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Review ❤️ Playing With Trouble by Joya Ryan

March 17, 2017

Recently divorced, Laura Baughman is taking her life back. After a decade away, she’s returning to Yachats, Oregon—the small town she couldn’t wait to leave after graduation—to take over her late mother’s beloved flower shop. Yet once she arrives, Laura discovers the store has been neglected and her father has partnered in construction with Jake Lock. The once-scrawny high school band geek is now successful—and irresistibly sexy—and set to inherit her family’s business. That is, unless Laura can prove in the next thirty days that she has what it takes to run the company.

Despite the heat between Jake and Laura, romance is out of the question. After her last disastrous relationship, Laura has sworn off men—especially one bent on crushing her dreams. That’s just fine with Jake, who thinks the gorgeous blonde is a pain in the neck…though admittedly one he’d like to put his lips all over.

Jake has a proposal to mix business with pleasure. But when a deal goes south, Laura is ready to pack up and skip town all over again. Does he have what it takes to convince her to stay?

Release Date: Mar 21, 2017
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Imprint: Montlake
Series: Desire Bay
Book: 1
Heat Level: Hot
Price: $3.99


When Laura returns home to run her late mother’s floral shop, she didn’t expect her father to make her divide the business between her and Jake. The two immediately start to bicker on how things should be done as they fight their attraction to one another.

Jake starts off very arrogant in my opinion. He is hot and he knows it. I expected him to be a little more humble since he was the former geek. I think that is part of why I liked him. He likes that he gets the former high school beauty.

Laura initially comes off as spoil. She expects that her life should be easy now that she is back. She should have the shop. Everything should be the same and she slowly realizes it is not the same. It doesn’t help that Jake is there to rub it in her face every chance that he gets until their little sexual encounters get real.

The author relies too heavily on sex advance the story along. While, I love a good steamy sex scene because I’m naughty, if it doesn’t help build an authentic connection between the main characters than it just becomes repetitive. I think there are good enough bones to this story to help with the character development without sex.

Laura relates to the people in her life in an interesting way. She takes on whatever problems as her own. She is heavily guilt laden throughout the book. She blames herself for not being good enough several times. She blames herself for not being emotionally there for mother. She blames herself for running away to California after her mother’s death resulting in her leaving her father.

As the story moves along, Laura blames herself for every little problem that occurs in the company. I started to root for Laura but after a while, I realized she didn’t grow as quickly as I had hoped. I realized at the very end, she still questioned herself and Jake had to reassure her.

There is also the strange dynamic between Laura and her father.  He doesn’t explain anything about the family business to her before challenging her to run the company alongside Jake. This is a small town and he doesn’t stop by or speak to her. He is supposedly speaking to everyone about her but not to her. I wanted to know did Laura and her father reconnect after her being away for ten years.

Overall, this is a sweet and at times funny contemporary romance. It ticks off just enough of boxes to satisfy me.

~ Samantha

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