When I was deciding what to kick off Romance Fiction February off with, a really brilliant Mills & Boon was the only logical choice. That’s because whenever I’m in the mood for sheer, unadulterated romance fiction only a Mills & Boon will do! Besides, picking one to review was easy, Playing By The Greek’s Rules by Sarah Morgan is everything you could want to read in your moments of escape and more.
Playing By The Greek’s Rules is really a top notch Mills & Boon. The dialogue is hilarious, the main characters are great and a wonderful romance. Plus setting it in the sun baked climes of Greece (as the title suggests) was the perfect antidote to my snowy, rainy, wintry commute to work. The world outside my window may have been grey and cold but I thoroughly enjoyed letting my mind wander to Lily and Nik’s summer romance.
Right from the start I loved Lily, the heroine. She was bubbly, vivacious and independent. One of the first things that struck me about her was that despite significant set-backs in her life she maintained her determinedly optimistic outlook. At the start of the book she’s fresh out of a bad relationship and yet this does not jade her or sway her from her belief that a good man, true love and a future family are out there for her somewhere.
It was really nice to read a heroine who is so unashamedly positive about her goals in life, she’s so cute you just want to give her a hug; she even tells Nik she wants babies! I also felt that she was a perfect mix between naïve and world-wise which seemed to combine and make her a relatable character. Yes she’s a stunner (but lets be real when are heroine’s not?!) but Lily’s personality really won out for me. She even has a few one-liners that really made me laugh which was a nice bonus. I loved that she wasn’t afraid to talk back to Nik, and to tell him a few home truths as well. Plus she’s an archaeologist who has two other jobs to supplement her real passion, you’ve got to admire someone like that!
Nik is the kind of hero I’m coming to appreciate more and more from my Mills & Boon men. He starts off as a closed book, and is happy to stick to Lily’s ‘no strings re-bound’ agreement. Yet I had the feeling from the beginning that his standoffishness wasn’t the result of a awful personality, (which can sometimes be the case and leaves me thinking ‘But WHY would she be with him?’) but of a desire to protect himself.
I liked that he was prepared to show Lily his vulnerable side, even before he realised he was doing it and I loved that although he may have been good at many things there were areas of his life that were totally lacking. He was a man who was prepared all his rules and take a chance on the woman he loved, and that earns him brownie points from me! His multi-layered personality made him, like Lily, feel all the more believable to me. Plus the way they meet is thoroughly enjoyable
Lily and Nik’s relationship was a joy to read about. Their funny determination to stick to the re-bound agreement meant there was plenty of opportunity for me to smile as I watched them head towards the realisation that they love each other. I was also SO proud of Lily for walking out and leaving Nik, not once but twice. It was a different take on a relationship development.
Sarah Morgan is no stranger to The Female Scriblerian, I reviewed the first of her ‘Snow Crystal’ trilogy and gave it the same glowing response as I’ve just given Playing By The Greek’s Rules. Once you’ve read either book, it will be no surprise why she is fast becoming on of my favourite Mills & Boon authors. The lady is a master at her craft. Seriously.
When I see a Sarah Morgan book is out I know I’m going to enjoy it because she manages to create characters that you can relate to, romances you want to believe in and stories that carry you along with their witty dialogue and heart-warming romance. There’s something about her style that I just enjoy and so I always look forward to reviewing one of her books. Which is good, because the teasers she gives for her upcoming trilogy set on Puffin Island, in the shape of a wonderful secondary character, left me wanting to dive straight into the pages of her next book!
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