Published by Entangled Teen on 8/13
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
My content rating: YA (Some talk of sex, but nothing more than kissing)
Rock star drummer Bishop Riley just needs a few months to relax and detox before his band's next tour. But the last place he expected to do it is in Seldon, Alaska. And the last person he wants to do it with is Penny Jones.
Fiery, headstrong Penny has zero in common with the cocky, too-hot-for-his-own-good Bishop, and she'd like to keep it that way. But the more Bishop gets under her skin, the more she wants to let him in. And the more Penny lets him see, the more Bishop wants to know this stubborn girl with the killer body and soulful eyes.
The simmering heat between them won't go away, no matter how hard either of them tries. Their time together in Alaska may be running out—but so is their resolve for not taking a chance on love.
Out of Play is the sort of book that deals with tough issues really well but doesn’t completely mangle your heart in the process. Not that I’m not a fan of the occasional heart-mangling (you know I love a good cry now and then), but I think it’s great to have books that tackle these types of issues in a somewhat lighter, more accessible manner as well. A book that gives you the feels, but doesn’t tear you to shreds in the process. This is that book.
NOTE: Okay, so I’m just now realizing the irony here (I’m slow on the uptake, what can I say?) – my blog name and the heading for the following section and even my author top ten lists all mention addiction – in a fun and lighthearted way – because of my blog name. But, of course, as fun as it is to say that I have a “fiction addiction,” addiction is a very real and very serious issue that impacts many people. This book discusses the real thing. So, I’m just addressing that right up front and getting it out there.
What fed my addiction:
- Addiction handled well. Like I said, this book tackles its issues well. Bishop struggles with an addiction to pills. He doesn’t see it as a problem – after all, he just needs a little help to clear his head around the crowds and there are plenty of rock stars doing a whole heck of a lot more partying than he is. He doesn’t want to face the fact that he’s dependent on those little pills and that he’s lost control – that he needs them. So, when Bishop is sent to Alaska to cool off and get clean, he’s just going through the motions. He’ll do what he needs to for appearances sake, but he knows he doesn’t really need to make an actual life change. It isn’t until a good portion of the way through the book that Bishop realizes that he’s been lying to people around him – and, more importantly, lying to himself.
- Gramps’ Alzheimer’s. Penny’s grandfather suffers from Alzheimer’s, and it’s incredibly tough on her because a lot of the responsibility for taking care of him falls to her. She can’t stand to see this man she loves falling apart before her eyes, and she doesn’t always know what to do when things go bad with him. She’s (rightfully) scared by his erratic behaviors, and she sees that they’re just getting worse. Gramps is a fantastic character, though. When he’s lucid, he’s such a strong positive influence in both Penny and Bishop’s lives. The friendship that forms between Gramps and Bishop is incredibly sweet and made me love Bishop just that much more.
- Slow burn romance. I loved that the romance between Penny and Bishop was anything but instalove. Penny was still hung up on her best friend, Mitch (who can’t seem to see her as more than a friend) and Bishop didn’t want any messy entanglements to make his life (and his cover) any more complicated. But, these two started to understand and support each other in ways that no one else ever had. Penny realized that Bishop was hiding things about himself, but she didn’t push him to reveal everything. She knew that he needed to share his burdens and life with her on his own terms. Bishop supported Penny’s dreams in a way that no one else really had – Penny felt like everyone in her life was pushing her toward a future she didn’t want. Bishop was the first person to really understand who she was and why she wanted to pursue her own dreams and goals. They were perfect for each other!
- The ending. The way things played out in the climax of this book was pretty much heartbreaking – and incredibly realistic. I loved where the authors took this book in the end!
What left me wanting more:
- Not much. There were points in the book where I didn’t absolutely love Penny, but for the most part these characters captured my heart, and I was engaged in their story.
This was a quick read that kept me turning the pages (I read it on a flight and finished it by the time I arrived at my destination). I give this book a solid 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Authors
Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. Even when she was too busy chasing kids or working, writing stories was never far from her mind.
She feels a special pull to characters in their teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she adores exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn’t want to grow up. She doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing. Luckily for her, he doesn’t either.
Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh, too. She’s also a proud romantic at heart who has a soft spot for flawed characters. She loves people who aren’t perfect, who make mistakes but also have a big heart.
Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids. When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her.
Nyrae Dawn also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.
I wear worn out Chucks, juvenile t-shirts, and eat too much chocolate. I love to go fast, I love french fries dipped in Frosties, and I love stories that keep me guessing. I write for Entangled, Albert Whitman Teen, and Simon Pulse. (You should also read Jolene’s longer bio HERE because it’s awesome.)