Playing for Keeps is Kendall Ryan’s first foray into hockey romances, and she kicked this series off with a completely addictive hybrid romance that was a blend of the friends-to-lovers and best friend’s little sister tropes. I’m definitely a fan of Kendall Ryan’s writing, especially in her sassy, sexy, easy-reading contemporaries and romcoms. Playing for Keeps was brimming with heat and heart, and it had just enough angst to keep me on the edge of my seat.
Elise and Justin had the banter thing down born from a long friendship, and I couldn’t get enough of their witty, easy relationship. Elise has buried her long-held feelings for Justin, and he’s done the same, hiding them behind a playboy pro athlete persona. But Justin had reached the point in his life where he was looking for something more meaningful, something real, and he found that something in Elise. Once the chemistry between them started simmering, their attraction couldn’t be denied. The relationship build-up was seriously sweet, and I was rooting for this couple the whole way through. But they did have their challenges to overcome in the form of Elise’s big brother, Owen, as well as Justin’s relationship hang-ups. This couple had a solid foundation of friendship to fall back on, though, and because of that they were effortlessly playful, overwhelmingly passionate and so naturally paired.
Playing for Keeps was a fabulous start to an exciting and promising new hockey-themed sports romance series from Kendall Ryan. Full of heart-tugging emotion, Elise and Justin’s irresistibly sexy, forbidden romance pulled me in from page one, and I devoured it in a day. Kendall Ryan’s Playing for Keeps gets 5 smooches from me!