In Play Hard, author Julie Kriss promises the reader a “stand-alone story with a happy ending, no cheating, and no cliffhanger (that) features explicit sex and a tatted hot athlete hero with a filthy mouth.” My kind of book and she delivers on all counts. Law clerk Sophie Breen’s stepbrother, Dex Carter, is a soccer superstar with all the right stuff – enough stuff to fill out designer briefs for sexy ads in glossy magazines. He’s on top of the world, and though it’s usually the heroine who suffers a fall from grace, in this story it’s the hero. Dex punches a Brazilian star and is removed from the game he loves, forever. His life begins a slow unravel and reveal – his sponsorships and lucrative endorsements fall away one by one, and his image disappears from international billboards. The party’s over and a larger-than-life figure takes a plane home. Sympathetic Sophie is just the anodyne he needs for his pain, but her soothing touch brings more than just healing and a new game with a new goal is on. I like Dex more than the standard alpha sports hero foisted on steamy romance readers. He’s always kind and considerate, and all about Sophie. His confidence bolsters hers and when she finally lets go and surrenders to Dex’s charms the sexual chemistry is believable, wet-inducing and once begun there’s plenty of it. I like this book. It makes me smile and it’s well-written and well-edited. Thanks for a fun and steamy read Julie.