Pre-Release Tour and Giveaway: Playing With Her Heart: Lauren Blakely

Playing With Her Heart
Lauren Blakely
Add to Goodreads
Pre-order: iTunes
Expected August 18, 2013

When you’re acting the role of a lifetime, how can you know if love is real—or all just a part of the show?

Twenty-three year old rising theatre star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending her long-distance crushes add up to something real, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. Cast in her first Broadway show, she desperately needs to keep her façade intact, but that’s before she comes face to face with her devastating new boss…

Hot-shot director Davis Milo knows the first rule of directing: never fall for your leading lady. Captivated by Jill’s raw talent, he fights his feelings, but watching Jill on-stage with another man is more than his jealous streak can take. Keeping things professional isn’t an option. He wants all of her.

Soon the ingénue and her director are staying late in the empty theatre, their private rehearsals spiraling into new, forbidden territory. Caught up between fiction and reality, Jill struggles to find the truth in all their staged kisses. But how can she be sure that what she feels is real, and not a part of the play? And when two people spend their lives pretending, what happens after the final curtain falls?

PLAYING WITH HER HEART is a Contemporary Romance novel and is part of the Caught Up in Us Series, although it can be read as a standalone. 

Other books in this series/Related books:

Caught Up In Us(Book 1: Kat and Bryan):
Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kim's 4 star review

Pretending He's Mine(Book 2: Reeve and Sutton): 
Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kim's 4 star review

Trophy Husband(Chris and McKenna): 

Song inspirations from the book. Madness by Muse.

Guest Post from Lauren Blakely:

 Five things you love about writing romance

1. The Happily Ever After.
Cue wistful sigh. Is there anything better than a Happily Ever After? I love writing the swoony, romance-y, hopeful endings and sending characters off into lives filled with love, passion and romance.

2. The sexy times!!
Well, if you’re doing it right (writing the sexy times well), then they can be a turn-on for the writer too!

3. The readers.
Romance readers are passionate, vocal and outspoken. They don’t hide their love of romance; in fact, many wear it on their sleeves. They love connecting with authors, chatting with them, getting to know them, and this is one of the best parts about writing romance. I love connecting with readers!

4. The feeling of falling in love.
So yeah, the sexy times are good and all, but the falling in love is the backbone, and writing those moments of falling in love - the breathless, floating, flying feelings - are intense, and heady! I love those scenes and they can transport you to moments of falling in love too.

5. The banter.
My romances tend to have a lot of banter - either flirty banter or sexy banter and romantic dialogue is one of my favorite kinds to write.

Because love like that only happens when it's make believe. At least, I've always thought so. Then I met Davis Milo and everything in my life changed. Irrevocably.

If you have read any of Lauren Blakely's other books, you are already familiar with Jill. She is the room mate of Kat in Caught Up In Us, friend to Reeve in Pretending He's Mine, and sister of Chris from Trophy Husband. So it was time for Jill to get her own story. 

Jill just landed her "almost" dream job. She made understudy and chorus for a new Broadway musical, with her longtime actor crush Patrick as the lead, and a one of the hottest directors in New York, Davis Milo.  Davis is not only at the top of his career, he is also freakin' crazy hot (like melt your panties hot). Charming, and irresistible aren't even close to describing his dominating personality  (and not to mention the amazing book cover with Steve Boyd totally captures his essence).   But Jill isn't too keen on the intense chemistry between them and sees Davis as completely off limits. She is all about seeking what's safe and familiar. In Jill's mind it's all about Patrick...she has wanted him for years and this gig is her perfect opportunity to get even closer to him. And since Patrick has been thrust back into her life, there should be no contest to who wins her heart...the guy who has held her heart for years (even if he does not know it) vs. the one who scares the living day lights out of her.

But acting is really all I've ever done. Acting like I'm fine. Acting like what happened back then...wasn't all my fault. I suppose now, six years later, I'm mostly fine. People who know me say I'm carefree, laidback, happy go lucky. Sometimes I truly am. Other times, I've become so damn good at the appearance of moving on that I even believe the illusion. Fake it until you make it, right?

Davis has been also heartbroken in his past, and he now has rules. First and foremost, he does not date actresses. But Jill knocks him on his ass in more ways than one. He is immediately drawn to her even though deep down he knows he should resist her at all costs. I loved seeing this strong alpha male who makes no excuses for who is develop cracks in his armor. It allowed me to delve into the many layers that made up Davis Milo, giving me a better understanding of what he felt he really wanted and needed. I had a blast watching such a domineerng man lose complete and total control.

Davis Milo is the strangest mix of sophisticated class and unbridled intensity I've ever seen. It's as if a Merchant Ivory movie fucked a Quentin Tarantino flick and made him. 

I tell myself to turn it off for her. It should be business...Besides, I didn't cast her because she's fuckable. I cast her because she's fucking amazing.

There are to many reasons Jill and Davis are wrong for each other, yet nature takes it course. Their chemistry is off the charts and seems to have a mind of it's own. It's like an unstoppable force with a magnetic pull that links them together and puts them in situations they are not prepared for. The best part about it, no matter where they are... lust happens (it's often fast and intense, plus you get the added benefit of it happening in some interesting places). The jealousy these two feel when it comes to each other is a strong emotion that just adds more fuel to the fire. Life imitates art as their interactions and those of the characters in the play become intermingled and gain intensity.

