Title: Playing With Fire
Series: Portwood Brothers, #2
Author: Emily Robertson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Jackson wants the one thing he can’t have, his brother’s girlfriend. He tried to forget her, but even spending nine months Afghanistan didn’t make him want her any less. Now he was heading home, a home he shares with his brother and the woman they both want.
Emma believed that you should never follow your heart. She tried that once, and she ended up alone and broken. After she put the pieces back together, she decided she’d rather forget about love and just have fun. Who needed someone special anyway? Certainly not her.
When both of them realize they are on the same page, they embark in a hot, no-strings arrangement that satisfies their needs without getting their hearts involved. But when you play with fire, someone always gets burned.
Jackson placed the phone back on his nightstand and dropped a kiss on top of her head. “Morning.”
“I’d like to say good morning, but…yeah.”
“Just have to know,” he said while running his fingers through her hair, “do you have a stash of cats in that house I don’t know about? ‘Cause I’ll be honest, I’m not really into cats.”
“No, I don’t have cats. Mom’s just worried that I’m going to end up an old maid. I swear she had Chase and I’s wedding already planned out, and then all the crap hit the fan. She thinks I’ll never find anyone else. I love her confidence in my abilities to snag a man, by the way. When she realized I had picked up knitting and could do that, well, you’d think my life was over. She’s just certain that I’ll end up alone.”
“Snag a man?”
“Oh just be quiet. I’ve had enough of you this morning too,” she quipped.
“Already?” he asked. “You just woke up.”
“Yes, already. Now shush it so I can go back to sleep.”
“You realize it’s noon? You really want to go back to bed?”
“Why the hell not? Haven’t you ever spent a day in bed? It’s awesome! The only thing that’d make a day in bed better is if you had a TV up here so we could watch Netflix and chill.”
“When you say, ‘Netflix and chill’…” he trailed off not knowing how to ask. The guys said it all the time, but he couldn’t tell if Emma was being serious or not.
“You know…TV, in bed. I heard that House of Cards show is really good. I haven’t had a chance to see it.”
Jackson couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled out, “Babe, you know when guys say, ‘Netflix and chill’ it’s code for a booty call?”
“What?! No way! And all this time, I thought my friends were just binge watching shows. Huh, I guess you learn something new every day. And here I just wanted to be entertained.”
“If it’s entertainment you want,” Jackson wagged his eyebrows, “I can think of several ways to keep you entertained.”
“Then it wouldn’t be a relaxing day in bed, would it?”
“You could lay back and let me do all the work,” he told her with a wink
Playing with Fire is the second book in this series by Emily Robertson and if you know anything at all about me it is this – I have a nasty habit of reading series books out of order. That being said, it is no shocker that this is the first book in this series (and by this author) that I have read. <cheeky grins> However, given the quality of this book and the love I developed for the characters, both main (Jax/Emma) and secondary (Josh/Payton) I will definitely be going back and one clicking Playing By The Rules just to get Josh and Payton’s story.
It was easy to see from the first few pages that Emily Robertson is a very talented author who really took the time to flesh out both her story line and her characters. Jax, the sexy, dirty talking, yet haunted war hero… Emma the quirky-to-the-point-of-weirdness teacher who has hardened her heart to love.. The book as a whole was put together rather seamlessly right up until the end when the dagger went through my heart. GAH! But this means there will be book three right? RIGHT?? PLEASE?? SOMEBODY TELL ME FOR THE LOVE OF PETE THERE IS A BOOK THREE…!!
Well developed characters, nicely flowing storyline, pretty cover, good editing.. a thoroughly solid 4.5 **** WickedGoodStars for Playing With Fire by Emily Robertson!
Thank you for the opportunity to read/review this book!
The story flow is perfect and really highlights the effect of how true love can literally knock you on your ass when you least expect it!!!
~Tracy (Ladies of Love Blog)
Emily Robertson (evil genius and author of this gem) starts off letting us know that Jax is in love with Payton, his twin brother’s girlfriend.
~Becky (Reviews from The Heart)
Robertson has the ability to draw the reader in from the first chapter and have you reading until you can’t keep your eyes open any longer. She has great story telling skills and she brings her characters to life within the pages of your kindle. In Playing with Fire she tells the story about two lost souls, looking for a second chance. About learning to let go, love hard and move forward.
~Laura (iScream Books)
Payton always had one rule she lived by, no boyfriends until after college. No one seemed to agree with her, even her own mother who had her at age sixteen. Returning to school after an accident that flipped Payton’s world upside down left her feeling out of control. Holding on to her rule seemed to be her only lifeline.
