Monday, August 12, 2013

[Review]: "Talking Dirty with the Player"

Talking Dirty with the Player by Jackie Ashenden
Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence (August 12, 2013)
Series: Talking Dirty, 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Up-and-coming photographer Judith Ashton is pretty sure she has everything in her life under control. That is, until a blast from the past comes back to taunt her, in the shape of Caleb Steele, her older brother's best friend...and the man who broke her heart eight years ago. Their chemistry is combustible, but she's been fooled once by this player, and she's not going there again. To pro rugby player Caleb, Judith has always been his Kryptonite. But his former playboy lifestyle is the last thing she wants to be involved in. In the midst of her brother's threats to back off, and the deal of his career sending him far away from her, he knows he's playing with fire. And this is one game he's going to lose.

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

My Review:

“See, this is what I’ve missed while I’ve been away. I say
something, then you say something, then I say something back
and you end with ‘shut up, Caleb’. We always have such great, indepth

When I picked up Talking Dirty with the Player I wasn't sure what to expect--would I get a cute story? A sexy one? A funny one? An annoying one? Thankfully, it was all of that (minus the "annoying"!) and more! I'm a huge fan of great wit and banter in my romance novels, and Jackie Ashenden provided plenty of that, which in turn made me a very happy reader.

And the fun conversations did not only take place between the hero and heroine, but many of the other characters as well. This also made me a very happy reader. :)

“Plans, huh?” His agent narrowed his gaze. “You sharing
these plans with me anytime?”

Sure, when he’d thought of something. Which he would. Soon.
Pushing himself off the couch, he gave his agent a grin. “Nope.
That’s on a need-to-know basis only.”

“And I need to know.” The other man’s gaze narrowed even
more. “You haven’t got any, have you?”

Dammit. Mike knew him too well. “Oh, don’t you worry your
pretty little head about it. I’ve got it covered. All you need to
worry about is the next sponsorship deal.”

Mike folded his arms, a “do not screw with me” expression on
his face. “You know there’s a bird that sticks its head in the sand,
right? Thinks no one can see it?”

“I’m an eagle, Mike. Not an ostrich.” Caleb paused by the
desk, fl ew his hand through the air. “I’m gonna soar.”

The other man snorted. “You’re going to crash and burn if
you’re not careful, mate.”

But the book was not all laughs and smiles. There is some conflict, and both Caleb and Judith have baggage, things they must over come in order to finally walk hand-in-hand towards their HEA.

He didn’t wait for her response. The heat of her as she’d sat
next to him and the scent of her body had caused the walls to
close in, and he needed to get out of there quickly. Get away from
her before he did something stupid like touch her again.
Judith Ashton was off limits. Seriously off limits. Because she
didn’t want casual and casual was the only thing he could give her.

Casual was the only thing he could give anyone.

Caring hurt. It always had.

Judith was forced to grow up fast after her mother abandoned her family. She became the one that her dad and brother leaned on, rather than the other way around. Caleb was the one person she could lean on, and he left her, too--right after they slept together. Oh, and did I mention Caleb is the best friend of Judith's brother? In other words, that was a big no-no.

“It hurt, Caleb.” Her voice sounded scratchy. “It hurt a lot.
After Mum left, you were the only one who seemed to care about
me. So then when you ignored what had happened between us, at
the time it just felt like yet another betrayal.”

“I wasn’t the only one to care about you, darling. You had Joe
and you had your dad.”

“I know. But Dad was always working and Joe… Well, he just
wasn’t able to look after me. I mean, he did try and I know he
worried about me. And I had to keep it together for him. I had to
be strong and steady because that’s what he needed.”

Warmth brushed her shoulder—Caleb’s mouth on her skin.
“You had no one to lean on? No one to be strong and steady for

Judith shut her eyes, the softness in his voice making her
throat close up. “I had one person. I had you. And after you’d
gone, I missed you so much.”

My heart broke when she told him this, and I felt a very deep connection with her because of it.

Slowly they begin to open up to each other, and I loved that. The scenes where they started to talk, really talk, were powerful, intimate even, and I loved them.

“You want to know what I think about when I take a kick?”

Judith tried to remember all the player interviews Caleb had
done where he was asked this very same question. “Don’t you use
creative visualization or something?”

He smiled at her, but not the cocky smile he used when he was
being evasive. This time it was the mischievous one that always
made her heart beat fast. “That’s the story the media gets.”

“So that’s not what you do?”

“No. I pretend the ball is Dad’s last vodka bottle. Then I kick
the bastard as hard as I can.”

Her heart expanded a little in her chest. Because she knew
that was something he’d never tell anyone else. In fact, there were
many things he’d told her tonight, things she guessed he hadn’t
told anyone else. And she liked that. No, she loved that.

I'll admit--the book wasn't perfect. I'm sure I could find flaws, not necessarily in the editing, but in the "perfection" of the story if I looked. But I don't care. This was a book that I completely fell in love with from page one. The writing was great, almost addicting, and I felt a connection with the characters. I read this book in a day, which is amazing considering how crazy my life has been lately, and I didn't want to stop. It was, simply put, highly entertaining, and that was just the kind of book I needed, one that would pull me out of my reading funk and remind me again why I love this genre. So thank you, Jackie, thank you very much!

I will be reading more books by this author, and I will definitely be recommending this book to others.

Talking Dirty with the Player is a brilliant, witty, charming romance with heart, heat and depth---I couldn't have asked for more!


~ * ~ * ~

I received an e-ARC of this book from Goddess Fish tours, in exchange for my honest opinion.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Jackie Ashenden; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them.

~ * ~ * ~

I'm working on interview questions right now, as I'll be hosting Jackie on the blog September 30th. Are there any questions YOU would like to see her answer? Leave a comment and I may just ask her!

This was a truly wonderful book, I enjoyed every moment of it and read it within a day (amazing, considering how busy I was at the time...). I'll definitely be coming back for more by this author, as well as checking out more books by this publisher.
Have you read many Entangled books? Do you have a favorite author/series/line?


Until Next Time,


*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Kame said...

What a great review! I want to read this book! I do like Entangled - they have some unique books. As for interview questions - hmmm

Pat Egan Fordyce said...

Looks like a great read, another for my wish list! Is it set in the UK?

I enjoy reading books from Entangled. Seem's like they have sweet to HOT! Thanks for the review ........

The_Book_Queen said...

Actually it is set in New Zealand, which I found very interesting! :)

The_Book_Queen said...

If you think of any, let me know! :) I think you would like this book, by the way.