Book Title: The Right Player
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: September 24th
Synopsis: Belle Monroe has been burned before, so now she’s not letting anybody get past her walls and into her life. With men, she’s got rules and she sticks to them (almost), till Makoa Kumaka. The man is larger than life, in every way, and he charms his way into Belle’s life. Except, he’s keeping a secret that could ruin everything good they’ve got going on and it’s going to upset the balance that Belle’s been working towards in her life.
Review: Kandi Steiner might be the queen of angst, but she’s also the queen of writing brilliant books with fantastic characters and incredible storylines. If my constant gushing over her books on my blog and Goodreads aren’t proof enough, let me just say it now. I am a Kandi Steiner fan for life. There isn’t a single book of hers that I have not enjoyed. I really enjoyed The Wrong Game, but I absolutely loved The Right Player.
If you’re a fan of sassy heroines who are badass boss babes and super hot athletes with hearts of gold, then this is the book for you. I can’t express just how wonderful Belle and Makoa are, because they are from different worlds and have different aspirations in life, but somehow they just seem to fit. And Belle is a confident, sexy, go-getter who really knows what she wants when it comes to work and men and she’s facing this hunk of a man who keeps making her take a step back. Not because he doesn’t want her, but because he wants to enjoy it and take it slow. For Belle, that’s unheard of. Makoa might just be my favorite Kandi Steiner hero too.
“Some of us got stuck with the kind of stories that made you cry, that made your heart ache, that made you hold your knees to your chest and rock in a corner, or drown your sorrows in a bottle of wine or two. That was the kind of story I had the leading role in, and I’d accepted it long ago. I just had to find the next chapter.”
Belle Monroe is a well-known and respected interior designer in Chicago, she’s got her own firm and she works with her best friend Gemma (who you’ll recognise from The Wrong Game). She works hard, she plays hard and she doesn’t apologise for either. Belle’s really good at her job and she comes highly recommended. Outside of work, she’s got a three date rule. Belle will go on a date with a guy three times before it’s over. She doesn’t want a long term relationship, she’s been burned and hurt before and she’s not letting herself go down that road. And for a while, she was doing okay, till she wasn’t. And that’s even before Makoa walks into her office. Oh, let’s not forget the most important part of Belle’s life – she hates football and football players. She will endure the sport for Gemma, but on her own? She’d rather set herself on fire.
“This is my chance. This girl… she’s the kind who knocks you on your ass from the first time you lay eyes on her. And she’s smart, and funny, has her own business.”
Makoa Kumaka is from Hawaii and, here’s the important part, a professional NFL player. He’s been traded to the Chicago Bears, but it’s not public knowledge yet. Makoa has just moved to Chicago, moving further away from his family on the island, and he’s setting up his new condo. And that’s how he finds Belle Monroe and her firm. He’s captivated by her at first glance and that obsession just grows the more he’s around Belle. And rightfully so, she’s undeniably attractive and sexy and smart and sassy and funny. So while Belle has her three date rule, so does Makoa. Except his is that he doesn’t sleep with women till the third date. Oh, and did I mention he’s a football player? And that he’s keeping it a secret from Belle?
Belle and Makoa have the most intense chemistry right off the bat. I love that Belle is not shy about her sexual desires and she’s making it as clear as possible for Makoa to understand. Oh and he does. He’s just a really good guy. Makoa hasn’t let his NFL status make him an asshole, he’s soft. He’s been raised well and he’s just…good. God, he’s so good. I kept wanting him to just give into Belle, because holy smokes, the woman is undeniable in every way. But it’s a slow burn and a delicious one at that. Their first date is a little messy, their second date is a whole lot of fun and then things just keep going. Third, fourth and then so much more. Their dates were perfect, though. It was a great mixture of cute, sexy and funny and the two of them banter so well.
“It’d only been a little over a week since I met this man, and somehow, it felt like I’d waited a lifetime for this moment.”
Both of them have been burned before, they’ve had people use them and discard them, which is why they have their rules in place. But for both of them, the other is the first time they’ve let their guard down so much. It’s clearly unintentional for them to have that much chemistry, but when it’s so damn good, how do you walk away from it all? Sure, there’s a bit of an age difference, but that’s not important at all. What’s important is that Belle and Makoa find something in each other that they’ve been denying themselves for so long.
After Make Me Hate You and Ritual, enjoying this delightful book was exactly what the doctor ordered. The Right Player had everything and Kandi Steiner scored all the touchdowns with this book. It’s so fluffy, but also so so sexy. Kandi is another author who writes great sex and also someone who puts time into the details that you get caught up in. To bring Belle and Makoa’s chemistry to life that way is just….*chef’s kiss*.
But, it would be remiss of me to ignore Belle and Gemma’s friendship. We saw so much of it in The Wrong Game, but it’s just so much stronger here. Their friendship is so beautiful and strong and they just love each other so much. Finding that one person who is your other half is always like that and Belle and Gemma have that kind of relationship. Also, seeing Gemma and Zach through Belle and Makoa’s eyes is a really nice touch too. This book was everything, guys, please go out and get your copy now!
Thank you Kandi Steiner and Valentine PR for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!