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New Release Review: PLAYED by Clare James (Elite PR #2)

Clare James will be visiting the blog later on today–check out her guest post here after 7 AM. And don’t forget about the Brazen October Blitz and Giveaway–PLAYED was featured on this date.

Played Final Cover

by Clare James


Play. Or be played.

The music should be enough. End of story. But Aaron Major is finding out it’s not, and now his agent has hired a firm of suits to help launch his debut album, turning his life into a goddamn circus. Smile here. Play there. Be nice. Well, screw that. If Aaron wanted to spend his time shaking hands and kissing babies, he would’ve gone into politics.

Helping launch the career of country singer Aaron Major should be a cakewalk for PR pro Melody Sharp. Aaron is charming, sexy, and oh-so-appealing when he’s on stage. Off stage, though, he’s her worst nightmare. A stubborn, ornery, reclusive nightmare without a lick of business-or fashion-sense. The only way he’s going to make it in music is with a serious makeover-and quite possibly a personality transplant.

Soon, they’re engaged in a game of give and take, and though it’s Melody calling the shots, it’s Aaron who holds all control…


Yay–Mel’s story!

Her best friend’s left town (Viv from Caught), work is no longer inspiring her–in fact, she’s been demoted in a big way–and now she’s getting emails from her ex. She’s behind on all her bills and it’s almost time for the biggest party of the year back home, which she has to attend and her ex will be at this year as well, so…yeah. Things have been better.

And then Aaron Majors moves into her building…

Aaron had a pretty miserable second half of a childhood and a really disastrous first chance at fame, but now he’s determined to make it back to be a better provider for his little brother, who’ll be starting college soon. Everything in his background tells him that the music industry and relationships don’t work. But his new roomie/PR person has something about her that’s hard to resist…

Fortunately for us 🙂

I loved Aaron and Mel together–they’re an adorable couple, not to mention they definitely know how to bring the steam, though somehow this book managed to come out on the sweet side overall. Their relationship black moment ending up being a fairly small blip on the radar and was fixed rather easily, so that might be part of it, though honestly I didn’t really want to see them stuck in a big, angsty scene. The ending comes fairly quickly–Aaron goes pretty fast from “no relationships” to “I love you” (and a little bit more) but since I really wanted them to get together anyway, it’s hard to find fault with that. 🙂

This one would work just fine as a standalone–Viv’s mentioned a few times, along with the reason why she’s moved away–but there’s nothing that happened in book one that you’ll need to have read to start Played.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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