Play With Me
(Grover Beach Team, #1)
By: Piper Shelly
Published: Dec. 9, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Ryan Hunter’s parties are legend. And tonight she’s going to be there.
Liza Matthews anticipates the return of her best friend and only love since kindergarten from soccer camp. But when Tony finally shows up, his mind is more focused on another girl. And worse, she’s a soccer player. Fighting for the attention Liza craves, she’s just a hairbreadth away from making a very stupid decision. But when extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, she’s prepared to play ball to get her man.
The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party she wakes up in the worst place possible—in the arms of the captain of the soccer team. The hottest guy in school. Ryan Hunter.
Liza’s been in love with her best friend, Tony, since they were little but things have always remained platonic between them. However, Liza is determined to make him see her in a new light when he gets home from soccer camp. However, she finds out that while she was pining away for him while he was gone, he was getting cozy with a co-ed player. Confused as to what’s going on with Tony, the new girl and her feelings, the captain of the soccer team, Ryan starts showing a softer side of himself that she never knew existed. He’s even there to pick up the pieces when it seems like her world is falling apart but can she trust him with her heart?
I don’t usually like short stories. I can never seem to connect with the characters, however, I LOVED this story. I was aggravated at Liza for pining away for Tony when he was clearly shacking up with someone else. My heart melted every time she interacted with Ryan. No seriously, Ryan is the typical “bad-boy” that’s become the norm for YA novels. He’s so freaking sweet and caring. When Liza got really drunk at his party, he carried her to his room so that she wouldn’t be disturbed by other party members “using” the spare bedrooms, since his was off limits to anyone but himself. When she decides to join the soccer team to get closer to Tony, he takes it upon himself to practice with her one-on-one. There were just so many sweet moments that my heart was literally melting the entire time. I don’t think he could’ve been any more swoon worthy if he were holding a basket full of kittens. *Thinks about that for a moment…* Nope, not even with a basket full of kittens.
Considering that this is under 100 pages I fell in love with the characters. I was extremely invested in their life. The author wrote the book in such a way that I didn’t realize it was a short story. I really wish it have been about 4x longer but that’s just because I couldn’t get enough. Piper definitely brought the characters to life as teenagers. I know you’ve heard me whine about it before but I hate when an author writes teens as they THINK they should behave, instead of the way that teens really are. Piper got this one spot on. There was angst, drinking, grounding (how many YA books have you read where the parents are absent?!) and the mention of sex.
I really couldn’t have been happier with this story. I loved it from start to finish. I loved this story so much that I’m clamoring to get my hands on the second novel, Ryan Hunter, which is a retelling of this story but in Ryan’s pov. Piper has made her way to the top of my fave list with just 80 pages. I’m pretty sure I will gobble up anything she writes.
This is probably my favorite part simply because this is what goes through my mind on the few occasions I was crazy enough to go for a run with my husband… who’s a Marine. Yeah, not the smartest thing on my part since I’ve been told on numerous occasions that, “You don’t walk, you clomp.”
“How did he do this? Run so far and still speak to me like he was lounging on the sofa. Gasping for aid, I only nodded.”
The quick-and-dirty: I’m a cool girl with a passion for writing. The genres you’ll find me hanging out at are contemporary and paranormal YA, but I’m also snooping into some adult paranormal right now. All of them romances…of course. The nitty-gritty: I’m an Austrian lass—totally uncomplicated and up to anything fun. I grew up in Vienna, not by free will but because my parents decided to move there when I was only 4 years old. I. Hated. The. City. Everything about it. So right after graduation I moved back to Upper Austria, where I settled down with a nice husband and an awesome laptop. I’ve been a storyteller all my life. Already in kindergarten, I came up with the most exotic fantasies and tales. My teacher would call me a liar. I call it the cornerstone of my writing career. People always told me you can’t make a living with being an author. So when my first novella PLAY WITH ME came out and shot straight to the stars within the first week, I was totally dumbstruck. Took me a while to realize what was happening, LOL. And the personal stuff: At the (awesome) age of seventeen, I met the love of my life. But he was a playboy, and I was so not going to be his next trophy. It took him another four years of fighting for me until I finally decided to give that “couple-thing” with him a shot. I’m now married to this man.
We have an eleven-year-old son, and together we travel a lot…although I sometimes wish the trips were shorter because I can’t wait to get back to my laptop and my many stories. Unless we’re in Disneyland. No stress to go home then…