Review: Playing For Fun (Due South #6) by Tracey Alvarez

Playing for FunTitle: Playing For Fun
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #6
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
PLAYING FOR FUN is the sixth story in Tracey Alvarez’s best-selling Due South books set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like Jill Shalvis, Marie Force, or Bella Andre, then you’ll enjoy diving into these heart-warming, sexy & seductive small-town romances with authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone.

Wanted: A woman for Ford.
Ford Komeke can’t deny he could use an up-skill in the dating arena. It’s a local in-joke that his game, as far as women go, sucks. Thanks to the meddling of New Zealand’s worst octogenarian matchmaker, he’s got an online dating profile, a new wardrobe, and a haircut from Stewart Island’s sexy hairdresser, Holly Parker. But since he’s well and truly mired in the friendzone with Holly, what’s the harm in exploring his options? A little jealousy could work wonders.

Offered: Dream job with a catch.
What do you say when you’re offered an un-turn-downable career opportunity? You say, hell-to-the-yeah! Only there’s a problem. To get the dream job Holly must leave Stewart Island and her two best friends, Shaye and Ford. But if Holly can distract Shaye with wedding planning and set Ford up with a nice girl so she can stop imagining him naked, neither will notice if she exits stage right. Neither will notice if her feelings for Ford stop being strictly platonic.

Warning: One kiss is never enough.
As addictive as the chocolate stash Holly hides in her fridge, one kiss forces them out of the friendzone—way out of the friendzone. Heat and hunger explode, but the ugliness in Ford’s past hold his heart hostage. Playing for fun or playing for keeps? Holly and Ford must decide because the consequences of falling in love means that someone’s heart or someone’s dream will ultimately end up shattered.

My Review:
Anyone that follows me on social media will know I am a massive fan of Tracey’s Due South series. I was therefore very excited to get the opportunity to beta read this book in advance of publication.

What can I say? I LOVED Holly and Ford’s story and I ADORED being back in the amazing small-knit community that Tracey has created, and it was FANTASTIC to catch up with some of my favorite characters (especially Shaye and Del, they are my absolute favs)

Ford had a very difficult early childhood, and he is still showcasing the scars. He’s also very much lost in his twin brothers shadow. Mrs. Taylor (the community busy body with a heart of gold) decides he needs a woman and she ropes in his bestie Holly to help with her matchmaking. Holly and Ford are great friends but she’s been harboring more than friendly feelings for him for some time. There were lots of hilarous scenes where Ford is on dates with some crazy chicks! LOL funny.

Holly has an opportunity to leave the Island, and she is torn. On the one hand there is Ford, and her adopted-grandma, and her BFF Shaye, but on the other hand most of her friends are all married or engaged and she feels like she’s skirting the fringes of their lives.

This is more than just a simple friends to lovers story. Ford needs Holly to help him overcome his demons, and she needs his love to keep her where she has always belonged. Ford clams up whenever the conversation gets heavy, where Holly really needs to see him vulnerable, so she knows she can truly trust him and plan a future with him. The path to true love and real trust is not an easy one and it’s filled with plenty of angst and heartache.

This was a fantastic read for a book that is still undergoing final round of editing. It’s testament to Tracey’s considerable talent that I’m already rating it 5 stars – it was seriously that good. The worldbuilding and character development was solid, pacing is perfect, and the writing is amazeballs as usual. It’s also filled with plenty of sexy times and funny dialogue, both of which I’ve come to expect from this author.

If you love this series then you must read this book. And if you haven’t checked out this series yet then what are you waiting for? In Too Deep, Book 1 is free on all major online retailers.

Thanks to the author for gifting me a review copy in exchange for my honest review. This has in no way influenced my opinion.

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