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New Release Review: PLAYING FOR FUN by Tracey Alvarez (Due South #6)

playing for fun

Playing For Fun
by Tracey Alvarez


Wanted: A woman for Ford.
Ford Komeke can’t deny he could use an up-skill in the dating arena. It’s a local in-joke that his game, as far as women go, sucks. Thanks to the meddling of New Zealand’s worst octogenarian matchmaker, he’s got an online dating profile, a new wardrobe, and a haircut from Stewart Island’s sexy hairdresser, Holly Parker. But since he’s well and truly mired in the friendzone with Holly, what’s the harm in exploring his options? A little jealousy could work wonders.

Offered: Dream job with a catch.
What do you say when you’re offered an un-turn-downable career opportunity? You say, hell-to-the-yeah! Only there’s a problem. To get the dream job Holly must leave Stewart Island and her two best friends, Shaye and Ford. But if Holly can distract Shaye with wedding planning and set Ford up with a nice girl so she can stop imagining him naked, neither will notice if she exits stage right. Neither will notice if her feelings for Ford stop being strictly platonic.

Warning: One kiss is never enough.
As addictive as the chocolate stash Holly hides in her fridge, one kiss forces them out of the friendzone—way out of the friendzone. Heat and hunger explode, but the ugliness in Ford’s past hold his heart hostage. Playing for fun or playing for keeps? Holly and Ford must decide because the consequences of falling in love means that someone’s heart or someone’s dream will ultimately end up shattered.


Another entertaining read in the Due South universe!

Playing for Fun is a friends-to-lovers romance, and it’s an entertaining example of the genre. Holly and Ford have known each other forever–way back when, though, Holly thought she had a thing for Ford’s twin, Harley. Before perpetual bachelor Harley took off to pursue his dream of being an artist, however, he let her down gently but firmly.

Fast forward several years…

Holly now admits that what she felt for Harley was nothing more than a schoolgirl crush. What she feels for Ford, on the other hand, is an…awareness. One she’s sure will fade away when 1) he finds a nice girl who’s not stuck in the friendzone with super glue, like Holly is and 2) Holly moves to the mainland, back to the salon where she did her apprenticeship and where she would be able to finally do the salon work she loves full-time.

So, yeah, that’s the plan. Find Ford a woman, and move to Invercargill. What can go wrong?

Ford’s adventures with online dating are amusing–he changes the photo Holly set his profile up with with a dodgy one, and a few of the comments he gets as a result are entertaining. Slightly disturbing, but entertaining. When women start coming to the island for dates, though, the sight of Ford with someone else nearly makes Holly sick. Fortunately, they’re not quite working for Ford either. But then the two of them share a kiss, and in one of the most awkward conversations ever, Ford finds himself suggesting they try out a relationship. Holly manages to overlook his clumsiness, though, and before you know it they’re “playing for fun” at a relationship.

But it’s only temporary, because Holly’s leaving soon.

Or is she?

These two have a lot thrown at them here–Holly’s career decisions, Ford’s current family drama and his painful and messy past, Holly’s downstairs neighbor who needs more help than Holly can give, but who refuses to move to the Sonny”hell” (as she calls it) rest home… How can they resolve all their issues and be together? Would it be worth it to even try?

Of course it is:)

And now that Holly and Ford manage to work their way to their HEA, dare we hope that Harley will make his way home so that he can find his? 😉

Rating: 4 stars / B+

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

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