PLAYING WITH TEMPTATION - Reese Ryan
Harlequin Kimani Romance
REVIEWER: Susan Plummer | RATING: B+
REVIEW: Reese Ryan’s novel, PLAYING WITH TEMPTATION features a pro footballer in the fight of his life to regain his credibility and win back the only woman he has ever loved. North Carolina football player, Nate Johnson wants a championship ring and a win for his team. When they fall miserably short of this aspiration, Nate is caught on camera publicly berating his teammates. This lapse in judgement threatens the chance of the very win the team seeks and Nate’s chance of securing an endorsement deal. Nate’s agent races into damage control with a plan to repair his public image. Kendra Williams is hired as his new PR rep and while Kendra is good; working with her promises to wreak havoc on Nate’s peace of mind. Years ago, Kendra nearly destroyed him when she ended their relationship and relegated him to part time father of their son. Now Nate must work with Kendra to prove his words were misconstrued. Their reluctant alliance is both strengthened and tested by a jealous ex determined to accomplish Nate’s demise. Something good may come from this nightmare after all if Nate’s dream of winning Kendra back can come true. The title PLAYING WITH TEMPTATION perfectly illustrates Nate and Kendra’s struggle to control their feelings.
PLAYING WITH TEMPTATION moves at an unhurried pace and the plot unfolds in a way that sustains continued interest. The main and sub-characters in PLAYING WITH TEMPTATION are interesting and well-thought out. Both Nate and Kendra are passionate people and while this possibly led to their initial connection; it may also have resulted in their demise. This seems evident in Nate’s high expectations of what he wants from a relationship and he wants Kendra’s wholehearted support. Kendra has no problem supporting Nate’s dream but not at the expense of her own. Further complicating matters is Kendra’s vague reason for abandoning their relationship which becomes clear when her daddy issues are later revealed. Sadly, Nate becomes the victim of Kendra’s unresolved problems. The only way to heal is to face the past and Kendra remains in denial.
Nate and Kendra communicate with a comfortability born from years of friendship despite their strained relationship. Their exchanges are often relatable, frequently funny and overall, very engaging.
PLAYING WITH TEMPTATION initially reminded me of FULL COURT SEDUCTION by Synithia Williams; with its similar sports theme, likeable characters and entertaining plot. PLAYING WITH TEMPTATION, however, distinguishes itself with the twist of a conniving ex. This development ups the entertainment factor and creates a key layer in taking the story beyond being just another story about a sports star and his baby mama.
8th September 2017 | firstname.lastname@example.org