What is “Reckless Player” by R.C. Stephens about?
I’ve had a crush on my best friend for as long as I can remember. But he’s a hockey winger, who has quite a reputation with the puck bunnies, and I’m a nerdy girl trying to survive my biochemistry degree as a single mom.
If science has taught me anything, it’s that facts don’t lie. The truth is Ryse and I are from two completely different worlds. He’s headed for the pros, and I hypothesize I’ll be left behind… again.
Ryse might not be boyfriend material, but he makes a great fake fiancé because he’s fooling even me. After months of subtle touches and staged kisses, our experiment finally combusts.
He may be a reckless player… but his pretend love is the realest thing I’ve ever felt.
After my gorgeous best friend moves in next door, things go from friend zone to off-the-charts chemistry. Now I’m seeing the sexy single mom in a whole new light.
It’s my year to go pro, and before I can draft, I need to clean up my playboy reputation and graduate. I can’t risk a relationship… or my friendship with Paris.
When she needs a fake fiancé to get her son into private school, I do what any good friend would do—I volunteer.
But the closer we get, the more blurred the lines become. Falling for her is a complication I didn’t calculate… but pretending to love her is the easiest game I’ve ever played.
I just hope when the game is over, I don’t lose her for good.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
After having met Paris and Ryse in the previous books in the series, I was excited to read their love story. I’m a fan of the fake dating trope, so that combined with friends-to-lovers was a treat. Seeing them through their own eyes instead of through each of their younger sibling’s was nice. (Getting to see characters from the previous three books make an appearance was really fun, too! Especially Poppy, Ryse’s younger sister, and Declan.)
This is sort of a ‘the guy falls first’ book, in that Ryse is the first one to feel more comfortable going all-in with Paris much earlier than she feels going all-in with him, due to her past relationship with Tobias, her son Max’s father. Max and Ryse’s relationship was so sweet to read, and I’m glad that the ruse between him and Paris (at the beginning) never blew up in his, or anyone’s, face. Taking the book in a different direction was a much better call! We also get to see more repercussions of the gossip column in the school paper, which was more the focus of the last book.
We learn more about Ryse’s family, as we already know most everything about Paris because of her sister’s book. Considering Ryse’s revelation about his father, I think it would’ve been interesting to see some sort of confrontation between the two. Ryse’s able to have his moment of understanding the error in his ways without that, but it would’ve made for some intriguing interpersonal dynamics.
The writing seems like it could use a bit more editing at times, and I’m not sure how much changes from the ARC to the final copy. I’ll still continue to read the series, and am looking forward to the next book, but if you’re looking for a hockey series, I recommend starting with Rebecca Jenshak’s “Wildcat” hockey series first before moving on to this one.
As with all new adult books, I recommend this for 18+ due to some of the mature sexual content. Huge thanks to R.C. Stephens for allowing me to read an early copy — the book is out June 1st, so make sure to go preorder yourself a copy!
Reviews of Books by R.C. Stephens:
Playlists for Books of R.C. Stephens:
“Heartless Player” (Westfall U #1) by: R.C. Stephens ♪
“Ruthless Player” (Westfall U #2) by: R.C. Stephens ♪
“Callous Player” (Westfall U #3) by: R.C. Stephens ♪