From what I could gather, Brad and Ashley had a pervious date at a carnival where sparks were flying, and there must have been enough sizzle to make Brad ‘keep her’ as a one of the final three contenders. But, sizzle and spark don’t always combine to create a forever-kind-of- love, as Brad found out.
If I understood correctly, he couldn’t fathom why she wouldn’t move away from everyone she knows and loves, leave behind a career she’s been working on for years and immediately relocate to Austin just to be with him. For real? Brad baby, get some help. His over the top “hey I spent my early years just living for a career, it made me rich and fulfilled and now I’m asking you to forgo your dreams, I’m asking you to choose me instead” brought to mind the question– “If you could choose just one thing?” For me, at that moment, the one thing I would choose would be for sleep to blissfully overtake me. For author, Luann McLane – it’s the question she artfully posses in her latest release Playing for Keeps, a romantic comedy that moves past the superficial spark and digs deep into what makes and keeps a relationship alive.
The author has created what at first appears to be a very superficial hero. But as you dig deeper into ex- baseball player turned hot soap opera star Noah Falcon’s life, you find a man of considerable substance. He’s generous, caring, kind and when he roars into Cricket Creek in his red Corvette he gives his sleepy hometown more than just a wakeup call. While everyone in town is excited to see him, school teacher Olivia Lawson had her fill of Noah years ago, when she was a geek and he was the popular jock drafted into the majors. Now he thinks she’s sexy and she thinks he’s been around the block a few too many times for her liking. At first glance, Noah doesn’t have a chance. But, they aren’t able to avoid each other for long and the steam that’s smoldering under the surface turns into a raging heat wave when they’re thrown together as the lead actors in a community play.
Playing for Keeps took me by surprise. It’s not just a contemporary romance; it’s a romance with humor and warmth. While I was expecting a story with one hero and one heroine, I got a lot more, because the author introduces several couples each with their own unique way of coming together, creating the kind of town a reader can feel part of. While the story asks, what I believe is a difficult question, “If you could choose just one thing?”, the author also allows each character the ability to explore what that means for them, and how love can be about compromise, but a compromise that would benefit both people in the relationship. As each character has that realization, their worlds open up beyond their own hopes and dreams to encompass what others might want as well. It’s a story that makes you think about how one could carve out a place for oneself without throwing everything else and everyone else away. Hey maybe this is a book Brad the bachelor should read. It couldn’t hurt.
So – If you could choose just one thing – what would it be?
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer
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