From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Emma Hart, comes the second book in The Game series, and the story everyone wanted after The Love Game…
She's in love with him.
He's trying not to love her.
One night changes everything.
Aston Banks never meant to get close to Megan Harper – not even for that one night. Haunted by a childhood he refuses to face, he knew she could break through every wall he’d ever built and tear them down without even realising she was doing it.
Betraying Braden by starting a relationship with Aston wasn’t on Megan’s to-do list, but the second she sees a glimpse of someone other than the arrogant ass she’s come to know, she can’t walk away.
Aston’s childhood is worse than Megan ever guessed, but as he tries and fails to push her away, it’s clear her love is stronger than the demons that cling to him every day. And now, because of it, he finally has to deal with what he’s buried deep down.
What he doesn’t want to face. What he’s fought against for so long.
And they have to do it all without Braden finding out.
Keeping a relationship secret has never been harder.
**This book can be read as a standalone novel, but reading The Love Game (The Game, #1) beforehand is advised.**
Maggie has been in love with Aston for a while but can't do anything about it because he's a bigger whore than her best friend Braden. Braden being a caveman won't let anyone near Maggie especially Aston. While Braden and Maddie are away for the weekend Maggie goes to sneak into Aston's room but he catches her. After one night together they can't seem to just leave it at that.
Aston has a horrific past that he has been pushing away his whole life. Maddie brings memories and all the horrors to the surface. As much as he tries to keep those things buried, Maddie makes him open up and face his demons.
Maddie and Aston start a secret relationship. They need each other more than anyone can understand but are afraid to let it come out.
This book broke my heart and pieced it back together. Aston's story tore me apart but the more healing he got the more you wanted to give him a hug. I loved Maddie's character. She was strong in the first book but she really won the prize in this one. She was completely loyal and was there for Aston as best she could. Even when things blew up, she stood her ground for him. They really did have an unconditional love. It was really sweet.
I shake my head. “No. Every time. Every fucking time he brings her up. I thought he wouldn’t in front of you, but he did.”
“He has his own pain,” she says softly. “It doesn’t excuse it, but he does. He feels guilty for what happened to you – that he couldn’t stop it.”
My mind reels for a second and I look down at her. “He told you that?”
She nods, letting her hand drop from my back and standing in front of me. I stop.
“You’ve never let him tell you.” She reaches up and cups my face. “He hurts, too, Aston. You both hurt. It’s not something that will go away, but you can’t let it rule your lives. If you let pain rule you you’ll get lost in it.”
“What if I’m already lost?”
“You’re not lost. You’re hiding, but you’re not lost. I won’t let you get lost.”
I let my hands come up and rest on her back, pulling her into me. “What if there’s no map?”
“Then I’ll get lost with you,” she whispers. “I won’t let you let them win, Aston. I won’t let you get sucked in by those demons. I won’t let that happen. I care too much.”
And she does. I can hear it in her voice.
She wraps her arms around my neck, and I hold her to me tighter, our foreheads resting against each other.
“I’ll try, Megs,” I promise. “I can’t say I won’t, but as long as you’re here, I think I’ll be okay.”
“And you’ll talk to your Gramps? Just once?”
“I’ll think about it. How about we just focus on stopping me from getting lost for a bit?”
“You just need a place to aim for, that’s all. You need a place to go to.”
“Go on then.” I smile. “Give me a place.”
“Okay.” She pauses for a second, closing her eyes and chewing her lip.
“I’m waiting…” I tease her.
Her blue eyes open, shocking me with their vitality. “Aim for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
“I don’t need to aim for the sky. The only star I’ll ever need is standing right in front of me.” I brush my lips over hers. “Maybe the place I need to aim for is nowhere other than where I am right now.”
“Maybe I’d go with you wherever you ended up.”
“Maybe I’d never ask that of you.”
“Maybe you wouldn’t need to ask. Maybe you’ll never need to ask me for anything, because I’ll always be here.”
Link to Chapter One of Playing for Keeps on my website
Maddie goes to Berkley to get away from her past and problems in New York. While at a party her friends challenge her to do to the player Braden like he does to every girl on campus. Not only do they want to give him his own medicine but they want to teach him a lesson. Maddie knows she can do it because she knows his type but the problem is, she can't help but be attracted to him.
Braden has been wanting inside Maddie's pants since he first laid eyes on her. His friends see the interest and they decided to challenge him to get Maddie to fall in love with him and have sex within a month. With help of their friends they set out to make each other fall in love.
What they never expected was to get lost in their own game. Braden is more than just a sex addict and when Maddie's past comes back around to haunt her, he's there in a way she never imagined. Braden never thought there was more to Maddie than just the sweet appearance she gives off. All he wants to do is peel the layers and find out what she's hiding. He never thought he would start to care.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the banter between Maddie and Braden. He was such a caveman and wanted to beat his chest and yell mine at every guy who even looked at "his girl". Maddie was so strong. She didn't take crap from anyone and when her fears were placed before her she stood up and did what she needed to do. Their friends were hilarious. I think everyone needs friends that are as loyal as those. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.