The Playboy, Alice Ward

The Playboy by [Ward, Alice]

Sometimes who you've been clashes with who you want to be.  In Sloane's case, this wasn't a problem she thought she'd ever have.  And then there's Zane with his years of indulgence that have left him empty.  Both aren't aware that there's a storm of change coming, for both of them.

I like Sloane.  I like that she tries so hard and despite her strengths and talents, she's floundering.  She knows what she's always wanted and has worked so hard for and then when she finds that Zane is bulldozing all of her plans, she also realizes that the life she has built may not be the only thing she needs.  Her passion for Zane and her confidence in her sexuality is great because she accepts herself as a woman equal to Zane in his own blatant magnetism.  She's a good partner for him in the bedroom.  Outside the bedroom is a little more difficult to pin down.  Her determination to do her job becomes just that.  Determination without a lot of focused follow-through.  Zane is foiling a lot of her plans, yes, but her lack of experience in the field is pretty glaring the deeper they go.  I think that she would be better for me if she took a moment to think clearly and, especially once he was in the know, made a plan with him, use her resources to the best of her and his ability.  Instead, she becomes emotional and distracted.  She knows it, which I give her credit for, but she could be so much stronger.

Zane has no clue about what it really means to be a partner.  He's so cute when he tries, though.  He might be 30 but he's emotionally stunted and watching him come to terms with his feelings and all the consequences of being a part of Sloane's life is endearing.  While I don't like that he's too pushy and is also rash with his actions in the name of protecting the little woman, I do love his ability to apologize and try to look into the future and figure out a way to keep them together.

With such a short courtship they navigate all the tricky stuff in the beginning, which is refreshing, even if they don't have everything decided and agreed upon at the time.  We all know it takes a lot longer than a week to plan a life but Zane is determined to at least have some outlined ideas.  Sloane, on the other hand, is aware of a different part of the big picture and has trouble getting Zane to see her side of things.  When worse comes to worst and the drama explodes, those plans are not just left on hold, they seem to be shattered.  The consequences of the mission coupled with shaken confidence and radio silence combine to make the road to their future seem so unsure.  But Zane has different ideas.  His heart and his strength are perfect.  I love that he's so committed to Sloane.  He helps her through the difficult part of healing and acceptance.  Sloane's vulnerability is touching and her willingness to accept help is telling of her inner strength.

Overall, this was a good book.  A good story of overcoming difficulties, finding common ground, asking for forgiveness, and showing resilience.  Sloane and Zane found their ideal match through adversity and came out stronger on the other side.

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 The Playboy, Alice Ward

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