Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: "Playing the Perfect Boyfriend" by Julie Particka (Contemporary Romance)

Playing the Perfect Boyfriend (#3)
by Julie Particka

Publisher: Entangled Publishing - Brazen
Series: Gone Hollywood
Tempting Her Fake Fiancé (#1) (affil.)
Blackmailed By The Hero (#2) (affil.)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 6th 2016

(Affiliate links)

About the Author:
Julie Particka was told to get serious about her future in Junior High. Several years after getting a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she realized being serious was over­rated and went back to her first love–writing. Now rather than spending her days in the drudgery of the lab or teaching science to high school students, she disappears into worlds of her own creation where monsters sometimes roam, but true love still conquers all.

She can most often be located in the Detroit area with her favorite minions (the ones who know her as Mom) where she is currently hatching a plot for world domination. It involves cookies for everyone, so she’s pretty sure there’s no way it can fail...except the minions keep eating the cookies.

Description from Publisher: Wild child Jade Easler has never met a dick she didn’t like, but there’s only been one she thought about keeping. And now he’s back in town…right after she’s slept with charming Hollywood up-and-comer, Dean Hartley. The fastest way to get her ex’s attention? Show up on the arm of a sexy younger man. She just hopes Dean is up for the task of fake boyfriend…

When he hooked up with his beautifully curvy photographer, Dean thought he’d only get the one night she promised. But when she needs help convincing a former flame she’s ready to settle down, who is he to argue? He’ll get to show her—in as many ways as possible—that giving up crazy, hot sex for a stale, predictable life isn’t what she wants. And prove that what she needs is him.

Jade knocked on the black wood of the dressing screen just as “Nothing to Do with Love” came on. “You ready to get started?”
“Still naked,” he quipped, ready to walk out that way if necessary.
The next thing he knew, a warm and fluffy towel landed in his lap. “There’s your first outfit. Put it on and meet me out here.”
And there’d be no hiding behind that while he debated her interest level. Oh well, it wasn’t the first time he’d thrown himself at the fickle mercy of fate. College... Los Angeles... A hot photographer, he could handle. He draped the towel around his waist and stepped from behind the screen. “Where do you want me?”
She looked as if she was ready to answer him as she turned, but no sound came out of her open mouth. Instead, after hanging wide for a few seconds, it shut with a clack, and she swallowed hard. He felt himself starting to smile at her reaction, then, pointing toward a gray canvas backdrop, she said, “That. Get your ass in front of the screen, because I want more of that exact expression you’re wearing.”
“So you want my face to freeze like this?”
“Too late—you talked. We’ll just have to get it back.”
She tapped her nails against the camera as he strode into the space indicated, stopping directly on the blue tape crossed on the floor. “X marks the spot?” he asked, thinking of the way her wrap top crisscrossed over her breasts.
“One of them.” She adjusted something on the camera, focusing on it rather than him. “G marks the other one.”
Dean almost choked on laughter, and heat rose up his neck. She said whatever came to her mind, didn’t she? He wished like hell he had that kind of freedom. Then he realized the camera was clicking. “This was the look you wanted?”
“One of them. You blush sexy.” Her eyes shifted, meeting his over the edge of her camera, her face going serious for a moment. “If I’m making you uncomfortable with the way I talk, let me know. I can do all-business, too.”
He had a feeling there was no middle ground with her. It was all-business or whatever this was, and he liked this—hell, he wanted to embrace this completely. “I’m good. Better than good, actually.”
“Peachy. Can you let the towel dip a little?” Her eyes moved back to the camera, but she was dabbing at her cleavage with a cloth like it was hot. “Think about the last woman you had sex with. Or better yet, the woman you want to have sex with.”
That was easy enough, considering she was standing right there, wearing a black pencil skirt with crimson piping that perfectly matched the fuck-me stilettos on her feet. The cocky half smile was back on his face; he could feel it as his gaze roved from her toes on up. He let the towel dip a bit lower, showing off his Adonis belt. The camera kept clicking, but her eyes were on him now as much as his were on her.
Then he dropped one end of the towel, only keeping enough hold to cover his crotch. Jade’s tongue traced her lips, making them glossy and wet before she said, “Turn a little. Give me a hint of that fine ass.”
As he twisted to the side, her nipples started to perk, forming little peaks against the silky fabric of her blouse. Nice to know he wasn’t the only one reacting to all of this. So he kept turning. Once his backside was on full display before her, he glanced over his shoulder. Her eyes were hooded with the kind of need that only made him harder. He grinned...and threw the towel aside.
The camera clicked several more times before she breathlessly said, “Guess that means it’s time for a costume change. I’ll be...right back.”
He sauntered behind the changing screen, without a care in the world other than seeing that expression on her face again. “And I’ll be right here, waiting for you.”

My Rating:
Heat Rating:
I received a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.com for an honest, unbiased review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is my 100% own.

To be perfectly honest, this book wasn't exactly my cup of tea. It's got a good amount of kink and fantasy, along the lines of 50 Shades. That said, I would still recommend this to someone who enjoys contemporary romances that involve role-playing, use of restraints and spanking with paddles, and anal sex. The smexy scenes start almost at the beginning of this (at approximately 8%) and ramp up from there.

Sex is a very big part of this story, but there are also some interesting plot twists if you are willing to suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself completely in the fantasy. The descriptions of everything and the dialogue are well-written, and the setting is well-chosen.

I didn't necessarily care much for Jade, the heroine in this, though. She feels like someone who is a lot younger than she is, and I had a hard time understanding why exactly she would consider Isak at all, or why she dated him for 3 months prior (the longest she had dated anyone) when the "sex was unremarkable" and they "got along fine." She is meant to be a strong and independent woman, but I didn't get that sense throughout. If she had been early 20s instead, it might have been more believable.

There also wasn't necessarily a lot of romance involved in this, in the sweet sense, as the focus between Dean and Jade seems predominantly to be on how much sexual chemistry they have and how much Dean loves that Jade is "open to anything." There is an InstaLove factor, mostly one-sided, where Dean immediately feels that he needs to "play the perfect boyfriend" in order to win Jade away from Isak immediately after his one-night stand with her that some may feel fits the bill though.

All in all, I would say that this is a smexy, kinky fantasy story with some well-described scenes that are almost off-the-charts heat-wise.
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