Madeira Pacias has been happily coasting through life as a confirmed—and contented—single player. But the day she stops to help the victims of a highway pileup, everything changes. Madeira finds the woman of her dreams...dreams she wasn’t even aware she had. Grace Obregon is beautiful, vulnerable, and exactly the kind of woman Madeira usually avoids. But now, she’ll do anyMadeira Pacias has been happily coasting through life as a confirmed—and contented—single player. But the day she stops to help the victims of a highway pileup, everything changes. Madeira finds the woman of her dreams...dreams she wasn’t even aware she had. Grace Obregon is beautiful, vulnerable, and exactly the kind of woman Madeira usually avoids. But now, she’ll do anything to convince Grace of her sincerity.Reformed wild child Grace might owe Madeira her gratitude, but she doesn’t owe her anything else. There was a time when she might have fallen for this irresistible charmer, but at the moment, Madeira just seems like the ghost of girlfriends past. These days, Grace is looking for stability and respect, and the kind of woman who won’t break her heart. Somebody unlike her seductive roadside angel...unless Madeira really has shed her devil-may-care past.Fourth in the Amigas y Amor Series...
|Title||:||Playing the Player|
|Number of Pages||:||208 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Playing the Player Reviews
Well, the sad day has finally occurred. I have read the fourth and last book in the Amigas y Amor series, which just happens to correspond to the last book published by Lea Santos. There is a fifth book listed on GoodReads, a start of a new series, but that book has a note indicating that it was pulled from the publication schedule. So I’ve now read everything released to the public by Santos under the Lea Santos name.I had wondered who might pop up in the fourth book as the main character, since the ‘friends’ part of Amigas y Amor consisted of the three people who have been friends since high school. Emie Jaramillo (star of Little White Lie - and she is matched up with Gia Mendez; in addition to being a latina, Emie also adds to the diversity of lesbian fiction by being someone who isn’t exactly the standard beauty, but instead someone who cares more about brains, her own, than beauty), Iris Lujan (star of Under her Skin - supermodel, matched up with Torien Pacias, Torien adds to the diversity column by being from Mexico (the friends grew up in Denver), and last of the three friends – Paloma Vargas (Picture Imperfect, Paloma is matched up with Deanne Vargas, both of whom went to the same high school; for one reason or another, I got the impression that Deanne was not one of the ‘three musketeers’ (I believe that phrase was used at some point). So, if the three (or four if Deanne is actually supposed to be considered one of the friends) friends have had their stories told, who would pop up to star in the fourth book? Someone who has popped up in the books before, Madeira Pacias, the sister of Torien Pacias.Based on context, on what is mentioned over the course of the books, the first three books all happen, chronologically, one after the other in a short span of time. The fourth book, for whatever reason, opens three years after Iris and Torien meet and opened their charity together (and became a committed couple). A reader does not immediately know this factoid, though, since the book does not open with Madeira, but with Grace Obregon.The book opens with Grace driving down a highway after a parent teacher night. She’s annoyed/upset/frustrated with the fact that her past, which she has been trying to outgrow, has intruded into her new life. She was a wild party girl once upon a time, the kind who impulsively gets two tattoos just because the tattoo artist was doing a 2 for 1 deal. But Grace is no longer that woman. She still has the ‘scars’, though, and occasionally they appear. Like when ‘little Stevie’ pulled on her sweater. Revealing the tattoo on her chest, the one that is a yellow caution sign that has the words ‘easy vixen’ written on it. Recall, if you will, that this was a parent teacher conference – and yes, Stevie’s parents did in fact see that tattoo. Their expressions immediately changed upon seeing such a tattoo. The other tattoo says ‘unbreakable’, but is in a spot a child cannot accidentally reveal, being on her inner thigh. Grace is, naturally, horrified that her new life as a teacher is already ruined. As she drives down the highway. At least she has Mrs. Wright next to her – Mrs. Wright being a beat up bear that Grace’s mother had given her.Then, a truck begins to