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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Player Next Door by K.A. Tucker

A Review by Wendy
4 Getting Zen With It Stars
* * * *
 Spoiler Free
There should have been a manual on how to be a teenager. They have manuals for, appliances, even the little ones. Why isn't there something to guide teenagers through the crappiest times of their lives...

It is when young men only think with their dicks. It is when young women fall hard for these guys and then get dumped for the stupidest reasons...many to do with said dicks. There are bullies abound and cowards who hide behind them.

Then there are the teenagers having to handle situations not of their making, like a mom who is "Too Friendly" with all the people in the small town you live in...Yeah...not the best for a young girl having to handle that.

So that manual is really needed, in my opinion. Because of all those things that happen while being a teenager, impact who they become as an adult. What pain they experienced during those years will touch them and form many of the decisions throughout their lives.

In The Player Next Door, K. A. Tucker touches on these things.
We have Scarlet Reed, daughter of that "friendly" mom. Scarlet is smart, a little nerdy, and is just wanting to get through the day. She was the girlfriend of the big man on campus, Shane Beckett during her senior year. It was a time when she felt as if things could be good. People stopped teasing her, Shane acted as if he really cared...and then he didn't.

Then things went back to being bad, Scarlet was used to the jeers from the guys and mean comments from the girls. She had handled it before and she would again...But when she saw what she couldn't unsee...That was it. She was done and the minute she graduated from high school, she was out of that small town forever.

Well, life sometimes hands you a surprise and Scarlet got a big one. She was left with an inheritance that brought her back to that small town twelve years later. She was walking the same streets and made a pass to the block where there had been a house she always had dreamed about. In her mind, all those years ago, it was the perfect place.

When she saw it again, shock of shocks, it was for sale and the open house to show it was happening. As I said, life gives surprises, so Scarlet made the decision right there and then. She bought the beloved house, warts and all, took the teaching offer she had been pondering with the high school and figured twelve years should be long enough for the town to forget the stuff she had to deal with before.

She was going to have a fresh start.

Shane Beckett thought his life was going to be different. He was the big man, quarterback, destined to have the pro football life. Well, that didn't happen. Instead, he is a firefighter, single dad, and has learned a hell of a lot over these past twelve years.

When he sees that Scarlett is his new next-door neighbor, all the lessons he has learned since being a dad will pay off. Because Shane is wanting his Scarlet back and is willing to do whatever it takes to get her. He is going to have a serious uphill climb, though, because Scarlet learned a lot from her time in high school and the burn she suffered by Shanes's actions...

Yup, Scarlet learned how to be a first-class holder of grudges. Even though her body may be saying let's hop on board the forgiveness train, Scarlet's mind is not having it.

This book had me wanting everything to work out. The chemistry was there and the single dad vibe worked. There is another element in this tale that gives the angst. It is something to work through and K.A.Tucker does. It is her crafting skill and talent.

So small town, young love, second chance, single dad, it had all that and a bag of chips.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher's Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance 2013 for TEN TINY BREATHS and Best Romance 2018 for THE SIMPLE WILD. KEEP HER SAFE made Suspense Magazine's Best of 2018 list for Romantic Suspense.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.

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