Donna Reads: The Player and the Pixie (Rugby Book 2) by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

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Sean Cassidy is a rugby player and a colossal jerk. He’s smoking hot, but he’s not a nice person. Lucy Fitzpatrick is the free-spirited sister of his teammate and arch nemesis, Ronan. Lucy has issues of her own. She grew up in her famous brother’s shadow, and she’s always felt like her mother is disappointed in her. When Sean sets his sights on Lucy, nothing good can come of it. Her hot-tempered brother will never accept them as a couple. 

I loved this book. Sean was the baddie in Book 1. He stole Ronan’s fiancée and was detestable. In Book 2, we learn what makes Sean the way he is. I love it when an awful character becomes understandable and thus likable. (This is what Denise Grover Swank should have done, but didn’t, with Blair in the second book of her wedding pact series). L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid turned the story so that you saw it from Sean’s eyes and I found myself actually disliking Ronan, the hero from the first book. I loved Sean, and Lucy was perfect for him. This story was funny and sexy and well worth the read. 

Donna Reads: The Hooker and the Hermit (Rugby, #1) by L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid 

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Ronan Fitzpatrick is an Irish rugby player (his position is the hooker). His image is in need of repair. He’s been sent to America to take some time off; he’s been suspended for putting one of his teammates in the hospital after the teammate slept with his girlfriend. Annie Catrel is a New Yorker, and an introvert who works for a public relations firm from home. She’s a social media genius who visits the office infrequently. Annie is also a secret celebrity blogger, blogging as the Socialmedialite, a wildly popular and humorous online presence. Only while anonymous does Annie feel free enough to be herself. Ronan’s team sends him to the public relations firm to work on his image, and one of the firm’s ideas is to build him a positive online profile. While there, he bumps into Annie and is immediately interested in her. Annie is horrified when her boss pairs her up to work with Ronan. 

This was a good story about a guy who knew nothing about social media and a woman who knew too much. Annie spent so much time online her face-to-face social interactions were practically non-existent. There are reasons why Annie is the way she is, and her history is heartbreaking. Ronan was pretty patient with her. The back and forth between these two was the best part of the book. Ronan had a dirty mouth and delighted in making Annie blush. He continually pushed her out of her comfort zone while she spent a lot of time pushing him away. When she was in danger of losing him, she was forced to find a unique way to resolve their conflict. 

Donna Reads: The Player (The Wedding Pact, #2) by Denise Grover Swank

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This was a disappointing read. I loved the first book in the series. The heroine of book two, Blair, was awful in book one. I had high hopes the author would redeem her character when she starred in her own story in book two. It didn’t happen. Blair was so stupid. The hero, Garrett, was also stupid. Blair was marrying a man who was so obviously cheating on her and such a scumbag that he had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. She was willing to marry him even though she didn’t love him so she could make partner at her law firm. So dumb. The hero was such a bumbler. He was ineffective in legal proceedings, he was useless trying to win her back, and he handed the villain multiple tools to use against him. His nana had to come to the rescue and tell him what to do. What an idiot. I’m hoping book three is more like book one. If it’s like this one, it will be a DNF for me. 

Donna Reads: Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey, #2) by Sawyer Bennett

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Garrett Samuelson is a hockey player who enjoys a good time. He doesn’t take much besides hockey seriously. Olivia Case is a bit of a free spirit. She works for a flamboyantly gay florist who happens to be her best friend. Olivia is artistic and funny. She meets Garrett at a party, having been invited there by her cousin who happens to be engaged to Garrett’s teammate. Garrett hits on Olivia and doesn’t want to take no for an answer when she turns him down. Olivia has a secret that she doesn’t want to share. When Garrett pursues her, he wears her down, and they go out. Garrett is not known for longevity in dating, and Olivia is not sure she will be around long-term. She decides to live in the moment and grab all the happiness she can. 

I wasn’t sure I would care for this one given the main character’s less than hopeful cancer diagnosis. I also wasn’t wild about the opening scene with Garrett involved in a ménage a trois. Garrett does a rather fast about-face in terms of how he views relationships when he decides to pursue Olivia. When he walks in on her throwing up from her chemotherapy, she is forced to tell him about her illness. I liked how he was there for her and didn’t waver in his support. I didn’t like how she tried to push him away. I liked how characters from the first book in the series (Sutton and Alex) continued on in this one. I also enjoyed her best friend, Stevie. I especially liked the epilogue.