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|Length: 562 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Anyone that follows my reviews, even half the time, knows what an huge Karina Halle fan I am. I live to read her books and feel she is one of the most diverse and underrated authors in the romance genre. Lachlan appears briefly in The Offer, but you don’t have to read it in order to enjoy The Play. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read about another McGregor man, but right away, it becomes obvious he is quite different from his two cousins. Lachlan is definitely more brooding and darker; he doesn’t earn his nickname “The Beast” without reason. I have adored Kayla since The Pact, and couldn’t wait to explore all the layers underneath the good time and hilarious persona. With their personalities, I just knew this was going to be quite the explosion. The angst is off the charts and some of the sexiest scenes don’t even involve a kiss. He simply calls Kayla “Love” and it is one the best pet names, ever. I was constantly melting with his quite and unassuming sexiness.
~ “I thought I was going to go over the edge.”
~ “I would have gone right with you…”
While Lachlan and Kayla’s relationship moves at a fast pace, it was perfect and believable for these two. It is also not without intensity and tribulations. Lachlan is hiding so much hurt and deep wounds underneath his tough exterior. My heart ached for him constantly. It is easy to see why he is so drawn to abused and discarded animals. The interactions he has with them are some of my favorites from the book. Karina does an excellent job of incorporating a serious and heartbreaking issue into the storyline. As a “mom” to two rescue Boxers, this book is even more personal than usual.
“I know what’s it like to be cast aside, to feel unwanted, to believe you have no one to fight for you. I’ve been there.”
While I will not spoil any details, the book is my worst ugly cry of 2015 thus far. You will simply have to read it to find out why. Despite the tears, I absolutely loved it! Karina has some of her most intense and heartbreaking scenes in the second half of this book. Rest assured though, I was smiling at the end. It was awesome seeing Stephanie/Linden and Bram/Nicola so happy and in love. I am not certain there will be another book from this group, but Brigs definitely needs a story. I’ll be waiting patiently for whatever she writes next.
Lachlan McGregor didn’t have an easy start in life; being abandoned at the young age of five by his mother at an orphanage has left a huge mark on him. Troubled and scarred by his past, he tumbled in an even deeper pit during his teenage years. Luckily, with the help of his last foster family, the McGregors, he changed his life around for the better and gets a chance at a bright future. Nowadays, Lachlan is a well-known Scottish rugby player; he’s successful on the field and has casual relations with beautiful women. But despite his success, he’s still a quiet, somewhat withdrawn, man who doesn’t let other people in and still fights his demons. Meeting Kayla awakens feelings in him he didn’t think possible.
“I’ve been thinking about her ever since the impromptu rugby match, ever since she left my flat in my clothes, ever since I saw her at the bar. The way she looks at me… it’s not just that she wants me, because I know she does. It’s that… I feel she might see me, too. Beneath the layers.”
Kayla Moore goes through life working, partying, hooking up with strangers, and taking care of her elderly mother. Seeing the deep and meaningful relationships her dearest friends have with their men, makes her feel lonely. Her lifestyle and work don’t satisfy her anymore; swearing off men and casual hookups is easy, however, her problems at work are harder to fix. When she meets Lachlan, she immediately feels attracted to the broody, silent man and falls hard for him.
“He places his beautiful hands on either side of my face, holding me in place, his nostrils flaring as he breathes in hard. It’s as if he’s trying to restrain himself, and I want him to let go and unleash it all on me, everything that he has.”
Lachlan and Kayla dance around each other for a bit, but you can feel the enormous attraction between the couple. They can’t stay away from one another, and together they are wild and explosive. While they connect on a physical level, you can feel Lachlan holding back. He doesn’t want Kayla to know about his past. Kayla has her own issues to deal with; she’s being misunderstood at work and by people in general. Also, the idea of an all-consuming love scares her, seeing how devastated her mother was, and still is, after the death of her father. The couple wants to be together, but their past and experiences tell them otherwise. I have been incredibly happy, almost to the brink of tears, when they finally realized they couldn’t live without each other.
It was good seeing the couples from the previous books, they have Lachlan’s and Kayla’s back and support them where they can. Although I’ve liked The Pact and The Offer, both couples in them made me mad with their actions at times. In this book this doesn’t happen. I’ve felt so much for both Lachlan and Kayla. Especially Lachlan, who had to go through so much, deserves a woman who loves him with all her heart and nothing less. I love the realness in this book; the struggles and concerns they to endure
“I give myself to her, to feeling the warmth, the ferocity of her kiss. It brings me back to a beautiful world, one I never thought I’d live in again. I bury my hands in her hair, holding her head, feeling her as our mouths move sweetly against each other in a slow, intoxicating hunger. I can’t believe I’m kissing her again, touching her again, feeling her again.”
I love The Play, plain and simple. It’s written in the beautiful style Karina Halle is known for. I give this heartbreaking story 5+ stars.
This story is beyond words...The connection Lachlan and Kayla have is beautiful, emotional, intense and above all, palpable! The feels just OOZE off of the pages but in the best way... These two almost immediately see passed each other's walls and deflections and it's such beautiful thing! And to witness them come to terms with the way they feel is simply amazing!
The prologue immediately gripped my attention. It was extremely emotional and completely unexpected. But what I felt was truly genius was the way she immediately jumped into a bit of comic relief directly after, in chapter one. It was fluid and genuine and lightened up the mood in the best way.
Karina Halle will always be a one click author got me... It doesn't matter if the woman is writing dark romance or contemporary, she has a way of providing the most realisitc type of characters that you can't help but fall head over heels for. Lachlan & Kayla will forever own a piece of my heart!