Review: Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken

Posted March 19, 2019 by Lorna in Reviews / 22 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken
Risky Play

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
three-half-flames

Series: Red Card #1
Genres: Sports Romance
Published by Skyscape
Released on March 19, 2019
Pages: 283
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

Heiress Mackenzie Dupont heads to Mexico six months after being left at the altar. Meanwhile, soccer superstar Slade Rodriguez boards the same airplane as Mack for a trip away from the scandal in his life. The two sit together, share fake names together and a bond is forged. He leaves her alone after a night together and takes over as the bad guy in Mack’s life shortly after. Thrown back together after the vacation by no fault of their own, sparks are flying. The question here is: Are they sparks of passion or anger?

Review

Rachel Van Dyken finally entered my orbit of romance authors I read only recently. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed most of everything I’ve read by her-not that there has been that many-4(I just checked). I saw this book on Net Galley and I didn’t even read the blurb, just automatically requested it.

Mack’s family owns a very successful wine company and she is what is known as a sommelier-someone with a perfect palate as far as wine tasting is concerned. She’s on a break from the company and when she meets Slade she’s immediately attracted to him. He is on a break as well before moving to Seattle to begin with a new to him soccer team. World famous, he just wants normal for a few days so when he realizes Mack has no idea who he is, a fake name seems to be the way to go. What he doesn’t realize is that Mack is a famous heiress and has her own troubles splashed on the pages of the scandal sheets, especially after being left at the altar. So a fake name for her is also the way to go. When they inevitably hook up on vacation and he leaves her asleep without a word, Mack is pretty devastated. She thought they had really shared something. Thing is, Slade thought so too until he realizes that while he ignored calls from home to be with her, a tragedy was happening so he blames himself-and her-for not going home in time.

This is where the big coincidence starts happening. After meeting in Mexico, they both end up in Seattle. And if that’s not coincidence enough, even though she has a very good job and actually is wealthy in her own right, she starts working for Slade as his housekeeper/dog walker/cook. Of course, she doesn’t know that’s who she will be working with temporarily and he, of course, decides to be a total creep about it. There’s reasons why she’s doing the work, but I am leaving it at that. This book goes from being a romance, to being an enemies to lovers story. Kind of unusual, even though I thought his reasons for being mean to her were a bit flimsy, to say the least.

I did enjoy the characters for the most part. I got a bit fed up with Slade and his immature attitude at times, but I thought Mack handled him pretty well. Of course, there are several villains to be had here, in particular one I think should maybe have his own book. He comes off as a bad guy, but he has his reasons too. Also, at times, I thought Mack’s father was even a villain. He was pretty unfair to Mack and he made me suitably mad for her.

Usually I am not a fan of coincidences to make the story, but I thought it worked here. I mean, there had to be a way for them to meet again so that the story would exist right? So I had no problem with that. I did have problems with Slade’s personality at times(he does have reasons). But that just moved the story along so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. And it ended up being a pretty good ride. I think this is another win in this author’s, Good Read!, column and I would recommend this to all adult contemporary romance readers.

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I’m a lifetime book addict and currently own nine Kindles, with only six still working. I do tend to wear them out! They pretty much are my favorite technology-well that and my cell phone. Okay, yes and my laptop. I spent most of my life in Kentucky, but moved to Maryland in my attempt to get closer to the the ocean a few years ago. Being retired helps. I have a B.S. degree in law enforcement with a minor in sociology, but never really worked in my major. Instead, I spent my entire adult life working in the medical field in some capacity. After retiring(early), I found my passion in reviewing books for a couple of blogs and I love it. My author favorites include, Dannika Dark, Amber Lynn Natusch, J.T. Geissinger, Colleen Hoover, Samantha Towle, K.A. Tucker, Karina Halle, Sarina Bowen, J.R. Ward, Mariana Zapata, Dianne Duvall, and I could go on and on. I read many different genre’s, but still like a romantic element in most, if not all of them.

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Sophia Rose
Guest

Sounds like it could have turned out really bad, but the author wrote it in a way that really worked for you. I still need to try her books. Great review, Lorna!

Lorna
Guest

Thanks. Yes, I think I liked this one more than her others.

Ash
Guest

I really like the cover of this one. Sounds like a good read.

Ash @ JennRenee Read

Lorna
Guest

It was a pretty good read!

Anne - Books of My Heart
Guest

I have enjoyed RVD books but have only read a couple. They were absolutely ridiculous in some aspects but still a fun read. (So not realistic)

Lorna
Guest

Oh, now you have me curious what the books were and if I read them.

Anne - Books of My Heart
Guest

The first book I read of hers was the Bachelor Auction which is a very loose Cinderella retelling. Then The Bachelor Contract and The Playboy Bachelor. I really enjoyed them but some things made me roll my eyes.

Melliane
Guest

I haven’t tried this one but I do enjoy her novels from time to time, she has some good ones

Lorna
Guest

So far they’re not that deep, just a fun read!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

LOL, glad she handled Slade. This sounds like a nice spring romance.

Lorna
Guest

Yes, her books are good romances but more fun than deep.

Carole rae
Guest

I think I would have issues with the personality too

Lorna
Guest

Yes, I had problems with him at times. But he got better!

Lover of Romance
Guest

I haven’t ever read this author before but now you have me wanting to try her out. I don’t mind coincidences as long as they are believable and written well.

Lorna
Guest

Yes, you might like her! She writes a lot of sports romances.

Lola
Guest

I’ve heard of this author, but haven’t read any of her books. It sounds like a fun set-up with them both sharing a fake name as they’re sort of famous and just want to be normal for a bit. The enemies to lovers part seems a bit forced after that first meeting. Good to know the coincidences mostly work here and that the characters are likable for the most part. Great review!

Lorna
Guest

The fake name set up was one of my favorite parts! Thanks!

Naomi Hop
Guest

Great review Lorna. I’ve read a few of Rachel Van Dyken’s books, and she’s been a hit or miss author at times. I do like the sound of this one though, might have to give it a go!

Lorna
Guest

I know what you mean about hit or miss. I ended up enjoying this one.

Melissa (Books and Things)
Guest

I just read a book where the usually tropes just worked. It made sense. I think that is the key to adding them. This looks interesting. Thanks for putting it on my radar.