Review: “Hard to Love” by K. Bromberg

Series: Play Hard, #5

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: September 7th, 2021

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He was the one-night stand that didn’t exactly go as planned. Now he’s standing before me as if he’s never seen me naked, telling my manager he’ll take the job. Reluctantly.

Finn Sanderson.

Sports agent extraordinaire. Handsome as hell. The man who just signed on to control my every move.

Sure, I’m to blame for my recent bad press, but when your whole life has been so regimented, isn’t it normal to want to live it up a little?

But when the partying stops and the grief I’m running from has nowhere else to hide, reality sets in. Turns out, Finn’s the only person I have left to help pick up the pieces. The only person to call.

Staying with him is a temporary thing. But when our fighting turns into laughter and our friendship turns into something more, will I fight for a man who swears he’s hard to love? Or is it wiser to walk away? To follow the plan?

* * *
Offering to help with a client is a way to repay a long overdue IOU to my mentor. Little did I know she was the woman who left my hotel room at four in the morning.

Stevie Lancaster.

Top-seeded US tennis player. Good girl gone bad. The woman currently about to throw her career away. And now my problem.

The compensation to “babysit” her is great, but she isn’t worth my trouble.

But when her world falls apart and she has no one else to turn to, I try to be a good guy by gathering her up and hiding her from the media’s eye.

Now she’s in my house, in my space, and even though I’m enjoying the side benefits of this unexpected arrangement, surely she’s better to leave when the time comes and follow her destiny. Because I’m not the man she needs. Not the man she could love. Right?

 

When K. Bromberg announced that Finn Sanderson was getting his own book, I was excited. If you’ve read the rest of the Play Hard series, then you’ve met Finn. He’s always been the instigator, the guy that pisses everyone off and broke Chase Kincade’s heart. I never thought of Finn as being the hero of a love story. So while I was excited, I was also skeptical and a little worried about how that would end up. Turns out, paired with a gorgeous and feisty woman, Finn is a treat and Hard to Love was an incredible read.

“He’s made it so that feeling isn’t a bad thing anymore. I’ve spent months trying not to and in this short amount of time, he makes me look forward to the time I get to spend with him because he makes me feel good. Great. Like I’m floating on air.”

In the world of sports, the name Finn Sanderson is well known because he’s a famous and popular sports agent. He’s ruthless, he works hard and he has zero shame in poaching athletes from other agencies. Finn believes in the work hard, play hard mentality and he’s not afraid to bite back when put in the corner. Having once had a life in football, Finn understands sports better than anyone else and he’s passionate about it in ways that lots of people aren’t. In Hard to Love, we finally get to see so much more about the man Finn is with flashbacks to his younger days with his father, who broke him down and destroyed his trust in women and how Finn meets Carson, who changes his life. I loved getting to know Finn. I never liked him in the other books, so to have all this background explaining his baggage and getting an understanding of the man that he is really adds so much to his story.

And then there’s Stevie Lancaster. Top seeded tennis player, Stevie’s going off the rails a little. Since her father died, Stevie’s life hasn’t been the same. She’s struggling and she’s tipping over the edge bit by bit. With the help of her two friends, Stevie’s living the high life in Vegas (emphasis on high) and every sports network and tabloid is enjoying her performance thoroughly. When she starts to slack off during practices and makes more scenes than necessary, her manager (and old friend of her father, and the same Carson that gave Finn his break) makes the call that will change her life. I loved Stevie so much. She’s young and she’s hurting, but she’s also aware of how good of an athlete she is, which only makes her lashing out the sensible option for her to deal with everything. Her pain is so palpable and every time she thinks of her father, you want to wrap her up in your arms and protect her from the world! But what I really loved about the character is how much she grows as the book progresses. She sees what she’s doing wrong, she understands her weaknesses and the things that keep her from being her best self and she makes those changes.

“Because Stevie Lancaster is a woman who should never be used nor discarded. And that realization scares the fuck out of me.”

Finn and Stevie have an interesting relationship. Their first interaction comes from a decision to have a one night stand, thanks to her friends’ encouragement, but when it doesn’t go as planned and they part ways, they think it’s the last they’ll see of each other. See, that one night stand? They didn’t know who the other was. Till Stevie’s introduced to the man who is brought on to get her act together. And from there, they just snipe at each other. There’s all this sexual tension from a one night stand that didn’t go right and now between Finn trying to get Stevie back on track with her life, he’s also trying not to fall for her.

I felt like there was a little bit of a slow moment with their relationship, a few unnecessary bits of tension, but when they finally take that chance to just be, it all fits into place so nicely. Their chemistry is explosive, but it’s not just the sexual chemistry that works. They are complete opposites and yet, they find joy in the little things together. Finn starts to see Stevie in a way he never expected and that completely transforms their relationship. I love how sweet, soft and gentle they were with each other. After seeing Finn as a villain for the Kincade sisters, this is such an interesting side of him and I loved every minute of it.

Hard to Love is the final book in the Play Hard series and is soft, steamy and absolutely charming. Get ready to fall in love with the last person you thought you’d ever love.

Thanks to K. Bromberg & Valentine PR for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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