Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Player and the Pixie (Rugby #2) by Penny Reid & LH Cosway - ARCReview


How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehole. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?

The Pixie and the Player is a full-length, romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the second book in the Rugby Series.

Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.
His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: April 2016.

I'm going to be entirely honest here, I've been struggling to read of late, my ability to devour a book the way I once did has been sorely lacking, my speed reading skills seem to have taken a holiday, and I've been finding my concentration poor, I've been ill and exhausted, in short I'm burnt out, I find myself trying to read, and within a few pages I'm staring at the words on the page as they dance across the screen, my mind frazzled, feeling dejected because the thing that has maintained my sanity isn't working the way it used to, picking up and setting down title after title just because, when new books wouldn't capture my attention the way I'd hoped, I'd return to old faithfuls, rereading paragraphs of text hoping to reignite my passion for reading.  When The Player and the Pixie hit my kindle I felt that zing of anticipation, followed quickly by the dread of "what if I can't get into this either".... I'll be honest I was cautious, I told myself to just give it a go, if I couldn't get into it I'd put it down and take a breath, one page turned into two, two turned into three, three turned into five chapters, and before I knew it I was lying awake at 2.30am this morning, my eyes drooping, my brain begging for just one more page. There's something about Penny Reid and LH Cosway's writing independently that draws me in, after falling in love with Cosway's prose years ago when I first picked up Painted Faces I instantly became a bona fide fan, similarly Reid's quirky Knitting in the City series enticed me, but it was her Elements of Chemistry series and the aloof but ultimately charismatic Martin Sandeke that made her an automatic one click author for me. Creating stories that readers love is no small feat, dreaming up fictional worlds the reader can get lost in is monumental in itself, but two authors crafting a story that is cohesive, that drags the reader into it, that feels organic and real, that flows from one sentence to the next...well that for me is mind blowing, Reid and Cosway may not be the first to collaborate or co-write a novel, but they certainly are an unstoppable force in contemporary romance, and one of my automatic must read recommendation duo's.

Lucy Fitzpatrick and Sean Cassidy felt like old friends to me after meeting them both in the first book in the Rugby series, Lucy was flighty and lovable, ethereal and quirky - everything about her set me at ease, unaffected by wealth or societal standing Lucy was a joy, beneath her outlandish appearance lurked a quiet temerity, Shakespeare's words ring in my mind when I think of her "Though she be but little she is fierce" - with her diminutive stature but loud personality everything about Lucy screams that she's a silent warrior, she knows her flaws, see's her faults and yet she keeps trying to find ways to better herself, but more than that, she's desperate to effect change in a world that often lacks humanity, refusing to fight hate and aggression with venomous vitriol, she endeavours to do good, to be good, to find the good in people even when they are desperate to prove to the world that they are nothing but bad.

Sean Cassidy is cocky and aloof, his vehement distaste for most of his acquaintances is clear, he has a tenuous relationship with most of his family, his connection to the women whose bed he shares is apathetic at best, and a well documented aggressive relationship with his team captain Ronan Fitzpatrick means there's very little for him to hold dear. Sean is meandering through life with zero expectations, he has wealth and prestige but as he already knows all too well, money only gets you so far, it certainly doesn't keep you warm at night, nor does it allow you to dream about a future filled with a life you are eager to experience.

Everything about Sean and Lucy is wrong, the woman who finds the inherent goodness in her surroundings, and the man who is trying to prove to the world just how much of a jerk he is, their connection is immediate, there's a pull there from their first reconnection that catches both of them off guard. Moments of candour interspersed with snarky barbs set the tone for two people inexplicably drawn to one another and yet desperate to keep their distance.

"It was a completely insensitive thing to say. I am insensitive. But I'd like to be otherwise, with you, if you'll give me the chance."

The more they explore their blinding sexual chemistry, the more cracks appear in Lucy's resolve to keep Sean at arms length, when the man who has never wanted for anything suddenly knows what it's like to have someone who feels like coming home, we see the metaphorical shackles breaking as he finally figures out the lengths to which you can be willing to go when you find someone who colours your world. Despite his earlier childish pranks, his smart remarks, his outward disdain for almost everyone he knows, there's a softer side to Sean that was thrilling to unravel, my heart beat faster, my breath stilled every time I saw a glimpse of the kind of man Sean truly was under the armour he put on for the world.

"Now you have two people in all the world who will always be there for you."
There wasn't a word in this story that I didn't adore, nor a moment when I felt that all too familiar panic set in, telling me my concentration was waning, that I was ready to set it down to move onto something else. I fell deeply, hopelessly and irreverently in love with Sean and Lucy, from Sean's clueless bumblings in the bedroom, to Lucy's klepto tendencies, to the sweet smiles, soft sighs, shared looks and warm caresses they made me smile, but more than anything they made me desperate for more, they made me want to keep reading, they had me losing track of time, and just being in the words, getting swept away. The Player and the Pixie was tender and heart-warming, funny and exhilarating, and sexy as sin, the balance of heat, heart and humour was a winner for me, one that left me feeling both sated and invigorated, with a smile on my face long after I turned the last page.

Review: The Hooker and the Hermit

About the Authors:

Penny Reid

Penny Reid is a USA Today Best Selling Author of romantic fiction. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to three diminutive adults (boy-8, girl-6, and girl-4 months), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Connect with Penny Reid on Facebook

LH Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.
Connect with LH Cosway on Facebook

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