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Wednesday night I finished The Player, by another of my favorite authors: Rhonda Nelson. Especially her two Men Out of Uniform series are very hot. This novel is the first one in the first series (the second one is The Specialist and the third The Maverick, published in September and October 2006) which is about the three friends Jamie Flanagan, Brain Payne and Guy McCann. All are former Rangers who wanted out of the service after losing their friend Danny on a mission. They all process their loss and guilt in their own way. Jamie, the hero of The Player deals with it by darting from one woman to another. But their former colonel, who helped the three friends to get out of the military fast, is now calling in a promised favour. And this will change everyting for Jamie, he finds the love of his life, no matter how much he rejects the idea of a HEA (and of course the same happens to his two buddies when the colonel asks them for their favours in the next two books - which I both really liked! 5 stars!).
For Jamie the love of his life turns out to be the colonel's granddaughter, Audrey. She's a lovely woman with a very big heart who can feel the pain of other people, and who runs a camp for stressed men and women to help them destress. She can feel Jamie's pain and wants to help him to deal with Danny's horrible death. I really liked how the two of them did tune in to one another. They were physically very aware of each other, although they mentally tried to keep their distances. The Danny story also added a really good emotional layer, which makes this novel very intense. The same went for The Specialist and even more for The Maverick, by the way.
The only minor thing about The Player is that the couple doesn't have sex before page 180, or so. Of course there's a lot of anticipation, which was very well written about, but still, I wouldn't have minded if they had their hot love scenes a little bit earlier in the story. It was still a very sexy read and a perfect romance about a very, very likeable couple. So 4,5 stars for this one!
Back Blurb: There's nothing like a man in uniform...or out of it! Especially when he's as hot as former Ranger Jamie Flanagan. After their last assignment went horribly wrong, he and his buddies needed to get out of the military for good. There was only one catch - that he and his pals promise their commanding officer one favour. Any favour. Now tall, dark and sexy Jamie is a top security specialist...and the ultimate ladies' man. So he's more than a little surprised when he learns the colonel has set him up to protect his grand-daughter. Who would trust a player like Jamie with a gorgeous woman like Audrey? Then he learns his "mission" is to seduce her away from another man...