Review: Plays Well with Others by Lauren Blakely (How to Date #2)
Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.
Plays Well with Others is the second book in the How to Date series from bestselling author Lauren Blakely, and it's a friends-to-lovers romance between best friends Rachel Dumont and Carter Hendrix. He's the wide receiver for the Renegades; she owns Bling and Baubles, a jewelry store. After divorcing her louse of an ex, Rachel has made the move to San Francisco, meaning she's finally closer to Carter. To celebrate her un-marriage, she throws herself a much deserved celebratory affair with her nearest and dearest. However, a wee bit too much champagne leads to not having her usual control over what comes out of her mouth. Letting Carter drunkenly know that she would like nothing more than to get back on the proverbial horse should have been embarrassing, but then he shocks the heck out of her by making it clear to any other volunteers that the position was filled. Ahem. It so happens that he needs a date for five public outings, and Rachel would return the favor. The more time they spend "dating", the more it becomes clear that she's got a thing or two to learn when it comes to romance and intimacy. She's the willing student, and he's the take charge teacher, but what happens when fake dating leads to real love?
There's no doubt that Lauren Blakely does friends-to-lovers well, and you don't have to look any farther than her latest release for proof. As always, this can be read as a standalone, although it does share ties with several of Blakely's past work, including the How to Date series starter, My So-Called Sex Life. Rachel and Carter had a years-long friendship, one dating back to when they were in high school, and it was clear just how comfortable they were with each other. Of course, add in some lusty urges and romantic feelings, and welp, everything becomes complicated...or at least, they initially think it's complicated. There was certainly nothing fake about how Rachel and Carter felt towards each other, but the transition from platonic friendship to romantic relationship isn't free from possible pitfalls. But thankfully, there wasn't a whole lot of unnecessary angst or drama-rama with these two, so getting to their happy ending was inevitable and relatively painless for them. I'm giving Plays Well with Others an easy-peasy five stars.
Read my reviews for the How to Date series:
My So-Called Sex Life (book one) - five stars - My Review
Plays Well with Others (book two) - five stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 12 July 2023
Date Read: 06 July 2023
Learn more about Lauren Blakely.
Pre-order Plays Well with Others on Amazon.