I am such a sucker for Kat Latham’s rugby books. Here’s how much: I don’t even like the friends-to-lovers trope, but I read this installment anyway because she makes her characters so interesting and believable.
Matt is on the London Legends team, but he’s not a starter, and he hasn’t had any good playing moments since he joined the team five years ago. He’s haunted by the taunts of his father and his ex-wife, believing that he’s not really good at anything and that he always chokes under pressure. In addition to that, he’s terrified of flying, which makes nearly every away game an emotional struggle that he barely survives.
Libby lives in the flat above Matt, and they’ve been friends during those five years. She’s an airplane pilot, working for a discount airline that mainly flies bachelor parties to different locales. Libby is six years older than Matt, and she needs a husband who will stay home and look after the kids while she works her crazy pilot schedule. The two of them share custody of a teacup chihuahua named Princess because neither one of them is home full-time to raise a dog.
I loved how vulnerable Matt was. He had the ability to be a great rugby player, but he wasn’t playing to his full potential. It was so cool to see a hero who wasn’t the best of the best, and to understand all of the issues running through his mind that were holding him back. On the flip side, Libby was confident in her job. Because of the pilot checklist routine, she has turned her life into a checklist, and she has mastered the ability to compartmentalize her emotions, to not let them affect her job.
Matt realizes that he needs to conquer his fear of flying to save any chance of staying on the team, so he asks Libby for help. She agrees, and then distracts Matt from freaking out at the airfield by kissing him. She explains that they can give in to their attraction and be friends with benefits — but only during lessons. Oh, what a sneaky bargain!
I have to point out how Ms. Latham always has her heroines speak up for women. In this book, Libby has taught Matt that he can’t use the word “pussy” as any sort of insult, because “women’s bits” are anything but weak. I might have done a secret fist bump when I read that. Later, after a flying lesson, Libby and Matt make out in the cockpit…on the runway…in front of other flight students and her father! When confronted, Matt apologizes to her father.
Libby’s ire rose. “Wait just a bloody second. Why are you apologizing to him?”
Matt blinked. “Because I was, uh, you know…touching his daughter.”
“So? Other than the fact that we were doing it in full view of his visitors, which I do feel bad about, we did nothing wrong.” [Kindle location 1851]
This book is the third in the series, but can be read as a standalone. Previous characters show up just enough to make you smile, but they don’t affect the plot. However, if you haven’t read the other books, you should drop everything and read them right now. This book is fun, sexy, humorous, and occasionally heartbreaking, and it will turn you into a rugby fan.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Tempting the Player
by Kat Latham
Release Date: November 10, 2014
Publisher: Carina Press