by Tracy A. Ward
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Writing three plays for a nationally acclaimed theater in Phair, Texas, wasn’t supposed to put my inheritance at risk and force me into constant contact with Noah Blake--the very guy I love to hate. But with one chance to prove to my controlling father that I can succeed as a playwright, I’ve developed a major case of writer’s block. Cue Noah, my older brother’s best friend and the guy I’ve avoided since my crush-gone-bad days. And now my director thinks he’s the key to unleashing my creativity. He thinks Noah is my muse. Discovering the fate of the theater is also in my hands, I have no choice but to collaborate with my worst enemy. But it’s more than just a great scene Noah inspires. Now everything I thought I wanted is put to the test. And the guy I swore I was over still has a hold on my heart.
Fair Play caught my attention from the cover to the synopsis and I was eager to jump in and read Noah and Ashlyn’s story. This was a fun, hot read that I consumed in a single evening. Three-word review: sweet, sexy and entertaining.
Ashlyn is a struggling writer who has been hired to write three plays for the nationally acclaimed theater in Phair, Texas. Her first two increased sales but didn’t enthrall the critics. With just a few weeks to go before the playwright festival, she hands in a rough draft of her first scene and admits she is suffering from writer’s block. Her director thinks there is a link between her characters and her relationship with her brother’s best friend Noah Blake. He wants Noah to be her muse and insists they spend time together. Blake runs a successful pub chain across the street from the theater that is about to go international. She has a love/hate relationship with Noah and the tale that unfolds found me laughing, swooning and completely captivated.
The tale is told from Ashlyn’s POV which in my opinion added to the tale. I found her to be strong, brilliant, witty and carrying around a few issues. It was fun seeing her overcome them and take a chance. Noah just oozes smexy from his handsome good lucks, smirky smile and brilliant career mind. He has known Ashlyn forever but as his best friend’s little sister she is off limits. The banter between them was hilarious with an edge of snark. They both have commitment issues which only added to the tale and had me wanted to bop them over the head. We meet other characters and a sleazy character from their past, all of which had me turning the pages. The town of Phair is one I would like to visit and the townsfolk we met added to the story and made you envious of the people who lived there. I am hoping the author decides to revisit this small town and create new stories there.
I love troupes that force two characters together. Especially when it’s obvious the couple is attracted to one another and are the only ones who can’t see it. Ward added some clever twist including the play Ashlyn was writing which created some delightfully sinful and smoking hot scenes. I laughed and giggled despite the predictability of the tale. The romance and sexual tension built slowly and when it all collided it was oh-la-la! I found the characters to be fleshed-out, genuine and believable. This book offered me a lovely escape from reality. I loved that it made me burst out laughing and had me longing the next moment.
Fair Play is the perfect late night or beach read that allows you to slip away from reality for a short time. This is Tracy A. Ward’s first published work and I look forward to seeing what she delivers next.
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