Published by Harlequin on January 1st 2016
Genres: African American, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
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Love's a game without rules Ever since she threw her cheating fiancé's ring back in his face, Rose Beharie has avoided men. With her law school reunion fast approaching, she needs a sexy, successful date who'll prove to her ex that she's moved on. Sales executive Donovan Carroll more than fits the bill. In fact, from his sensual smile to his compassionate heart, the man seems too perfect for a woman whose emotions are on ice… One minute Donovan is playing a part as a favor to the gorgeous attorney, the next he's tumbling head over heels. As soon as their public display becomes a simmering private inferno, Rose backs off. Will he be able to convince her that no revenge could ever be more satisfying than falling hopelessly and passionately in love?
Rose Beharie needed a pretend boyfriend to accompany her to her law school reunion.
Donovan Carroll needed a lawyer willing to help his homeless shelter pro bono.
It was just supposed to be a business agreement.
I was introduced to Regina Hart via my Harlequin monthly subscription and decided to read Passion Play on a whim one night after work. A pretty short read, Passion Play is a part of The Anderson family series, however, this book can definitely be read as a standalone. As you may have guessed, I didn’t read the first book but had no problems following along.
Given the premise, you can imagine that what started off as a business arrangement quickly turned into something more. While Donovan was more willing to give into his feelings, Rose needed a lot of convincing. Because of a pretty bad breakup, Rose was left with trust issues and had essentially closed off her heart. While I definitely understood her pain and would have probably reacted the same way, Rose was very stubborn to the point where I wanted to shake her at times. I know its human nature to compare exes, especially when you previous partner really hurt you, but Donovan showed her from the get go that he was nothing like Ben (her ex). However, she refused to believe him. If it wasnt for her sisters giving her some honest truths and Donovan being persistent in the end, she would have lost out on a good thing.
Donovan, however, wasn’t without his share of heartache. His last girlfriend broke up with him becuase of his past and the breakup left him a bit vulnerable. Initially, he was afraid of opening up to Rose out of fear. He was able to see though that under Rose’s tough exterior was someone with true compassion and he was able to trust her. I won’t go into detail here about his past but when you find out the truth, you will wonder why any self respecting person would leave someone because of that? I say that Donovan turned out to be the lucky one. I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted a long term relationship with someone who proved to be that shallow.
Passion Play was definitely a slow burn for me, and while Rose and Donovan definitely had feelings for each other I wasn’t really invested in their chemistry. They had love and compassion for each other, but they were missing a bit of the fire that I tend to like my main characters to have. However, it was a solid read and a nice introduction to Regina Hart for me. Looks like Rose’s sister, Lily’s, will get her story next and I’m a bit intrigued by her so I’ll keep an eye out for the next installment.
Who’s read this book? Let me know what you think in the comments below!