Where do you go to escape everything when you’re one of the most famous rugby players in the world? For Liam Callaghan, that place is a remote lodge on Venezuela’s Caribbean coast. Perfect, except he doesn’t exactly want to be alone with his thoughts. Enter Tess Chambers, the ultimate distraction.
Still reeling from a professional disaster that’s made her all but unemployable, Tess understands the desire to move through life as somebody else. So when instantly recognizable Liam uses a fake name, she runs with it and creates a temporary new identity of her own.
Their time spent together in paradise is idyllic but brief—after one passionate night, Liam wakes up to find Tess gone. Returning to London, he’s shocked to learn she’s taken a job with his team’s new sponsor. As the Legends’ captain, he’ll have to not only figure out how to work with the one woman who ever left him wanting more, but also convince her that their feelings in the present mean more than any lies they’ve told in the past.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I don’t think I’ve ever watched a game of Rugby before, and yet after reading Latham’s debut novel last year, I kinda want to start!
Liam is trying to hide away at a resort in Venezuela, but running into Tess is the perfect distraction for him to think about anything but his own problems. While Liam hides his profession from Tess, he thinks they really hit it off, and looks forward to spending all his free time with her. But when she disappears the next morning, and Liam runs into her as representative of his team’s new sponsor, Liam is shocked and disappointed and unsure how to handle himself.
Tess was publicly shamed when her last job became a court case and she had to testify in front of the entire country. Running away to Venezuela was a chance for some anonymity. Running to Liam is more than she could ever dream, and their night together was incredible. But the real world is calling, and Tess can’t afford to blow off it’s call. When the only job she can get is working for her cousin, Tess is thrown back into Liam’s world and they will have to work together to save both their careers.
One of the things that Latham does so well is showcase a love of rugby to the readers. Like I said, I’ve never watched rugby, never even had a desire to, and yet after reading the first two books in the London Legends series, I absolutely want to watch a game. I want to love it as much as she does and her characters do.
While there was a lot of great stuff in this book, there were a few things that bothered me. The main thing was the way Tess didn’t try very hard to keep her libido in line when it came to Liam. After all the drama she went through with her previous job, and then having her cousin tell her flat out not to get involved with anyone, Tess went ahead with her relationship with Liam. I really wanted her to show a little more restraint, because she came across as a slave to her sex drive.
Another thing that rankled me a bit was the way Liam reacted to Tess not being totally honest at their first meeting. For someone who didn’t tell the whole truth about himself, he seemed to overreact a bit about the way Tess handled their Venezuela meeting. I didn’t see why that came across as such a huge problem for them, especially since Liam wasn’t totally honest either. It was just a little thing that didn’t really make sense to me, and threw off my enjoyment just a bit.
That being said, the rest of the book was fabulous. Tess and Liam had amazing chemistry, and the sexual tension between them was off the charts. I would have liked to see that stretch out a bit more and watch the two of them continue to struggle with maintaining a professional relationship and work through the chemistry that neither could ignore.
While the conflict at the end was full of angst, I did like the way it all played out. It was a good amount of groveling and putting yourself out there for your love, and I liked the way it played out with Tess having to be the one doing most of the groveling.
All in all, I thought Latham’s second book in the London Legends book was good. The sexual tension between Tess and Liam was incredibly written, and I wish it would have been drawn out even more. I’m anxious to see what Latham comes up with next.
I give Playing it Close a B-