Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Playing Dirty (Monkey Business Trio #1) by C.L. Parker

Playing Dirty was one of those books that had potential. Enemies to lovers. A competitive battle where everything was on the line. But it fell flat in nearly every aspect and layer of the story. From unlikable characters with no growth, to a stagnant storyline, unsafe sex and a cliffhanger at the end it boiled down to being a 300+ page hate-fuck between Shaw and Cassidy as they compete against each other for a partnership in their company. Scheming, playing dirty, fucking each other when they got angry enough then cleaning up and repeating over and over again. With no emotional elements or anything romantic to lend it's hand to the storyline I was extremely disappointed especially considering all of the glowing 4 and 5 reviews.

Now, why I can't recommend this one.

Starting with Shaw and Cassidy. At first I thought things would work out. They're competitive and like to rile each other up. And I can totally get behind that. But it never left that. They sniped and manipulated the entire time and really neither had redeeming qualities about them. It was all about landing the deal. Besting one another. And me, me, me. There was nothing fun or endearing about them. They were mean and, yeah, a bit sleazy in their work dealings and ethics.

Nothing happened. Really. The entire book was them each trying to land the same athlete as a client--they're sports agents--in order to be promoted So they wheeled and dealed and schemed. Ticked each other off and made each other angry then would have hate fueled sex and as soon as they got off they were back to where they'd started trying to figure a way to either embarrass each other or get ahead and win. We went through this 5 or 6 times? I mean. Nothing happened. There was no growth with them as individuals or with the storyline until the last two chapters when you finally got a little glimpse into their backgrounds.

Once again...unsafe sex. These two hate each other. And yet they have unprotected sex.  Over and over and over and over again. Never discussing it and relying on the pull out method to keep them safe. The full extent of the thoughts regarding that are the hero thinking the following. Though seeing as how she was sleeping with him without discussing it not sure where he got she'd be clean. Meh.
I never came inside a woman, and I nearly always used a condom. No idea why I hadn't with Cassidy, but I wasn't concerned about diseases. Someone as compulsive as she was would be sure to keep herself clear of STDs. And she was too damn moral not to tell a man if she wasn't.  
It was the threat of impregnation that I was most worried about. A man with a background like mine had no business knocking up a woman. I sure as hell didn't have the time for a kid, and I had no desire to play daddy. 

Lackluster secondary characters. There was a decent sized cast between work and friends. And none of them--except a bartender and a Marine that were very minor parts--caught my eye. One of them main friends was gay and a cheater. His "Daddy" had a wife and he was a kept man/secret. Bleck. And everyone was just okay with this like he wasn't doing something wrong. I just can't get behind sleazy characters.

Calling him a marine. Oh.migod. Seriously, people. If you're going to include or mention Marines in your books. You need to get. it. right. Marines are ALWAYS capitalized. Regardless of if you're talking about the branch or an individual. ALWAYS.

This isn't romance. This isn't erotic romance. This was erotica. There's no emotion other than hate. The only passion is of a negative variety. They were hot and heavy. And the sex scenes could be scorchers. But they never left being a hate-fuck and that gets old fast. There's no happily ever after or even a happy for now. I have no problem with erotica. I love some erotica. But I need to actually like the characters or feel some sort of something for their relationship. Even if they're just using each other for sexual exploration. I want to feel something about them and their time together that's positive. This though was just mutual masturbation to blow off steam when they were too pissed to do anything else. It also smacked of Fifty Shades and her needing to be dominated in the bedroom. 

Comparing yourself to Sylvia Day for marketing. Gah. That is so shady. It is one thing for a reader to say oh yeah if you like X you should try this author out. For an author to tout their books that way or a publisher to market them by comparison. No. Especially when they have nothing in common.

There was a cliffhanger. I just.

I seriously. Hate. That. Shit. It was just the the final straw in not loving anything else about this book. The outcome of who got the client brought a little closure to the book but even that just left me going really now? and wanting to throw my hands in the air.

So, no. I don't recommend Playing Dirty. While it wasn't the worst thing I've read it didn't have anything that redeemed it in my eyes or would have me continuing on to see what will happen next. It would probably appeal to those who loved Fifty Shades, though. Most of the reviews have been all fan girl and glowing so it does have a market out there. And most of those loved either Twilight or Fifty Shades as well. I, obviously, was not that target audience.

 Thus ends my rant.
Shaw Matthews plays to win, and he intends to snag a coveted partnership at San Diego's hottest sports agency by signing America's top athlete. Only one woman stands in his way: rival agent Cassidy Whalen. But eliminating the competition will be Shaw's pleasure when he concocts an ingenious plan to seduce Cassidy and show the beautiful ballbreaker who's the better man for the job. That is, until Cassidy turns the tables—and their steamy encounters start breaking all the rules.

Cassidy has worked hard to make it in a man's cutthroat arena, and she isn't going down without a fight, not even against the six-two alpha hunk whose rock-hard body awakens desires she's never known before. As Cassidy shares night after night of unending passion with Shaw, the game begins to change. Now Cassidy stands to lose everything—unless a fiery contest of wills can become a winning proposition for two people who keep raising the stakes.

Playing Dirty is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

AmazonBook Depository | BAM | Goodreads


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