Tuesday, December 2, 2014

review || PLAY ME { serial -- bks 1-5 }

Before we go any further...

...let me start this by stating: I DISLIKE SERIALS.

I don't know when they got to be so popular; I don't remember them being around a few years ago. Maybe it's with the whole electronic book boom, but this serial thing... It's not my favorite.

I hate the cliffhangers. I hate the expectation to spend 0.99 on each book. I'd much rather pay 5.99 on the entire thing being put together, and oh yes, I do realize that's more than 0.99 a "book". I just... Man, I just don't like them.

Ok, let me move on to say...

*whispers* I really liked this one.

Maybe it's because I had all five at my hand. Maybe it's because each book picks up directly where the other left off, and it's written in the same way: each chapter is told in the other person's perspective. One chapter, Aria; the next, Sebastian; then, Aria; followed by Sebastian; and so on and so forth. And when a book ended on Aria? Well, the next picked up on Sebastian.

I was able to read the entire serial series as one continuous book. Sure, I had to close one and open the next, but that was piddly business -- so as such, I'm rating the series as a whole.

Obviously, I requested the books to review because something about it was intriguing... I just didn't think I'd like it as much as I did.

And sure, there's a cliffhanger at the end, but I can deal -- the growth of Aria and Sebastian's romance was complete by the end.

Play Me by Tracy Wolff

Publisher: Loveswept (12/2/2014)
Series: Play Me
Genre: Contemporary Romance / BDSM
Source: NetGalley

My Rating: 

Buy Links:
WILD || amazon | nook | goodreads
HOT || amazon | nook | goodreads
HARD || amazon | nook | goodreads
REAL || amazon | nook | goodreads
RIGHT || amazon | nook | goodreads

- - -

connect with Tracy || goodreads | twitter | facebook

- - -

We first meet Aria, a cocktail waitress at the Atlantis casino. She deals with the 'whales', aka highrollers. And by 'deals', I mean deals -- she puts up with groping hands and sliding fingers. But she needs the job, and these nasty, dirty men pay well.

Sebastian, we learn, is the the son of Richard Caine, Atlantis owner. Richard has had a series of strokes and Sebastian, who has been jetsetting for the last decade, comes back to put the casino on it's correct feet, not the corrupt ones his ailing father has managed.

Sebastian first learns of Aria after she's been fired -- she nails a very, very wealthy Russian with her drink tray. But after watching footage, Sebastian calls her in to offer her her job back.

And this is where the beginning of the next two weeks truly begins.

They respond to one another -- emotionally and physically -- incredibly well.
...But instead, he drops down onto the chair next to me before reaching into his pocket and handing me an envelope.
"I believe this is what you came for."
I nod without bothering to open it. Instead, I slide it into my purse and move to stand. His hand flashes out, rests gently on my arm as he applies just enough pressure to keep me in my seat.
Heat rushes through me from the contact, my nipples peaking despite my determination to keep this professional. He smiles then, a dark curving of his lips that sends shivers of electricity through me. That makes my body tremble and my breathing erratic.
I shrink back against the chair--a move that's totally not me--and try to figure out what the hell is going on. He's not threatening me, there's nothing predatory or particularly sexual in the way he's looking at me, the way he's touching me. And yet my body is lit up like the Strip at midnight, my every cell sparking at nothing more than a casual touch from him.
I don't get it. I don't understand why I'm responding like this to Sebastian Caine when I've never responded anywhere near this quickly or strongly to another man. Oh, I've dated some, I was even engaged, and spent six months of that engagement trying to convince myself that I loved Carlo. And still I never responded like this, so quickly and desperately. Breasts aching, skin burning, sex growing wet. 
Immediately, Sebastian wants to take care of her. He's a bit torn because he wants his hands on her, but the last thing, the absolute last thing, he wants is to be like the men who paw her on the casino floor. He wants to take care of her -- he senses she has control issues, and hell, they match up to his. He wants to show her the bright side to said issues.

When Aria gives in to the temptation, you see how good of a 'Dom' Sebastian is. Aria isn't exactly for the Dom/sub, BDSM lifestyle, and she quickly recognizes what they're doing as such, but Sebastian tries teaching her that it's not about being hurt and abused and controlled, but rather of equal control and helping the other participant.

Granted, Sebastian is right when he thinks he has control issues. For the most part, he keeps them tightly in check -- but there is a point in which he lets his control slip, and Aria pays for it... more than once. The first time he lets it slip, it's because Aria is super headstrong and refuses to be 'coddled'. When Sebastian recognizes his mistake, he wants to make it up to her.

However, toward the end of the serial when he lets that control slip, taking her higher and higher and higher -- he realizes a part of him wants to hurt her the way he's hurting inside. No, Aria didn't hurt him, but he's emotionally hurting and needs to take it out on someone.

In a traditional book, the "big part" of the book happens at about 75-80% through -- and Tracy keeps with that theme. The "big part", the climax, the big bang... well, that's book four. Also in book four, we learn about Sebastian's past, and why he's hurting, and how he is dealing with it. 
This is about more than getting off. About more than keeping me on edge. This is about tonight and how out of control Sebastian feels...This is Sebastian controlling me because he can't control what happened. About hurting me because he's hurting. About using me to stave off the pain of everything that came before.
Knowing that, understanding that, I wouldn't have this any other way...
In the end, it isn't long at all. I'm too exhausted, too hurt, too sad, to put up much of a fight. And so I just stop. Stop fighting. Stop trying to get away. It doesn't matter anyway, Sebastian is going to do whatever he's going to do. And though he'd never force me, never rape me, I can't say anymore that he won't hurt me. That he won't tear me apart emotionally, won't ravage me until there's nothing left of the woman I've worked so hard to build.
And it tears him up inside.

When he finally gets to make his amends, and she shares her secrets... well, I rather enjoyed it. He treats her and her telling of her secrets in the same manner she to him. They stand behind each other. And while they both realize the relationship was fast, they both feel they are better with the other.
"But [your father] needs to understand that you're not his family anymore. You're mine. And unlike him, I protect what's mine."
My {Aria's} breath catches in my throat at the possessiveness of his tone. At the certainty that I am his. "I don't belong to anyone. Not now, not ever again."
"You belong to me, Aria," he tells me and he's never looked more serious. More determined. "Just like I belong to you..."
So there's that full circle of what he went into this trying to teach her. While yes, there's control in this 'situation', the control goes both ways.

And through it, they learned one another's ins and outs, ups and downs, highs and lows, and made the other better for it.

I have to say, even reading the small Ethan/Chloe bits made me want to pick up their books and the little note at the end? That there's a Sebastian and Aria cameo in the next Ethan and Chloe book?

Mmm, girl, sign me up.

No comments:

Post a Comment