Publication date: 17 May 2016
Series: Dirty Players Book 1
Warnings: Vague references to past abuse
Tia Louise begins the story with a flash back to six years ago. This is where we first meet Zelda and her little sister Ava, as well as Crown Prince Rowan of Monagasco. This is where we see the significant, long-term battles that they each face. All, in their own ways, are battling for their lives.
Fast forward six years.
We now see that life is different for them all, and although the challenges have changed, the fact that they are each still facing battles has not. And add into the mix Rowan’s brother, Cal.
Rowan is in line to be king of Monagasco, but his enemies are plotting to usurp his position. As part of this plan, Zelda finds herself being blackmailed into trying to seduce Rowan, in order to make him look bad enough that he will lose power.
Zelda has been looking after Ava since they were young. She is a fierce protector of her little sister. She’ll do anything to keep her safe, so she doesn’t hesitate to agree to the plan.
But nobody factored into the plans that Rowan would prefer Zelda’s sister Ava, or that Zelda would prefer Rowan’s brother Cal! Talk about a tangled web.
For the first half of this story I felt as if it was all a bit superficial. It kept my attention and the story moved along well enough, but I really was enjoying the character of Rowan’s brother Cal far more than I was that of either of the lead characters. We got to know Rowan somewhat, but Ava never really got the opportunity to develop a personality and stayed rather one dimensional.
I remember thinking to myself, about midway through the book, that I probably wouldn’t be coming back for the second instalment in the series. But then it all seemed to pick up speed a bit, and I found myself being drawn in, rather than just a spectator at the side of the story.
There was a hefty element of political intrigue in the story and when that really started to get more focus was when it felt to me like the characters started to come into their own, and for me, when the ‘good’ part really started.
By the end of the book, I was totally sucked in. There’s no doubt I’ll be going back for part 2 at this point, as I’ve already downloaded it!
Although to be honest, part of that is because Cal (still my favourite character in this story) is getting is own turn at being the lead in book 2…Player: A thrilling, action-adventure romance. (Click here to see my review.)