Review: Duke: Faking the Play by Kayley Loring & Connor Crais (Boston Tomcats #3)


Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the authors.

I'll be the first to admit that the fake relationship trope is not one of my go-tos in the romance department, but the Boston Tomcats series has proven to be a highly addictive read, and it's the writing duo of Kayley Loring and Connor Crais we're talking about here, so saying "no" wasn't even a consideration. Duke: Faking the Play is the third and final novel in the series, and after the quarterback (Decker: Changing the Play) and the defensive end (Dash: Rushing the Play), we've got ourselves the team's kicker! Say what? Yup, Callum Duquette, aka Duke, is thirty and is considered one of the best placekickers in the league. But while he may know his way around kicking pigskin through a goalpost, he's struggling just a wee bit when it comes to knowing what to do with the unexpected ray of British sunshiny gorgeousness that is Millicent Edwina Sunshine (talk about living up to her name!) Darden, better known as Millie Darden to the countless fans of Quizzlemore Academy film franchise. One of those fans just happens to be Duke's eleven-year-old daughter, Chloe. When Duke and Millie are caught on camera in a cheekily (somewhat) compromising but purely accidental position, everyone assumes they're a couple. Maybe a fake relationship will get his friends and her family off their backs and quit matchmaking, and maybe it'll win Duke some points with Chloe, and maybe, just maybe, the Duke of Grumpville could make a very real play for his ray-of-sunshine wizardress's heart and their forever or will he end up kicking himself if he fails to do so?

How could we have reached the last book of this trilogy already?! The bittersweet feels are hitting me once again as I write this review. I've grown quite attached to these Tomcats and the women who became their game changers. Closing the series out with the story of the team's grumpy placekicker who also happens to be a single father to a preteen that enters into a fake relationship with a British actress from a highly successful movie franchise based on books he loves but then refuses to watch any of the film adaptations much to the disappointment of his daughter who's a fan has turned out to be a stroke of genius from Kayley Loring and Connor Crais. I loved, loved, LOVED Duke and Millie, and Chloe was such an irrepressible--and unapologetic, I'm sure--scene-stealer. Seeing the two main characters go from an accidental "it" couple to figuring out how to be the real deal AND a family had me laughing out loud at times and making my heart clench in empathy in my chest at certain points. Having the rest of the usual suspects make their presence known was an absolute bonus, especially with this being the last book. This book--and this series--has brought such joy to my heart, and while I'm going to miss this cast of characters, I take solace in knowing I can revisit their stories at any time. Duke: Faking the Play gets five stars, and I hope this is not the last from Loring and Crais.

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Read my reviews for the Boston Tomcats series:


Decker: Changing the Play (book one) - five stars - My Review

Dash: Rushing the Play (book two) - five stars - My Review

Duke: Faking the Play (book three) - five stars - My Review (posted above)

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Release Date: 30 March 2023

Date Read: 20 March 2023

Learn more about Kayley Loring and Connor Crais.

Purchase Duke: Faking the Play on Amazon.

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