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Publisher's Summary

The first book in the scorching new Hot Jocks series by New York Times best-selling author Kendall Ryan - available in audio first!  

I've never been so stupid in my entire life. 

Elise Parrish, my teammate's incredibly sweet and gorgeous younger sister, should have been off-limits, but my hockey stick didn't get the memo. 

After our team won the championship, our flirting turned physical, and I took her to bed. Then shame sent her running the next morning from our catastrophic mistake. 

She thinks I don't remember that night - but every detail is burned into my brain so deeply, I’ll never forget. The feel of her in my arms, the soft whimpers of pleasure I coaxed from her perfect lips....

And now I’ve spent three months trying to get her out of my head, but I’m starting to understand she’s the only girl I’ll ever want.  

I have one shot to show her I can be exactly what she needs, but Elise won’t be easily convinced.  

That’s okay, because I’m good under pressure, and this time, I’m playing for keeps. 

©2019 Kendall Ryan (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

What listeners say about Playing for Keeps

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

TOO MANY THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE

WARNING - POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!! - DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS!!!
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There were a few things I enjoyed, so I will start with the PROs then follow with the CONs.

PROs:
1. Jason Clarke
2. Jason Clarke
3. Jason Clarke
4. A "Happy" Ending.

CONs:
1. Immature, exasperating, frustrating, insecure main characters (female 24 - male late 20s)
2. MCs put their best friends and everybody else's opinions and needs ahead of theirs.
3. This next one was a Hell-to-the-NO for me: If a big brother "cared" about his little sister even a bit he wouldn't have her stay in a place (even if it is his place) where she is surrounded by usually drunk puck bunnies and hockey players having sex all over the place. NOPE, it wouldn't happen!
4. Bad enough that our hero acts as if he doesn't remember having sex with the heroine the night before, but ghosting her after taking her virginity without talking things out? Another BIG NO for me.
5. And yet another thing that killed this for me ---> the male main character, who used to be a manwhore, believes one of the many women he slept with when she tells him that she is pregnant with his child. He believes her without question. No proof of pregnancy, or paternity test, NOTHING! he just believes her, gets emotional about his baby, and sends her money! REALLY???
6. There is more and I could go on, but I just got more frustrated so I will say no more.

Most of the reviews are positive, so don't let my opinion stop you from listening to this book. This story was just not for me.

87 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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my favorite Kendall Ryan book I’ve read in a while!

This is my favorite Kendall Ryan book I’ve read in a while!! Justin and Elise are too cute, sports romance is my jam, and sibling’s best friend/best friend’s sibling romances are amongst my fave tropes so this had all the ingredients to be great. Add to that FANTASTIC sexy times, appropriate angst, and a couple who handles their sitch maturely (or as maturely as possible while trying to be on the DL) took Playing For Keeps over the top. And the narration is PERF. Now, I’m simultaneously reading another KR book right now (Two Week Arrangement) and now I have high hopes that I will enjoy it just as much and if not, I’ll just float on the cloud of contentment produced by Playing For Keeps. AND I can’t wait for the next book in the Hot Jocks series!!! Five wine glasses!

10 people found this helpful

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Fun, Sweet and Sexy!!!

Elise has had an unrequited crush on her brother’s best friend since her teen years but hockey player Justin has seen her as more of an off limits little sister type until one night after too many drinks finds them hooking up. After some confusion, some setbacks, some time away and neither one being able to let the night go they eventually decide that they are going to try a friends-with-benefits-no-strings-attached arrangement without letting anyone know - especially Elise’s overprotective brother.

This book is fun. So much fun! The chemistry is perfect. Their shared moments are such a varied range; sweet, sexy, sentimental. But the best part is that their friendship shines through, they’ve been friends for so long and it shows in their interactions. We are shown how much they know each other and how much they care about one another, but that there’s also room to discover more and deepen that connection. The sex scenes are phenomenal...and hot. Kendall Ryan does some amazing work in making us care about these characters. They’re not perfect but we want them to be happy.

