*I was given a reader’s copy of this book for an honest review.
Play by Piper Lawson
Price: $0.99 (Kindle Edition); Free (with Kindle Unlimited Subscription)
Review: I’m familiar with Piper Lawson’s work (I’ve reviewed, at least, one of her novels in the past and read countless of others), so I was almost certain that Play would keep me hooked from beginning to end.
And, after reading the first couple pages, I knew that my assumption was correct.
This book had me hooked! I really enjoyed this novel, as a whole, and I can’t wait to read what Ms. Piper has in store for us with her next novel.
At the beginning of Play, we meet Payton Blake. Payton works at a bank called Alliance and her division is “responsible for helping small and medium companies grow.”
In other words, business owners come to them when they have financial problems and Alliance Financial decides if whether or not they want to give them a loan. If the decide to, than, of course, whomever is responsible for that client (possibly Payton) has to stay in touch to keep track of their progress.
This is how she meets Max Donovan.
Max is a game developer who made quite a splash in the gaming world a couple years ago with the release of his hit game, Oasis, which, when explained, seemed pretty fun. That game did very well and Max is still living off of its success, but in his eyes “you’re only as good as your latest game,” so he and his team are in the process of developing another game that is supposed to surpass every other game in the industry, including Oasis. They’ve decided to call this game Phoenix.
Their only problem? They’re running low on funds.
And we’re not talking a couple hundred dollars. We’re talking eight figures, so it’s not the kind of money that anyone (not even a very successful game developer) would have lying around. So, in hopes of solving that problem, they set up a meeting with Payton’s bank and the story takes off from there.
Payton and Max’s first encounter wasn’t the best and, although they both stereotyped one another and she ended up storming out of the restaurant pissed off, the whole scene was pretty funny. In fact, majority of their interactions were funny.
These two were complete opposites in how they lived their lives. Payton was strictly by the book. She was wild and spontaneous when she was younger, but something traumatic happened to her family and it made her straighten up. She stopped being carefree and started taking control, following the rules and staying in line. The only person that she would be willing to break the rules for was her mom. She and her mom are extremely close and Payton would do anything for her. This was made quite clear in the novel.
Max, on the other hand, thinks that life is nothing but a game. I saw him as a lone ranger for majority of the book because he didn’t have anyone that he really cared about. He and his parents don’t really communicate and he had a really bad go at marriage, so he cares, loves and/or trusts no one. His top priority is the release of his game and you’ll also see how focused he is on meeting that goal when you read this novel.
I have to admit that Max’s mood swings really annoyed me. One minute he would be all over Payton and the next he would be ignoring her and/or giving her the cold shoulder. I just couldn’t understand what his thought process was. I understood that, in addition to the stuff that he heard and felt when he was growing up, the crap that happened (and was still happening) with his ex-wife didn’t do well at proving that people can be trusted. I got that, but I just hated how he took all that out on Payton.
Since we’re talking about Max and Payton, let’s talk about their romance. It was amazing! When they were good, they were great and sparks flew! You could tell that they were attracted to one another from the beginning, it just took time for them to take it to the next level. Max was kind of hard to read, so I think Payton spent some time trying to figure out if he was as into her as she was into him. For those who are curious, the love scenes that are present are pretty detailed, so get prepared if you have to.
There are quite a few secondary characters, but we really only get a good look at about three: Max’s best friend, business partner and lawyer, Riley McKay; Payton’s mom, Tina; and Payton’s best friend, Charlie.
Charlie was hilarious and she was always trying to push Payton to step out of her comfort zone. Tina was sweet and an amazing mom. She and Payton had a tough time a couple years ago because of her health, but she always made sure to hide all of her hardship from her daughter. Riley wasn’t as obvious with his support, but he did support Max. He was a great best friend to him and a great friend to Payton as well.
Overall, this was a great novel and I highly recommend it!
Of course, Ms. Lawson’s writing was on point. This story just flowed for me and I had no problem reading right through it.
Play is currently available for purchase. Just click the link at the beginning of this post an it’ll take you to where you need to be. I would highly suggest that you go and pick this novel up. I know you won’t regret it.
But, remember, if you do decide to read this book please come back and let me know what you thought of it. Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Who was your favorite character? What was your favorite part? I want to know everything!