Review: The Play by Karina Halle (The McGregors #3)

Note: This ARC was provided by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

Kayla Moore is happy that her two best friends have found love and happiness with the men in their lives, but she's also envious that they have something that she has yet to find with a man. Then she meets Lachlan McGregor and the brooding rugby player from Scotland doesn't seem to pick up on any of Kayla's guaranteed moves to capture a guy's attention. But it appears she's able to crack through Lachlan's quiet and emotionally distant exterior like no other person has been able to before. She's falling for the man who rescues stray and abused dogs, but when she discovers a whole new side to him, Kayla isn't sure if their love is strong enough to overcome all the years Lachlan has spent drowning in his guilt and addiction.

With Stephanie Robson and Linden McGregor tying the knot and Nicola Price and Bram McGregor moving in together, Kayla Moore has become the perennial third or fifth wheel in a group that has seen its share of happily-ever-afters. In bestselling author Karina Halle's The Play, the contemporary romance novel that follows up both The Pact and The Offer, Kayla meets and falls in love with McGregor cousin Lachlan. The two seem like opposites, especially since Kayla appears to have the more outgoing and boisterous personality between the two of them, but Kayla and Lachlan are able to understand one another on a deeper level, making them all the more suited as a couple, even as they face several struggles.

Lachlan's personal story is often painful to read. His past has left him with memories that have clearly traumatized him to varying degrees. It's difficult for him to share parts of himself with those around him, even with those who are closest to him. With Kayla, he's able to feel loved and accepted, but then with as many demons as he's got, sometimes it can be too much for someone else to bear, especially since Lachlan continues to struggle with them on a regular basis. He's such a deep but tortured character, one that you can't help but empathize with. When you least expect it, he sabotages himself and the relationships he has with other people, and it becomes evident that he needs serious help but has to choose to do it for himself.

Among the three inter-connected books, The Play carries the most serious tone to its story and main characters. Aside from Lachlan's struggles with addiction and abuse, Kayla also has her own issues that she needs to face late in the story and your heart breaks for the decisions she has to make. Just when you think these two are at that point where they're at their happily-ever-after, fate intervenes and they're tested time and again. I enjoyed The Pact and was entertained by The Offer, but there was something hauntingly beautiful and touching about The Play, and it may not have the horror of the Experiment in Terror series that I adore or the suspense and action of the Artists books, but The Play is one special five-starred read. ♥

Release Date: 03 November 2015

Date Read: 04 November 2015

Learn more about Karina Halle.

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