't mind a few here and there, but there were chapters that were taken over by press releases. I wanted more of Grace and Jack. I didn't want to see their relationship playing out in press releases and that's how it felt to me. As I mentioned above, I was upset with the change in Jack's character. It just seemed like such a drastic change and it was hard to adjust. I understand that a dramatic element was needed, but it hurt to see a character I loved so much making horrible choices. Overall: Even with the things that bothered me, I did enjoy it. I'm so happy that I found this series a few years ago. It truly is one of my favorites and I was pleased with how it wrapped up in the end. If you like sassy, funny and sexy romances, check out this series! Favorite Quotes: ~It's amazing how quickly you could get used to looking behind you when you were moving forward.-pg 24 ~I forced my eyes back to the breakfast and away from the accidental erotica that was playing out on the other side of the bed. I brought over the tray, sitting cross-legged opposite him, keeping the tray between us. I knew him. If I were next to him, the tray would go flying.-pg 121 ~Slipping out of my panties faster than you could say "Get it," I crawled back up his body, straddling his hips as he grabbed my curves and guided me down onto him. Jack. Inside. Perfect.-pg 273
Jack and Grace are back again in the third Redhead novel, THE REDHEAD PLAYS HER HAND. The play Grace starred in has been optioned for television and she’s going to be the lead again. Excited beyond belief, she wants nothing more than to celebrate with her (secret) boyfriend, actor Jack Hamilton. Yet she’s besieged with haters who pick her apart because she “may” be dating Jack, paparazzi who don’t know when enough is enough, and a director who decided she needs to look like Kate Moss. Jack, on the other hand, is busy with his new party-boy life and turning into a major jerk – publicly and privately. What happened to our loving Jack and Grace? Can they find them again or is the pressure going to be too much for another Hollywood couple? THE REDHEAD PLAYS HER HAND was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I felt for Grace with the tabloids, paparazzi, and everyone else speculating on her weight and her relationships. I was definitely inspired when she finally figured that she was healthy and proportional for her body type. I see all these people using social media or trying to get on “reality TV” to have their 15 minutes of fame, but to me it doesn’t seem like it’s all it’s cracked up to be. I spent most of the book shaking my head at Jack’s antics, general jerkiness, and lack of impulse control. I wasn’t sure Jack and Grace could get through the major bumps in the road together this time. However, the author managed to bring everything back into their proper places by the end. THE REDHEAD PLAYS HER HAND wasn’t my favorite in the Redhead series, but it was still a solid story about people dealing with real problems and finding the best path for themselves.
The Redhead Plays Her Hand is the third book in the Redhead series by Alice Clayton. In Clayton's first novel of the Redhead series, we are introduced to feisty Grace and irresistible Jack. In the second book of the series, Grace and Jack learned how to hide away from the world. In this third installment, the couple is coming into their own independently and together. The director of Grace's TV series asks Grace to lose fifteen pounds. Curvy Grace speaks up about her struggles with weight and demands of how a Hollywood actress should look. Meanwhile, Jack is voted the Sexiest Man of the Year. But the title means nothing; all Jack wants is to go public with his relationship with Grace. He starts a downward spiral, partying hard and with lots of booze. His actions tempt Grace to set him straight and walk the red carpet with her man. Alice Clayton's ability to write LOL dialogue and hilarious characters with sexual chemistry is unmatched. It is a treat to readers. Characters Jack and Grace are like the fun couple you love to hang with. I enjoyed this third installment as much as the first two books of the Redhead series. So much so, that I would love to see this couple on the big screen. If you like chick lit, this is a must-read series. Add it to your reading list and be prepared to laugh your curvy butt off. Literary Marie of Precision Reviews
I loved this book and the series. I wish there were more! I will be looking for the next Alice Clayton book!!