27 June 2013

ARC Review+BLOG TOUR: Playing For Keeps by Emma Hart

What they say: She's in love with him. He's trying not to love her. One night changes everything.

Aston Banks never meant to get close to Megan Harper – not even for that one night. Haunted by a childhood he refuses to face, he knew she could break through every wall he’d ever built and tear them down without even realizing she was doing it.

Betraying Braden by starting a relationship with Aston wasn’t on Megan’s to-do list, but the second she sees a glimpse of someone other than the arrogant ass she’s come to know, she can’t walk away.

Aston’s childhood is worse than Megan ever guessed, but as he tries and fails to push her away, it’s clear her love is stronger than the demons that cling to him every day. And now, because of it, he finally has to deal with what he’s buried deep down.

What he doesn’t want to face. What he’s fought against for so long. And they have to do it all without Braden finding out. Keeping a relationship secret has never been harder.

By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.
Find Emma online at: Blog / Facebook / Twitter

Playing for Keeps excerpt:

“You okay?”
I shake my head. “No. Every time. Every fucking time he brings her up. I thought he wouldn’t in front of you, but he did.”
“He has his own pain,” she says softly. “It doesn’t excuse it, but he does. He feels guilty for what happened to you – that he couldn’t stop it.”
My mind reels for a second and I look down at her. “He told you that?”
She nods, letting her hand drop from my back and standing in front of me. I stop.
“You’ve never let him tell you.” She reaches up and cups my face. “He hurts, too, Aston. You both hurt. It’s not something that will go away, but you can’t let it rule your lives. If you let pain rule you you’ll get lost in it.”
“What if I’m already lost?”
“You’re not lost. You’re hiding, but you’re not lost. I won’t let you get lost.”
I let my hands come up and rest on her back, pulling her into me. “What if there’s no map?”
“Then I’ll get lost with you,” she whispers. “I won’t let you let them win, Aston. I won’t let you get sucked in by those demons. I won’t let that happen. I care too much.”
And she does. I can hear it in her voice.
She wraps her arms around my neck, and I hold her to me tighter, our foreheads resting against each other.
“I’ll try, Megs,” I promise. “I can’t say I won’t, but as long as you’re here, I think I’ll be okay.”
“And you’ll talk to your Gramps? Just once?”
“I’ll think about it. How about we just focus on stopping me from getting lost for a bit?”
“You just need a place to aim for, that’s all. You need a place to go to.”
“Go on then.” I smile. “Give me a place.”
“Okay.” She pauses for a second, closing her eyes and chewing her lip.
“I’m waiting…” I tease her.
Her blue eyes open, shocking me with their vitality. “Aim for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
“I don’t need to aim for the sky. The only star I’ll ever need is standing right in front of me.” I brush my lips over hers. “Maybe the place I need to aim for is nowhere other than where I am right now.”
“Maybe I’d go with you wherever you ended up.”
“Maybe I’d never ask that of you.”
“Maybe you wouldn’t need to ask. Maybe you’ll never need to ask me for anything, because I’ll always be here.”
You can read the first chapter of Playing For Keeps on Emma's website!

Playing For Keeps Purchase Links:
I received an ARC of Playing For Keeps in exchange for an honest review!
What I say: I really enjoyed Playing For Keeps because it provided a great mixture of the hot and sexy I expected, but also some genuinely moving moments!

Playing For Keeps is told in split POV focusing on Megan and Aston. If you've read The Love Game (and if you haven't then you REALLY should), you'll remember Megan is Bray's lifelong best friend/little-sister figure and Aston is his man-whore Frat buddy!

Braden is extremely overprotective of Megan and has instigated a don't look and definitely don't touch policy when it comes to guys and her. The book begins with Megan making the most of Bray's absence by getting close to Aston. Reading the events unfolding from both Megan and Aston's POV worked really well because it helps to understand their blossoming relationship when you can literally see their thoughts.
Aston had far more depth to him than I expected and I have to admit his past was really sad (cue snivelling)! I really liked the introduction of Aston's Gramps; he provided some really funny moments and some really poignant ones too. Aston was like the gift which keeps on giving; not only is he hot, but he's also really caring and thoughtful under all the frat boy swagger!
All power to Megan, because although (to her own admission) she didn't have a horrible childhood and can never hope fully understand Aston's suffering, she truly gets him. Megan really went out of her way to help Aston and never gave up on him.
I do think both Aston and Megan used the Braden issue as an excuse to cover their feelings and as an easy get out plan. Bray's overprotectiveness (although understandable at times) personally would have driven me round the twist, although I supposed nobody knows how untrustworthy a man-whore can be than a former man-whore like Braden! Maddie has done a great job of softening Braden, it's nice to see them living their HEA!
Playing For Keeps is a great follow up and if contemporary New Adult books are your thing, heck even if they're not, then give the book a try!
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "What if I was in a book?" he grins. "Would I be your book boyfriend?"
  • "He offered to teach me the difference between a slapped ass and a spanked one," I mutter. "He's an ass."
  • "I thought we could go riding." "I get the feeling we're not talking about bedroom riding."

Playing For Keeps Book Playlist:

In case you haven't already got a copy of book #1 The Love Game then you can purchase it here:

ICYMI you can check out my review of The Love Game!



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