THIS KIND OF BUSINESS CAN ONLY BE PERSONAL
Sage Reese lives for her job. More precisely, she lives for her debonair boss, Parker Andersen. Sage handles everything for Parker, even as she fantasizes about the one thing that isn’t in her job description: him. But when a high-stakes account crosses the line from shady to deadly, a tough cop starts giving Sage the attention she wishes Parker would . . .
Detective Dean Ryker couldn’t be more different from Parker. While Parker wears expensive suits like a second skin and drives a BMW, Ryker’s uniform is leather jackets and jeans . . . and his ride of choice is a Harley. While Parker’s sexiness is a reserved, slow burn, Ryker is completely upfront about what-and who-he’s after. And Sage tops his list.
Now, as Ryker digs deeper into the dark side of Parker’s business, Sage finds herself caught between two men: the one she’s always wanted – and the one who makes her feel wanted like never before . . . (Goodreads)
Prior to knowing that Piatkus had bought the publishing rights to this book, I had picked up Power Play in its US edition. There it had lain on my TBR pile, until I received an invitation from Piatkus to be part of the blog tour. Along with this I was given a copy of the UK edition. It was vastly different and I did wonder what the book was about. So, without further ado, I dived into the book and was surprised at what I found.
While the US cover seemed to be attempting to appeal to the very popular market of rich CEO playboys attempting to woo their secretary / co-worker / employee out of their very prim and proper pencil skirt, Power Play was not one of these books. Instead, I was faced with a complex love triangle between our heroine, Sage, her out-of-reach boss, Parker and the sexy as hell cop, Ryker. This was all played out in the background of Parker being investigated for the potential dodgy deal about to go down with the Russian Mafia. This, unsurprisingly enough, is being carried out by Ryker. However, this isn’t as clear cut as Ryker and the authorities’ suspect, even with the evidence, supported by Ryker’s very prejudiced opinion of Parker.
For me, this was the weakest part of the book. I just couldn’t become interested in what the outcome was and I felt that Sage’s role in this didn’t gel. I get that she is Parkers “Administrative Assistant”, but the relationship between Parker and Sage reminded me very much of the one between the character’s Miranda Priestly and Andy in The Devil Wears Prada. Sage seemed to be at Parker’s beck and call, dropping everything in order to satisfy his professional demands The only exception being Sage’s crush on the office object of every females fantasy, Parker. This does lead to a very amusing and funny scene when Parker takes Sage on a business trip in the hotel and it did lead to slight melting in the icy personality I had seen in Parker up till this point. The fallout of this embarrassing situation was cringe worthy to witness and I could feel myself mentally watching through slightly opened fingers as it played out. Then the old “I’m toxic to relationships” card was pulled out by Parker, effectively shutting down any hopes of this going any further. The reasons behind this were explained near the end of the book and were slightly more original than that which we were led to believe and I did like this.
You will have noticed that my review has concentrated mainly on Sage and Parker up till this point. This is because although I found myself preferring Ryker to Parker for Sage, Parker became the more interesting of the two male leads. I think this was due to the history that these two characters have and how it seemed to be very much trying to paint Ryker as the wounded party in it. I admit, I was very much “Team Ryker”. I wanted Sage to commit to Ryker for most of the book and even now I slightly do, but my support for him as the poor victim in his and Parkers shared history is not so unwavering. There is more to this tale than is first presented and I think this will be explored in the following books.
As for Sage, I have very mixed feelings about her as a character. I liked that she was loyal and appeared to think for herself, when it came to Parker’s involvement in the illegal activities. She didn’t let the apparent evidence cloud her judgement and right up till things go south, she didn’t seem to waiver. Time and again she stood up to Ryker and questioned why he was so convinced that Parker was involved. Sage had all the makings of a real fantastic lead female character, yet this was undone with some of the silly decisions she made that really put her life in danger. I know the reasons why she decided do some of these things, especially as both Parker and Ryder seem to dismiss her opinions on the matter, but I still felt that she took risks that were very dangerous. These resulted in her becoming very much the damsel in distress and in need of rescuing. For me, I felt this was all for the purpose of supporting the alpha male ness of the two male leads.
As I was nearing the end of the book, I began to wonder how Snow was going to tie up the plot points of the book. I knew that this was the first in the series and I had gone on to read the Synopsis of the next ones. Neither seemed to hint that the dodgy deal would be continued and that it appeared that Sage had made her choice on who she wanted to be with.
It was around chapter fourteen or fifteen that it began to wrap up. While I do like fast paced action, the ending seemed to be a bit rushed and too quickly concluded. There was too much of a coincidence on some of the players being there and everything seemed to be a convenience. I did like how both male characters did their part in saving the day, but it just missed something that I still can’t put my finger on.
Power Play was a good light read and Snow has managed to do something a bit different with this genre and trope, but for me she slightly misses the mark on a good read being a great read. I think partly it was due to the character of Sage and partly down to the rush I felt at the conclusion of the book. Thankfully, there is not a cliff-hanger at the end of the book and it is pretty self-contained.
Despite my slight misgivings, I still want to read the next two books in the series as I want to see how it plays out and whether Sage will still end up with the guy she chose in this book. I get the feeling that this may not be final and that more will be revealed about Ryker and Parkers history.
RISKY BUSINESS SERIES IN ORDER
1 Power Play
2 Playing Dirty
3 Playing to Win