Jason Clarke and Virginia Rose do a wonderful job bringing this book to life. Narration can make or break a book sometimes and they breathe extra life into this story. Jason Clarke is one of my top top favorite male narrators (he’s one of the voices that I hear sometimes when I’m actually reading a book) so I will always gladly listen to him. I’ve also discovered how much I love listening to Virginia Rose, she’s done a great job with the last few books I’ve listened to her in!

This stand-alone book is the first in the series and it builds a cast that you can be sure to see in the subsequent books....which I am highly anticipating! For me it’s all about connecting with the characters and I can’t wait for what’s in store next!

30 people found this helpful

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very boring

no drama. no suspense. not even really a plot other than two people hook up and decide to date.

8 people found this helpful

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⭐️⭐️⭐️FANTASTIC ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is such a sweet, heartwarming story low in angst guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I can’t wait for Becca and Owen’s story to come out next.
Narration was PERFECT!

7 people found this helpful

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Loved This Book

I absolutely loved listening to Justin and Elise's story. Kendal Ryan did an amazing job with this book and Jason Clarke and Virginia Rose did an amazing job bringing the characters to life. I can't wait for the next book, I highly recommend this book, you won't be disappointed

6 people found this helpful

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Not for me

I couldn’t stand the heroine. She was constantly putting blame on the hero and acting like she did nothing wrong. She would act young and bratty.

The narration was good. I liked Jason Clarke.

5 people found this helpful

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Great narration forgettable story

Story is like every other romance novel out there . I’m bored. Nothing interesting. But good narration and fun sex scenes.

5 people found this helpful

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His voice.... swoon

I'll admit, Kendall Ryan is hit or miss for me. This is kind of your typical fall for your brother's best friend/best friend's little sister... but there were several points in this story that had me laughing out loud. "My brother is a slut." Not sure why, but I laughed so hard at that. It's still a good story.
And O.M.G..... Jason Clarke's voice.... GAH! He's a fave of mine but still, he sounds different in this one, deeper maybe. But either way, SWOONY, heart eyes kind of voice. I couldn't wait until his chapters <3
Virginia was on point as well.
I'm looking forward to more books after this, I would love to hear about the secondary characters' stories.

10 people found this helpful

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Not for me

This book could be amazing for some but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t even finish listening to it with only 2 hours left.

4 people found this helpful

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  • LilleyLoohLah
  • 06-24-19

My Kind of Story - Friends to Lovers

Another light, easy read from Kendall Ryan, a new series no less (Hot Jocks), and yes, Justin Brady is definitely hot. He’s also sweet, sexy, and a hockey player to add to the mix. He’s also got the hots for his best friend’s little sister, Elise Parrish, whom he’s known pretty much all his life. Elise too has a major crush on her friend (a friend who’s like a brother to her), and she knows she can’t act on it, she just watches from the sidelines. Until that one fatal night, you know what I mean, one party, too many shots and a lot of bad judgement. So what do they do? Yep, pretend like it never happened, that’ll make it better. Yeh right. My kind of story, friends to lovers, forbidden hockey romance. What’s not to love? Also, I’ve got to say Jason Clarke narrated Justin perfectly.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Woody
  • 07-13-19

Fab

Playing for Keeps - Another great story from Kendall Ryan. What’s not to love about a friends to lovers romance including a gorgeous hockey player!?

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-10-22

Romance is in the air

Romantic and sweet, but also sexy and funny with drama too. I loved it. The story was great, and made all the better by great narrators.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for 💜SarahBookNerd💜
  • 💜SarahBookNerd💜
  • 06-26-22

fab!

Absolutely floved this book. A book that will keep you engrossed and give u all the feels!!
So eager for the next book!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leaf Books
  • 05-06-22

So much to love

Loved listening to this one. I don't know anything about ice hockey but who needs to when the characters are just so hot and the story line is so cute! This is best friends little sister love story and it is as cute as any I have listened to, an easy listem great narration and just simply ... awww ...

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-11-22

Sweet but obvious

Great performance from both but the story is predictable.
Not much sophistication in the story but an easy listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janie
  • 02-09-22

This is about Justin and Elise

This is the journey of Justin and Elise and the problems they get into on the way.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • cathy casey
  • 02-01-22

Good Listen

Thoroughly enjoyable book and totally addictive. Can’t wait for the following instalment. Perhaps follow up to Justin’s and Elise’ story. Who knows?