Josh had been letting the past rule his life for too long. Finally being at school, he’d become his own man, and he’d been putting all that behind him. Just when he thought he had it all put together, life got crazy. Not only did his ex show back up, but Josh also found he couldn’t get Payton Whitmore out of his head.
Once Josh convinces Payton to give him a shot, she’s so closed off that he wonders if it’s even worth it. Josh can tell there’s something special about Payton though, and as soon as he goes all in, he’s ready to show her that some rules are made to be broken.
1. I’m a chronic mover. The first move I remember happened at age ten, and I have been moving around the world ever since. I have personally lived in thirteen different places (some of them multiple times), five states, and two countries (US and Germany). One thing that never changes is how much the process stresses me out. My husband and I have it down to a fine science now, and we are usually on the ball. If you ever catch me in the middle of a move though, you’ll just have to realize, it’s not you; it’s me. Honestly, I promise. I get tunnel vision and it takes a lot for me to see the forest through the trees. As much as it stresses me out though, I worry about the day that we aren’t moving anymore. I don’t know if I can see myself actually staying put someplace. It’s a strange concept to me.
2. Everyone has an eye catcher on their resume. Want to know what mine is? Wait for it…Blood making! That’s right, I make blood. I guess I should back up, huh? This might be the right time to tell you I have a BA in Technical Theatre. I lived up my college career on the stage and behind the scenes making shows happen. My area of expertise was hair and makeup. I was the go-to girl for those things, and I even spent a semester in Chicago interning with one of the top five theatres to learn more about my craft. During my junior year we did a show that needed blood. Now you can just go down to the supply store and buy the stuff, but it’s expensive and might not always the greatest for what you need. That was the case for us. So I spent a month perfecting a recipe that not only looked real on stage but also came clean in the wash. I had cups of the stuff in my mini fridge, on the counters in the theatre, and in other places. It was worth it to see it look so great on stage (I’m sure that’s a techie thing). That was also the year I won Female Techie of the Year. I’d like to say it was because of the awesome blood, but you’d have to ask everyone who voted for me if that was their reason.
3. Ready for a shocker? I’m a PK. For those that don’t know what that is, it’s a preacher’s kid. I hated it when I was a kid because everyone thought I needed to act a certain way or do certain things. Now that I’m an adult, it’s just another label that I can chose to wear or not. I get a lot of questions about my parents and how they feel about me writing romance. Well, I’ll tell you what my parents think. My dad is always the first in line to buy my books even if he won’t read them. He tells me all the time how proud he is of me, and he is always there to joke with me when I need it. My mom is the same. She called the other day to tell me she ran into a lady she knew at a bookstore who was picking up a couple romance books. She walked up to her and told her that my new book was coming up and she should check it out. Mom pulled up the book right there on her phone so the lady could check it out. I couldn’t ask for more supportive and loving parents.
4. If you know me personally, you might wonder if everyone or everything in my books is me or about me. The answer is no. Playing by the Rules follows Payton who is dealing with a TBI (brain injury). She’s the product of a single parent, and has one rule, no boyfriends until after she graduates. The only part in this that is true to me is the head injury. I wrote this book almost four years ago. I was frustrated because I was in the middle of trying to figure out a way to detox the medications I was on, figure out other treatment options, and so many other things that went along with my own TBI. I love 90s music, attended Southwestern College, and I did have a Jetta at one point in time. However, I am not my characters. I love writing little pieces of things I know because I feel like it gives it more depth. Playing with Fire is no different. I wrote this book as soon as I finished Playing by the Rules, and it was a much needed distraction in my life. My husband was deployed himself, and this book was what I worked on in the evenings after I was finished for the day. The feeling a loved one gets when they hear the news that a deployment is looming or the excitement you feel when they’re coming home, those are all things that I have personally lived. That said, there are plenty of things in the book that I have never experienced. So that was the long answer. The short answer is that all my books are a work of fiction.
5. I used to hate reading. Say what?! If you saw my Kindle now and knew how many books I breeze through a month, you wouldn’t believe it, but it’s the honest truth. I hated to read. When I was in high school, I had trouble with reading comprehension. My whole college career was spent reading things like Clan of the Cave Bear and a bunch of plays like Death of a Salesman. While those can be great, it was just a lot at one time. It wasn’t until I moved to Germany and didn’t have my belongings that I picked up a book. I breezed through all of that series, and then I found another series. I got into audiobooks after that, and then when we moved back to the US, I got a Kindle. The world has never been the same.
