Title: Play Me
Author: Tracy Wolff
Publisher/Year: Random House Publishing 6/16/15
Length: 308 pages
Series: Play Me (The Complete series 1-5)
My name is Aria Winston. I’ve fought desperately to escape the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas. Now I’m on my own, in control of my own life and my own destiny . . . just the way I like it. Until Sebastian Caine changes everything.
Working as a cocktail waitress at one of Vegas’s hottest five-star casinos means putting up with a ton of bad behavior from the big spenders. But it pays the bills—and that’s all that matters to Aria, who needs every last dollar to escape from her father’s destructive grasp and the brutal man he expects her to marry. But when she lashes out against a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer, she nearly loses everything—until Sebastian steps in. The owner’s son and handpicked successor, Sebastian is dark, sexy, and kinder than any rich man should be. And when he apologizes and offers to keep her job safe, Aria can’t help the way her body reacts to his. Suddenly her job, and the security it brings her, isn’t the only thing Aria wants.
I’m embarrassed to say that it actually took me a few chapters for it to click that this is THE SEBASTIAN AND ARIA from the Ethan Frost series. OOPS. anyway, if you’ve read the other series, then you know who these folks are a bit, at least in name and i think that we were eagerly awaiting their story – to understand exactly how Sebastian and Aria know each other and what the deal is between them.
That’s exactly what we get. The good thing about me totally forgetting who they were, is that i went into this series without any idea the back story on Aria, who her father is, what she’s been through etc, and that makes this story that much more exciting. We only met Sebastian briefly in the other series, and really just got his help more than his story – so this is a nice evolution of that.
So as the summary suggests, there’s a constant fight for control between these folks – we see that Sebastian needs it, as does Aria, but when they come together, they begin to see that there’s an interesting way to get the control that they need, and it’s really impressive to see how it’s written.
Aria has fought to get out from under her father’s thumb, and refuses to take any help from him in her life. The issue though is that she’s got a sister who’s quite sick, and she’s desperate to stay by her sister, but needs to stay away from her father.
Sebastian, well, he has a tough relationship with his father, who’s the former owner of this casino conglomerate, and after his father has several mini strokes, Sebastian comes back to Vegas to take over the business. It makes things tough of course since he really wants nothing to do with his father, but at least it brings him back to a place where he can change things, and get control over a part of his life that he’s not been able to have.
Their stories of course come together when Aria is working as a cocktail waitress in his casino, and gets fed up with how some of the ‘whales’ are treating women, and ends up losing her temper and hitting one of them. she gets fired and when Sebastian is called upon to deal with the high roller who’s threatening to sue, he realizes that there’s not just more to the story there but to the girl.
So of course as we always expect, the something more starts with an intense attraction, and knowing what we do of how Ms. Wolff writes these stories, we know that we’re not going to be let down. The interesting thing here is that these characters edge a bit more into the BDSM realm where the other series and characters have not, and it’s a nice change. I don’t know if she’s hit the lifestyle as hard and accurately perhaps as other authors, but still, it makes the dynamic here really nice and hot and you definitely want to see how two control freaks manage in this situation. There’s a lot of talk about subspace and subdrop, and to be honest, every other book that i’ve read in the genre, well, the ‘dom’ so to speak has been much more aware and would never be as careless as Sebastian has been throughout this story – so in that sense, it’s a miss, but at least our author addresses his lack of consciousness in this realm and tries to fix it.
The story takes us on several paths, the one with Sebastian and his father which i’m not sure ever gets resolved, the story of Aria running from her family and hiding who she is – which is a constant wonder as i’ve read through, wondering when it was going to come out knowing that Sebastian is trying to break the casino’s ties with the mafia, and then what will come of Sebastian and Aria. Definitely a lot to ponder, and thankfully there’s a lot of passion and heat to keep us invested.
It feels like perhaps there’s more to the series that we may get although i don’t know if there necessarily is. But that being said, i’m eager to read more if we get it and i also can’t wait for the next installment to Ethan and Chloe’s story as well. Enjoy!