Book Review: Playing The Game by Shawnté Borris

playingthegame_ebook_revealfilePlaying The Game: Derek Backhard

by Shawnte Borris


This is Book 2 of The Game – Kirsten Backhard and so technically, I’m doing it backwards reading this book first (like I do most things in my life). So after finishing Book 2, I’m now reading the first book to get all caught up. Book 1 features Kirsten and Drew while Book 2, Playing the Game: Derek Backhard, is about Kristen’s twin brother, Derek, and her BFF Liz. The three of them basically grew up together but turns out, that Derek, now a popular hockey player, has been crushing on Liz since they were kids.

The story opens with a heartbreaking prologue in Brad’s POV, Liz’s husband and Derek’s best friend. He’s trying to make it home for the delivery of their baby, but unfortunately, doesn’t make it. I teared up with that darn prologue but it got me–hook, line, and sinker.

playing the game teaser
Even though Kirsten and Drew live next door to Liz and can help her out with baby Ryder, they’re expecting their own baby soon, and so Derek offers to move into the guest room to help Liz out as she copes with the loss of her husband and being a new mom. After that heart-wrenching prologue, it was tricky getting into the attraction Derek feels for Liz but he does his best to do all the right things before finally letting Liz know how he feels. I liked how they do take things kinda slow, that mix of having been friends a long time and then, not exactly just friends anymore. He loves Ryder and boy, does he love Liz.

It got kinda slow with the family conflicts thrown in along the way, as well as the BFF-bonding, but that’s only because I wanted to read more smexy times between Derek and Liz. It also felt that Liz moved on from Brad’s death a bit too fast, but again, that darn prologue stayed with me through the whole book and it was difficult to shake off, like Brad’s ghost hanging around the whole time. I also understand that people go through loss differently and no one should impose timetables on that. But if there’s one thing that’s a sure thing for me with this book, it’s that I loved Derek and Liz together, and I want more.

And that darn cover model, BT Urruela. This was a case of the cover model being a perfect fit to a T with one of the main characters. I am such a convert now to the power of the perfect book cover model…

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


To read the Book Release Blitz for Playing The Game: Derek Backhard, click here.

To learn more about Shawnté Borris, visit her website here.


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