The Player Next Door by K. A. Tucker

The Player Next Door by K. A. Tucker
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Scarlet Reed has returned to Polson Falls, convinced that twelve years away is long enough to shed her humiliating childhood identity as the town harlot’s daughter. With a teaching job secured and an adorable fixer-upper to call home, things in her life are finally looking up.

That is, until she finds out that Shane Beckett lives next door.

Shane Beckett, the handsome and charismatic high school star quarterback who smashed her heart. The lying, cheating player who was supposed to be long gone, living the pro football dream and fooling women into thinking he’s Prince Charming. Shane Beckett, who is as attractive as ever and flashing his dimples at her as if he has done no wrong.

Scarlet makes it abundantly clear that old wounds have not been forgotten. Neighbors they may be, but friends they most certainly are not. She won’t allow herself to fall for the single father and firefighter again, no matter how many apologies he offers, how many times he rushes to her aid, or how hard he makes her heart pound.
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But as she spends more time with him, she begins to fear that maybe she’s wrong. Maybe Shane has changed.

And maybe this time she’s the one playing herself—out of a chance at true happiness.

Sometimes, forgiving someone and giving them a second chance can be worth it. The Player Next Door is a beautifully written second chance story by K. A. Tucker. She knows how to write a mesmerizing story with characters that are touching and vulnerable.

Shane hurt Scarlet when they were in high school and now, twelve years later, Scarlet returns to her small home town and unknowingly moves in next door to Shane. Shane and Scarlet are older and wiser and there is still a strong attraction flowing between them. Scarlet keeps trying to keep Shane at a distance, because she is afraid to trust him with her heart again.

When Scarlet returns to town, she remembers all the hurts from her past, but she isn’t the same person she was then. Now, she is a strong, confident woman and she won’t let people push her around or make her feel inadequate.

Shane is charming and cocky but he is also vulnerable. His life hasn’t turned out the way he thought it would, but he has made the best of it. I liked Shane, but I did not like how he treated Scarlet in high school and I had to work to get past that. Shane is willing to make amends and work hard to show Scarlet he cares about her and won’t hurt her again. He wants her to know, he isn’t the same guy he used to be.

Overall, I liked Shane and Scarlet and I wanted them to have their happily ever after. They deserve to be happy and they are good together and for each other. I enjoyed the explosive chemistry between Shane and Scarlet. Every encounter is filled with sexual tension and this story pulled at many of my emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed this endearing story and found myself immersed in the story and the characters. I highly recommend this one.

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