Review: Playing It Close by Kat Latham

Review: Playing It Close by Kat LathamPlaying It Close by Kat Latham

Series: #2 London Legends
Genres: Sports Romance
Published by Carina Press on April 14, 2014
Pages: 230
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars  

Trapped in an elevator….yes!  I love this scenario especially when it involves a famous professional rugby star and a woman who has recently made herself infamous before the media.  What a hoot!  And it was.  The story engaged all my emotions.  It touched on some pretty serious themes- guilt, harassment in the workplace, acceptance, and self-worth.  All around good story that was fun, sexy and had some depth.

This is the second book in a series, but I had no trouble reading this one first.  I liked the brief visit I had with the characters from the first book so I’ll be going back for that one when I can.

The story opens when Tess Chambers is staying (code for hiding out and licking her wounds) at a private hotel in Venezuela determined to tick a few items off her bucket list and do some soul-searching.  Her skinny dipping plan falls through when she decides that it wouldn’t be wise to bare all on the hotel beach in the strong moonlight right after that debacle in London when she bared all on her blog and ended up in the middle of a huge workplace scandal.  Her temper got the better of her when her former boss ‘kiss and told’ and even before that when she let off some steam in a blog about the actions of the misogynistic jerks she worked with.  Poor treatment of women in the workplace became the investigation of the court and she became the champion of women or the office pariah depending on who you asked.  So shirt on.  Too bad she left her bikini top in her room and too bad her scramble across the hotel lobby in wet t-shirt is noticed by the hot guy checking in.  And really?  He wanted to share the elevator.  And it got stuck when she hammered on the door close button.  Tess recognizes him right away, but he is traveling incognito.  That sounds like a fab idea so she gives a false name too and lies about knowing nothing about Liam Callaghan, rugby or the fact that she’s a life-long fan and season ticket holder for his team the London Legends.  Liam is nothing like she expected and he rocks her world too bad the real world comes crashing down on her to wreck it for her.

Liam is taking time away to get his head back in order after losing his mum to cancer.  He is now captain of his team and the World Cup will be in London this year while he is playing for the English team.  Lots of pressure.  Oddly, the time he spends with the pixie-sized female that treats him like a normal guy helps him to center and feel right.  Being with her feels right until she ditches him after their night together and runs clear back to London to get away from him.  He is still hurt and angry when he discovers that she is working for the company who has just become the Legends newest top sponsor.  Now he knows she lied about a lot of things and he is determined to move past his encounter with Tess and keep everything business-like and professional.  Too bad he still wants her and wants to be with her, yet he can’t figure out how to make it happen now that the fraternization issue is in effect since they’re co-workers.

The plot moved along at a good pace.  This is a sports romance, but the sports is more the backdrop or one of the major settings then a plot thread.  This was my first glimpse at the sport of rugby and even from this angle of behind the scenes, it has me fascinated enough to want to watch a match now.

The story is focused on both individual growth in the main characters and the romance that develops between them.  These two are a hot mess that is sometimes hilarious and sometimes painful the way they jump to conclusions and leap into speech.  Both have personal issues and are naturals at finding the sore buttons on each other.  I grimaced so many times when words and actions got them into trouble.  I was impressed with how the author kept things on the lighter, heartwarming side and managed to avoid things falling into undue angst.  They might jump to conclusions, but the misunderstandings never last longer than is reasonable.  They both showed good staying power when it was soul-bearing time too.  And passion?  Lord, yes!  That was so not a problem for these two that struggled with everything else.

All in all, this was an enjoyable and engaging romance that I would recommend to those enjoy contemporary romances set in the sporting world.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Woot! This one’s been on my tbr pile. So glad to hear it’s good! And ahhh Sophia I love the elevator bit too! Did you read Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye? I can’t remember. It was almost entirely in a stuck elevator. So good.

    I’ll have to move this one up my list for June 🙂

    • Yep! Hearts in Darkness was my first ‘stuck elevator’ romance. Loved it and now I get a bit of a thrill when I find even a scene with an elevator. This one’s a bit different from that, but still goo.

      • Whoa I am way late in returning this note. lol I get a little bit of a thrill when I stumble on them too. lol Makes me curse living in the South where so few elevators are around. heh