Review: The Player by Claire Contreras

the-challenge-smashwordsThe Player
Author: Claire Contreras
Publication Date: October 10, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


I’m naturally gifted on the field and between the sheets. With flashy cars and enough media attention to put the Royal Family to shame, I’m the definition of Most Eligible Bachelor.

I’ve never met a man who doesn’t want to be me or a woman who doesn’t want to tame me. Until I meet Camila.

From the moment I lay eyes on her, I know I have to have her.

She wants to keep me at arm’s length.
I want her naked in my bed.

She thinks our worlds are too different.
All I want her to think about is screaming my name.

She says I’m bad news.

I have three weeks to prove her wrong.

Claire Contreras is one of the first new adult authors whose writing I fell in love with. I’ve loved every book I’ve read by her, and I was super excited to hear she was releasing her first ever sports romance. The Player couldn’t be release soon enough in my mind — especially once I saw the cover. Dang that guy is hot! (And he’s a real soccer player, too!)

The Player is a sort of friends to lovers sports romance. When soccer superstar Warren Silva returns to his childhood hometown of New York, he doesn’t expect to meet Camila Avila. She’s smart, nice, naturally beautiful and down to earth. She’s the opposite of the type of woman he normally searches out. But Warren can’t get her off his mind. He’s determined to get Camila into his bed. Too bad Camila isn’t interested in Warren’s advances. She knows when something is too good to be true, and Warren is just that. Warren isn’t easily deterred, though. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her his — even if he has to take things slow and be her friend first.

The Player was a strong first foray into sports romance for Contreras. It was filled with her amazing writing, a fun take on a celebrity sports romance, and the perfect amount of emotional angst. The dual points of view did an amazing job of showcasing the characters’ feelings. I loved the way it included European soccer culture and words into the mix. That made the story and its settings feel real.

Camila was a really cool character. Her determination to support herself and not give up her dreams for a man was inspiring. I loved that she wasn’t into Warren’s celebrity status and was only concerned about what was in his heart. Claire Contreras really made Camila’s emotions and feelings come alive. I felt her trepidation about Warren’s intentions. I felt her attraction and love for him. I felt her despair and heartache. I was so wrapped up in Camila’s story that Warren was almost a side character for me.

This is hard for me to admit, but I wasn’t really sure about Warren for a large part of the book. I think I felt so many of Camila’s emotions that I had a hard time believing in him. I mean, I knew Warren had to be amazing because Claire Contreras created him. It just took me a while to get past his cocky unawareness. I was totally team Warren in the end, though! I loved the chemistry he had with Camila. There were some incredibly hot moments between the two of them that had me fanning myself. 😉

The only thing I felt was missing from The Player was some of the history behind Camila’s father’s incarceration. Without that information, I had a hard time understanding Camila’s hate for the person she blamed for her father going to jail. The grudge she was holding onto so desperately didn’t make complete sense to me.

I found The Player to a super sexy romance filled with fun sports references. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to see Claire Contreras write more books in the soccer world setting. I would love her to write books about Warren’s teammates falling in love! I highly recommend The Player to new adult readers who love sports romances and/or strong female characters.

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