Lisa Marie Perry
Harlequin Kimani / July 1, 2014 / $6.50 print / $5.99 digital
As general manager of the Las Vegas Slayers, Danica Blue goes toe-to-toe with players whose size is matched only by their egos. Quarterback Dex Harper is the biggest and toughest of them all, with a hell-raiser reputation that he insists he doesn't deserve. And Danica, the good daughter who's always played by the rules, is suddenly tempted to break every last one.
Football is the only thing Dex has ever been able to count on. To save his career he needs Danica's PR savvy, and he's happy to help her discover her inner bad girl in return. But glimpsing the real woman behind that sexy, flawless facade is making him realize how much is at stake. Because getting back on the team could mean losing Danica, unless he's willing to risk it all—and play for keeps….
Raw chemistry rules in Midnight Play, a friends with (secret) benefits story from Lisa Marie Perry. Electricity literally crackles between Dex Harper, a disgraced football player with something to prove, and Danica Blue, the new General Manager of the Las Vegas Slayers who fired him. Danica’s parents purchased the football team when it was revealed that the former team owner was paying off players to make bad plays. With her business sense and savvy, Marshall and Tem Blue knew they could count on their trusty middle daughter to follow directions to the letter and improve their new team.
Dex maintains that he was never paid off for anything, and in fact the other players who were paid off were making his performance as quarterback appear poor; they purposely dropped plays, eliminated coverage for him, and if one listened closely they even bragged about it on the field. When Dex arranges a meeting with her parents behind her back, Danica meets with him first and assures him that they will not hire him back. This simple meeting was the first time we saw Danica through Dex’s eyes, and he definitely liked what he saw.
He also appreciated her business acumen. Danica was absolutely knowledgeable about every facet of his resume and the team’s history. It also didn’t hurt that she accidentally spilled the contents of the goodie bag from her best friend’s bachelorette party in front of him. The thought of getting her alone with those contents turned him on in a big way (pun intended.) Danica felt his draw as well; she held their private meeting with the office door open as a self control tactic.
Turns out Danica was right about her parents not hiring Dex back. In fact, they wanted to squeeze as much information out of him as possible to make sure they made cuts to all of the players on their team who were on the take.
Refusing to cooperate without a deal for himself, Dex storms out. Danica follows him and tries to get him to give up his pursuit of his position with the team, but Dex is determined to, in his words, get his life back. When Dex left the conversation this time, he left Danica hot and bothered...and he knew it. It was then that Danica started to hatch the plan to help him turn around his PR and perhaps make him desirable to another team to hire. One of her rules? Ignore their insane magnetism to each other and keep it professional. So no more kissing the back of her neck to say “Hello.” Yeah, that lasts about as long as you think it would.
There is probably a more eloquent way to describe Dex other than “hot,” but that word sums him up perfectly. He is just enough alpha to be exciting, blunt enough to make you gasp, dirty enough to make you blush, and sensitive enough to make you want to save him just like Danica wants to. Lisa Marie Perry balances Danica’s lifelong restraint with Dex’s spirit in a beautiful way.
Despite the fact that Danica is the middle child, her parents rely on her as if she is the eldest daughter, and have perfected manipulating her emotions to their ends. Her secret relationship with Dex is a chance to start breaking free from the inside out; her relationships with her older and younger sister begin to change as she sees herself through their eyes, and sees that she has been set up as the princess with her parents poised as the king and queen.
Dex is a reformed rake used to having different women on his arm at any given time, but he quickly realizes that Danica, as well as his career, are his goals. Recently divorced from a high powered music producer, Danica is truly independent for the first time in her life, and the freedom she experiences changes her for the better. These two have a lot to prove to themselves and the world around them, but in the meantime their encounters will sizzle your retinas.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Midnight Play by Lisa Marie Perry, available June 17, 2014:
Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at missboxyfrown.blogspot.com. She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.