Introvert, Worrier, Owner of the blog "Caught in a FAB Romance", and resident Romance Guru on Parajunkee's View. I've been blogging about books for four years - if it's got romance in it, I'll read it! You can also find me on twitter, tweeting about books, my family, and sometimes, The Saints: @TheLoveJunkee Find me on Instagram:
PJV Quickie:Get ready for fangirling - Penny Reid is my go-to author when I need a read that's guaranteed to catch and keep my interest, and The Player and the Pixie is no exception. This is the second installment in The Rugby series, Ms. Reid's collaboration with L.H. Cosway, and I loved it!
Rainbow-haired Lucy Fitzpatrick loves her mother, sometimes. Having an image-conscious mother she can never please leaves Lucy wanting to be her own free spirit. She's close to her brother, Ronan, and his fiancee, Annie, but they're in a fresh, new relationship and Lucy doesn't want to be a third wheel. A move to New York has helped, but you can never escape family. And when pressure is on, Lucy gets uncontrollable urges to steal things - nothing big, but she knows it's wrong. She's doing well in New York, until she runs into Sean Cassidy, her brother's teammate and mortal enemy. Sparks fly between them, and when Sean asks Lucy for a favor, she can't say no.
Sean Cassidy is living a cold, empty life. He's a top rugby star, he's rich, and women throw themselves at him regularly. But he's cold inside. When Lucy Fitzpatrick stumbles into his life, he's intrigued. And when he pays her a visit intending to rile her brother, he's surprised to find he likes her. A lot. And he wants to see her again.
If I had to choose one word to describe this book it would be "smoldering". I love the "teammate's sibling" trope and the fact that Sean and Lucy's brother Ronan absolutely hated each other made for some great tension: Lucy and Sean wanted each other, wanted it badly, but the complication of Lucy's fear of losing Ronan made things so difficult.
I liked that both Lucy and Sean had difficult backgrounds and therefore were able to see and understand the little 'tics' that someone else would write off as difficult or too much trouble. The steps that these two danced around each other were delicate, observant, and intense. Lucy's very real distress over her feelings for Sean vs her love for her brother provided a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to her own happiness, and I wanted that happiness for her character, very, very badly. I think that a lot of readers might read Sean as an asshole and write him off, but reading about his past and seeing Lucy uncover his insecurities were part of the reason I loved The Player and the Pixie. I also though the sex issues for Sean were...interesting and different. Different, but believable, if that makes sense.
While I do believe this counts as a "sports romance", there's not much field time - most of the book is focused on Lucy and Sean's relationships. And while I loved seeing how things were progressing for Ronan and Annie from book 1 (The Hooker and the Hermit), I'd say it can be read as a stand-alone if you want to jump in at Book 2. That being said, I highly recommend The Hooker and the Hermit as well (my review is here).
TLDR: I loved The Player and the Pixie - great characters, smoldering tension, and I didn't mention it above but the sex was pretty hot. I tore through this book in a day, and that hasn't happened for me in quite some time. I hope this series continues because I'm enjoying it thoroughly.
If you're already a fan of Penny Reid or L.H. Cosway, you know how good this book is going to be :) If you like sports romance, or the "teammate's sibling" trope, I would definitely recommend The Player and the Pixie. If you're just looking for a fun, contemporary romance or are trying to break a 'book slump', The Player and the Pixie might be exactly what you need.