RELEASE DAY: MAY 28, 2015
About the Book
Rules of the game:
1) Never underestimate your opponent
2) Avoid personal fouls
3) Score early and often
4) Play or get played
Coach Marcus Leon has always played by the rules…until he meets Grace, the seventeen-year-old senior transfer on his High water polo team. Addie changes all the rules, mostly because she doesn’t play any games. But as off limits as she is, the more Marcus discovers about Addie, the more he finds himself…and the more he questions whether Addie might just be worth risking everything for.
For Addie, water polo is anger management. She’s driven and focused because it keeps her mind off other things…like the fact she destroyed her family. Her game plan is to keep her head down and graduate so she can leave her father and the crappy town he dragged her to in her wake. But when what starts as friendly completion with Marcus turns into more than a game, Addie has to decide if she’s willing to face down her demons…and possibly ruin the man she may or may not be falling in love with in the process.
“One more thing I can check off my bucket list,” he says with a grin, then shoves half the slice into his mouth.
“What else is on your list?” I ask.
He gives me a long look as he chews. “I don’t really have one, now that you mention it.”
“They’re stupid anyway,” I say with a shrug. “It’s a waste of time thinking about all the things you want to do before you die. You could die tomorrow and a bucket list isn’t going to mean squat.”
I only realize how bitter that sounded when his gaze locks on mine and sharpens, as if he’s lasering in on my thoughts.
I shake myself loose from those eyes that could compel me to spill my darkest secrets if I were to gaze into them too long and take a bite of pizza. “But whatever. If you want a bucket list, go for it.”
“You don’t have anything you want to do before you check out?” he asks with raised eyebrows.
“Haven’t thought about it.”
“Well you should,” he says, going for another slice. “I want a bucket list.”
“Then make one.”
He leans back and takes a bite. “So where should we start?”
“You already have,” I say with a wave of my slice toward his.
He holds his up. “And you’ve gotten me off to a fine one. So now we need something to top anchovies.”
“We?” I ask. “I told you I don’t want any part of this.”
“Tough, because what if your idea turns out the be the Best Thing Ever and I would have missed it because I never thought of it.” He tears off a hunk of pizza with his teeth. “Like anchovies.”
I look at him a long second as he chews and a hot tingle runs under my skin. “So we’d do stuff from the list together?”
He nods as he swallows. “That would be the general plan. Call it moral support, call it peer pressure, all I know is we’re more likely to check stuff off the list if we’re both doing it.”
My heart starts to pound as the possibilities scroll in my head. “How are we going to do this?”
“A collaboration. We’ll each throw ideas out until we have a list, then we can rank them together.”
“How do you know I won’t put something like ‘lose my virginity’ on the list?” Heat radiates from my face, but I force myself to hold his gaze.
There’s a second that he just stares at me, but then his eyes grows softer. “I’d expect you would.”
For several beats of my racing heart, we sit here staring at each other, then he clears his throat. “I want to try one new food a week. And I’m open to suggestions.” He says with a nod at the pizza box. “Your turn.”
“I have to come up with another one right here on the spot?” I say.
He cocks his head in a question, but then the light dawns in his eyes. “Ah…virginity. Right…” He pulls out his phone and starts typing it like it’s no big thing, then shifts and hooks an elbow over the back of the bench as he thinks. “Swim with dolphins.”
I nod. “That’s a good one. Put that on top.”
He raises his eyebrows as she shoots me a glance out from under those long, thick lashes. “Above virginity?”
★★★★ 1/2 stars
I find that reading books about topics that are taboo for society or myself are often difficult. There are some books I won't even try, which means I'm probably missing out on an amazing story, but it's hard to often separate my thoughts and feelings about a certain situation from the fictional story I'm reading. I read Getting Dirty, and while I wasn't comfortable with it, I did find it hard to put down. I knew when Getting Played was announced, I was going to have to read it to see how Marcus handled being in a somewhat similar situation to one he'd so strongly denounced and I'm glad I did.
I don't think I'll ever be completely accepting of a romance or relationship between a teacher and student, no matter how amazing the story, but I was amazed to see how different the writing and story was in this book. Mia Storm definitely brought her A-game to do justice to Marcus and Addie's story. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually felt sympathetic towards what Marcus and Addie were going through. It wasn't just them trying to fight their attraction towards one another, but other situations arising at work and school that really threw me and them for a loop. I loved how Mia Storm incorporated a number of issues and situations that gave this book a depth and gravitas I wasn't expecting, but overjoyed to get.
Marcus and Addie were very easy to like. I might not have been able to relate to their intense desire for one another, but I could see it and relate to their familial situations and pasts. Both of them had so much in common and I loved seeing how they supported one another. I liked how despite their attraction for one another, it wasn't easy for Marcus to reconcile what his head and heart wanted. He really struggled with his connection to Addie knowing it could get him into a lot of trouble he didn't want or need. My heart broke for Addie. Not only was she already dealing with a loss, but she was essentially parenting herself. Add that to the pressure of being at a new school and getting unwanted attention, and I hated to see her hurt so much.
I did cringe a little internally when Marcus and Addie started to get physically involved with each other. I really had to push the labels they had on each other of coach and student to the back of mind. I was able to do it though and it allowed me to get through the last half of the book in a spectacular fashion. Even though parts were hard to read, I read this book quickly. I couldn't put it down. I don't know how Mia Storm is going to be able to top this book, but I'm looking forward to seeing how she does it.
*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
Other Books in the Series
A poem by Blaire Leon
If sex is dirty, why would I do it with someone I love?
If sex is dirty, then didn’t we all come from the dirt?
What if I like the dirt?
What if I want to get dirty?
What if I want to roll in the mud until I’m so fucking filthy that I’ll never be clean again?
When twenty-five-year-old graduate assistant Caiden Brenner asked Blaire Leon how old she was, she said she was a senior. He chose to believe she meant in college. They connect over Lord Byron’s Don Juan and, as their conversations become increasingly thicker with sexual innuendo, Caiden finds himself obsessing over a totally off-limits undergrad who’s bold, beautiful, brilliant, and one of the most passionate poets he’s ever met.
But it turns out Blaire hasn't been totally honest. She's the seventeen-year-old valedictorian of her high school class, taking courses at Sierra State while awaiting her acceptance to Stanford.
Will Caiden get too deeply into Blaire to back away before he finds out the truth? Or will their connection be enough to seduce him into risking his entire future on Jail Bait?
About the Author:
Mia Storm is a hopeless romantic who is always searching for her happy ending. Sometimes she’s forced to make one up. When that happens, she’s thrilled to be able to share those stories with her readers. She lives in California and spends much of her time in the sun with a book in one hand and a mug of black coffee in the other, or hiking the trails in Yosemite. Connect with her online at MiaStormAuthor.blogspot.com , on Twitter at @, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MiaStormAuthor