[ARC] Book Review: PLAYING IT SAFE by Barbie Bohrman

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 306

Released on: October 1st, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

Julia Boyd has dated more than her share of jerks, and she’s done even pretending to like them. Putting her dating life on hold and focusing on her event planning career is a much safer bet for the blue-eyed blonde…until she meets her newest client.

Organizing the opening for an art gallery should be a breeze for Julia, but gallery owner Alex Holt is becoming very distracting. Tall and muscular with enough charisma and sexy dimples to make Julia swoon, Alex could be the perfect man. The two of them click immediately, creating enough witty banter to ignite sparks.

But just before flames of passion can erupt with Alex, Julia begins planning an engagement party…and learns the groom is Aiden, the man who broke her heart years ago. When Aiden admits that he still has feelings for Julia, everything changes. Should she seek shelter in the familiarity of the past, or should she risk everything on a brand-new love?

My Review:

To start, the description is veeeery misleading. It is so not a story of Julia deciding if she should be with Aiden or Alex. Nope. It’s a story about Julia moving forward from her past, and realizing this new guy won’t make the same mistakes her past guy made.

So I was waiting for the drama of planning your ex’s engagement party would entail, but that’s what starts off the whole book. Julia sees Aiden, they exchange a few choice words, then she’s gone. And then it’s all about Alex. Which is nice; I really enjoyed Alex’s character. There were aspects of him that reminded me of Christian Grey from the god-awful Fifty Shades series, but in a better way. He’s how Grey should have been. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. But I really enjoyed Alex’s character.

I also enjoyed the character of Julia, but sometimes I think the voice bothered me. By voice I’m referring to that character’s own inner monologue, her recounting of events, basically how the main character tells the story. I’m all for a story where the main character can be completely honest and personal, but when the main character starts actually interacting with the readers, then it gets a little too meta for me. It’s a personal preference of mine, but I don’t like when the main character does that. For example, throughout the book Julia will often start with, “I know what you’re thinking..” or “I know, right?” as if she were actually talking to you face-to-face. Some people like that. I, however, do not. So, I had to battle that throughout the book – constantly.

The romance was top notch though. Oi, that phone sex scene. My favorite. But seriously. The chemistry between Alex and Julia is sizzling hot. And seeing how they slowly peel back layers of each other and get to know each other better and better, it just amped up their romance level to about 100.

I didn’t like that the major conflict of the story, not to spoil anything but of course it involves a small breakup period, but it’s basically over within a couple pages. I think maybe the conflict happened too late in the story that it all had to be rushed in the end to wrap up the story in time. Silly notion. But, still, the tension and drama kept me on my toes. And there were some harsh ass words exchanged between these two. I’ve always wondered if in the middle of a very heated argument, do couples bring up things that they know without a doubt would hurt the other person? Like, does their anger ever reach that point where they throw back the past in their face? Well, it happens here. And oh damn, I was like “sick buuuuurn.”

Overall, I enjoyed this read. The voice of Julia annoyed me at times because it felt too informal, too personal, but the romance between her and Alex was so hot and great, that I fought through it. Wish the conflict had lasted a little longer, but I was satisfied with the ending. And the epilogue was suuuuper cute! I wish I could see the look on Julia’s face when that date approaches… hint hint. You’ll have to read to find out what I’m talking about 😉

MY RATING: 3.5/5

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One thought on “[ARC] Book Review: PLAYING IT SAFE by Barbie Bohrman

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