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Playing with Fire by Kayla Perrin

Playing with Fire
by Kayla Perrin
official site | goodreads

Format: Kindle, ARC
Published: July 30th, 2013 by Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Adult, romance

Amazon | Kindle | Book Depository

'It's time to play the players 

Zienna Thomas has finally found a man with forever potential: Nicholas Aubry is charming, successful, easy on the eyes and tender in bed. Everything is great…until Nicholas introduces his longtime friend Wendell Creighton. Zienna already knows Wendell—every luscious inch of him. Once upon a time she'd thought Wendell was The One, but though they burned up the sheets together, he balked at a real commitment. 

Now Wendell is back on the scene, eyeing Zienna as if she's a cool drink on a blistering day…and she's feeling the heat, too. Soon Zienna is part of a torrid triangle, wondering which to choose: sweet, soul-satisfying Nicholas or scorching, sexy Wendell. But a wicked part of her wonders, Can't I have both? 

The naughty thrill of keeping two lovers in the dark and in her bed is powerful stuff. But Zienna knows she's playing a dangerous game—just how dangerous remains to be seen, because when the truth comes out and the testosterone-fueled rivalry threatens to explode, someone is going to get burned…." -goodreads


“She was dancing in front of the fire, getting too close.” (loc. 1893)

I wanted to delve into this book, and I wanted to love this book the way I loved “The Sisters of Theta Phi Kappa”, which I’ve read some years ago. I liked the action towards the end, but that’s probably about it.

“In four years she hadn’t seen this man, and now here he was like an apparition come to life.” (loc. 111)

The characters seemed too stiff and impersonal, with stoic and inhuman dialogues. The main character, Zienna was just unlikeable with her choices and decisions and ultimate neediness. As a reader it was hard to sympathize with any of her choices as she fails, every single time, to see the obvious character flaws in the men she’s involved with. It seems like she’s supposed to be drawn out as a strong independent woman, but I got nothing but the opposite from her thought-process and actions. This book made it seem that Nicholas and Wendell were the only men left in the universe.

“Sometimes we get so caught up in the fantasy of Mr. Right or Mrs. Right that we jump into relationships without thinking, and then we realize when we’re in them that they’re not exactly what we want.” (loc.1697)

Also, I know what type of genre this book belongs to, but the only thing that seems to go through every characters mind in this book is sex. All of the time. And apparently it comes up in every single conversation and seems to be the true root of all of Zienna’s problems. There wasn’t much steam in the romance department (maybe one to one and a half chapters worth,) but the book just discusses the subject a lot, along with other relationship problems such as control issues and lack of compassion. I don’t know, I guess I was initially excited to read this book because I wanted the same mystery and thrill as some of Kayla Perrin’s other works, but this definitely doesn’t nudge me away from any of her future works. Overall, I like how she develops her plots, and how they can sometimes take a shivering twist. I did like the action that eventually happened in this book, but it definitely wasn’t unsuspected as we come to know the characters, apparently better than Zienna, does. This book isn’t too long, and would make a nice simple comfort read as there’s no world building or over-complicated plot to shovel through. I would recommend this book to those who need a simple wind-down read that involves romance with a hint of suspense.

First Line: “‘Wow, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. You’re blowing me off tonight– for a man?’” (loc. 10)

Last Line: “A kiss that told her she and her heart finally had a home.” (loc. 3056)

Galley provided by NetGalley via Harlequin MIRA

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes. 

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