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Aj
  • 01-29-22

Nice little read.

its a nice story and I enjoyed it to some exstent but I could not stay dedicated to it. I listened to two other audio books inbetween listening to this. I feel as though there was no build up to the leads having a connection and then the ending seemed rushed but I still came back to find out how the story ended.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tink_1185
  • 01-26-22

First book of this kind, overall it was good

This is the first time I have listed to a book of this kind, I was looking for a little distraction from the usual textbooks I listen to and came across this in the included section, so thought I would give it a try. It accompanied me on a long drive and at the gym, it was good fun. I really enjoyed the first half of the book but found it a little lacking in the last few chapters, but overall good, I would listen to another one by this Author.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-23-20

Two dimensional and uninteresting characters

DNF at 40%.
I was after a simple, light, romantic read and on some levels this book delivered. However, I couldn't move on from the frequent reinforcement of stereotypes, of both males and females, and sexism displayed in the book;
- The virginal heroine happily listens, and contributes, to the objectification of all other females any of the males interact with. She is revered because she is the 'exception' to females, rather than acknowledging that the way these guys interact with females is inherently flawed.
- The alpha, womanising, jock hero has so little emotional intelligence I wasn't even interested in his development throughout the book. Other than him being a hockey star, what is meant to make this guy interesting?

Granted I only listened to 40% but other gripes I had were:
- All of the characters seem two dimensional.
- It is a sports book without any details of the actual sport. Hockey seems to be the only positive attribute in the hero but the only time it comes up is when we see he and his friends binge drinking after any hockey related event.
- The dialogue was mundane.

Balancing this, the premise wasn't terrible. The pseudo-forbidden brothers friend romance combined with sports/jock stories is well trodden but a reliable crowd pleaser when done right. Unfortunately, this one just didn't hit the mark.

I can usually just turn my brain off and get through but for some reason this grated on me more than most.
Narrators were great but needed better material.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Felicity
  • 07-31-22

AMAZING!

This was a pretty cute sports romance! It had amazing narrators who helped bring the characters to life! I always love listening to books narrated by Jason Clarke and was very happy with the narration from Virginia Rose! Both were amazing!
While I don't think the blurb quite matches the storyline, the general idea was right with the two protagonist having spent a night together and realising that they wanted more despite the forces against them.
Elise and Justin are very cute together and do end up resolving their problems quite quickly. This is definitely a book if you are looking for something with a HEA and pretty much a feel good romance all the way through apart from a few disputes caused by insecurity.
If this sounds like the book for you then I would definitely recommend it to you! I hope you love it! Enjoy!
Overall: 4.5/5
Spice: 4.5/5

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  • Jade B
  • 03-12-22

Playing for Keeps

This book is funny, and sweet and all the things a good romance book should be. I really enjoyed it!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Author
  • 01-20-20

loved it

Friends to lovers story, filled with a whole sweet sigh-esque feels but all naughty and precarious what with trying to keep it all under the radar so brother dearest doesn't notice. but there comes a time on life where respect and need for ones happiness that trumps worrying about hurting your best friend, and relationships formed after friendships last a long time and I loved this. they just click.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaime
  • 12-24-19

Funny and Engaging 😊

I fell totally and completely in love with Elise and Justin, all the characters in this book are so relatable and Elise and Justin’s chemistry is off the charts incredible. I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for Becca and Owen’s story!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kdee
  • 08-05-19

Romance books what is the purpose.

Romance books are not to be taken too seriously. They can help you escape reality. This story does that and occasionally makes you laugh. what more do you want.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barbra Lazzarini
  • Barbra Lazzarini
  • 07-21-19

Loved it 💕💕

Love these two .. love their back story and especially love the characters that are definitely involved in their lives .. so hilarious.. definitely worth a read or listen to on audiobook.. perfect..❤️💋❤️💋❤️

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R Baker
  • R Baker
  • 07-05-19

This ones a keeper

Corny I know but this book / soon to be series I a keeper. Kendall is a great story teller, narrators are perfect.
This love story is so adorable, the characters a well written.
LOVED IT