Played by Liz Fichera
the second book in the Hooked series
published on May 27th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
contemporary | romance
This Game Is Getting All Too Real
He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.
She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can’t get over, I’ll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.
I read and enjoyed Hooked a year ago, so of course I was ecstatic when I was approved to read and review Played.
Now, I’m very conflicted about my thoughts on Played. A few minutes after reading it, I decided that it was just an okay book–not bad, not great. After giving it a few more hours of thought, I realized that there were much more things that were bad than good, to my dismay. I really wanted to love this book, since the premise was something I enjoyed reading about.
So I thought the synopsis meant that the guy had a crush on a popular girl he’ll never have, since I totally forgot the events that went on in book one. Imagine my surprise when I realized “the girl he couldn’t get over” was the heroine’s brother’s girlfriend. Holy hell, so basically the heroine was trying to break the relationship between her brother and his girlfriend, just so the guy who saved her can have a chance with said girlfriend. The hell, girl? I get that she felt like she had to “repay” him, but why through a method that will hurt others?
Our main girl is Riley, a “perfect” daughter. Don’t get me wrong–Riley was a really realistic character. She loved the color pink and wasn’t afraid of what others thought of that. She whined, pleaded and became a bitch when times were tough, just like we all would. But of course, just because she was a realistic character doesn’t mean I’ll like her. I found her to be very annoying and wanted to strangle her or rip her head off sometimes. But I appreciated how Fichera developed her character in the end, and how she ended up realizing family will always be family.
Sam is our guy here. I really liked his character from start to end. He was a sweet gentleman, despite being a gigantic 6-footer. He was also a bit shy, which I found to be kind of endearing to a point.
For the actual storyline and relationship between the two characters, the first half definitely felt rushed. The last half did give me a ton of feels (especially towards the 80% mark), but there were a few twists that were totally unforeshadowed and just showed up out of nowhere. But I did begin to love the friendship-turned-romance between the two characters. It was nice to see them gradually warm up to each other.
Overall, I guess I’d have to tell you to give book one a shot first, since I really enjoyed that one, and since the two main characters in this one are there, you’ll get a taste of what they’re like. I’d recommend this to fans of Simone Elkeles’ Wild Cards.