Publication date: 3 May 2022

Rating: 5/5 stars

Category: sports, romance, adult, contemporary

Pages: 673

Publisher: TKA Distribution

Source: Netgalley

Trigger: Child neglect

Hello Readers, welcome back to my blog.

When I got the ARC of this book I was beside myself with joy. This is the first ARC I have received for my favorite author and I am so over the moon. I read the first book of the Hard Play series last year and although I have the second book, I haven’t read it yet. I am so pleased this book was about Catie and Danny. After meeting them in the first book of the series at a young age, I loved their characters.


Daniel Esera is a young god on the rugby field, a sexy and charming man who’s got the world at his feet. There’s just one problem: his sudden potent attraction to his number one nemesis—Catie River. No. Just no. Not happening.

Catie River is on her way to Paralympic gold, and she’s not about to allow Danny “Hotshot” Esera to derail her plans. Too bad her body isn’t cooperating. Even worse? Her heart might be coming along
for the ride. No. Nope. Never.

The pair are united in their desire to remain enemies…until a stranger’s reckless action threatens both their careers. Now, the only way out for Catie and Danny is to pretend to be in a relationship. How bad can it be? They’re adults in full control of their hormones and their hearts. There will be no kissing. No PDA. And definitely no falling in love.

Let the games begin.


Catie is a sparkly sarcasm queen and she has fought so hard to make sure that her double amputation does not define her or stop her from pursuing the career she wants. Danny comes from a loving family and has placed a lot of pressure on himself to succeed because he doesn’t want to be the only one in the family who doesn’t make his mark on the world. Ten years later, Catie and Danny are successful athletes but a bad incident with drugs means that Catie rescues Danny, and to avoid scandal or the end of their careers they pretend to date with the approval of their families.

Catie and Danny have been nemesis from the day they met each other, and although they have pranked each other in various ways, their rivalry has never been mean-spirited. So, when their fake relationship creates combustible sparks that they mutually choose to explore, they realize that what is between them might be more than a fling. They both realize how comfortable they are with each other and that this relationship is like no other. What will they do now that their fling is shaping up to be more than they anticipated? Will they bravely take a step forward or back off for the sake of their families if things don’t turn out well?

The plot is great, and the writing is fantastic as expected of Nalini. I love the relationship between Danny and Catie, they are so childish in their interactions sometimes but when it matters, they are there and serious for each other. Catie having to overcome the aversion to relying on people because of the irresponsibility of her father was so brave and I felt for her when she panics at the thought of putting herself in a vulnerable position. I loved that she is also a person that my sister as a classed disabled can relate to even though Catie has built herself so much that when you think of her, her disability is not the first thing that comes to mind. This is why I love Nalini’s writing, her characters are universal, and you can always find something in common with them. An author that does not exclude the people of the world is to be cherished because even if you are in the minority or majority, we are all treasures.

I gave 5 out of 5 stars because why the hell not? The story was a great sports romance and nemesis to lovers troupe. There was nothing to turn my nose up at, it was light banter and sunshine for me all the way. I look forward to catching up on all the Hard Play series and the Rock series.

 If you like this review and are interested in reading this book, you can pre-order it using the links below:

Waterstones (UK) –

Book depository (Free worldwide shipping) –

Audible (audio books) –

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