Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept
Date of publication: March 19th, 2019
Genre: Romance, Sports
Series: Wynn Hockey
Play to Win—Book 1
In It To Win It—Book 2 (expected publication date: July 23rd, 2019
Meet the Wynns—a hockey dynasty built on family, money, and drama. From USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson, the first novel in a new series is a total win-win.
“Kelly Jamieson is an auto-buy for me.”—Carly Phillips
After an injury forced Théo Wynn to give up professional hockey, he turned to his second love: numbers. Now, as the general manager of his grandfather’s NHL team, the Los Angeles Condors, Théo is dying to prove to the rest of his family—especially the brother who betrayed him—that he’s just as successful as the rest of them. If only Théo had a gorgeous woman on his arm to complete the picture. . . .
Lacey Olson needs to get out of Las Vegas right now, thanks to her no-good, crooked brother. When a handsome stranger who’s out partying with friends comes to her rescue in the cocktail lounge where she works, they strike up a conversation that leads to a crazy plan: her leaving with Théo for L.A. tomorrow. A few drinks later, the idea gets even crazier: a quickie marriage that works for both of them.
But back in California, Lacey immediately turns Théo’s precise, well-ordered life into one big beach party. And before long, she’s tempting him with her smart mouth, sexy body, and sunny charm. The last thing Théo needs is a real relationship to distract him. Because he only plays to win. . . .
When I saw that Kelly Jamieson had a new series out, I was pumped. I was disappointed when the Aces Hockey series ended. I was also wondering when the next series was going to start. So, when I saw the book up for review on NetGalley, I pounced on it. I am glad that I did. Play to Win is an excellent start to what I hope is going to be an excellent series.
Theo Wynn was forced to give up professional hockey after an eye injury. Not to be deterred, he became the GM of an expansion hockey team based out of Las Vegas. Theo’s grandfather approached Theo with a job offer. Become the GM for his hockey team, the California Condors. Theo accepted the offer but was aware of the backlash that it would cause. When he meets Lacey and hears her story, Theo has a proposition for her. Become his “fake” wife to show his family that he made it. But can Theo keep Lacey at arms length? Or will he fall for her?
Lacey Olson is between a rock and a hard place. Her brother has stolen all the money in her checking account and disappeared. He also tries to pimp her out to his bookie to pay off his debt. She wasn’t expecting her brother’s bookie to show up at her job in a cocktail lounge. She wasn’t expecting the cute customer she was serving to step in and comfort her when she gets fired. She also wasn’t expecting to accept Theo’s crazy proposition. Or have a quickie Vegas wedding. Can Lacey go through with the charade? Or will she fall hard for Theo?
I liked Theo even if I thought he was too uptight. I understood why he didn’t want to jump in the pool with his clothes on. But I didn’t understand why he was so anal about suitcase packing. His horror in watching Lacey pack was amusing. I did enjoy watching his character grow in this book. He went from an uptight, grudge holding guy to a more laid back version of himself. Lacey was good for him.
I loved Lacey. She was one of the most easy going, go with the flow characters that I have read. Not that she didn’t have issues. Because she did. It was the way that she chose to deal with her issues that endeared her to me. She chose to look at the sunny side of things. Even her relationship with her brother (who I didn’t like). But, she wasn’t a pushover. She ruled when she met Theo’s ex. I did a “You go girl“.
Theo’s family wasn’t perfect. They were dysfunctional. Of course, not every family has a suggested gold-digger. Or sons’ suing their father. Or brother’s stealing girlfriends. But that’s what made this book fun to read.
Unfortunately Lacey’s family was all too realistic. Having an addict in your life is draining, emotionally and financially. The author was able to capture it perfectly.
I liked that Play to Win is a romance that didn’t have Instalove. Sure, Theo and Lacey got married the night they met. But the author chose to make up for that by having them build their relationship. Loved it!!
The sex scenes were steamy, once they had sex. I did roll my eyes when Theo and Lacey made the “no sex” pact. That screamed that they were going to have sex, but not right away. When they finally did bump uglies, it was explosive. I also liked how the author had Theo be on the receiving end of something kinky. That sex scene was through the roof!!
I loved the ending of Play to Win. Handsdown, it was one of the better endings that I have read. The talk that JP gave Theo was epic. What Lacey was knitting was epic. Actually, I was laughing my fool head off at that. Then I went to google it. Note to self: Never google that again. Images are forever seared into my brain. But it was the epilogue that made the book. Loved it. I also loved how it set up Book 2. Which I can’t wait to read.
I would give Play to Win an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Play to Win. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Play to Win.
All opinions stated in this review of Play to Win are mine.
Have you read Play to Win?
What are your thoughts on it?
Do you like reading about dysfunctional families?
Let me know!!