Audio Review: The Play by Karina Halle

The Play
AUDIO REVIEW
Title: The Play
Author: Karina Halle @MetalBlonde
Narrators: Jillian Macie and Antony Ferguson
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 17 hours and 22 mins, 434 pages
Rating: 4.25 Stars

Synopsis

A troubled Scottish rugby player who doesn’t play by the rules.
A vivacious man-eater who’s given up on love.
When it comes to Lachlan and Kayla, opposites don’t just attract – they explode.

Kayla Moore has always been comfortable with her feisty, maneating reputation. At least it was fine until she hit her thirties and saw her best friends Stephanie and Nicola settle down with Linden and Bram McGregor, leaving Kayla to be the odd one out. Tired of being the third wheel with nothing but one-night stands and dead-end dates in San Francisco, Kayla decides to take a vow of celibacy and put men on the backburner.

That is until she lays her eyes on Linden and Bram’s cousin, hot Scot Lachlan McGregor. Lachlan is her sexual fantasy come to life – tall, tatted, and built like a Mack truck. With a steely gaze and successful rugby career back in Edinburgh, he’s the kind of man that makes her want to throw her vow right out the window. But Lachlan’s quiet and intense demeanor makes him a hard man to get to know, let alone get close to.

It isn’t until the two of them are thrown together one long, unforgettable night that Kayla realizes there is so much more to this brooding macho man than what meets the eye. But even with sparks flying between the two, Lachlan can’t stay in America forever. Now, Kayla has to decide whether to uproot her whole life and chance it all on someone she barely knows or risk getting burned once again.

Sometimes love is a game that just needs to be played.

Grace Review

Story: 4.5 stars
Take one fiery woman who has little faith in love, one brooding Scotsman with a past, add a couple stray dogs, and you have the makings of a sweet romance with a message to never give up on life.

I’m a little behind on this series – so little books, so little time.  While I read The Pact some time ago, I never read The Offer.  Through multiple reviews, I’ve heard this one is the best in the series.  Add to the fact that sales benefits a dog shelter, and I knew I had to check it out.

Kayla Moore has become the fifth wheel.  Both her best friends have settled down and she’s basically given up on love.  Initially, her commentary on her sex life was hilarious.  But things all change for her when she meets a certain Scottish rugby player in town to visit his cousins, Bram and Linden.  Hello instalust!

While Kayla goes from a man ban, to shameless flirting with Lachlan, in a hot minute, it takes time for the two to truly connect.  However, when it does, and they see the potential in each other, it is hard to fight.

There is so much about Lachlan that makes him a woman’s dream.
Scottish accent
A beast of a body
A successful career as a rugby player
And the kicker, running an organization for stray dogs.

But Lachlan is not perfect.  And it is his flaws that really made the story for me.

Lachlan has always struggled to fit in and feel worthy of love.  As a result, he went through a period of self-destruction, which continues to haunt him.  Without the proper therapy, his past substance abuse comes out at the worst times and does significant damage to the one person he should be protecting.  As hard as these scenes were to read, I loved how Kayla handled them.  She’s respectful and understanding, while trying to stop the downward spiral.  But everyone has their limits.

There are so many parts I loved about this story, other than how the addiction was handled:
The long distance relationship, and how they threw caution to the wind.
The connection between Lachlan’s childhood and his dogs.
The struggle for Kayla to find her identity.

While I loved all of the individual parts, I thought that maybe the story covered too much.  I understand the whole part with Kayla’s mom and why it was included, but I thought there were so many other parts to the story, that it wasn’t needed.  Also, I never understood why Kayla kept thinking she had a black heart.  Just seeing how she was with her mom and Lachlan, contradicted this statement.  On the flip side, I loved how Kayla took a chance on love.  It wasn’t always pretty, but when it is meant to be, things have a way of working themselves out for the best.

Performance: 4 stars
On their own, I enjoyed each narrator’s performance.  I thought the female narrator’s voice was a good match for Kayla.  A little bit of humor, a little bit of sass.  As for the male narrator, who can complain about the swoon-worthy Scottish accent?  Not me, that’s for sure.

The only issue I had with their performance, and I feel this often when listening to dual narrators, is that they sort of butchered their partner’s voice.  The female narrator did an ok job with the Scottish accent, but it wasn’t perfect.  And unfortunately, the male narrator did not do well with Kayla’s voice.

That part aside, both narrators seemed invested in the story and expressed a good range of emotions throughout.

Overall: 4.25 stars
This was an enjoyable story from beginning to end.  I felt myself cheering for both characters, not only to survive as a couple, but to fix the things they hated about their lives.  With some tough love and encouragement when needed, they brought out the best in one another.

– Grace

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