*I received a free copy of Play Me Real from Loveswept via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Aria has learned to play Sebastian’s game. She’s given him control, taken it back, and let him push her farther than she ever imagined she could go. But when Sebastian’s past comes to light, Aria receives a glimpse behind the facade—a revelation that disturbs her even as it makes her feel closer to this simmering, complicated man. Finally she comes to understand the real reason why Sebastian feels the need to dominate everything in his path. But Aria has a tortured history, too. And together they’re a dangerous combination. Now she’s the one pushing Sebastian to the breaking point . . . and if one of them burns up, they’ll both go down together.
Play Me Real is very tense, and both Sebastian and Aria come face to face with their pasts.
My Play Me Real review:
Starting at the exact same moment as the ending of Play Me Hard, Play Me Real gets right into the cliffhanger, and it’s really tough to deal with Janet for both Sebastian and Aria. I really enjoyed the way Sebastian dealt with the guy that got Aria on his radar in the first book of this serial, because he showed that he was true to his word, and really wouldn’t accept any clients in his casino who weren’t playing by his rules. Ethan Frost and Chloe from Wolff’s Ethan Frost series show up here, too, and they persuaded me to get to know them better as well.
Sebastian finally shares his past with Aria, and I enjoyed that there was more than hot sex going on in Play Me Real. His past with Janet’s son, and the way things fell apart for him back them explains a lot about his need for control, and while he opened up to Aria, it showed that she might be able to be more honest with him about her own past as well. However, once Sebastian finishes talking, she tries to soothe him the only way she knows how, and this time, the sex isn’t nice and clean because he lets go of all his hard-earned control.
In Play Me Real, I got a glimpse of the real Sebastian, the hurt Sebastian, the one who needed Aria, but still didn’t really treat her right. And while I could understand why he felt that way, I didn’t like him very much, and neither did Aria. Which is going to leave me with some catching up to do in the last story in this serial, because when she left his office, it didn’t seem like she wanted to come back there again…
Some of my favorite Play Me Real quotes:
But I can’t speak. Not when she’s killing me – softly, slowly, without even a shred of mercy. And even if I could tell her how I feel, I’m not sure I would. Not when words like that, promises like that, make me vulnerable. Not when they take away the control I’m all but desperate for.
But things are what they are and if tonight has shown me nothing else, it has shown me just how ill-equipped I am to deal with a man like Sebastian. It’s not his fault. It’s not mine. It just is.