Seriously if anyone is in need of some hot orgasms, it is Jill. She has been through so much and has turned herself off emotionally and physically. She is damaged and fearful of being hurt or causing others pain. Davis on the other hand is completely alpha, sexy, commanding, intense, and possessive. He just oozes power, sexuality and charisma. In addition, he is also vulnerable and incredibly perceptive when it comes to Jill. Davis is the one man who can see the real Jill enough to break down her barriers. Their interactions are so passionate, impulsive, and full of need. And as the walls slowly come down and insecurities and pasts are revealed, it becomes all too real and scary.

Something about the way he looks at me makes me want to tell him things, to open up, to share all sorts of secrets I've never told anyone else. His dark blue eyes are so pure and unflinching that they seem to demand nothing less than total honesty. 

"Because we will hurt each other, and we will fight, and we will argue. And sometimes it'll be less than perfect. But it'll be real. Every second of it will be completely real."

What I really love about Lauren Blakely's books is her sense of humor and fun. This book does have that, but it also delves much deeper and adds more layers. Both of these characters have been broken, have past demons, and are hiding pieces of themselves. They have fears, insecurities, jealousies, and mixed feelings. Their connection is intense, but confusing. They both try to resist but cannot seem to. Lauren Blakely did a wonderful job making the reader feel their passion, their need, and their conflicting emotions. At times it was funny, flirty, and sweet. And at other times heartbreaking and emotional. And still there were times it was hot, steamy, and completely out of control. And she does not give us all of the information about these characters up front, she slowly lets it come out throughout the story adding some mystery as well.

But these characters were so well developed, so real, and so likable that I was totally invested in their relationship. I am so glad she gave us both Jill and Davis' points of view. Davis was such a perceptive guy and I loved seeing how his mind worked and when things clicked for him. Even though I loved his possessive, domineering alpha side, I think I preferred his softer, vulnerable one. His need and desire was palpable and you could literally feel the profound way Jill affected him. I thought it was funny that Jill was a romance novel junkie who liked the dirty talking alphas. But she also mirrored the broken heroine you see in many novels.

I consider Lauren Blakely  a comical genius. Her characters are funny, sassy, and have no filters. She can have you shocked and laughing one minute, but then turn around and make you want to throw your kindle or grab for the tissues the next.  I love this series because each book is unique and complete, but also has common threads or characters. They can be read as stand alones, but part of the fun are the connections. It was great to catch up with some of the favorite characters from the rest of the series: Kat and Bryan, Reeve and Sutton, and Chris and McKenna. Jill is really the connecting factor to all of these people and it was definitely time for her story to be told. And as much as I enjoyed the other books, this one is by far my favorite. It had everything: humor, passion, romance, heartbreak, emotion, love and redemption. It was written flawlessly, flowed effortlessly, and kept me completely engaged until the very end. And Davis Milo is my new book boyfriend. He is so scorchingly hot and perfectly delectable that he made me tingle and swoon...sigh...No wonder Jill did not know what hit her!

I cannot wait for The Breakup Album coming in October. She teased us a bit with the rocker Jane Black in this book and I look forward to her story.

Thanks to Lauren Blakely for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in CAUGHT UP IN US, she thinks life should be filled with movie kisses and coffee drinks. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.


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  1. I cant wait to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I cannot wait to read this one!! I love what I have read so far about it!! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  3. Bloggers are awesome. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Thanks for the chance! Loved Trophy Husband and looking forward to Playing with Her Heart! :)

  5. Bloggers are awesome!!! We <3 you gals!!! thanks for the giveaway!!!

  6. Thanks for yet another great giveaway! I am excited for this one.

  7. Thanks so much for the giveaway. Sounds like an awesome read!

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! I am so excited to read this book! LOVE this Series! Can't Wait!

  9. So want to read this book. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway

  10. Only a few days left until the release date! Can't wait!! Thank you for the giveaway :)

  11. Yesss!! Bloggers are awesome!! Thank you for the giveaway!

  12. OMG, I`m so excited for this book. Can`t wait to read it! :)

  13. cant wait to read this thanks for the giveaway denise smith denise226@verizon.net

  14. Look forward to reading. Thank you for the giveaway.

  15. Bloggers are awesome. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  16. Can't wait to read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. I really want to read this book, a really awesome giveaway and yes bloggers are the best

  18. This book sounds really good and the guy on the cover is nice to look at ;). Thank you for the giveaway!!

  19. Thanks for the giveaway!!
    Looking forward to read this book!

  20. Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway! Looking forward to reading this book.

  21. Cannot wait for this book! I loved the other books in the series! Thanks so much for the amazing giveaway!

  22. Bloggers ARE awesome!! Thanks for the giveaway! Sounds like a great book :)

  23. Some bloggers are more awesome than others.
    Thanks for being kind, honest and bringing us good books to check into! I appreciate all of your hard work & dedication!

  24. Bloggers are the best! Thanks for the awesome review of this book!

  25. Thanks for the giveaway!
    You ladies rock! :D

  26. I cannot wait to read another Lauren Blakely book! Thank you for being part of this book tour, the post & your review.

  27. Thank you so much for this giveaway! You are correct, BLOGGERS ARE AWESOME!!!

  28. oh my gosh! I just got home from vacation and was stalking your blog instead of laundry! I almost missed this and that would have been so sad. I really enjoy your reviews and I really love Lauren's books, so Thanks you for the fabulous giveaway!


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