ARC Review: Playing Defense by Julia Clarke

Overall: 4.5/5 β­β­β­β­πŸ’«
Steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯
Feels: πŸ˜°πŸ€«πŸ˜πŸ’‹πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜²

Tear jerker: No
Paranormal/Fantasy: No
Location: Boston, MA & Florida
Character age range: late twenties
Lead: Blake MacKenzie
Love interest(s): Xavier Lee, Colt Whitney, Tristan Holmes
HEA: No – Cliffhanger

Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Audible: No
Series: Yes – The Rebels Series
1. The Reverse Play – released 01/29/19
2. Playing Defense – releases 04/23/19

~QD πŸ”₯~
Sex/kink type: kissing and manual play only
Possible triggers: –

The Quick and Dirty: A slow-burn, natural progression to the last book. Blake feels guilty for the repercussions the guys suffer for standing up for her. She tries to guard her heart from them, attempting to distance herself but as their relationships grow so does the attraction which erases her resolve to keep things professional.

As Blake tries to navigate in the aftermath of the bet, she’s torn between outing Tyrese and Quentin for what they did and keeping quiet until things blow over, like Tristan asked. When it becomes too much of a burden for her, she turns to someone who becomes an unlikely ally. Amidst all the professional turmoil, Blake is also trying to “play defense” and guard her heart against Tristan, Colt and Xavier who are slowly breaking down her walls and are becoming increasingly important to her. The problem is she can’t choose between them, and all three guys have made it clear they want more with her. She’s in a bind and in order to keep from coming between their friendships with each other, she’s willing to walk away from her feelings, but the guys have other ideas.

I honestly don’t have much to critique in this book. Reactions were organic and relationships between Blake and the guys progressed in the same fashion. Especially since it’s a gearing up to be a full blown RH novel next, the incredulity in certain parts by various characters felt genuine. I liked that they were all thinking through the consequences and not just saying “oh hey! we’ll all share and no one will blink an eye!”

Plus, we get some more time with Sebastian (Blake’s hilarious best friend), a little action between Blake and all three of her guys (separately) and we find out a little something juicy about Colt! Julia has set us up for a HOT third book. @JuliaClarke_author, I hope you write fast because I CAN NOT WAIT!!

**I assisted in Beta reading this novel and an ARC was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**


Julia Clarke is hosting a giveaway in celebration of the release – It goes through 4/27/2019 — Don’t miss out!:

Scoring a coaching job with the Rebels was supposed to be a dream come true, a step toward achieving my goal of being the first female NFL head coach. But when three sexy-as-hell players blitzed their way into my life, I got distracted. I took my eye off the ball. And I’m at risk of losing it all, even the sport I love.

Now, the one thing that’s kept me grounded, kept me focused, is the last thing that could possibly bring me comfort. Because when it comes to Xavier, Colt, and Tristan, the lines are blurred. The rulesβ€”questioned.

I may be their coach on the field, but in matters of the heart, I’m playing defense.

**Playing Defense is the second book in a slow-burn reverse harem series.**



Julia Clarke writes about smart, sassy women with a strong sense of self and the drool-worthy men who can’t resist them. Forbidden love and romance that defies expectations are her favorite stories to read and write about.

An adventurer at heart, Julia dabbles in everything from tap dance to calligraphy. When she’s not traveling with her husband or playing with her daughter, Julia is learning new recipes, hiking, sailing, or inhaling copious amounts of fine chocolate.