The PlayerThe Player by Rhonda Nelson
When a mission goes bad, three Rangers - James Aidan Flanagan (aka Jamie), Guy McCann and Bryan Payne (aka Payne) want out of the military. Colonel Garrett, their commanding officer, lets them go only after getting a promise from them that they would each grant him one favor – of his choosing and his timetable. First up is Jamie “The Player”, so named because of his prowess with the ladies. Right now, Jamie is going through the women like there’s no tomorrow – his way of dealing with the grief and guilt over the last mission. So what does the Colonel want from him? Only to flirt with his granddaughter Audrey to put doubts in her head about the man she’s thinking of marrying. No touching – she’s totally off limits, and the Colonel has made that perfectly clear.
Audrey (Audie) Kinkaid left the high-stress working world to open a “de-stressing” camp. Past relationships, including one that ended with a restraining order, has made her leery of “needy” men. She’s a bit of an empath and absorbs their bad energy, so she’s looking for a man who doesn’t need anything from her. Hence her hook-up with arrogant, self-absorbed Derrick. This is the only part of the book that I wasn’t pleased with. Audrey is written as an intelligent woman who wouldn’t put up with a lot – so I (and Bebo) didn’t understand how she could stay with this guy for one year. But it wasn’t as much of a problem that it ruined the book for me.
On an Amazon scale – 4 ½ (I know, you can’t do half stars there, but they should). The sexual tension in the book was good, the banter was wonderful – I laughed out-loud in quite a few places. The demons that hounded Jamie were understandable and sympathetic. The secondary character of Tewanda was great – adding to the comedic moments. I also like how Rhonda focused a bit on the other two men, so you get a feel for them before their books come out. I don’t regret paying full price for this, and I do certainly recommend it if you want a fun read.