Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Talking Dirty With The Player by Jackie Ashenden ~ Review

NOW available! 

Source:  Received eBook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Description:

Up-and-coming photographer Judith Ashton is pretty sure she has everything in her life under control. That is, until a blast from the past comes back to taunt her, in the shape of Caleb Steele, her older brother's best friend...and the man who broke her heart eight years ago. Their chemistry is combustible, but she's been fooled once by this player, and she's not going there again. To pro rugby player Caleb, Judith has always been his Kryptonite. But his former playboy lifestyle is the last thing she wants to be involved in. In the midst of her brother's threats to back off, and the deal of his career sending him far away from her, he knows he's playing with fire. And this is one game he's going to lose.

 My Thoughts:

3 stars - Combining loving the brother's best friend with second chances - a good read

When you have that cover along with a blurb talking about  a rugby player, I'm in.  I also really enjoy the falling for the brother's best friend thing.  But this one also has a second chance piece to it.  I was definitely drawn to it.  Oh and it's set in New Zealand! That was fun.

I love Caleb or Cal - his nickname.  He's such a great guy.  His mom died of cancer and his dad was a jerk alcoholic so he's had a hard row and it's made him hide who he really is a lot.  His public image of "Abs of Steele" (His last name is Steele) is not really who he is.  The player image, the groupie's how he deals.  Really, he's this guy that stops to talk to the little boy waiting after practice - not just to autograph his scrap of paper but to actually talk to him.  He's the guy that wants to be accepted for who he really is.  He's the guy who feels guilty when he accidentally hurts someone.  He's the guy that takes care of his hungover friends just like he did his dad but doesn't make you feel bad about it.  He's a great guy.  He deserves more than the sexy bimbo star struck and lusting after his abs and his money.  He deserves Jude.

I struggled with Judith some.  She's know Caleb most of his life and the crush she had as a little girl turned into love at eighteen but Caleb broke her heart.  That and the fact that her mother abandoned her gave the girl some trust issues.  I get that, really I do.  I just didn't care for her uptight, grumpy side.  Clearly, she still has feeling for Caleb and she uses meanness to push him away.  I guess I just thought it went on too long.  Even when he makes promises to her, she pushes him away.  I just struggled to like her.  In the end, my opinion of her is slightly redeemed.  I was truly afraid of her last reaction but she made me happy in the end.

The story is fast pasted and I read it in an evening.  I haven't read the first book in this series and it wasn't necessary but I am curious about Joseph.  He's Judith's older brother and I loved his relationship with Chris.  Might pick that one up.

If you like those romance stories that include athletes, falling for the brother's best friend or getting a second chance at love, then this one may be a good choice for you.

About the Author:

Jackie has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. Mild mannered fantasy/SF/pseudo-literary writer by day, obsessive romance writer by night, she used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to throw off the shackles of her day job and devote herself to the true love of her heart – writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark, emotional stories with alpha heroes who've just got the world to their liking only to have it blown wide apart by their kick-ass heroines.

She lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr Jax, two kids, two cats and some guppies (possibly dead guppies by the time you read this). When she's not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.


  1. Hmm...I do love books about athletes. I might try this one. Thanks!

  2. This sounds good. As you know, I'm a fan of the the Entangled category romances so I am sure I will get this one sometime.

  3. You're right, Pal, this does look perfect for me. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I do love a good romance with an athlete and double points bc I haven't read one about a rugby player! Sucks that Judith wasn't much of a hit though. Caleb sounds delish! Great review Val!

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