A Review by Wendy
4.5 Dirty, Filthy, Revealing Stars
* * * * 1/2
Yes, this book lives up to its title, Dirty Player...I guarantee it....and does it great, by the way. You will be given all the yummy, sexy, filthy, dirty, dirty times you could want...But don't be shocked or surprised when you get all of the other added pleasures of a well thought out story which will make you care about the characters...who are enjoying all those dirty, filthy, sexy times.
Now that I have your attention, I can share that Stacey Lynn has given us a book which covers all sorts of feels and situations. They are not complicated or difficult to grasp. They are humanizing and identifiable. Now that may sound a little off... How can we identify with professional football players and the environment they exist in...the fame, money, idolization...
Well, these sports gods had to come from somewhere... and more than likely from families who supported their dreams as best as they could in order for these men to succeed. One of our main characters had a special force behind his success...
Oliver Powell had parents who raised him well and while pursuing his dreams, he thought his high school love was on board for the professional football life he was going to provide. He loved her completely all through college and then during the ramp up to going pros. But when he was acquired by the Raleigh Rough Riders, she refused to return to the south were they were from. She loved the perks of fame, the power of her position as a "wife of a player" but not the man or game enough to make the move. It took her taking half of his earnings for the last 6 years to change Oliver.
No longer the man open to freely love. Now the man was shut down; hiding his real thoughts and feelings about everything except football. He didn't care what others thought of him or whether he followed the league rules. Didn't do interviews...instead took the fines. He hooked up how ever he wanted... there was no need to look around...women came to him. He had the reputation of AssH@le and wore it proudly.
He was reaching the sunset of his career. Now 30, he knew he realistically had only a few years left to accomplish his last goal, obtaining the Super Bowl Ring. His team needed to get their friggin' act together. His long time quarterback was traded...and now they were bringing fresh meat from another team. Oliver would see how this would shape out....
Shannon Hale was the special force for her brother Beaux, the new quarterback joining the team. They were their only family since their mom passed. Each may have had different fathers but it seems both men were losers when it came to being a parent. Their mom, though, was a woman who did whatever it took to make a home for them. She worked non stop and provided as best she could. When Beaux got a ball in his hands as a young child, he wouldn't let go...His talent and future was the driving force for Shannon. As his older sister she took him to all his practices, games, camps...whatever was needed to encourage his goals to be a professional football player. She put all sorts of personal goals aside in order to be there for him and did it happily... Good thing she understood the game and loved just as much as Beaux. Beaux's career developed and now his trade to the Raleigh Rough Riders is the break for him...the placement to make a difference and help this team get to the Super Bowl.
And now Beaux will be his big sister's special force. Shannon thought she was getting married to a man who loved her...only to find him banging a guest during their engagement party in the bathroom. Shannon wasted no time leaving the event, hurrying home, slashing her wedding dress to shreds and deciding to move to Raleigh to escape the embarrassment. She would start over. Beaux was more than happy to have his sister closer. He also took this opportunity to be the one to support and encourage her jewelry business. These two siblings loved each other and had a very easy relationship between them.
The story takers off with Shannon coming down to the field to see Beaux after the last day of training camp. Fans of all shapes, sizes and desires worked the fence to attract players' attention. Fathers and sons wanting autographs, sports nerds wanting a conversation and then the groupies showing their wares hoping for a look which would turn into a "Personal Encounter". As Beaux works the crowd, he finally gets to Shannon and gives her a huge hug. They both are slap happy and being close as they normally are.
A ruckus of fans yelling for Oliver Powell to look their way caused Shannon to see him coming towards them. Shannon knew who Powell was...He was a perfect specimen in body and looks but an arrogant ass and for her that lowered the hotness factor. As he gets closer to Beaux, Powell starts saying things which were so inappropriate. Insinuating Shannon was a football groupie looking for a meal ticket, he threw out comments that implied this - meaning Shannon- was the type of up scale action he would now be getting...It only got more down and dirty until Beaux took him aside and said something in Powell's ear which caused him to stop in his tracks.
The power of Powell was shocking. As much as he was a dick, the beauty of him in person was mouthwatering. Shannon had decided after the fiance' fiasco, she was going to be stronger and never let herself be second place in her own life. It was her time now. If she wanted something she was going to go for it...
Now there was no denying as much as Beaux warned her to not fall for Powell, a spark and interest on both sides flared. It became a smouldering ember that did not need much encouragement when the team had its new season party. Shannon dressed to make herself feel confident and possibly because she knew Oliver was going to be there. Shannon meets some team members and dances a few dances with one. When it is time to relax a bit and sit down, a voice says to her, " The next one's mine"...
Powell captures her in his arms, starts to tell her what's what and lays out the punchline of what she needs is to get with him not a baby like Beaux... Shannon drops the bomb she is Beaux's sister not some money grubbing wanna be wife like his ex.
A couple of things happen from this exchange...Shannon is shocked by the things Powell has been saying yet oddly flattered he thought she was hot...her brain says stay away but her body and ego likes the whispering and thrills. Oliver on the other hand is taken aback... This woman is the sister who has done so much for Beaux...She has no interested in manipulating anything and in her own way has proven how cool and beautiful she is.
Oh, and the both of them are attracted to each other.
We get dual POV'S and they are on target with both of their life experiences and personalities. Over the course of a few weeks Powell realizes Shannon's impact on him and he is all in. Shannon moves step by step into becoming her own person and giving herself credit for the things she has achieved.
They speak in the language of sex from the beginning and convey deeper feelings from the start. Both are growing and even with a few stumbles and falls, they develop a trust which will not be denied.
There were secondary characters to move the plot along and overall I never was distracted or wanted to put the book down.
It may be a very Hot with a capital H book bringing all the Naughty front and center.... but it was the humanness of it all which will make me remember it fondly.
Families and loved ones make sacrifices for their partners and children. We may not see the supporters when the sports stars are receiving their Super Bowl rings or Olympic Medals... but they are part of why they succeed. May we all have that type of support in our lives.
A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Stacey Lynn is a simple girl raised in the Midwest. Over the long, frigid winters, she would read every book she could get her hands on, from John Grisham and Danielle Steel to Ann M. Martin and C. S. Lewis. She began writing poems and short stories long before she reached high school, and now, as a wife and mother to four children, she finds solace from the craziness of her life by creating steamy, sexy stories. After publishing her first book, what began as a hobby has now turned into an unending passion.