playing with trouble

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The author of Flirting with Scandal presents her second book in a sexy contemporary romance series about three sisters in a powerful political family, the scandals that threaten to destroy them, and the passion that drives them…

The daughter of one of the Senate’s most powerful figures, Blair Reynolds was ready to become the ultimate political wife—until she caught her fiancé cheating on her wedding day. Law school is a fresh start, her shot at putting the pieces of her life back together. That’s the plan, at least. Until trouble comes in the form of her Torts professor, the man whose arrogance infuriates her in class but haunts her private fantasies.

Graydon Canter had a fortune and a place on all the hottest “Thirty under Thirty” lists, until a series of personal missteps nearly destroyed his career. A year teaching at a D.C. law school is just the break he needs to get his life back in order, as long as nothing—and no one—trips him up.

When Blair and Gray are forced to work together, their explosive attraction becomes impossible to resist. But Gray’s demons have drawn him dangerously close to the edge, and Blair has spent her life playing by the rules. Will she break them for a shot at love?

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Ang's Review

Playing with Trouble is book 2 in the Capital Confessions series. You can read my review for book 1, Flirting with Scandal, here. These books can be read as standalones but I enjoyed knowing the supporting characters before I jumped into Playing with Trouble.

I’m happy to tell you that my love for Chanel Cleeton is still going strong. She really has a gift for storytelling, three-dimensional characters, and great writing. I will definitely be adding her to my automatic “one-click” list.

Our heroine, Blair Reynolds, grew up with money, a privileged lifestyle, and has been in the public eye her entire life. After a bad public breakup with her fiancé, the paparazzi are following her every move. She’s trying to move past the break up and focus on herself and winds up in law school after making a rash decision about what she “should” do with her life vs. what she wants to do. She thinks law school will be her answer but instead of falling in love with torts, she falls for her professor. Not before she develops a major hate on for him. He’s a rude prick in class and seems to take great joy in picking on her, but there’s something about him. As much as she hates to admit it, she’s drawn to him and he starts to get under skin instantly. As much as I adored Blair, I couldn’t connect with that privileged background. She was bred to be a perfect wife, a perfect hostess, a perfect everything. In spite of all of that she was down-to-earth and sweet but she had a backbone, and I adored that about her. I admired the way she handled herself, and her unseemly attraction to her professor.

Professor Graydon Canter, is hiding out as a professor at Blair’s crappy law school and licking his wounds as he recovers from some terrible decisions that royally screwed up his life. He has some legit baggage due to his quick rise in his former law firm, and I’ve seen first hand how people can burn out in that environment. All that excess and rapid success can lead to dire consequences for young hotshot lawyers. So here sits Gray, trying to kill time in this job for a year so he can lay low and get his act together. But then the prim and proper Ms. Reynolds walks into his classroom and there’s just something about her. He wants to see behind her carefully erected façade. Nobody can be that controlled, that demure, that alluring. He can’t stop thinking about her inside and outside of the classroom. And you can trust me when I tell you that you want Gray to be consumed by you.

I was hooked right from the beginning when these two began their flirtation. This storyline is different than typical student / teacher tropes because they are both consenting adults with a lot to lose if they are found out. They are both trying to find a place to fit. Will they?

I found their courtship to be passionate, realistic, and sexy. When they finally get around to the sex? Damn. I’m telling you, Chanel Cleeton knows how to write a sex scene. The foreplay, chemistry, and build up are so well written that you will be squirming. You want Gray to prove to –you- that yes, he can rip off your panties as easily as described in a romance novel.

Something else I really enjoyed was the law school angle in this book. I’ve worked in the legal field for a lot of years and held my wife’s hand through her law school experience, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the late nights, the horrible exams, and the terror of being called on in class to brief a case. Ms. Cleeton nailed it. I think that was one of the highlights of the book for me along with the super hot sex, of course.

In the end, this was a fantastic read with exceptionally written characters that were full of life. The reason for my four star review is because I’m comparing it to book 1 in the series which is easily one of my top reads of the year. I think you should all go give a one-click to this book and lose yourself in these delightful characters. I’m really looking forward to book 3 in the series. There was some great setup!

4 Stars

Book One: Flirting with Scandal

Jackie Gardner knows all about dirty little secrets. The illegitimate daughter of one of the most influential senators in Washington, D.C., she grew up surrounded by the scandals and shadows of politics. Now that she’s landed an internship with a powerful political consulting firm, she’s determined to launch her career and take this city by storm.

William Andrew Clayton was born for politics. He knows the drill: work hard, play discreetly, and at all costs, avoid scandal. At twenty-six, his campaign for the Virginia State Senate is the first step to cementing his future. It’s time for him to settle down, to find the perfect political spouse. He needs a Jackie Kennedy, not a Marilyn…

When Jackie meets Will in the bar of the Hay-Adams Hotel, sparks fly. But the last thing Will needs is to be caught in a compromising position, and an affair with a political candidate could cost Jackie her career. When what began as one steamy night, becomes a passion neither one of them can walk way from, they must decide if what they have is really love, or just another dirty little secret…

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Book Three: Falling for Danger

Kate Reynolds has just graduated from college and is determined to make it on her own. Her job as a junior political analyst at the CIA is a dream come true and the perfect opportunity to find answers about the night that’s plagued her for four years—the night she lost her fiancé, Matt, on a Special Forces mission in Afghanistan. Kate’s consumed with uncovering the truth and avenging the man she loved and lost, even if it means risking her own life to prove that his death wasn’t an accident.

When she gets too close to discovering what happened that fateful night and danger arrives on her doorstep, Kate’s stunned by the man who comes to her rescue. Together, they begin to dig for the truth, fighting to stay alive as they’re dragged down into a world of secrets and lies. But when the threat hits close to home, Kate must choose between vengeance and a future with the man who’s ignited a fire inside her that she thought died long ago.

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About the Author

chanel cleeton

Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure.

Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her husband.

Chanel writes contemporary romances. She is published by Harlequin HQN, Penguin/InterMix, and Penguin/Berkley and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, and Wild Aces series.

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