26 March 2011

Review: Playing for keeps - LuAnn McLane

published March 2011
contemporary romance, Cricket Creek #1
bought my copy

When former baseball star Noah Falcon comes back to his hometown Cricket Creek he is at first only interested in brushing up his acting skills. But as soon as he meets Olivia Lawson again there is more than just acting he is interested in. When both get the leading role in a theatre play Noah takes the chance to get to know Olivia better and convince her that she should give their attraction a chance.
Olivia doesn't want to be impressed by Noah however she can't resist his charm for long. But what will happen after the play?
Noah and Olivia are not the only ones who are dealing with attraction and love. Writer Madison is fighting with Jason Craig whenever they meet. Soon she begins to wonder if there is more to their banters and if she should take their attraction to the next level.
Will both pairs get a happy end? And will they manage to help their struggling hometown Cricket Creek?

I have read all books by LuAnn McLane and so far I enjoyed them all. So I was excited to read her new book and once again I enjoyed the story right from the start on. The very likable characters and especially the adorable town Cricket Crick made this book delightful. 
I enjoyed reading about the four main characters and was happy that they found love. I like that in LuAnn McLane's books there is no guessing about who will end up with whom and that there is no unnecessary drama. The author's writing style is very engaging and while reading "Playing for keeps" I could relax and had to smile a lot. 

All of the characters in this book were likable and the whole town was amazing and cute. The town is full of hard-working, nice people and I especially enjoyed that they care so much about their town. The town is a wonderful community and I'm happy that there will be more books about this special, little place. 
Both love stories were sweet and together with the sexy scenes I was completly satisfied by what happened between Olivia & Noah and Madison & Jason. I enjoyed that there were able to sort out their misunderstandings without too much drama and especially the men really impressed me through their actions.  
The only thing that bothered me a bit is that at two times I thought that the timing was messed up (once regarding the age of a character and the other time regarding how long two people were already a pair). However this bothered me only a bit because the rest of the book was so engaging and entertaining. I will definitely read the next book in the series because I want to know what will happen in Cricket Creek next. 

I like the colours however I think the motive is a tiny bit boring and I miss a link to the theatre and baseball. 

final appraisal
"Playing for keeps" is a light-hearted romance that made me smile and laugh a lot. LuAnn McLane's engaging writing style, her likable characters and the people of Cricket Creek made this book so entertaining and I enjoyed reading it lot.
I would recommend this book to all readers interested in an engaging, light-hearted and relaxed romance that plays in a beautiful and nice little town. 


  1. Nice review, Sabrina! The book sounds really nice, this will hop on my wishlist! :)

  2. I didn't even know about this one! I really like LuAnn's books, thanks for the great review and bringing it to my attention.

  3. Sounds like sth I'd like. Thanks for reviewing it. Will put it into my TBR for the holidays.

  4. Hi Sabrina,

    Thanks for the sweet review of Playing for Keeps. I love it when a reviewer captures the heart of the story and you certainly did. I just turned Ty and Jessica's story. It's been fun writing a series since I get to spend more time with the characters.

  5. I'm almost done with this book and I tell ya, it's been hard to come to work because I want to stay home and read it! Hard to put down. Easy read. I've read many LuAnn McLane books in the past year and the one thing (besides many) that I truly LOVE about her books is the attachment you feel with her characters. I get so attached to them that after I have finished the book, I want them to continue on. I am so glad this Cricket Creek Series will be continuing on. Now I got to hurry up and get home and finish this book tonight! HAPPY READING! You are guaranteed to be entertained and experience "HAPPY READING" times with LuAnn's books! Always, Sherry in Wisconsin

  6. "Playing for Keeps" is a winner...grand slam and bravo! Bought this book because... I simply love a "LuAnn read". Ready for the series ;-D Rovonna

  7. @ Sherry: I agree, this book is definitely a winner!




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