"Since her disastrous marriage ended, Roxanne Monet has sworn off serious relationships with men. She has more important things to worry about, like accusations of murdering her wealthy husband, no money and no job. But when she meets superstar Barry Dennis and he challenges her to a game of seduction, she decides to play ball."
Published: Self Published on March 2012
Pages: 320 Pages
Form: E-book (from a tour for an honest review)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Playing #1
Amazon: Buy / $6.89 (Kindle) ( EU price, click to see US price )
"Can a woman bring down a legend by distracting him from his game?
Since her disastrous marriage ended, Roxanne Monet has sworn off serious relationships with men. She has more important things to worry about, like accusations of murdering her wealthy husband, no money and no job. But when she meets superstar Barry Dennis and he challenges her to a game of seduction, she decides to play ball. When the game turns serious, she unintentionally exposes the legend to be a flawed man.
Barry Dennis picked the wrong woman to play games with when he decides to flirt with the enigmatic Roxanne. Being the best takes all he has. He can’t afford to let anything or anyone interfere with his first and only priority--Basketball. But as the attraction between them heats up, he finds himself losing sight of his life’s game plan.
While the sports world’s microscope is trained on Barry’s game and the media hounds Roxanne about her husband’s mysterious death, the stakes are ratcheted up even higher when Barry’s young daughter, Lindy is injured. Roxanne gives Lindy the attention she needs while Barry struggles to cope with the demands of his new priorities.
Can Roxanne rely on Barry to do more than play ball? She takes the risk and gives him the last thing she owns--her heart." ~From Amazon
This was also a mystery, a who done it, Roxanne's ex-husband dying and their family blaming her for stealing his fortune and his life. In all an entertaining mystery but not in the fast pace, action filled way, which I confess is more my alley these days.
I enjoyed both main characters and the sidekicks as well as dead ex-husband’s evil mother. This is a multiple point of view novel, and while it gave nicely to the mystery side of the book, it robbed a little from the romance.
Stephanie Queen’s writing was good, and her characters interesting – she worked out a great plot and reading her book was a nice experience. What little more I would have liked was a new cover, the current really doesn’t do anything for the book, after all the cover is always the teaser to read the book.
In all an entertaining contemporary mystery with romance, basketball and threat!
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Niina : Welcome to For The Love of Reading, Ms. Queen, I’m happy you could stop by!
Stephanie Queen : Thanks for the invitation. I do love reading and your blog is charming!
Niina : Let’s get started! Can you tell my readers here 4 fun unknown facts about you so we can break the ice?
Stephanie : First, my cat’s name really is Kitty. Don’t judge.
Second, I do wear my crown out on occasion. Mostly around Halloween.
Third, I named the heroine in my first two novels after my grandmother. Luckily my grandmother had two names.
Fourth, my default cable TV channel is ESPN.
Niina : Your newest novel “Playing The Game” opens a new series, right?
Stephanie : It’s the first in the “Playing” series. All about sports and romance in New England and how hard it is to mix the two. I am an official jockette so I find the subject of sports irresistible. ( See ESPN above )
Niina : Tell us something about your book that we wouldn’t know just by reading the blurb?
Stephanie : The character Dr. Tim Oki is based on a real medical researcher I knew and admired long ago—in homage to him.
Niina : What character did you most enjoyed writing and why?
Stephanie : The superstar hero was a kick to write. I loved getting inside the mind of someone who fascinated me—and then make up stuff about what makes him tick.
Niina : How do you write, chapter here and there or follow from beginning to an end?
Stephanie : Most of the time I write a chapter here and there, and not necessarily in the same novel. ( NOTE: I’ve been called quirky. )
Niina : What are you working on right now? Can you give us a sneak peak?
Stephanie : What I’m working on now is THE HOT SHOTS, a romantic comedy mystery adventure. This is book 2 in the Scotland Yard Exchange Program series which began with THE THROWBACKS. THE HOT SHOTS features return appearances of some of my readers’ favorite characters. It’s a blast—literally—action packed and funny with turns of plot told at a blistering pace. So, if you like fast paced romance with action and humor, you’ll love THE HOT SHOTS and all the Scotland Yard Exchange Program series books. Here’s an excerpt:
“I have a favor to ask. I need you to pick up David’s latest recruit from Scotland Yard at Logan Airport today and keep him busy for the day. Show him around,” Grace said from behind her desk and although she appeared calm and her usual bubbly self, Sophia could not fathom where her mind had gone.
“You can’t be serious?” she said. “You’re asking me for a favor on the eve of my possible career breakthrough? That’s crazy talk. Tomorrow’s the shoot for the audition tape.” Sophia knew that Grace knew this since Grace helped set it up for her, but she felt it was worth making sure. A “favor” for one’s boss, even if she was one’s best friend always needed to be taken as seriously as an order.