6. When it comes to movies, there’s no dispute in this house what we’re watching. When it comes down to it, my husband and I can agree that it will probably be some kind of a horror movie on the screen. What if there’s not a good one that’s come out recently? Not to worry! We watch crap horror movies too. There’s only been a couple that we couldn’t make it through.
7. I love to travel. In fact if you told me that I couldn’t have another gift for as long as I live, but we’d travel, I’d be all over it. It doesn’t even have to be to exotic locations, although those are nice. Some of my favorite vacations include a trip I took to Singapore when I was in college. It was a seventeen day trip where we traveled around Singapore and Malaysia singing with a choir I was in. It was so great to see the country and eat the food. I’ve never been able to look at Asian food here in the US the same. Another of my favorite trips was several years ago when we took the kids to Italy (we were in Germany at the time) to see the tower of Pisa and spend time on the beach. My husband and I also visited St Lucia recently were we spent a week laying on the beach, drinking adult drinks, and just spending time alone. Experiences mean so much more to me than actual gifts.
8. If there’s something I need to be doing on my computer, chances are I’m scanning YouTube. I watch so many videos, and I love them! Those Bad Lip Read videos, amazing! In fact, a friend of mine and I spent a month or two sending each other little gifts in the mail (like orange peanuts and Scooby Snacks) just from that one video. It’s a total time waster for me, which is why I get some of my best work done outside the house. I joke that I write so much in my car that the payment should be a tax write-off. Wouldn’t that be nice? If I really need to work, and I’m at home, I have different things that I can do to keep myself focused. I often turn off my WiFi, listen to a song on repeat, or write with a friend and check in after a certain amount of time. If you want someone to exchange meme’s or YouTube videos with though, hit me up!
9. My first car was called the “Cow Car” (may it rest in peace). It got the name because the car was white with black accents and the seat covers were cow spotted. Couldn’t have guessed that one, could you? This car was an ’86, I believe, Ford Escort EXP. There weren’t a lot of them made. It was a two seater, and for a high schooler, that wasn’t cool. What did work was the giant hatchback it had. We could shove about three or four people back there, and we often did. This car didn’t have air conditioning. The heater was spotty. There were a lot of times my dad had to hit the engine with a hammer to make it work right. The ironic part of this whole story was how the poor car finally met its demise. I was moving home from doing summer theatre, and it had been raining. Well, when you live in Kansas, there are a few things that are certain, especially in Western Kansas. There is going to probably be some kind of construction, you’ll run into farm equipment traveling down the road, and there are always cattle trucks on the highways (and boy do they smell). So I’m on the road home, and I’m coming up to some of the said construction. It had been raining that day, and all of a sudden my car starts to hydroplane. It’s not hydroplaning on water though. Nope, the poor cow car died because I hydroplaned on cow crap and rear-ended a truck. And yes, I’m humming Alanis Morissette’s Ironic as I type this.
10. Wanna know what really gets my heart racing? Gorillas. Those creepy beasts and I don’t get along and never will. You’re probably thinking, “There has to be a story there.” You’re right! When I was in kindergarten, my class went on a field trip to the zoo. I was with my group and towards the end of the day; we went into the gorilla exhibit. It was pretty empty, but as a kid, I didn’t care. I ran right up and sat down by the glass to watch the gorillas. They weren’t doing anything so we went and looked at a few of the signs and stuff, and then went back to check them out. They were finally moving around. So like any other five year old, I put my face up by the glass. The biggest one came charging at me and banged the glass right where my face was! I was horrified. We found out a few minutes later that there was a tornado in the area and we needed to take cover. Now, as an adult, I realize that the gorilla probably was acting that way because of the storm. So I gave it another chance. Let me tell you something. Every time I get near one of those things, they can smell my fear. They will pound the glass, get aggressive, and many other things. I took my kids into see one once, and it eyed me the second I came though the door and followed me until I left. I think there’s some kind of gorilla network, and my picture is on it. Needless to say, I don’t hang out with the gorillas at the zoo when we go.
Emily Robertson graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas with a degree in Theatre. She is an avid reader and enjoys reading New Adult and Romance as much as she does writing them. She currently resides in the Washington D.C. area with her husband and two children. She loves connecting with and talking to other readers by e-mail, or on Facebook or Twitter. You can get information on her upcoming works by signing up for her newsletter.