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Thursday, March 31, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release - Review & Giveaway - Fair Play by Tracy A. Ward

Title: Fair Play
Author: Tracy A. Ward
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 28, 2016

Publisher: Self-published

About the book:

Who knew love could bring a playwright so much drama?

Writing three plays for a nationally acclaimed theater in Phair, Texas, was never supposed to put Ashlyn Carter’s inheritance at risk or make or break her future. And it certainly wasn’t supposed to force her into constant contact with the very guy she’s avoided since her teenage crush-gone-bad days.

Noah Blake. He's Ashlyn’s enemy, for good reason. As her older brother's best friend, he seems hell-bent on interfering with nearly every aspect of her life. So how then does he also seem to be her muse?

When Ashlyn reluctantly agrees to act out scenes with Noah from the play she’s writing in order to trigger her creativity, the spark of passion she’d felt for him as a teenager flares up again. But there’s more at stake than just her future as a playwright or the inheritance she never cared about in the first place. Finding out the theater she loves is in danger of closing puts everything she thought she knew and felt about Phair…and the test. Will there be a standing ovation for Ashlyn Carter, playwright, or will the curtain drop and fade to black? Only by facing their biggest fears together will Ashlyn and Noah learn to trust in themselves and each other.

Goodreads |  Amazon  |  Kobo

About the Author:

After the birth of her children, Tracy had an epiphany: banking just wasn’t her thing. So she quit her corporate job, let her nanny go and became a not-so-desperate housewife by day, Sexy Women’s Fiction author by night. Her characters are every-day women, following their dreams, searching for that elusive happily ever after.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  |  Goodreads

My thoughts:

3.5 “Broadway love” STARS

ARC via NetGalley.

Looking for a sweet romance with a theater/Broadway background? Fair Play is a good choice for you, then.

This is the love story of Ashlyn and Noah with three of the tropes I like in this genre: hate to love + brother’s BFF + (a variation of) fake relationship.

Ashlyn, the main character, is a writer who dreams of conquering Broadway. After a few successful plays, Ashlyn sees the opportunity to take her career to the next level with her next project,  a play for a nationally acclaimed theater in a small town in Texas. If she does well, she’ll not only get closer to her dream, but the theater will also win a prize that will guarantee it keeps its door open. If she fails, the town of Phair will lose its main attraction, which will impact the economy greatly, and Ashlyn will lose her inheritance because of a deal she made with her control-freak father a while ago. A successful career on Broadway means money and independence, so Ashlyn is ready to fight for that.

But fighting might be what she needs to STOP doing in order to win. That and kicking this writer’s block to the curb, because she needs to finish the play ASAP.

When Lucas, the play director and Ashlyn’s boss, sees her interacting with Noah – her brother’s best friend and the owner of the local bar, he recognizes the similarities between Ashlyn and Noah’s relationship and the one portrayed by the main characters in the play.  Ashlyn doesn’t know it at first but she’s writing her love story with Noah. I honestly don’t know if Lucas intended on forcing them to acknowledge their feelings for each other or if he was just trying to save the theater, but he proposes (forces) Ashlyn and Noah to work together so she’ll draw inspiration from their interactions and finish the play. Basically, they start a (different kind of) fake relationship; one almost everyone knows it’s fake.

It doesn’t mean that their feelings aren’t real.

I thought the author did a good job putting a spin on the “fake relationship” trope. Instead of pretending to be a couple to please or deceive other people (like it normally goes in stories like this), Ashlyn and Noah use the excuse of playing characters to hide their feeling from each other, and as the story progresses to explore those feelings.

This is more like a slow-burn romance, since it takes a while for things to go from platonic to romantic, and for Ashlyn and Noah to finally admit they never really disliked each other and have wanted to be more than frenemies for a long time. But sometimes all people need is a push, which was what Lucas provided by proposing that deal.

Aside from the romance, there were other aspects that made this story interesting. The theater references, from writing a play to rehearsing to taking part in a contest, were a big part of the plot; and so was Ashlyn’s past with one of the judges. I won’t get into details because I don’t want to spoil anything, but the guy was a real douchebag. I’m glad Ashlyn found a way to deal with him and that she did it herself instead of letting her brother or Noah fix the problem.

That aspect was also a big part of Ashlyn’s character arc and it matched Noah’s struggle. While Ashlyn came from a relationship with a father who tried to control her life, Noah’s father was the complete opposite. He saw his father lose control of his emotion so many times that he became a control freak himself. So Ashlyn tried very hard to be independent and Noah wanted to fix everything for her. In order to work as a couple, they had to learn how to find balance. Just like in real life, huh?

This story was sweet and romantic, pretty much everything you’ll probably want to find when searching for this type of books, right? So go read it.


  • (1) lucky Grand Prize Winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Fair Play, 
  • and (5) Runner-up Winners a digital copy of Fair Play!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Tour Organized by Barclay Publicity’s 

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