“Yes. I know. And a distraction is exactly what you need to keep your nerves at bay.”
“My nerves are fine.” Too bad her dam voice squeaked or she’d be more convincing.
“I know you.” Grace paused and gave her the serious yet loving older-sister type look. “This will be good for you and…and I’d really appreciate it.”
Grace was playing dirty pool now with that appreciation bit, but Sophia still didn’t buy it. “And what if I didn’t have time today? Were you going to tear me away from my project?”
“Actually, yes. I wasn’t going to mention it, but some of the men were complaining about your presence at the site and asked me to have you back off just a smidge.” Grace crinkled her face. “But don’t worry, they think you’re wonderful. It’s just lately...”
“Great. That’s great. I got painters and paperhangers and carpenters talking to my boss behind my back.” This was not good. She plopped herself onto the edge of Grace’s desk and folded her arms. She tried staring at the stack of fabric samples on the other side of the office so Grace wouldn’t notice if a tear slipped out. Because, damn it, she felt dangerously on the edge of crying.
Grace picked up the box of tissues and handed it to her. “You’ll be alright, Pixie honey. This is the perfect way to get your mind off everything to do with decorating and the design show audition and TV cameras. It’s a one-day one-shot favor.”
Grace’s voice sounded a little too bright and “Pixie honey” or no “Pixie honey”, that was cause for suspicion. Okay, so maybe she needed a break, but she wasn’t convinced that playing tour guide to some British guy fresh off the boat...or rather airline--was the way to go.
“I’m saving up my vacation time and I don’t think you have the authority to assign me to pick up some random guy at Logan Airport and show him around town while I’m on the clock. We’re in the decorating business.” She remained seated on the edge of Grace’s desk with her arms folded. “Besides it doesn’t even sound safe.” She blew the blunt-cut bangs off her forehead for emphasis.
Grace looked at her with that smile and said, “He’s from Scotland Yard, honey. Of course it’s safe. It’ll be fun. I don’t know what you’re worried about.” Her face brightened and she added, “You don’t have to use vacation time. Consider it a client recruitment assignment.” Grace went back to the sketch she’d been working on.
Sophia looked at her best friend and boss with a suspicious squint. What it sounded like to her was another one of Grace’s blind date set-ups in disguise.
Niina : That was cool! What are three words each that would describe the hero and heroine the best?
Stephanie : Hero: single-minded, successful, troubled.
Heroine: Unsinkable, Sensual, troubled.
Guess they have that troubled thing in common. Maybe that’s what draws them to each other, but I won’t tell.
Niina : You write contemporary romance, but flirting with the idea of bringing a new mythological/paranormal creature to page, what would you write about?
Stephanie : The mystical healer. In fact, I have a novel in progress called THE REINCARNATION OF ST. LUKE with this mythological physician character and I’m dying to finish it ( pun ).
Niina : What do you think makes a story sexy?
Stephanie : Knowing the steamy intentions and desires a man has and seeing him hold back and try to control the attraction like keeping the cover on a boiling cauldron before it blows. Or something like that.
Niina : What’s the number one thing you like to do when you are not writing?
Stephanie : ( Blush ) How about if we go with the number two thing? Reading.
Niina : LOL! Before we finish, here are some Quick Fire Questions:
Night or day? In broad daylight
Pick-up or Mini-van? Does Ferrari make a Mini-van?
Boots or Heels? Heels. Spiked.
Beer or Wine? Pinot Noir to be exact.
Cocktails or Shots? Cocktails. The fancier the better.
M&Ms: With or Without Peanuts? Plain and unadulterated.
Treats: Sweet or Salty? Sweet. I need all the sweetening I can get.
Date: Going to Park or Going to Movies? By “Going to Park” do you mean parking to make-out like when I was a teenager?
Winter or Summer? Winter.
Jewels or Chocolates? Chocolates (see sweets above)
Men: Alpha-male or Submissive? Only Alpha-Males on my team.
Men: Clean Shaven or Stubble? Stubble.
Men: Bad boys or Good guys? Good Guys.
Tattoos or Piercings on a guy? Tattoos, if it’s my name.
Brunettes or Blonds? Blonds. This month.
Romance: Vampires or werewolves? Vampires forever.
Romance: Fallen Angels or Sexy Demons? Fallen Angels.
Romance: Cops or Cowboys? Cops.
Time-Travel or Sci-fi? Time-Travel
Romance or Erotic Romance? Romance
Male POV or Female POV (Point Of View)? Male POV hands down.
Times New Roman or Courier? TNR (and I didn’t think anyone would care!)
Niina : Thanks for visiting the For The Love of Reading, Stephanie! Any news would you like to share with your readers, or websites they can check out?
Stephanie : www.StephanieQueen.com