Playing For Keeps Review

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*SYNOPSIS*

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Emma Hart, comes the second book in The Game series, and the story everyone wanted after The Love Game…

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.

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********ARC received in exchange for an honest review********

5 Stars

When I read book #1 in this series – The Love Game – I thought it was great, I truly did. But Playing For Keeps completely knocked it out of the ball park! If I didn’t love Emma Hart’s writing before then I certainly do now! It shattered my expectations and with it, my heart as I got lost in Aston and Megan’s story.

In TLG though it’s told in dual POV, the story focuses mainly on Maddie over coming her past in order to love and be loved, and in PFK it’s Aston and his demons that takes centre stage. My heart ached incredibly bad for Aston. No-one should have to face what he went through as a child. I could almost feel his pain as he described the physical and mental abuse he endured at the hands of the people who “brought him up”. If you can get through this book without tears stinging your eyes then you’re a hard nut to crack because Aston’s story is one filled with pain and anguish.

Broken. Shattered. Mismatched.
Useless. Worthless. Nothing.

That’s what Aston thinks of himself because that’s what he was always told he was. He uses casual sex as a way to not feel so he doesn’t end up hurting anyone. But Megan’s been in love with him for months and one night in her arms changes everything. They start a secret relationship because they both know that if Braden was to find out, he would go crazy as he treats Megan like a little sister and he had warned his frat brothers to away from her. But when Megan realizes there’s a side to Aston that nobody knows about, a side that he likes to keep hidden, she is determined to get to know the real him.

She was the one girl that could shatter what I’ve tried for so long to stick back together.

It was heartbreaking to see Aston really open up about his past and confront his demons and it was worth it to see the light, love and peace that Megan brought to him. Having grown up in a loving, caring household, she really didn’t know what Aston was going through but she did everything possible to help him overcome the torment he still faced on a daily basis. Megan was great and I don’t think I could’ve picked a better person for Aston to be with. They really were perfect together.

“You’ve gotta remember where you’ve been to see how far you’ve come.”

Once again (though we didn’t see much of them this time around) the secondary characters were great, especially Kay who has me in fits of laughter with almost everything she says. Aston’s Gramps plays a fairly big part in the story and I loved him! Even after everything he had lost, he was such a funny old man and he just got better as the book went on. I would love to know if anything happened between him and Megan’s Gran because they were a right pair! If you haven’t read this series yet I highly recommend that you do and especially Playing For Keeps. It’s a book that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

“There’s no logic to love. It just is.” I push his hair from his face. “Just like us. We just are.”

Buying Links: Amazon US Amazon UK

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