Saturday, September 19, 2015

Review: Playing It Close (London Legends #2) by Kat Latham

Book Blurb:

Where do you go to escape everything when you're one of the most famous rugby players in the world? For Liam Callaghan, that place is a remote lodge on Venezuela's Caribbean coast. Perfect, except he doesn't exactly want to be alone with his thoughts. Enter Tess Chambers, the ultimate distraction.

Still reeling from a professional disaster that's made her all but unemployable, Tess understands the desire to move through life as somebody else. So when instantly recognizable Liam uses a fake name, she runs with it and creates a temporary new identity of her own.

Their time spent together in paradise is idyllic but brief—after one passionate night, Liam wakes up to find Tess gone. Returning to London, he's shocked to learn she's taken a job with his team's new sponsor. As the Legends' captain, he'll have to not only figure out how to work with the one woman who ever left him wanting more, but also convince her that their feelings in the present mean more than any lies they've told in the past.

My Review:

From the beaches of Venezuela to the rugby pitch in London, Kat Latham took me on a romantic adventure in Playing It Close.  Smoothly written at a great pace, Playing It Close had all the elements that capture me in a romance...humor, heart ache, just the right amount of conflict, hope, love, great characters, and a great feeling in my heart.

Tess and Liam both just wanted to get away...away from 'real life', the spotlight and their troubles when they head to Venezuela separately.  Neither expects to find the perfect holiday romance and lose a little piece of their heart.  To Tess, it can only be a holiday fling...and when she sneaks off in the night, Liam is not sure he'll ever see her again.  Especially since neither of them were honest about who they really were.  Rugby, London, and Tess's new job bring them unexpectedly back together again.  Tess is determined to keep things professional, even if everything inside of her flares to life around Liam.  Liam is determined to have more with Tess.  After that brief time with her, he knows he wants more.  But lies of omission can take their toll and hurt them both.  Will those ruin what's just getting started?

Tess and Liam make a fantastic heroine and hero.  Tess is so realistic and easy to relate to!  It was easy to see her in my mind, to understand her, and feel what she felt.  I liked how she carried on, even through hurt and embarrassment, after the mess of her last job.  I liked how she was able to lose her inhibitions even if it was just on holiday pretending to be someone else.   She did what so many women would do!  I really like Liam also!  I liked how he was with Tess, how they were together.  He is a strong character in more ways than one...and so easy to picture in  my minds eye!  Tess and Liam are both still hurting, and seeing them come together again, the push and pull of the newly forming relationship was believable.  They both still had issues to work through, and I liked how they helped each other do this without even really realizing it.  The way they both react when all the truths come out was hard to read because I wanted these two together!  Seeing if they could work through it and how kept me intrigued.  Tess was very admirable!!

I loved all the secondary characters, but the ones who stand out the most for me are Charlie (Tess's cousin) and her Dad.  They were hilarious!  They kept the entertainment up for me, I just loved them.  As funny as they were, they also felt real...and beneath the jokes and unintentional embarrassing comments, they both had a lot of depth to them that shines through.  They are both an integral part of Playing It Close and added character and even more depth.

Playing It Close is a romance with so much more, it is a very well rounded book.  There is definite heat and chemistry between Liam and Tess, but that is just one aspect of the plot.

I loved the settings...both in Venezuela and London.  Kat paints a vivid picture of both places.  I could feel the water on me on the beach...but in London I could hear all the voices and accents.  I could smell the pitch, hear the crowds, and see the men!!  Kat made me feel like I was part of this world and it was a great time!

Playing It Close is book 2 in the London Legends series, but it can easily be read as a stand alone.  I'd recommend Playing It Close to any romance reader!

5/5 stars

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