on January 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Series: Playing With Fire #3
Published by Self Published
Source: Tara Sivec
Copy for review provided by Tara Sivec in exchange for an honest review.Goodreads
“Worn me down like a road. I did everything you told. Worn me down to my knees. I did everything to please.”
Austin Conrad has never taken his personal life seriously. As a Navy SEAL, he spends all of his time in dangerous, life-threatening situations. The only way to leave behind the horrors he’s seen throughout his career, is to turn it all off when he gets home. He’s too much of a playboy to settle down; even if he did find a woman he could stand to be around for more than one night, he would never taint her life with the demons of his past.
When his best friend and SEAL team member, Brady Marshall asks him to keep an eye on his baby sister, Gwen, Austin figures it will be a walk in the park. The only thing Austin likes more than flirting his way under a beautiful woman’s skin, is walking away with a smile on his face. Austin never expects that the single mom and her little girl will be the ones getting under his skin.
Gwen Stratford knows all too well about living in a nightmare. After taking her daughter and fleeing from her abusive husband in the middle of the night several months ago, she’s worked hard to get her life back on track and forget about the man who tried to break her. Growing up under the iron thumb of her parents and then moving right on with a man who ruled their marriage with his fists, Gwen is finally able to breathe and live her life the way she wants.
When scary, mysterious things begin to happen to Gwen and her daughter, she realizes you can never outrun your past; it always has a way of catching up with you. As she struggles with the desire to keep her newfound independence, she knows she won’t be able to protect herself and her child alone. She’ll need to lean on the one man who drives her crazy.
Can Gwen really put her trust in a man who thinks life is one big joke, or will he be just another man in her life who tries to wear her down?
I really, really enjoyed this book. Austin and Gwen were fun and engaging characters to read and I loved their verbal sparring. Gwen is such a smart ass and she won’t take any shit from anyone, much less Austin. Austin knows that he can’t resist Gwen but he sure does try!
Sometimes, books where the main characters engage in a lot of verbal sparring, get weighed down with attitude and it bores me to tears. This one did not, in fact they actually talked about what they were feeling. Austin totally owned up to how he was feeling to Gwen… that he was not husband/father material. It was refreshing to have these kinds of mature adult conversations that do not dissolve into who can be a bigger smartass. They both have their own big bags of baggage that they bring to the table. Austin is afraid to be more to a woman than a booty call and keeps them at arms length and Gwen just plain can’t trust a man to not hurt her again. So, we get to sit back watch the show.
I knew from the first moment she called me an ass that kissing her would be like a fiery explosion, neither one of us surviving without getting burned. She’s mouthy and she’s stubborn, but there’s a vulnerability buried deep down inside that makes me want to take care of her, consume her and protect her at all costs.
Ms. Sivec writes this series with generous doses of humor, Kindle-melting super sexy sexytimes and heartfelt emotion. She also writes a really great child character- Emma, who melts Austin’s heart way before he truly figures it out. It’s always fun to watch the alphas be brought to their knees by the kiddos. Who can resist a big badass Navy SEAL, playing “Insurgent Barbie”? Annnnd he says stuff like “darlin’ “. Which, TOTALLY works for me.
Decide for yourself
A group of talented book bloggers gathered together to get the scoop on the characters in T.E. Sivec’s Playing With Fire series. This four-part series has questions from a bit of a kinkster, a straight shooter, a lover and a truth teller. Follow along during the tour to find out about characters past, present and future.
Part 1 – Ana’s Attic Book Blog (Tues. Jan 21)
Part 2 – Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews (Thur. Jan 23) (That’s Me!!)
Part 3 – A Love Affair With Books (Sun. Jan 26)
Part 4 – True Story Book Blog (Tues. Jan 28)
Welcome to Part 2 of the Playing With Fire interview – today we are talking with Austin and Gwen for a bit. Ana’s Attic kicked this interview off – make sure you check out her portion of the show!
For Austin—Do you have any reservations about Gwen’s job? Ever worry about her while she’s on a job?
As a guy, it was really hard for me at first to just let her put herself in danger. But I’ve seen what she can do and I’ve watched her fire a damn gun better than half the men I went to the Naval Academy with. She tough and she’s a fighter. She’ll also kick you in the balls if you piss her off. I have to trust her to be okay or I’d lose my fucking mind with worry every time she walked out the door.
For Gwen—When were you sure that Austin could handle an instant family? Was there a particular moment?
The first time I watched him get down on the floor and play with Emma just melted my heart. I thought he was crazy every time he told me he wasn’t good with kids. But I would have to say, the moment that solidified it was the day Emma got hurt and he rushed her to the hospital. He took care of her when I couldn’t be there and that meant so much to me. If he can handle a bleeding, screaming, six-year-old little girl, he can handle anything.
Austin, has there been a huge adjustment going from living alone for so long, to living with two women and are you ready for puberty?
You know, I thought it would freak me out having all their girly pink shit everywhere, but it doesn’t. I don’t know what it is, but it just feels right; it feels like they’ve always been there. And don’t even make me think about puberty. Puberty equals boys. Boys are assholes. Boys that are assholes who come sniffing around Emma won’t be boys any longer when I shoot off their dicks.
***Make sure you tune in to A Love Affair With Books on Sunday, Jan. 26th for Part 3!