Blog Tour & ARC Review: The Play Mate (Roommates, #2) by Kendall Ryan


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About the Book

Smith Hamilton has it all—he’s smart, good-looking and loaded. But he remembers a time when he had nothing and no one, so he’s not about to mess up, especially with his best friend’s little sister. That means keeping Evie at arm’s length … even though the once pesky little girl is now a buxom bombshell. A sexy blonde who pushes his self-control to the limit the night she crawls into bed with him.

Evie Reed knows she’s blessed—with an exclusive education, a family who loves her, and a new job managing social media for her family’s lingerie company. But she wants more, like a reason to wear the sexy lingerie herself. She has just the man in mind to help with that. She’s crushed on Smith forever. Surely tricking her way into his bed will force him to see her in a new, adult way.

Except that when Evie’s plan leads to disaster, she and Smith must decide—ignore the attraction sizzling between them, or become play mates and risk it all.




3 ‘not-just-friends’ stars

This is book #2 in the Roommates series, but it is a complete standalone with no crossover with the first book in the series, The Room Mate. The only tie-in I can figure is the forbidden, brother-best friend angle, so feel confident that you can read this one on its own.

Evie has always crushed on her big brother’s best friend, Smith. He is gorgeous, charming and successful and a genuinely nice guy. He and Cullen have been friends since they were kids so he’s always been a part of Evie’s life, but they haven’t seen each other for a while and now she is making big plans for their reunion. You see, Evie had a fairly lacklustre introduction to sex, and she wants to change that, and she figures if she can experience that with Smith, then so much the better! So she plans to seducing him into what she knows will be a night of life-altering sexytime.

Smith Hamilton was my older brother’s best friend. And come tomorrow night, he wouldn’t know what him him.
The feminist inside me beat on her chest and let out a battle cry.
I was doing this.
I would make Smith my bitch.
And zero fucks would be given.

Smith is seven years older than Evie so he never really saw her as anything but his best friend’s younger sister. Until recently. He’s always cared for her, but lately his thoughts are turning towards the lusty side as he has started to see her as a gorgeous woman, and it’s been messing with his head.

Somehow over the past couple of years, annoying Evie had morphed into curvy, hot-as-hell infiltrating-my-dreams Evie, and it was slowing killing me.

Evie’s anticipated night of passion doesn’t go the way she planned, but it ramps up the attraction between her and Smith into full-on sexual tension. And things get even more complicated when her brother recruits them both to help out in the family’s lingerie business and they end up working side by side. They are both fully aware that they want each other, but Smith refuses to betray his best friend by going there – plus, he’s always been more into casual hook ups than actual relationships. But there’s something about Evie that he can’t resist.

“I want to hang out with you, Evie. I want us to spend more time together, but until we’ve got some idea of what exactly this is, we have to keep it in the friend zone. Can we do that?”

I liked the progression of this relationship. While I was expecting them to jump into bed together, the friends-to-lovers thing is done really well with lots of teasing, steamy glances, clandestine passionate kisses and secret ‘dates’. They spend time together, and they genuinely enjoy each other’s company and as they start to explore what could be between them, the anticipation builds and the chemistry-filled slow-burn is really nicely done.

This might have been about sex when I started, but it had grown into something more. I didn’t want just sex like I’d initially thought. No, I wanted a man. And the man I wanted was Smith.

But while Smith wrestles with whether can actually do the relationship thing and Evie does everything she can to convince him that he can, they still have the issue of Evie’s brother to deal with, and the secret they have been keeping from him.

I enjoyed this book. It was sweet, fun and romantic with some hot sexy times, but there were also parts that didn’t feel realistic to me, and I thought that some of the behaviour was a bit juvenile. And as much as I usually enjoy the build-up in this kind of story, there were a lot of mixed messages between Evie and Smith which broke into the flow of the story and I didn’t feel their connection as much as I wanted. But I did appreciate that it was fairly low-angst, and it finishes off really nicely.

Liked it, but didn’t love it – 3 stars.

An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.



The Roommates Series (Standalones)


The Room Mate (#1)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook Paperback

The Play Mate (#2)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback

The House Mate (#3)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback

The Soul Mate (#4)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback

The Bed Mate (#3.5)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback

About the Author

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

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