Review: Playing Dirty (Stargazer #2), by Jennifer Echols


Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warnings: A few sex scenes and drugs is mentionned several times.
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 448


A public relations expert tries to prevent the breakup of a raucous country band and corral their wild—and very sexy—lead singer in book 2 of the Stargazer Series.

As an expert in public relations crisis management—that is, babysitter to the stars—Sarah Seville just spent nine months in Rio trying to keep rock singer Nine Lives out of jail long enough to record his new album…and barely succeeded. Now she needs a triumphant success so she can keep the Manhattan-based job she loves. Trouble is, her new assignment is to travel to Alabama to prevent the breakup of the raucous country band The Cheatin’ Hearts, headed by sexy Quentin Cox. As she edges closer to Quentin, she discovers layers of secrets. It seems Quentin is taking the spin doctor for a spin.

The Cheatin’ Hearts have stayed on top of the charts two years following three rules. Rule One, no drugs. Rule Two, no sex with other band members. Rule Three, no sex with record company spies. Quentin figures he’d better follow the rules, because he made them. And because if you break a rule, you’re out of the band. But he can’t resist the record company’s beautiful PR agent, and inevitably he breaks Rule Three with hot Sarah Seville. As he falls for her, he finds out that she has plenty of secrets of her own, and one of them comes knocking on her door: what really happened to her in Rio.


I received this book after I requested it on Netgalley for an honest review.

When I saw that Jennifer Echols wrote this novel, I had to read it. I always enjoy reading her books and Playing Dirty is not different.

If I’m not mistaken, it’s her second adult romance – the books in this series can be read as stand alone books – and let me tell you, it’s a success. While it took me a little while to warm up to the story and the characters, once I did I couldn’t wait to read more chapters until all the secrets were revealed and played out. For that, the title is fitting!

The whole novel takes place in a short span of time, roughly ten days, so the attraction between the main characters – Sarah and Quentin – is quite fast and my taste is more into slow building kind of attraction so it took a little time to warm up to these characters, but that’s where the author is quite the genius here because the use of the mind games and secrets make it believable and I ended up falling for them all.

But even if I loved this book and the characters – even the secondary ones – I must say that I’m a little disappointed that the whole crazy twist at the end of the novel wasn’t more intense and edgy. I think that it would have deserved a few more scenes to get us, the readers, biting our nails until the end. Please, tell me I’m not the only one or I’m going to think that I’m a blasé reader.

I enjoyed reading these scenes between Sarah and Quentin while they were trying to hide behind another persona and yet unraveling in some little thrilling ways to each other, sometimes without the other really knowing it. It was both sweet and thrilling and it hooked me maybe around 25% or 30% of the Netgalley copy I have.

The chemistry between these two wasn’t always obvious in a way. That’s why I’m not rating it five stars. In this genre, I need to be enthralled, I need to feel the chemistry and here, I couldn’t sometimes. Also, once they opened their eyes, it was “too easy”. I’m picky, I know.

But you know what? There’s one character that has me more interested and it’s a secondary one. Martin. I can’t develop much or else there would be spoilers, but I would LOVE to read his story next.

So yes, this book is great, hot, fun and quite thrilling too and I think you should read it. Is it a book I will remember in a year or so? Probably not, but to tell you the truth, this novel has not that kind of pretence.

In the end, I can affirm again that Jennifer Echols is on my auto-buy list. I always know that I will have a great time with her books – the ones for adults and for teens.




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