Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: June 14, 2020 by Self-Publisher
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Source: Publisher via E-mail
Scarlet Reed has returned to Polson Falls, convinced that twelve years away is long enough to shed her humiliating childhood identity as the town harlot's daughter. With a teaching job secured and an adorable fixer-upper to call home, things in her life are finally looking up.
That is, until she finds out that Shane Beckett lives next door.
Shane Beckett, the handsome and charismatic high school star quarterback who smashed her heart. The lying, cheating player who was supposed to be long gone, living the pro football dream and fooling women into thinking he's Prince Charming. Shane Beckett, who is as attractive as ever and flashing his dimples at her as if he has done no wrong.
Scarlet makes it abundantly clear that old wounds have not been forgotten. Neighbors they may be, but friends they most certainly are not. She won't allow herself to fall for the single father and firefighter again, no matter how many apologies he offers, how many times he rushes to her aid, or how hard he makes her heart pound.
But as she spends more time with him, she begins to fear that maybe she's wrong. Maybe Shane has changed.
And maybe this time she's the one playing herself—out of a chance at true happiness.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
K.A. Tucker has been a pretty solid author for me. Her books are fun, well written, and so easy to fly through, so that’s what I was expecting from The Player Next Door. Unfortunately I didn’t like this book. There were too many issues I had with the book that couldn’t be redeemed.
The Player Next Door follows Scarlett as she moves back to her hometown to pursue her dream of being a teacher and living in her dream home. What she doesn’t expect when she moves back is to be next door neighbors with the boy that broke her heart in high school. The book follows Scarlett and Shane as they continue to interact and move past their past, and maybe have a future together.
I mentioned above that I really enjoy K.A. Tucker’s writing style, I don’t know if it’s because I read an amazing book right before this one (Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon, go read it!), but the writing here kind of fell flat for me. There was nothing wrong with it, but it just didn’t hook me like it has in the past.
Two issues I had with the book are the slut shaming and the description of overweight characters. Scarlett does not have a good relationship with her mom, her mom didn’t really seem to care about her growing up and because of some of her actions caused problems for Scarlett at school. I understand that Scarlett is upset about her mom sleeping around with married men, but the amount of slut shaming in the book was ridiculous. There’s a difference between being upset that your mom is sleeping with married men, but every single time she talked about her mom she kept making comments about how she can never keep her legs closed and all she does is have sex with randos. My second issue is with how overweight characters were described. All of the “good” characters were thin and attractive, but many of the people Scarlett didn’t like were described as fat and written about in a very negative way, as if their weight adds to how much of a bad/mean person they are.
I do have to say though, this book was a very fast read and I got through it in one afternoon.
Overall I’m really disappointed with this book. I was expecting more from K.A. Tucker and I didn’t get it here. I also couldn’t get over the fatphobia and slut shaming in the book.