Debra Kayn
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Crimson Romance
Release Date
April 2014
Book 5 of Playing for Hearts
Contemporary Romance

Bruce Coldwell, world-class pro bass fisherman, walks into his friend Crista Johnson's apartment and instantly falls in lust with Crista's supermodel neighbor. The two weeks of vacation with his best friend will give him the perfect opportunity to dally with the bombshell. Now all he has to do is convince Crista to hook them up.

Excited to have her friend Bruce stay with her, Crista Johnson plans out their whole staycation. But, when he asks her to set him up with a woman she's trying to un-friend from her life, Crista knows he's asking the impossible. Janelle is a piranha and only sleeps with other woman's husbands, and boyfriends, and lives to one up other women.

When Bruce suggests Crista poses as his lover to create the perfect bait, Bruce finds out he might've reeled in the wrong fish … um, woman. Hook, line, and sinker!

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Jul 08, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
75 people found the following review helpful
They'd always had the comfort and ease of friendship, but their dawning realization of mutual attraction put their entire relationship on uneven ground.

At twenty-seven, trainer and professional Ironman athlete Crista Johnson was realizing her body wouldn't be able to take the abuse of daily training for much longer and, thus her priorities were changing. The prospect of marriage and children was appealing, but Crista's strenuous schedule left her few opportunities to meet her ideal man. The visit from her best friend Bruce was supposed to provide the chance to spend time catching up with a man who understood the demands of competition, but Bruce's immediate interest in Crista's irritating supermodel neighbor Janelle had Crista questioning everything she'd ever taken for granted about her relationship with the world-class bass fisherman.

Pro-fishing tournaments had provided thirty-six year old bass fishing champion Bruce Coldwell with all the perks of corporate sponsorships, world travel, and sex without commitment. When he arrived at Crista's apartment and spotted the leggy Janelle, all Bruce could think about was a no-strings night in the supermodel's bed. But Janelle's need to prove she was superior to all other women, including Crista, meant the supermodel only dallied with men she took pride in stealing away from other women. So, if Bruce wanted to set his hook in the female barracuda, he'd need Crista to make neighbor-from-hell Janelle believe that he and Crista were much, much more than friends.

The trouble is that a series of unexpected events leave Crista and Bruce seeing one another in a totally new light that simultaneously draws them together and pushes them apart.

While I found the insight into two dedicated, competitive minds interesting and the outcome of this novella as expected, I had a few issues with Crista and Bruce that made it hard for me to really like their tale. First off, Bruce is a womanizing hound dog, which Crista knows and has always accepted. His initial cockiness didn't endow him with true bad-boy appeal, and the abrupt change in his relationship with Crista never made me fully embrace his personality. But, more specifically, it was Crista's total lack of feminine confidence and self-worth that made her strong, athletic female character come across as weak and undecided. It was this aspect of Crista's character that I couldn't overlook as easily as Bruce's abrupt about-face.

Despite the fact that I couldn't bring myself to cheer for this couple, Ms. Kayn's novella is nicely spiced and very well edited and that's something all readers can appreciate.
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