Review – Tempting the Player by Kat Latham

Tempting the PlayerPublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Today!
How I got this book: NetGalley

Libby Hart and Matt Ogden are perfect for each other—as friends. They’ve known each other for ages. They act as each other’s plus-ones. They even share custody of a dog. And if there’s always been a little spark between them, so what? It’s never been worth jeopardizing their friendship.

Professional rugby player Matt is fighting for a starter position with the London Legends—and that’s not the only thing he’s fighting. A crippling fear of flying means he’s struggling to get his career off the ground. He has no time for a relationship, even if Libby does make him ache. As an airline pilot, Libby’s looking for a stay-at-home husband so she can have a family without sacrificing her high-flying career. Matt’s certainly not that man.

But just because they don’t have a future together doesn’t mean they can’t have a right now. When Matt asks Libby for help overcoming his fear, they agree to take a vacation from their platonic relationship—whenever they fly together, they can have sex. It’s the perfect way to resolve all that built-up tension. As long as they can avoid getting a little too comfortable…
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I’ve really enjoyed Latham’s London Legend’s series, despite the fact that I know next to nothing about rugby. Something about her writing and characters just pulls me in and engages me so much that I can’t help but to fall in love.

Matt hasn’t been very successful the past few years in his rugby career, but a tragic event gives him the chance for the starter’s job, and he really needs to pick up his game in order to prove his worth. But there are a few things holding him back. First, his horrific fear of flying, and the distraction of seeing his best friend Libby in a new and sexual light.

Libby has always loved Matt, but settled for being his best friend because she knew he couldn’t give her the future she wanted. But when she discovers Matt’s fear of flying and takes on the job of trying to help him overcome his fear, the change in their relationship has Libby rethinking everything she thought she ever wanted.

Like I said earlier, I know absolutely nothing about rugby, but everytime I finish reading one of Latham’s books, I want to know more about the sport. She makes it seem so exciting and interesting and fun. Her vivid descriptions of not only the characters, but the game itself is just so magical, I can’t help but be drawn in.

I loved poor Matt. He was such a tortured character, and yet he didn’t sit and wallow in the angst (too much, at least). He had a rough time with his family, a rough time in his career, a rough first marriage, and lost all confidence in himself. I felt so bad for him, especially since he seemed to be just shuffling through life, never trying to figure out where he went wrong and what he could do to get himself back on track. Until Libby.

I thought Libby was great as well, although she was different from the typical sports romance heroine. She was a pilot, and she knew exactly what she wanted: a successful career, and someone who would be able to stay home and take care of their kids while she went out and pursued her dream career. I loved that Latham flipped the typical gender stereotypes on their head with this one, especially since Libby was unapologetic about know what she wanted and not settling for anything less.

The romance between Matt and Libby was wonderful as well. I loved the fact that they had such a strong foundation to build their relationship on. Their friendship was important to them, and they both acknowledged that the worst possible thing about starting to get physical would be losing the closeness of their friendship. But these two absolutely heated up the sheets together, and watching them fall even more in love was such a fun journey.

One thing that I wish Latham did more was bring around the previous characters in the series. However, despite the guys who are all on the same team, we don’t really get to see much of the other couples after their books are finished. We get to see a bit of them, but not like other sports romance series books I’ve enjoyed in the past. I get attached to the characters, and would like more than a passing mention of them, but that’s just my personal preference.

All in all, I thought Latham’s third book in the London Legend’s series was another knock out. I loved both Matt and Libby and thought their friends to lovers romance was so well done. I liked the way Matt was forced to deal with his fear of flying, and the plan he and Libby worked out to help him.
I give Tempting the Player a B+

2 thoughts on “Review – Tempting the Player by Kat Latham”

  1. Glad you enjoyed it Minn! I have to admit, at first glance I thought the guy was wearing a strange kind of bra. Let me tell you, no one would hang sport shoes around his neck like that, the smell and dirt, no. And the background? I can’t make sense of it.

    Still, the cover is not as important as the story of course, so I will put this on my maybe list. Sierra Dean tought me that I do enjoy sports romance while hating sports in real life.

  2. @aurian: I agree that the cover is definitely not the way that rugby is portrayed in the book. Also, I think the background is supposed to be a… scrum? Which is a rugby… thing. Still not clear on the details. LOL

    The characters are so vivid, you would probably like it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.