ARC Review: Playing With Trouble by Chanel Cleeton

» 21 July, 2015 » A-minus Reviews, Chanel Cleeton » 0 comments


The author of Flirting with Scandal presents her second book in a sexy contemporary romance series about three sisters in a powerful political family, the scandals that threaten to destroy them, and the passion that drives them…

The daughter of one of the Senate’s most powerful figures, Blair Reynolds was ready to become the ultimate political wife—until she caught her fiancé cheating on her wedding day. Law school is a fresh start, her shot at putting the pieces of her life back together. That’s the plan, at least. Until trouble comes in the form of her Torts professor, the man whose arrogance infuriates her in class but haunts her private fantasies.

Graydon Canter had a fortune and a place on all the hottest “Thirty under Thirty” lists, until a series of personal missteps nearly destroyed his career. A year teaching at a D.C. law school is just the break he needs to get his life back in order, as long as nothing—and no one—trips him up.

When Blair and Gray are forced to work together, their explosive attraction becomes impossible to resist. But Gray’s demons have drawn him dangerously close to the edge, and Blair has spent her life playing by the rules. Will she break them for a shot at love?

I consider this series one of my epic finds this year. I really enjoyed Flirting With Scandal and ever since then, I’ve been waiting to read Blair’s story. Safe to say that Chanel Cleeton did not disappoint.

We met Blair in the first book. She’s Jackie’s “perfect” half-sister. She’s groomed to be the perfect daughter, then the perfect fiancee, and later on, the perfect wife. But then on the day of her wedding, she discovered her fiance in flagrante delicto with the best man. Blair’s seemingly perfect life started unraveling from then on. Tired of the pressure being dumped on her and the endless scandal that hounds her family, Blair enrolled herself in law school where she meets professor

After destroying his life, his marriage, and his career in Chicago, Graydon Canter finds himself in DC teaching in one of the more mediocre law school in the country. He’s trying to avoid the same pitfalls that destroyed his previous life but when he meets Blair Reynolds all bets are off. Like a moth to flame, Gray and Blair can’t seem to stay away from one another.

Yes, this book has the dreaded insta-lust. Not love but LUST. Gray and Blair’s attraction to each other is instantaneous. But what separates this book from the others with a similar hook is that they didn’t give in to that lust immediately. They allowed it to simmer between them, and it made for some delicious reading material. Oh, the sexual tension in this book is sky-high. If death by sexual tension is even a possibility, then this book would definitely be hazardous to your health. I loved it.

Apart from the sexual chemistry and the delicious tension between Gray and Blair, I was enamored by their character’s personal journey especially Blair’s. She started off not really knowing what to do with her life. Despite the perfection she shows to the world, she has flaws. She’s not that smart or that beautiful, she’s failing law school and she had no career prospects whatsoever. That made her relatable. And Graydon…I was surprised by how sweet his character turned out to be. Sweet and hot. His angst comes from knowing that because of his addictive personality, he might end up destroying Blair the same way he did everything else in his life. He made a mistake later on in the book that didn’t sit well with me but it was, however, consistent with his character, so I can’t really complain. I only wish he realized it and made a decision long before Jackie or Kate confronted him. That’s the only hiccup for me.

But the rest…the chemistry, the character arcs, the story, everything worked and made me happy. There were a lot of internal monologue but it didn’t bore me because I was invested in these characters. I wanted to know their thoughts and their feelings, so it wasn’t a chore.

Kudos to Ms. Cleeton for delivering another swoon-worthy romance. Playing With Trouble is definitely my favorite in the series so far.



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