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Spotlight New Release Review: Reforming the Playboy by Inara Scott (Passion Creek #1)

Title: Reforming the Playboy
Author: Inara Scott
Series: Passion Creek
Published: 2013
Pages: 200
Genre: contemporary romance
format read: ebook
Rating: 4 stars, B+

Given the role that the weather plays in this novel, it felt especially appropriate that I read it on a day that we had a “cold” day off from school. It was perfect to read all snuggled up with a nice, warm beverage on a blustery day!

This was my first novel from Inara Scott–who I found out from the blurb at the back of the book was also born in Buffalo, too cool!–but I’ll definitely be reading more from her, and soon. There were layers here—to both the story and its characters—that weren’t immediately apparent as you read. The need to reveal the truth behind Max and Kira’s breakup five years earlier kept me snuggled under the covers and turning pages quickly.

On the surface, this seemed to be a simple second-chance at love story in which their first chance was ruined by a simple misunderstanding, one that should have been easy to remedy. That—and the somewhat silly title—might have kept me from picking this one up in the first place. But, as I mentioned, I was snowed in—and noticed that the characters were going to be as well—so I figured it clearly was meant to be.

I am so glad I gave it a chance.

When the reasons for Kira’s leaving Max without any explanation are finally revealed (I’ll admit, not until I spent a lot of time asking her why she didn’t explain it all to him earlier!) I absolutely understood why she made the choices she had made. I was afraid when the explanation came that it would seem lame or forced, but it really didn’t—actually, it broke my heart a little to hear Kira’s reasons.

Both Kira and Max had made mistakes in the past and were making even more the second time around. Inara Scott did a fantastic job of allowing them to grow and change, realizing their shortcomings and righting their wrongs—without resorting to convenient plot devices or easy fixes.

The chemistry between these two characters in fantastic; I especially loved the scenes where they were creating art—both the tame and the sexy ones! I thought the author did a great job showing the creative process and the frustrations that Max felt when he was unable to create.

The one aspect of the novel that I wasn’t crazy about was the blatant manipulation that Kira’s aunt put into action to bring the two back together again. It felt overly manipulative, and I had a hard time believing that she’d want to risk her niece’s happiness on the good will of a guy she (the aunt) had never met. It seemed like a pretty big risk to take, given the nature of the pictures that she was holding hostage—it could all have gone so horribly wrong if Max had been a different kind of guy. It almost did go so horribly wrong. Really, though, the rest of the novel was so well done that I can forgive the over-the-top machinations that got the plot moving in favor of the happily-ever-after they achieved.

But, you know–the title. It just has to go. This book is so much more than the rather insipid title implies!

4 stars, B+ rating

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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