Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blog Tour: Playing With Fire by Lexi Ryan

Adult Contemporary Romance
Release: July 7, 2015

Dr. Phoenix Reid isn't who she seems...

Everyone knows a phoenix rises from the ashes. What they don't talk about are the people she drags with her into the fire.

I thought one hot night with Max Hallowell was harmless. I never expected it would force me to face my past or bring back the man who swore he'd never let me go. Now Max wants to help me. Wants to save me. But if I let him, he'll be destroyed. I can already smell the flames. 

A woman with a secret past. A man determined to protect her. A dangerous passion that could cost them both everything.

Playing with Fire is the first in a new series of standalone novels featuring the New Hope characters Lexi Ryan fans have come to love. While you wait for Nix and Max's storyexplore Love Unbound, the collection of books set in Lexi's New Hope world. 
*Note: Each series can be read on its own, but for the chronology purists, the reading order is below.

3.5 Star Review by Jen Skewes

Playing With Fire is a stand alone that tells the story of Nix Reid ad Max Hallowell, two characters that we met in the Here and Now series.  When I first met Max I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first and I wasn’t sure if I liked him or not.   And yes by the end of the series I loved him, even though I was 100% Team Nate.  Max is an amazing guy he just wasn’t the right one for Hanna.   So I could not wait for his story because he deserved to get his happily ever after.  We also met Nix in previous books in that series and I loved her.  She was shy but spunky and a bit of a mystery so I could not wait to find out who Phoenix Reid was, where she came from and what her story was.  And all I am going to say is that I did not expect what happened in this book.  

Nix recently moved to the town of New Hope in hopes of moving on from her past.  This is the part that completely shocked me.  I knew she had a past but nothing like what Ms. Ryan delivered.  Her past is one that still haunts her, and as it should.  But she is hoping to move on from it and start a new life.  But it’s not easy to move on when your past is literally coming back to haunt you.  Letting fear of it all get in the way of her present and her future.

Max Hallowell had his heart broken not too long ago when the woman that he loved and was going to marry, picked the other guy.  He is a single dad to his daughter Claire who means the world to him.  But since Hanna left him for Nate, he has yet to really get involved with another woman.  When Nix needs his help with her garage door, Max jumps at the chance to help her.  She is a beautiful and sexy woman, so why would any man say no to her.  That one night turns into a night that neither one of them expected.  Max wants more, but Nix wants to just be friends and forget that night even happened.  But Max is not giving up. He wants Nix, and he knows that she is running from something but he is not sure what.  He will find out and when he does he will do everything to stand by her side and protect her.  The question is:  Will Nix let him?

 As I mentioned earlier I really loved Max.  I think I fell for him even more in this one.  I think it is because of how sweet and sexy he was, how much he wanted to help and protect Nix and then there is the fact that he is a single dad who loves his daughter more than anything.  He is like the white knight that every girl dreams will come in and save them.  He wanted to save Nix from her past and make her see how good they were together.  Nix was a great character but I do think she was a little different than the character that we first met in the Here and Now series.  She let her fears get in the way of happiness.  And for that reason I became a bit frustrated with her at times.  I get why she was afraid to move on and why she was trying to protect Max but at times I just wanted to yell at her to wake up.  When you have someone as sweet and sexy as Max who wants you and wants to protect you from the bad, you let him.  But she has her reasons and her issues and eventually woke up and realized that Max was worth it.

I love Lexi Ryan’s writing.  I have been a huge fan of hers from the very beginning.  But unfortunately this one fell a little flat for me.  I loved Max and Nix, I really did.  It honestly wasn’t so much the characters, it was more of the events that took place. I felt like some things happened for reasons that I did not understand.  And I also didn’t feel the connection between Max and Nix as much as I would have liked to.  I loved them together but I guess just wanted more. 

There is a part of this story that is certainly different from what we are used to from Ms. Ryan and I loved the suspense of it all.  Trying to figure out who was really behind all of the drama.  With a few twists in the end that I didn’t see coming.  Overall this was an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to seeing who is next?  I am hoping for Cade’s story. 

Love Unbound: Splintered Hearts
Unbreak Me (Maggie’s story)
Stolen Wishes: A Wish I May Prequel Novella (Will and Cally’s prequel)
Wish I May (Will and Cally’s novel)
Or read them together in the omnibus edition, Splintered Hearts: The New Hope Trilogy

Love Unbound: Here and Now
Lost in Me (Hanna’s story begins)
Fall to You (Hanna’s story continues)
All for This (Hanna’s story concludes)
Or read them together in the omnibus edition, Here and Now: The Complete Series

Love Unbound: Reckless and Real
Something Wild (Liz and Sam’s story begins)
Something Reckless (Liz and Sam’s story continues)
Something Real (Liz and Sam’s story concludes)

Love Unbound: Mended Hearts
Playing with Fire (Nix’s story, coming July 7, 2015)

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Lexi Ryan’s novels have been described as intense, emotional, and wickedly sexy. A former college professor, she now writes full-time from her home in Indiana, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a neurotic dog. Find her on Facebook or Twitter to chat about books, TV, and her children’s latest antics.

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