It’s been a few days since I finished Playing Dirty, and I’m still not sure how to feel about it. It was my first time reading a book by Jennifer Echols, and while I’m not jumping for joy at the prospect of reading another of her books, I still did enjoy myself while reading Playing Dirty. I wasn’t really impressed with the writing, but I really liked the characters and story.
Well, I didn’t like the characters ALL the time. The first third of the book I didn’t like at all. The writing was all over the place, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, so I didn’t like any of them, and everything was so hectic and crazy that I couldn’t believe when I started actually enjoying the book. It took me by a huge surprise. I was honestly thinking that this book was going to be a DNF, but then somewhere along the way, I started liking the Sarah and Quentin and the band. They started making me laugh out loud, and endearing themselves to me. Sure, they didn’t act their age at all sometimes, but it made the book all the more interesting.
The story was very… interesting to read. It was like nothing I’d ever read, and that was a great thing. Sarah is a PR expert at Stargazer, and her newest client is the country band The Cheatin’ Hearts. She needs to do well on this job, aka prevent the group from breaking up, because she’d screwed up on her latest job with singer Nine Lives. So Sarah goes to meet The Cheatin’ Hearts, and they’re all a bunch of hicks. They get drunk, they get into brawls, and are basically over-the-top. What Sarah doesn’t know is that all four of the people in The Cheatin’ Hearts, Quentin, Erin, Owen, and Martin, act this way on purpose. It’s all for publicity.
For The Cheatin’ Hearts, they live by three rules. Rule One: no drugs. Rule Two: no sex with other band members. Rule Three: no sex with record company spies. Quentin, the leader of the band, made these rules when they first started the band, and now… he’s in danger of breaking Rule Three. Because when Quentin meets Sarah, he wants her.
Quentin is such a unique main male character. He’s my favorite character of the book. He’s so utterly ridiculous, it’s cute. He’s a major dork and nerd, but he can’t let the public know, otherwise it might tarnish his image of being a badass rockstar. So instead of the world knowing about his allergies and asthma, they think he does cocaine. I laughed so hard every time Quentin spoke, or someone made fun of Quentin, which happens a lot, that he was the main reason why I started liking the book a lot more than I did in the beginning.
Sarah was pretty funny as well. While The Cheatin’ Hearts has its own scheme of trying to get rid of her, she has her own plan to have them stay together as a band and churn out another album. She holds her own against the band’s antics, and with Sarah and the band going head to head, it was so much fun to read.
Quentin and Sarah are absolutely adorable together. They were perfect for each other, and complemented each other so well. And Quentin can be such a sweetheart. He’s always thinking of others first, and then when he falls in love with Sarah, he’s even sweeter with her. He’s still boisterous and crazy, but there’s a sweet side of him no one ever saw before.
I really did end up enjoying Playing Dirty. I was pleasantly surprised to find it so entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny to read. This was a fun, hilarious, if a bit hectic, contemporary romance.