PLAYED by Clare James: Review

Posted October 22, 2015 in Giveaway, Reviews / 0 Comments

PLAYED by Clare James: Review


PLAYED by Clare James: ReviewPlayed by Clare James
Series: Elite PR #2
Published by Entangled: Brazen
Publication Date: October 19th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Buy Online: Amazon  B&N  Kobo

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.

Play. Or be played.


The music should be enough. End of story. But Aaron Major is finding out it’s not, and now his agent has hired a firm of suits to help launch his debut album, turning his life into a goddamn circus. Smile here. Play there. Be nice. Well, screw that. If Aaron wanted to spend his time shaking hands and kissing babies, he would’ve gone into politics.


Helping launch the career of country singer Aaron Major should be a cakewalk for PR pro Melody Sharp. Aaron is charming, sexy, and oh-so-appealing when he’s on stage. Off stage, though, he’s her worst nightmare. A stubborn, ornery, reclusive nightmare without a lick of business-or fashion-sense. The only way he’s going to make it in music is with a serious makeover-and quite possibly a personality transplant.

Soon, they’re engaged in a game of give and take, and though it’s Melody calling the shots, it’s Aaron who holds all control.



I have been anticipating Mel’s story since I finished reading the first book in the series and I enjoyed it. It was light, entertaining and steamy. From the very first page, the heat between Mel and Aaron had me primed for fireworks between them. Why did I enjoy this so much? Because a successful comeback makes for such an appealing story.

Aaron Major has a well-earned reputation as country music’s outlaw due to his wild lifestyle, a lifestyle that cost him everything. Seven years later, he’s trying to stage a comeback and he’s determined to avoid the things that cost him his career last time. But his one weakness is his inability to say no to any one in need, which leads to him offering his neighbor his spare bedroom for a couple of days when she finds herself unexpectedly evicted.

Melanie Sharp is a Southern belle through and through, modeled on Scarlett O’Hara but when her boyfriend dumped her and headed off to better things, she decided to head to the big city and achieve her own success. Lately, though, she hasn’t been feeling upbeat about her job especially because of her demotion due to a few missteps which has affected everything. Being evicted is the final straw but her new neighbor is a godsend and in a fortuitous twist he is in need of a PR manager to help with his comeback and Mel is quick to scoop him up with the hope that she can revive her dying career. 

Aaron is a whiz with his fingers in every way possible and between his songwriting and her PR campaign, they sure are making music of a different kind and as you would expect, their chemistry is crazy hot. What I enjoyed most about PLAYED apart from both Mel and Aaron’s comeback stories, is the ease of their relationship. They respected each other’s careers and never lost focus of their dreams. I also love how different this is from the first book. Mel is a mix of sweetness and fire but not overly ambitious and driven, maybe because of the low expectations from her family. Aaron is also laid-back and easygoing, which works for both of them. My only complaint is how abruptly the book ended and some unresolved pieces, especially about Aaron’s manager.

PLAYED was a fun read overall and if you are looking to be entertained, PLAYED is definitely one way to do so.


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About Clare James

Clare James writes contemporary romance and new adult novels with spunky heroines and sexier-than-sin heroes. Her books have made several best-selling lists including the tender love stories in the Impossible Love series; the steamy romantic comedy Dirty Little Lies; and the touching family drama Wednesday. Her new title, Caught, is the first in a series about the women of Elite PR and their very naughty clients. It will be published with Entangled Publishing’s Brazen line in June 2015.

A former dancer, Clare still loves to get her groove on – mostly to work off her beloved cupcakes and red wine. She lives in Minneapolis with her two leading men – her husband and young son – and is always on social media chatting with readers.



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