PLAYING HOUSE (Sydney Smoke Rugby #5) by Amy Andrews


Eleanor is content with her boring life—mostly. She’s even fine being the quirky sister in a bevy of beauties. So imagine her surprise when one of her brother’s Sydney Smoke mates hits on her at an engagement party. Her. The weird sister, who wears vintage dresses and prefers her books to parties.

Bodie is shocked the next morning to find the soft, sexy virgin who seduced him with corsets is his best friend’s little sister. If he could kick his own ass, he would. And two months later, she’s got an even bigger surprise for him. Now he needs to convince the corset-loving wallflower that he loves her uniqueness if they’ve got a chance at forever.

He always did love a challenge…


Let me just start by saying how much I absolutely adored PLAYING HOUSE. This book pulled me in from the very start and I devoured it in just a few hours. 'Brother's Best Friend' is one of my favorite romance tropes and I feel like it was handled so well. Just the right amount of family drama but not enough to detract from the blossoming relationship between Eleanor and Bodie.

What starts as a passionate one-night stand progresses in a really natural way, despite some unusual circumstances, into more than just lust. I loved how easily Bodie and Eleanor could tease and laugh together both inside and outside of the bedroom. Those gentler, sweeter moments enrich the story just as much as the hot, steamy sex scenes. And trust me, things get pretty scorching when these two get in a room together.

My favorite part of the whole novel was how wonderfully it married together Victorian sensibilities with the struggles of modern dating. Eleanor is an Austen-loving romantic who always held onto the hope that her Mr. Darcy would one day come along. She lives and breathes Victorian fashion, running her own online business and creating replicas of nineteenth century garments. She's an old soul at heart, and has always been made to feel like the socially awkward girl who doesn't quite belong in her time. Being a big fan of historical romances and Austen, I really felt a kinship with Eleanor. It's hard sometimes to reconcile your love of romance and old fashioned courtship with the realities of modern dating. “She was a nineteenth-century wallflower trapped in the age of Tinder”. Boy, do I feel you on that one, Eleanor.

Bodie, despite being a professional rugby player who can get any girl he wants, really embraces those parts of Eleanor's personality, and her curvy body, which have always made her feel out of place. He wants her – no one else. And words can't describe how incredibly adorable and sexy it is that he discovers a proclivity for Victorian ruffled undergarments when most guys would prefer skimpy lace thongs. In a world that's always told Eleanor she's quirky and weird for her old fashioned sensibilities and her romanticism, Bodie appreciates how special those things really are and dives in head first.

I could go on and on about how supportive and sweet Bodie is and how sexy I find his dirty mouth but I'd rather leave that up to you to discover for yourself. Suffice it to say, I really fell for both Eleanor and Bodie and would love to read more in this series!

If you love a shy, curvy, wallflower heroine and a brawny hero who embraces all the quirky, romantic, old-fashioned parts of her, this is one you can't miss! It's the perfect blend of historical and contemporary romance – for the reader who has always felt a bit like they were born in the wrong century. I'm all for finding my Mr. Darcy...but I wouldn't mind at all if he were a bit more like Bodie. 

Disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.




Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written sixty plus contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. She’s sold 2.6 million books and been translated into over a dozen languages including manga. Her books bring all the feels from sass and quirk and laughter to emotional grit to panty-melting heat. Yes, her books feature lots of sex and kissing. You probably shouldn’t try one if you think that stuff belongs behind a closed door. Amy rips the door right off. She loves good books and great booze although she'll take mediocre booze if there's nothing else. 

At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and, several years later, she did. They have two grown kids who have flown the coop for distant shores which is awesome because now she has a good excuse to travel. For many, many years she was a registered nurse. Which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them! She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.

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