Thursday 23 July 2015

Review - Playing with Trouble by Chanel Cleeton

Title: Playing with Trouble
Series: Capital Confessions #2
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Release Date: July 21, 2015

The author of Flirting with Scandal presents her second book in a sexy contemporary romance series about three sisters in a powerful political family, the scandals that threaten to destroy them, and the passion that drives them…

The daughter of one of the Senate's most powerful figures, Blair Reynolds was ready to become the ultimate political wife—until she caught her fiancĂ© cheating on her wedding day. Law school is a fresh start, her shot at putting the pieces of her life back together. That’s the plan, at least. Until trouble comes in the form of her Torts professor, the man whose arrogance infuriates her in class but haunts her private fantasies. 

Graydon Canter had a fortune and a place on all the hottest "Thirty under Thirty” lists, until a series of personal missteps nearly destroyed his career. A year teaching at a D.C. law school is just the break he needs to get his life back in order, as long as nothing—and no one—trips him up.

When Blair and Gray are forced to work together, their explosive attraction becomes impossible to resist. But Gray’s demons have drawn him dangerously close to the edge, and Blair has spent her life playing by the rules. Will she break them for a shot at love?

Flirty, fun, forbidden. (And something else, starting with ‘F’…) I barely made it 24 hours after finishing Flirting with Scandal before I launched into Playing with Trouble, and I'm glad I didn't make myself wait. I had a grand ol’ time reading this student/teacher romance! 

After finding her fiancĂ© cheating – on their wedding day, no less – Blair Reynolds is looking for a fresh start. Starting law school seems like the answer to getting her life back on track, until she gets derailed by her hotter-than-sin, arrogant Torts professor, Graydon Canter. 

Working closely on a special project with Gray allows Blair to see past his troubled exterior, to the haunted man inside – a man who, after accomplishing much and experiencing great success, threw it all away and is suffering the consequences of his mistakes. 

Perfect Blair has always lived by the rules of her privileged upbringing, but being with Gray means breaking those same rules… Can she make that change for love? 

I'm a big fan of forbidden romance,when it comes packaged like this. Playing with Trouble is a very well-written and, I think, well-paced romance, with a healthy dose of dirty. Chanel Cleeton did a great job building the affair between student and professor and offering glimpses into the demons that haunted both Gray and Blair.

I loved how this couple got to know one another through flirting and gentle touches. There's a little bit of instalust here, but it's not instalove, that (sometimes) unfairly maligned element that turns off so many. It's more of an ‘I want you and I can't control it’ feeling than an ‘I met you recently and now pledge my life to you’ one and it just felt right. They both questioned it, too, which also added to that right feeling. 

Blair was one of my favorite characters in her brief, but memorable, cameo in the first book of this series, and it was an absolute pleasure to get to know her better. She was something of a contradiction at times – and she asked ‘why’ a lot – which made her more three dimensional. I liked her push, the way she was willing to fight and work to accomplish what she wanted. 

Of course, I can't write a review without also commenting on the delish Gray. I mean, just his name is makes me want to swoon, and he definitely had some shiver-worthy moments. I liked his apparent character development, even if it seemed a little backwards at times. Perhaps he frustrated me with his decision-making, his martyr outlook, but it worked and it lead to a happy ending that made me...well, happy. 

I'm looking forward to the third book in this series – Kate's book – although some of the set-up for it here fell a touch flat for me. I have a sense of where book three it might be headed and suspect it's going to be more angsty than this more light-hearted installment. It's just too bad I have to wait longer than 24 hours to read it…
~ Review by Beth


#1 Flirting with Scandal

You know, I’ve never particularly thought of politics or politicians as sexy. Until this book. With its interesting premise, different (especially for me) setting, and some truly enjoyable characters, Flirting With Scandal has me thinking that maybe I should be visiting D.C…or Virginia.

It’s supposed to be a one-night stand for Will Clayton and Jackie Gardner when they meet at a popular bar in Washington D.C. He’s the perfect candidate, currently running for a state senate seat and needing to keep his nose cleaner than clean. She’s the unacknowledged, illegitimate daughter of a powerful politician and interning for a top consulting firm. They both know better than to even flirt with something scandalous. 

Except it’s clear that there’s more to their relationship than meets the eye. With a sizzling chemistry they can’t ignore, Will and Jackie have to decide is it’s worth the risk, and the gossip, or if they should walk away before their affair destroys both their careers… 

This is my first book by Chanel Cleeton, and it absolutely will not be my last! I really enjoyed this first installment in the Capital Confessions series; with its cheeky blog posts, its roller-coaster love affair, and an interesting and fun role-reversal for the main characters, Flirting With Scandal was able to capture my attention and hold it from start to finish. 

I liked both Will and Jackie. And there’s something to be said for the way these two managed to work through their issues. Their communication clearly wasn’t always the best, because SECRETS, but there was a maturity in the way they handled (some) things that I liked. It made the tension and the ‘drama’ (that word sounds bad, but I do not mean it in a bad way!) feel like just enough, and not over-the-top, with craziness and misunderstandings at every turn. But oh, there were some misunderstandings, and some craziness…. 

And there were some really sweet, tender and freakin’ sexy moments too. Will was…amazing. The perfect blend of charming, sweet and hot, with his manners and thoughtfulness and that mouth that was like, whoa! *Swoon* I loved Blair too, and I am thrilled to see that her book will be the second in this series, and my second by this author. I’m going to get my hands on it ASAP!
~ Review by Beth

Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor's degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master's degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure.

Law school made Chanel realize she'd rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn't looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she's happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her husband.

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