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Joint Review – The Players Club: Scott by Cathy Yardley

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Publish Date: January 1st
How we got this book: eARC from author

The Pledge: Scott Farrell, recovering Boring Guy.
The Goal: Membership in an ultrasecret consortium of urban adventurers.
The Conditions: Select three insane challenges. Tell no one. Survive.
The Complication: Amanda Wheeler, sexy girl next door.

Scott never mentioned The Player’s Club, but Amanda’s onto him. She’ll keep quiet and help him get in…if he’ll nominate her for membership. It’s a dirty little deal that launches the normally nice neighbors into a world of skydiving, burlesque—and adrenaline-soaked sex that gets better every single time.

Not everyone’s happy about the new recruits, however. And initiation may be a lot tougher than either of them expected….
*blurb taken from Goodreads*

Lou: When Minn emailed me this request, the blurb intrigued me and because it was a contemporary romance, I didn’t want to pass it up — despite the up and down relationship I have with Harlequin’s categories. This is the first book in the series about an infamous club called the Players Club, where rich males are members and every month they go and take part in stunts that annoy some people, and are the envy of others. Scott, our ordinary hero, is spying on the comings and goings of these suspicious men in his next door’s neighbours fire-escape. He starts to think they are members of the mob, and his spying is interrupted by his next door neighbour, Amanda, the heroine of the story. Scott and Amanda hit it off, and he shares with her his curiosity of what’s happening below. What Scott soon finds out — when his curiosity takes shape into going down into the alleyway where these men are gathering — is that these men are members of the Players Club. And when he’s spotted, he’s asked to join and from there Scott, the once boring data analyst, is knee deep in the Player Club, and soon enough, Amanda is also caught in the action. So despite my like of the premise, and what I thought of the cute romance between Scott and Amanda, I really really disliked this book and some of the aspects that made me think are these characters supposed to be adults.

Minn: I too really enjoyed the premise of the book, and I too thought that the romance between Scott and Amanda would be full of action both in the bedroom and out of it. And while I didn’t think this was the best contemporary romance I’ve read this year, I didn’t hate it. I can see where Lou is coming from in thinking that some of the characters acted more like college kids than adults, and that was probably my least favorite aspect of the story. However, the overall theme of living life to the fullest, and pushing past any and all fears to go out and do the things we’ve only dreamed about really rang true to me. I loved that both Scott and Amanda were given the chance to do things they would have otherwise never done. For me, that made up for the ridiculousness that was George and his childish BS.

Lou: I think Amanda and Scott were cute together, and I loved their interactions and their sex scenes were smoking, but I hated that the Players Club was such an immature tree house club where the main tension was the jostling of who would be the leader. And I really wanted to kick George out of the story all together because it really got on my nerves. He was in essence a 12 year old boy who wanted to the leader. I also didn’t like that Amanda’s job which she worked hard at was made to be boring. I think that Amanda’s job wasn’t the problem, but Amanda herself made the choice of not doing anything outside of it. I also didn’t get why she suddenly wanted in on this all men club. The Players Club I felt was made out to be this super cool club that all the popular and non-popular kids wanted to be a part of. And some of what they did, where Amanda and Scott take part in animal abuse really had my blood pressure rising so fast that I found any liking of the characters went out of the window. Having the hero and heroine being exhilarated at the thought of running after terrified bulls, who after being chased through narrow streets by idiotic humans, are then killed in a bullfighter’s ring afterwards. I honestly wanted to put the book there and then down.

Minn: While I would never want to run with the bulls, I didn’t read that part as being animal abuse. I will admit that I’m glad Scott and Amanda didn’t go to the bullfight afterward, I don’t think I’d have wanted to read that. I also got the feeling that the Club was very fraternity-high-school-clickish, and like you, could have done without George being in the story at all. But at the same time, I also liked the side characters Flinn and Lincoln, and will be interested in looking at their stories. I have to wonder if those two will be paired up with Amanda’s two best friends. I think that now that George is out of the picture, the series will have a chance to focus more on the romance, the steamy smexy moments, and the dare-devilish adventures each couple goes on.

Lou: I did like Lincoln and Finn, though I wished Finn would have got rid of his cousin George sooner from the outset. But I think for me, whilst Amanda and Scott were strong characters, the external story of the Players Club in the end I disliked and having the characters act like kids, I couldn’t wait for the book to end. I doubt also that I would pick up the other books in the series. The Players Club rubs me up the wrong way because I feel that it’s importance is way too materialistic and the characters were sort of made to work around the club. I also disliked the ending where and this is a spoiler so look away: When Scott and Amanda do get together at last, it ended on a happy note of Amanda being ‘allowed’ in the club. I thought why would that be such a happy thing? I thought any female would want to run far away from the club. END spoiler. I also think that whilst Amanda and Scott let go of their inhibitions, I felt that it was done in a very immature way. When Amanda blackmailed Scott, just so she can be part of the club, it just felt way too immature. Overall, I give Player’s Club: Scott a D. Despite the cute romance at the beginning, the rest of the book and it’s characters and situations drove me crazy.

Minn: Call me crazy, but I think Amanda being allowed into their club is a good thing, whether or not her reasons for doing so were childish or not. I love seeing alpha men get shaken up by a woman in their midst, and I think the next couple books will have Amanda and her girlfriends doing just that. All in all there were some low points in this book, especially surrounding George and his childish behavior. At the same time I really enjoyed the overall message of the book, the steamy but slow emotional building relationship with Scott and Amanda. I’m looking forward to reading more about Finn and Lincoln. I give Player’s Club: Scott a C

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

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