Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
The Player Next Door by Kathy Lyons gave me so many feels! This was a joy to read. The hero and heroine are so cute together. I found myself snickering as I read, because of the heroine, who not only drives the hero batty, but ends up impressing him with her intelligence, sweet nature and sexy self. Plus the hero is a bi-racial NBA basketball player who is uber-sweet and wants to help out the heroine any way he can.
Mike, a big basketball star for The Knicks is recovering from a shoulder injury on the off season for the summer. He’s staying at his friend’s parents’ house in a town in Illinois. While he’s jogging, he spots a woman hanging upside down from a roof. He rushes to rescue her, and she falls on him, and on his bad shoulder. That’s how he meets Tori, a college professor of religion and theology, who has just broken up with her boyfriend of 5 years. Tori has book smarts, and a PhD, but people think she’s a blonde ditz who can’t take care of herself. She’s remodeling her new house, her recently deceased aunt willed to her. Mike is her next door neighbor for the next 2 months. She has made quite the impression on him, which at firs isn’t the best. But there’s something special about her that makes him want to see her again.
Tori is surprised how well she gets along with Mike, especially after her roof falling mishap. He’s not a dumb jock or not some cocky, rich sports guy. He listens to her and gives her advice about fixing up her house. He’s the total opposite of her ex-boyfriend Edward, who has strung her along and enjoys putting her down and babying her. She may say strange and bookish things, but Mike gets a kick out of it. She then decides he would be a great rebound lover, which he’s not too sure of. He’s only there for the summer, and then goes back to NYC to play basketball. He doesn’t want Tori to get attached to him. She just wants sex with him. Mike may just have the best summer of his life with Tori, but what happens if he doesn’t want it to end?
The Player Next Door is the type of book you want to hug. It has a very meet-cute between the main couple, who are total opposites, not only in personalities, but their beliefs and their physical appearance. Appearances can be deceiving, which is pointed out and taken care of right away. Tori isn’t some blonde ditz. Mike isn’t just obsessed with playing professional basketball and making money. Plus it’s an interracial romance! The way Kathy has written Tori and Mike is golden. They’re each other’s perfect match. Tori is very, go with the flow, while Mike is more stable with his beliefs. He is the one who realizes how special Tori is him before she does. Their banter and conversations are very adorable. The sex between them a nice touch.
The ending is a bit too pat, but it’s what I would have expected with a romance like this. Kathy has a winner with The Player Next Door. This is a must read for any romance fan!