Thursday, July 9, 2015

Playing with Fire by Lexi Ryan

Adult Contemporary Romance
Release: July 7, 2015

Dr. Phoenix Reid isn't who she seems...

Everyone knows a phoenix rises from the ashes. What they don't talk about are the people she drags with her into the fire.

I thought one hot night with Max Hallowell was harmless. I never expected it would force me to face my past or bring back the man who swore he'd never let me go. Now Max wants to help me. Wants to save me. But if I let him, he'll be destroyed. I can already smell the flames. 

A woman with a secret past. A man determined to protect her. A dangerous passion that could cost them both everything.

Lexi Ryan never disappoints. Honestly, I’m pretty useless when I have one of her books in my hand. I couldn’t put this one down for anything, thanks to Maximillian Hallowell.

If you’ve read the Here and Now series then you know, Max hasn’t always been the easiest guy to love. I thought he was a douchebag and would have been devastated if he ended up with Hanna. I’m talking total devastation. There was no way, anyone could convince me, I would ever be Team Max. I’m happy to be eating my words right now, because he totally redeemed himself. After finding out a few circumstances were misconstrued, and seeing him with Nix, I’m actually convinced he’s a great guy.

“I’m not looking to rescue anyone.”
“But if you’re the one who needs saving, I’m happy to invest in a stallion and learn how to ride.”

Max has really come a long way. His gym is successful now, giving him time to focus on his daughter that he’s practically raising as a single parent. When Hanna left him heartbroken, he decided to give up on dating for a while. It’s Phoenix, the newest member of his group of friends that makes him think, just maybe, he’s ready to get back in the game.

Nix is such an enigma though. She’s one mixed signal after another. She initiates the garage floor sex (yes, garage floor!), that’s how bad she wants him, but almost immediately after tries to push him away. It was easy to get frustrated with her, but once I understood what she was up against, it all made sense. Her past added a suspenseful aspect, which I think bumped it up a notch, making it more than the typical hot guy falling for the broken girl storyline.

“Don’t make me want something I can’t have.”

The chemistry between Max and Nix was addictive and that’s what makes this author’s books winners for me consistently. There were so many times that Max and Nix made me smile throughout. Even I can’t believe I’m saying this now, but Max was pretty close to perfection in my eyes and she was kind of standoffish, which I found endearing in a way. You could totally see she wanted him, needed him really, but just wouldn’t let herself have him. Good thing, he knew exactly what to say.

4.5/5 Fangs
*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Playing with Fire is the first in a new series of standalone novels featuring the New Hope characters Lexi Ryan fans have come to love. While you wait for Nix and Max's storyexplore Love Unbound, the collection of books set in Lexi's New Hope world. 

*Note: Each series can be read on its own, but for the chronology purists, the reading order is below.

Love Unbound: Splintered Hearts
Unbreak Me (Maggie’s story)
Stolen Wishes: A Wish I May Prequel Novella (Will and Cally’s prequel)
Wish I May (Will and Cally’s novel)
Or read them together in the omnibus edition, Splintered Hearts: The New Hope Trilogy

Love Unbound: Here and Now
Lost in Me (Hanna’s story begins)
Fall to You (Hanna’s story continues)

All for This (Hanna’s story concludes)

Or read them together in the omnibus edition, Here and Now: The Complete Series

Love Unbound: Reckless and Real
Something Wild (Liz and Sam’s story begins)
Something Reckless (Liz and Sam’s story continues)

Something Real (Liz and Sam’s story concludes)

Love Unbound: Mended Hearts
Playing with Fire (Nix’s story, coming July 7, 2015)

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Lexi Ryan’s novels have been described as intense, emotional, and wickedly sexy. A former college professor, she now writes full-time from her home in Indiana, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a neurotic dog. Find her on Facebook or Twitter to chat about books, TV, and her children’s latest antics.

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