Review | Play by Piper Lawson

 Overview I'm Payton Blake. A successful, balanced twenty-something girl living the dream. 

OK. So it's a big-ass lie.

I could be all of those things. If I had friends outside of work. And if I didn't mainline watermelon slushies like they were a food group. It wouldn't hurt if I'd had sex in the last year, either. (My best friend insists Jorge the Nightstand Boyfriend doesn't count.)

But when you know where you're headed, who needs to enjoy the ride? Even if part of me longed for a little between-the-sheets adventure, Max Donovan would be the last guy I'd call.

Sure, he made the indie video game that broke the internet. His eyebrow piercing's sexy, in an 'are-you-in-a-band?' way, and fighting with him gets me off faster than Jorge on bezerker mode. But he's arrogant. Presumptuous. Colder than a cactus and twice as prickly.

None of it changes the fact that I crave Max Donovan like a watermelon slushy on a hot summer day.

I should ignore him. But I can't, because he just became my biggest client. And whether he'll admit it or not, he needs me even more than I need him.

Game on, Max Donovan.

Purchase Links: Amazon
Publishing Date: September 14, 2016
Stars: 5
My Review:  you're the only one I see stars. I walked into the novel having read a book by Piper Lawson and knowing she writes in a way that speaks to me. I loved this book by five pages in and kept loving it all the way to the end. The characters are real, conflicted, confusing and so very human. I laughed more than I didn't because Payton and Max were hilarious with their banter and wit. I have so many screen shots of moments I loved from this book which is a sure sign that I was totally loving the read. 

"You're not what I expected," I confessed. "It's taking me some time to calibrate." 
The corner of his mouth twitched. "Translation: When you read 'gamer,' you thought I'd be some stammering nerd with glasses who can't talk to a pretty girl."

Max isn't the "classic gamer" that comes to mind when you think of a game developer by any means. He's confident, sexual, witty and gorgeous while knowing he's all that and a genius. He doesn't get nervous around girls, isn't shy and is quite the crafty one. Beneath his exterior, Max has a complex makeup that comes from a relationship gone horribly wrong, fierce competition in the gaming world and his own addiction to creating the perfect gaming system. Max is passionate, rough around the edges, compassionate, loyal and beyond anything I thought he would be.

Sometimes I use the Magic 8 ball to make business decisions. Don't tell Riley.

Payton is in a man's world and playing by their rules yet still owning her career. She's called the "dick whisperer" as she can deal with her male colleagues in a way that allows her own work to shine while still not stepping on too many toes. She is focused, driven, compassionate and charming yet strong. It wasn't hard to like her since she was willing to play a game, even when she's not a gamer, to really get Max, her client. She also goes above and beyond to help Max when he runs into some trouble. She's good at what she does and even better when it comes to buffering people and keeping everything afloat.

The two come together, against the initial horrific meeting, and find something they didn't expect, love and acceptance. Payton learns how Max operates, gets him on another level, and accepts him for who he is while loving him the way he needs all the while. Max gets Payton and goes out of his way to show his affection in his own way. The path isn't easy, but then again, nothing worth having ever truly is. I loved the story and the characters equally.