The Player by J.R. Ward/Jessica Bird, Book Review

General Information
Genre: Romance
Published: January 2006
Book Summary (per Goodread):
   *listed as His Comfort and Joy not The Player (odd)
Ruthless might as well be Gray Bennett's middle name. When the renowned Washington, D.C., insider talks, powerful people listen. But Gray hasn't come home to Saranac Lake to play politics. Or play at all. A tragedy has shaken the unshakable Gray Bennett to his hardened core.
And so has the most unlikely of women.
The mousy redhead who used to run around the Moorehouse B and B-the one he never noticed-is now all fiery hair and lush curves. But sweet Joy Moorehouse is too innocent for a cynic like him. So Gray won't let himself lay a hand on her...until the night he can no longer resist the woman she has become. That's when he discovers a secret that leaves him gasping for breath-and wanting more.
My Thoughts:
This is a good romantic read.  It flows nicely, has the perfect amount of angst, romance, turmoil, humor and suspense where the male lead will find all his beliefs changed by the right woman.  This story was very quick, but the characters were very relate-able and fully developed.  I enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between the two, but I loved seeing Joy becoming more confident in herself and standing up for herself.  I found the straw that breaks her to be somewhat humorous as it was a misunderstanding, but I still cheered for her to finally put herself first!!  Now with that, I still loved Gray. .. my goodness his backstory broke my heart.  I would have liked some more backstory of his father, how he got to be who he is in the story, and some other details I was a little lost on, but that might be answered if I read the first book in the Moorehouse series (must look into).

I enjoyed this read.  It is not a favorite, but I found it sweet, at times funny, and enjoyed the buildup to lead into the next characters story.  I do want to know what happens to her brother Alex and Cassandra!  That one screams some drama and tough emotions to come.

**I have the names as a / instead of two seperate authors because Jessica Bird is J.R. Ward (similar to the whole Nora Roberts/ J.D. Robb thing).

Important Links

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Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from the library.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.