Monday, August 19, 2013

Blog Tour Stop!! Review and Giveaway: Playing With Her Heart by Lauren Blakely

Playing With Her Heart
by Lauren Blakely
Release Date: 8/18/13
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When you’re acting the role of a lifetime, how can you know if love is real—or all just a part of the show?
Twenty-three year old rising theatre star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending her long-distance crushes add up to something real, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. Cast in her first Broadway show, she desperately needs to keep her façade intact, but that’s before she comes face to face with her devastating new boss…
Hot-shot director Davis Milo knows the first rule of directing: never fall for your leading lady. Captivated by Jill’s raw talent, he fights his feelings, but watching Jill on-stage with another man is more than his jealous streak can take. Keeping things professional isn’t an option. He wants all of her.
Soon the ingénue and her director are staying late in the empty theatre, their private rehearsals spiraling into new, forbidden territory. Caught up between fiction and reality, Jill struggles to find the truth in all their staged kisses. But how can she be sure that what she feels is real, and not a part of the play? And when two people spend their lives pretending, what happens after the final curtain falls?

My Rating: 4 1/2 Coffee Cups!!

If you've followed all of Lauren Blakely's books than you know exactly who Jill McCormick is. She is the sister of Chris from Trophy Husband -and my favorite Blakely boy (yeah I'm totally copy writing that :-P). She is also besties with Kat from Caught Up in Us and Reeve from Pretending He's Mine. So you almost feel like you already know her when you begin this book. She's been in the background of all of Lauren's books and I was so happy to see she was front and center in this one. 

Jill is an aspiring actress and begins the book with the audition of a lifetime. She breathes and embodies the character. She is an amazing actress. And you learn pretty quickly that the theatre isn't necessarily the only place she's acting. Six years ago something irrevocably shaped Jill. It caused her to fear and doubt the deep emotions of a relationship and because of that she hasn't really been in much of one. She puts on a facade of being happy-go-lucky when truth be told she is skittish and nervous and afraid that if she gets too close not only will she be hurt, but she will hurt the other person as well. But nothing touches her when she steps onto the stage. And director Davis Milo sees this immediately.

But acting is really all I've ever done. Acting like I'm fine. Acting like what happened back then...wasn't all my fault. I suppose now, six years later, I'm mostly fine. People who know me say I'm carefree, laid back, happy go lucky. Sometimes I truly am. Other times, I've become so damn good at the appearance of moving on that I even believe the illusion. Fake it until you make it, right? 

Davis is a hugely acclaimed Broadway and Hollywood director. He knows talent when he sees it and he sees no one but Jill as the heroine Ava in his play. He knows while watching her audition he is witnessing the next big thing. But of course he has bosses he needs to answer to who wants already established, money-making names filling the theatre seats. So, although she doesn't get cast as the lead, she gets the understudy a huge break in Jill's career. And it also doesn't hurt that her long-time crush Patrick is the lead actor. She has fantasized of him for the last 6 years, her thoughts of him helped distract Jill enough to get thru the events that scarred her. And now, working in the same play, she will be able to get to know him better and possibly even have him fall in love with her. There is only one little hiccup with that and that hiccup's name is Davis Milo. 

Davis does not date actresses. He has been burned in the past by them and has learned enough to not repeat past mistakes, but there is something about Jill that calls to him. He sees the masks she puts up that no one else notices and it intrigues him. It makes him want to see what made her put them there to begin with. He's attracted to her and she him. But he also sees the worship she feels for Patrick and wants no part of it. Davis is the ultimate Alpha Male in all it's yumminess.    

I let go of my hold on the sink, turn off the water, and dry my hands, each move a step in my new strategy. Because I’m not the director for nothing.

I make the fucking rules.

I can change the rules.

I can make the rules work for me.

She’s not mine, but she can’t be his.
I return to the rehearsal room, sit down next to her, and take some small bit of victory when she looks away from him and at me.

“You’re not going to rehearse with Brayden,” I tell her.

She looks crestfallen. “Why? I don’t understand.”

“Because I’m going to rehearse you as Ava. You’ll rehearse with me.”

And here is where they start breaking down each others walls. They begin to quickly fall for one another. And holy crap their scorching (and man do I mean SCORCHING) chemistry! You will blush. You will require a fan. But as much as the heat is extremely present and fun to read it's the relationship that develops between the two that is the best part to watch. You want them to expose each others vulnerabilities and make each other whole. And when Jill's secret is finally out in the open, it's heartbreaking. But Davis is there for her every step of the way. 

Something about the way he looks at me makes me want to tell him things, to open up, to share all sorts of secrets I've never told anyone else. His dark blue eyes are so pure and unflinching that they seem to demand nothing less than total honesty.

"Because we will hurt each other, and we will fight, and we will argue. And sometimes it'll be less than perfect. But it'll be real. Every second of it will be completely real."

I'm telling you I LOVED this book. It's got a little bit of everything. The steamy scenes, the sweet love and the heartbreak that Jill went thru. And you've got friendship. Davis was not the only one there for Jill. Kat, Reeve and Chris all made appearances. While she was there for each of them, supporting them in there stories, they were also here for, supporting and listening to and unconditionally loving her in this one. Chris may be my favorite Blakely boy, but Playing With Her Heart is my favorite Blakely book.
Playing With Her Heart Book Trailer:

 Fun Playing With Her Heart Swag Giveaway!!

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Tidbits on the Author:

Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in CAUGHT UP IN US, she thinks life should be filled with movie kisses and coffee drinks. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.

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  1. Yes bloggers are awesome ... I know because I'm a fellow blogger! Thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway. I so want to sink my teeth into Davie Milo!

  2. Yes the bloggers are awesome.. theyve helped me gain more information faster for books I may want to read! Thank you!