Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Promise Me
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Julia Boyd has dated more than her share of jerks, and she’s done even pretending to like them. Putting her dating life on hold and focusing on her event planning career is a much safer bet for the blue-eyed blonde…until she meets her newest client.
Organizing the opening for an art gallery should be a breeze for Julia, but gallery owner Alex Holt is becoming very distracting. Tall and muscular with enough charisma and sexy dimples to make Julia swoon, Alex could be the perfect man. The two of them click immediately, creating enough witty banter to ignite sparks.
But just before flames of passion can erupt with Alex, Julia begins planning an engagement party…and learns the groom is Aiden, the man who broke her heart years ago. When Aiden admits that he still has feelings for Julia, everything changes. Should she seek shelter in the familiarity of the past, or should she risk everything on a brand-new love?
Lisette’s eyes dart to my hand as it’s flexing and tightening itself, before raising an eyebrow in defiance. “Don’t give me that look, Julia. You’ve just had a run of bad luck in the man department. Everybody goes through those once in their life before meeting their Prince Charming. But you need to actually get your ass out there to meet him and not lock yourself up in your house all weekend, doing God knows what.” She immediately crosses herself, as if what she just said implies that I’m skinning cats or some crazy shit like that, and that the power of prayer is going to absolve me somehow.
I clench my fist around the stress ball and roll my neck around like a prize fighter getting ready to do battle before I hear it crack. “First of all, I’ve been busy redecorating Sabrina’s old room.” This is such bullshit, although I have given it quite a lot of thought while watching an exorbitant amount of television. I can’t help it if I have to catch up on Jax Teller, but she doesn’t need to know this. “Secondly, do I need to remind you of the long list of losers that I’ve had the pleasure of dating over the last year?”
“It wasn’t that bad,” she says, dismissing me quickly, even though she damn well knows it totally was.
I chuck the stress ball onto my desk, and it lands smack-dab on my keyboard. A distressing amount of beeps sound off in the background while I stand up and plant my hands on my desk, ready to remind her of just how bad it really was.
“First, there was Jack, who told me he was into ‘alternative films,’ which really meant he liked to watch porn all day. Then there was Dave, who apparently thought I looked so much like his beloved ex-girlfriend that when we finally had sex he shouted her name when he came. Then there’s Ryan, who told me on our very first date that he didn’t have a bank account, had never filed taxes, and had worked on a drug farm. Let’s see, oh! Then there’s Vincent, who—”
“¡Por favor! Stop, I get it. You’ve had some bad luck.”
“Bad luck?” I say with a mocking laugh. “Bad luck is more like not winning the pick six by one number. Or when you get a flat tire. Or getting your period while you’re at the beach. This is so much worse than bad luck. This is just . . . Jesus , I don’t even know what you call this, but I sure as shit can tell you it’s not just bad luck!”
Lisette is trying to stifle her giggle fit by covering her plump, red -coated lips with her hand and looking everywhere but at me. Between her sputtering laughter, I sit down again and calmly pluck the stress ball off the keyboard and being to massage it, hoping that it will help me center my chi, or whatever you call that nonsense. After about ten seconds of squeezing it to death, I give up and throw it back onto my desk, where it lands with a loud thud, barely missing my coffee cup.
“You need to work on your aim,” Lisette says while still snickering.
“I need to work on a lot of things,” I mutter under my breath.
“Prince Charming is right around the corner, and when you least expect it, he’ll swoop in to save the day. Girl, I can just feel it. He’s coming.”
Playing it Safe is a spin-off of Barbie Bohrman’s debut Promise Me, featuring the wacky and love-able Julia and smoldering Alex. I have been anxiously awaiting their story for so long and it was worth the wait. Julia is one hell of a heroine. She’s hilarious, foul-mouthed, quirky and very much the kind of girl you want to be best friends with. In this day and age where good heroines are hard to come by, Julia really stands out as someone you are constantly rooting for. Especially when it comes to her finding Mr. Right.
“I want to meet someone who robs me of speech, makes my pulse race, and loves me beyond measure.”
After a string of horrible ex’s, Julia is very hesitant to start any sort of romance. But that all changes when Alex starts making his presence known. Sure they are somewhat friends that love to flirt and exchange sexually-charged banter, but Alex is finally attempting to make a move, or at least push Julia to. With friends pushing them together, a little liquid courage, and the white-hot chemistry between them, Julia and Alex start to embark on something special. But with the re-appearance of her ex-boyfriend, Aiden, and her overwhelming insecurities that resulted, Julie is left trying to decide if Alex could be the one or the one that breaks her.
“I feel it in his touch, his eyes, his words, and most importantly his actions. Because a guy can say just about anything, but it’s what he actually does that proves he means those words.”
Playing it Safe was everything I hoped for: hot, laugh-out-loud funny, and very sweet. I’ve had the biggest girl crush on Julia because there are so many qualities to her that remind me of myself and my friends. She’s far from perfect, constantly putting her foot in her mouth, and curses like a trucker, but there’s a vulnerability to her that is just so damn endearing. This is one of those books that leaves you feeling really light and happy. A perfect blend of friendship, romance, laughter and heart.