ARC Review: Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols

Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols

Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols
Series: Stargazer #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 29th 2013
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Pocket Books) in exchange for an honest review

A public relations expert tries to prevent the breakup of a raucous country band and corral their wild—and very sexy—lead singer in book 2 of the Stargazer Series.As an expert in public relations crisis management—that is, babysitter to the stars—Sarah Seville just spent nine months in Rio trying to keep rock singer Nine Lives out of jail long enough to record his new album…and barely succeeded. Now she needs a triumphant success so she can keep the Manhattan-based job she loves. Trouble is, her new assignment is to travel to Alabama to prevent the breakup of the raucous country band The Cheatin’ Hearts, headed by sexy Quentin Cox. As she edges closer to Quentin, she discovers layers of secrets. It seems Quentin is taking the spin doctor for a spin.

The Cheatin’ Hearts have stayed on top of the charts two years following three rules. Rule One, no drugs. Rule Two, no sex with other band members. Rule Three, no sex with record company spies. Quentin figures he’d better follow the rules, because he made them. And because if you break a rule, you’re out of the band. But he can’t resist the record company’s beautiful PR agent, and inevitably he breaks Rule Three with hot Sarah Seville. As he falls for her, he finds out that she has plenty of secrets of her own, and one of them comes knocking on her door: what really happened to her in Rio.

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.

3.5 hearts

Reading Order: Stargazer series

Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols

#1 ~ Star Crossed: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Playing Dirty: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

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