Book Review: ‘Playing Tough’ by Amanda Love

Title: Playing Tough (Play Series Book 5)

Published: 15th August 2018

Author: Amanda Love


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When my best friend goes missing, help comes in the form of Tony Cooper, the sexy detective who just so happens to be everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. He makes me believe in love at first sight, and the instant attraction that simmers between us inevitably bubbles over into full-blown passion, leaving me yearning for a lifetime in his arms.

But, after one glorious night together, the heart-battered detective pushes me away, making it clear that we have no future together and breaking my heart in the process, proving that love isn’t always enough to free someone from the demons of their past.



The first time I lay eyes on Meredith Green, she literally takes my breath away. Everything about her is captivating, from her hazel eyes and delicious curves, to her quick wit and feisty spirit. I want her until it’s an ache in my soul, but it’s a desire I can’t afford give into. She deserves so much more than a man like me, a man shackled by his past, a man no longer emotionally whole. So I do the only thing I can – let her go.

But, when Meri’s safety is threatened by the very criminals I’m trying to bring down, I realize that not only will I move heaven and earth to make sure she’s safe, I’ll also do everything in my power to make her mine, because life without her is no life at all. I only hope I haven’t left it too late.



Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with an outstanding hero or heroine. Took Tony a while to step up but he got there in the end. In the last book you had an idea of what might have happened between Meri and Tony and now the blanks are about to be filled in.

We start with Meri being very worried about where Kaylee is and about to hunt her down. First stop the police station where coming face to face with Tony isn’t a bad thing. His first instinct is almost to claim her there and then, so he can see why the other officer was a bit tongue tide. He says he can take her to Kaylee and as soon as they are in the car the chemistry skyrockets between them. He just keeps thinking ‘age gap’ to try to distract himself – yeah that’s not going to last very long now is it!

After finding Kaylee and giving her a piece of her mind for disappearing like that you might think things would calm down but when she finds out what they have planned for her and how she may be put in danger it makes her want to stay close. Not staying with her mind you as she can clearly see that her and Dawson have been getting very friendly. A hotel will do but to get there she needs a lift back to her car from a certain detective she can’t get out of her head.

Flat tyre = a lift from Tony to her hotel, or as Meri tries to call him Coop. They have a connection from the get go, so at ease with how they are around each other. Easy to see how both minds might wonder in certain directions. “King size bed, Coop. Be a shame to waste it.” One kiss is the only trigger they need. Shame something she says throws a bucket of ice on him making him run and her wanting to go back home.

Back sharpish when Kaylee gets shot, though the stress causes a reaction. Migraine attack might be shitty but it does lead to Tony taking care of her at his house. “I want you Meri. More than I’ve ever wanted another woman, and it scares the shit out of me.” Shame the high doesn’t stay long. Age doesn’t matter to her but seems to with him. He hides behind a memory of someone that is preventing him from being happy again. Push, pull, push, pull – that’s how it feels when she’s close to Tony. It’s only worth fighting for someone if they want to fight for you back. He might see things a bit clearer when the thought of her being in harms way hits him in the face.

I liked this book a bit more as you had more of a cross over with characters making a more prominent appearance throughout to help move the story along. Kaylee and Dawson pop up as well as Daryl and Trish. The men are all working together to bring down a child exploitation ring by digging into lives of dangerous people, people who make no qualms of threatening the women they love. They need to protect their women and take down the monsters in their paths. Can they do it without getting hurt in the process? Can Tony step up and claim the woman that was his the moment they met or will he forever run from what he thinks he doesn’t deserve?

Love at first sight seems to be the key with these couples. Sweetness and heat all mixed up to make some great pairings. Great series that keeps you hooked throughout. Well worth checking out so why not take a look.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

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