Joint review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/04/23/joint-review-giveaway-play-with-me-by-alisha-rai/
MinnChica: I adore Alisha Rai’s writing style, so when I saw the blurb and read an excerpt from this book, I was super excited. I love my BDSM-esque books, and Tatiana and Wyatt have some super hot and kinky love scenes. Rai did everything so wonderfully in this book, my only negative reaction was the length, especially given the fact this is going to be a trilogy. I am not a big fan of the new trend in romance where a single couple’s romance is stretched out over the course of three books, but I’m anxious to see more of Wyatt and Tatiana.
E: When I heard that Rai was coming out with a self-published book I was curious. When I was able to get an idea of what Play with Me was about I was even more excited. After reading the excerpt I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this. Like MinnChica said Rai provided everything I was looking for. The past history and angst it caused. The still smoldering attraction. The intense love scenes. And a good argument or two. While I prefer reading the complete arc for a couple if the central theme is romance in one book, Rai did complete this novella without leaving a cliffhanger. I am certainly anticipating the next two installments but without the intense frustration that this technique can sometimes cause.
MinnChica: I always love second chance love stories, and I think this one might be on my list of top five favorites. Not only did Tatiana and Wyatt get a second chance at love, they were also first loves with each other, so it was wonderful to see how they both approached their relationship different from the past. I loved that they both realized how good they had it, how much the valued one another’s company (and kinks!). I wasn’t a huge fan of the sub-plot with Tatiana’s long lost half brother, but I hope that we do get to see them develop that relationship more as the series progresses.
E: For me second chance love stories have to be done well. If there was too much bitterness and angst during the break-up I have a hard time believing the reunion. I also need the characters to have grown and matured during their time apart or I have a hard time believing the relationship has any possibility of lasting. But when they are done right, and Rai did it right, they are so very good. Each had grown during the time apart and become successful in their own ways. They had fond memories of each other that weren’t drenched in bitterness. And those memories went beyond smexytimes into everything else that makes a relationship. At first I struggled with Tatiana rushing to her brother’s rescue but then I thought about my bond with my siblings and how I would feel if I had the chance to develop that bond for the first time in my life. After that it didn’t bother me as much, especially when I learned that Tatiana could afford to help him out. Like MinnChica, I would like to see their relationship develop as more than a reason to bring Wyatt and Tatiana together.
MinnChica: All in all I enjoyed Rai first self-published novella. The characters were fun and obviously passionate about the idea of rekindling their romance. The sexy times were super smokin’ hot, and I loved that the overall kinky themes were something that didn’t require a label on their part. My only gripe about the book is that the length seems a little short, especially if this is going to be made into a trilogy with Wyatt and Tatiana as the ongoing main characters.
I give Play with Me a B
E: I also enjoyed Rai’s entry into self-publishing. Her characters were well built and packed a punch. She provided enough backstory for me to grasp who they were but continued to move the plot forward. Both were unashamed of what they enjoyed and their smexytimes seemed even more precious because they had discovered that enjoyment together years earlier. I do agree with MinnChica that having a trilogy centered around Wyatt and Tatiana made me expect a longer read for each installment. I do look forward to seeing what happens next.
I give Play with Me a B