"Playing To Win" by Shelley Munro
Author's Book Description : Professional rugby player, Lane Gerrard is used to women throwing themselves at him, but a scurrilous tabloid article naming him as father of a child sends his temper soaring. The woman he confronts doesn’t fit the blackmailer profile. Kate Alexander is attractive with an enchanting innocence, enticing. A total stranger. Her feistiness draws his unwilling admiration, but the child...he is the image of Lane.
Kate can’t deny her son’s similarity to the sexy man at her door but no way will she hand him over without a fight. Kate doesn’t possess money but she can shower her son with love. With public speculation rife, Kate reluctantly works with Lane to discover the truth. They grow closer as distrust slowly turns to mutual fascination, but the tabloid articles bring out a stalker. Mild pranks escalate into danger, and suddenly Lane realizes Kate is a woman he could love. With Kate and her son, he could have a family. Now, with his heart on the line, this is one game he’s playing to win...
My Book Review : 2 out of 5 stars. This is an intriguing suspenseful romance. It's about a huge secret--finding out you had a child with a woman you don't know or don't remember--and trying to figure out how to deal with the consequences and rewards of learning this unsuspected news. Yet, once the "cat is out of the bag" the mother (Kate) finds that having her life on display in the tabloids starts bringing in some scary pranks that put her and her son's lives on the line. Will they be able to keep everyone safe while finding out the truth about what really happened?
This is a captivating novel in the way that no matter how much it dragged on for me I was interested in how it would end and what would happen between Kate, Lane, & their son. Together Kate & Lane just worked, especially when everything seemed to be going against them.
If I didn't feel like I had to push through this novel because of it dragging for me, then I would have given this a better rating. As I enjoyed the main characters & their friends, while the "enemy" always seemed to change for me. I kept trying to guess who the person doing the "pranks" was and--even though I wasn't completely surprised about who it was--I was shocked by the extremes she went through.
Nevertheless, I will admit not to enjoying how the reveal of Kate's son's paternity played out. For me ... if Lane didn't go from finding out (at the end of the novel) the real truth of things, then (in a way) acting like he was saying "oh yeah, now I remember and I did really like/love her," then running away from Kate, and then the following day try to make amends (in a big way) with no real explanation ... I would have also liked it better. =0/
Therefore, I would only recommend this to those who are big fans of Ms. Munro.
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Author's Novel Extras : Playing To Win - Overview & Excerpt | Behind the Scenes: Rugby’s the Game | Behind the Scenes: A Photo Essay for Playing to Win
Book Teaser(s) :
"Jamie," she called as she tugged off her coat.
Jamie appeared at the top of the stairs. "What?"
"We need to talk," she said. "I want you to feed Ratty and clean his cage then come downstairs to the kitchen." She sighed when her son didn't acknowledge her words but merely turned and stomped back to his room. Nicole should have had a girl, she thought. Then she remembered her own preteen and teenage years and a feeble laugh escaped. "Fool," she muttered. She'd still have problems, just a different set. ~ within Chapter 7
He smiled. "We're here to see Maxine."For more information on this book and/or any other books by Shelley, then please check out her website.
The nurse beamed in return, showing a cute set of dimples. "Wait in here," she said, directing them into a lounge full of oak antiques. "I'll go find Maxine for you."
Lane heard a distinct snort of disgust from Kate, the moment the nurse left. "What?" he asked.
"You know very well what I'm thinking. Did you see the extra wiggle of her hips? Your smile needs a license."
Interesting. Kate jealous? "You mean like licensed to kill?"
Kate groaned theatrically. "Please." ~ within Chapter 12