Review: Playing With Desire
Harlequin Kimani Romance
March 2017
Category Romance
REVIEWER:  Janet Caldwell | RATING:  A
REVIEW: Reese Ryan delivers the emotional story of Maya Alvarez’s journey to self-discovery and the aftermath: guilt.  In PLAYING WITH DESIRE, Maya swaps her predictable “soccer mom” life for a three-month adventure enjoying her wildest fantasies with a handsome stranger.

Maya Alvarez and Liam Westbrook are a complex couple that meet by happenstance. They recognize an instant attraction and mutually agree to act upon it with one caveat - they go their separate ways at the end of the summer.  Whoever said all good things must come to an end wasn’t a romantic.

Our story is set in the fictional town of Pleasure Cove, North Carolina where Maya is a divorced mother of two. Her daughters are away for the summer visiting their father in Puerto Rico. To cheer her up and celebrate her birthday, Maya plans to dine with her sister. She is wearing a birthday gift from her sister - a sexy red dress. While feeling very self-conscience in this provocative attire she attracts the unsolicited attention of two men; one is “hotness in a suit” and the other is “a lecherous grinner”. Then the unthinkable happens.  Her sister cancels, leaving Maya to contemplate leaving or accepting her sister’s offer to dine alone and splurge on her dime. As “lecherous grinner” makes his move, “hotness in a suit” swoops in and announces she is dining with him. Dinner with “hotness in a suit” ends two days later …

“Hotness in a suit” is Liam Westbrook, a biracial Brit in Pleasure Cove overseeing the construction of his family’s luxury resort. Liam isn’t completely forthcoming about his occupation or family lineage because previous experience proves this information is a magnet for gold-diggers. Maya fails to mention that she is a mother of two, fearing this would scare away the international playboy. Secrets safely tucked away, they mutually agree to a superficial, short-term, adventurous, in-the-moment affair with no strings attached.

I really enjoyed Maya and Liam’s journey to realization. Both characters are weighed down by relationship baggage and family drama.  Neither feels they are relationship material and rather than repeat past mistakes, they redirect their energies into their careers.  Other characters impacting this story include Maya’s two daughters, her sister Kendra, her ex-husband; Liam’s brother, his sister-in-law and father. I invite you to journey to Pleasure Cove as Maya “gets her groove back” and Liam learns the importance of love, family and forgiveness.

24th April 2017 |