Author: K. Bromberg
Series: Play Hard, #2
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Tropes: Sports Romance, Workplace Romance, Forbidden Romance
Trigger/Content Warnings: Mention of drug use and domestic abuse
Release Date: December 1st, 2020
Synopsis: The contract with Major League Soccer was supposed to help repair my damaged reputation.
Then I discovered that I’d made a deal with the devil: the player I’m supposed to recruit is none other than the bad boy, star Premier League footballer, Rush McKenzie.
British. Tattooed. Sexy. A man currently at the center of a huge scandal.
The goal? To convince him to stay in the States.
But what’s wrong with a little fun in the meantime? No strings. No sweet nothings. Just a way to pass the time while we’re both struggling to prove our true selves to the world.
If someone found out our relationship was anything more than professional, it would only serve to prove all our critics right.
I never should have agreed to take the fall.
But I did and I’m a man of my word.
Even if it means risking everything I’ve worked for.
The only bright side is Lennox Kincade.
Gorgeous. Defiant. Rumor-tainted. Totally off-limits.
Sharing a house with the gorgeous sports agent should have been a fun distraction from the turmoil. Someone to help pass the time while the tensions back home die down.
But what started as nothing, ends up as something I never saw coming.
Review: I was not prepared for the rollercoaster that I would go on when I started this book, but good god, it was glorious. I would like to point out that it’s not important to read the first in the series (Hard to Handle), but it would certainly help as there were lots of throwbacks to characters that have existed before. I did not read the first book, but that didn’t take away from my experience at all.
Hard to Hold is a beautiful, angsty, sexy, football filled story that follows Lennox Kincade and Rush McKenzie. She’s a sports agent – like the rest of her family and this is where reading the first book would probably come in handy – and he is a legendary British football player. I loved these two characters and I loved the chemistry that they built up together. Honestly, having characters with this much substance makes me happy, because there’s just so much meat to chew through to get to the heart of who they are. And Bromberg takes her time letting you get through each layer to truly understand these two beautiful humans.
After a scandal breaks out in England and rocks the European Football League, Rush is laying low in Los Angeles to let the scandal pass. There’s more to the scandal than meets the eye, but he’s keeping it to himself and taking it easy. If anything, Rush just wants it to go away so he can go back to playing football. Lennox is struggling to make sense of her place in the family business and after a group of misogynistic assholes ruin her mood at a sports conference, she runs to LA to spend time with her best friend. What she doesn’t expect is to run into Rush and feel the things she feels.
“Rush would be a terrible mistake. A terrible, gorgeous, satisfying mistake. I know it after only one day, but the funny thing is, it’s one I know I’m already going to make.”
A great thing about these characters is that neither of them pretends to be something they’re not. Lennox is sex positive and she’s ready for a romp in the sheets if Rush is. She doesn’t hide her desire for him and she doesn’t play it off like it means nothing. They openly flirt with each other and it’s clear that they want the other. I mean, their first meeting has them both practically naked and flirting in the hottest ways possible. But there’s a catch. Lennox is taking on a new project with MLS (Major League Soccer) and her job is get Rush out there and try to convince him to stay. Which means that they work together, so sex? Off the table.
Not off the kitchen counter though.
“Careful, Nox,” he murmurs. “You’re playing with fire here.”
“You ready to burn with me, Rush?”
The sexual chemistry in this book is insane. I mean, every time their eyes meet, I felt like my Kindle was going to catch on fire. It’s incredible. And neither of them pretend to not want the other, which is so great. There’s no coy teasing and fooling around – they want each other and they have each other. With every sexual encounter, their relationship shifts and when they’re both not looking, feelings develop.
Rush is such a beautiful character, guys. He comes from a broken life and worked his way to where he is, he’s loyal and friendly, and handsome and charming. And all of those things – and being the top playing in the EFL – should make him unbearable, but Rush has never forgotten where he’s come from and in every interaction with fans and even his time with Lennox, you can see that he’s just a really good guy who would do anything to put a smile on someone’s face.
“No one’s ever given me a sunset before.”
There is a lot to unpack, but it’s so well crafted and the story is so seamless. You go through Lennox and Rush’s thoughts and feelings and lives without a single moment of confusion. And while there’s some angst, it’s not related to the relationship. Which is great! So often, the angst and the pain is because of the two main characters, but the characters themselves are going though so much in their personal lives, that when they’re together, everything else fades away. Even their break-up doesn’t feel like a break-up, it feels like a pause. It feels like an ‘I will see you soon’.
I read this in one sitting and I’m still reeling from how this book made me feel. It’s only my second K. Bromberg book, but I think I’m officially a fan and I cannot wait to read the next in the series, because all these sisters sound like they would be an absolute riot to know more about.
Thanks to K. Bromberg & Valentine PR for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.