skid/crash/become an obstacle upon the highway. Grace clips the rear of the truck and her own SUV goes flipping through the air, to land on the roof. Grace is left dangling upside down. Mrs. Wright has flown free from her belted position (yes, Grace had pulled a seatbelt around Mrs. Wright, little good that it did) and flown through a window.Point of view change. Madeira Pacias is driving down the highway. Thinking about her night. About going to a new lesbian bar, cruising, picking up women, humping them. As her thoughts fill with such ideas, Madeira spots a semi-truck skidding, watches as a vehicle clips said truck then goes spinning. Madeira barely misses hitting a horrified chicken before braking in the emergency lane. Braces for someone to slam into her rear, but luckily the person behind her is able to stop. Barely. Madeira gets out and wonders how to help. More chickens run past screaming – apparently the semi was transporting chickens. Others have gotten out of their vehicles as well. An old man reacts first and begins checking vehicles. Finds that someone is still alive in the SUV and calls upon Madeira for help, as she is small enough to squeeze inside. Madeira wiggles into the car, looks around, spots a blood covered woman dangling from above her in the upside down SUV. Her leg doesn’t look good. There’s lots of blood. She’s not even sure if that woman is actually alive. Just then the woman makes noises, blinks at Madeira, before exclaiming ‘You are not Mrs. Wright.’ Madeira stays with Grace until help comes. Making a promise to find ‘Mrs. Wright’, and to contact Grace’s grandmother. Madeira is not the kind of woman that gives another woman promises, but she is unable to stop herself, this time.All of the above takes place in the first one or two chapters. The next chapter begins a year later (so now it is four years since the previous book in the Amigas y Amor series). Grace is yelling at Lolo, her sister. For her sister has given the newspaper a story. The story of Grace and her lost soul mate good Samaritan. The one who ‘saved her’ in the accident. A story about how Grace wants to find said Samaritan. It’s the year anniversary of the accident. Grace has just restarted her new teaching job. She does not need this distraction. Especially as the article makes her look like a loon, someone looking for their soul mate. The paper calls. Grace answers. Before she can explain that she isn’t the one to have given them the story, that it was her sister pretending to be her, the man on the phone indicates that they are being swamped with calls in response to the article. And they need some way to filter them. Grace gives them a way.Days pass. People come forward. But not the good Samaritan.Madeira is cleaning an ambulance after their most recent pick up. Her partner, Simon, is reading the paper. Simon begins asking Madeira questions. Madeira had let slip why she had decided to become a paramedic, that it involved stopping at an accident one night. Simon draws Madeira’s attention to the article in the paper. About this ‘Grace’ person who is looking for their soul mate. Madeira is stunned. That is Grace in the picture. But, Madeira was told, when she tried to follow through on her promises and return the bear that Grace had died (there were two in the accident named Grace, one had, in fact, died). Madeira is reluctant to contact the paper. But. She had made a promise to find and return Mrs. Wright. And, even though she thought Grace was dead, Mrs. Wright had been sitting on her dresser starring at her for a year. It is time to return the bear.Madeira and Grace then spend the rest of the book circling each other. Madeira, initially, is reluctant to meet this overly romantic Grace (what with ‘soul mate’ and stuff), and just wants to let her know that she’s not a commitment type person; but later certain feelings develop; but Grace, immediately upon meeting Madeira, stresses that it was her sister who worded things like ‘soul mate’, and that she has no desire for Madeira. Or, ‘someone like you’. Grace had acquired an impression of what 'someone like Madeira' was like because the paper ran a story after Madeira had contacted them. A story that painted Madeira as being a major player.Of the four Santos books I’ve read, I do believe that I liked this one best of all. I’m not really sure why. A player (Madeira) and an ex-player (Grace) circling each other for a book does not exactly sound like it would necessarily be something I would be interested in. But I rather enjoyed/loved the book. Well, that’s that. My time with Santos draws to a close. Crush, the first in the Viñedo Valley series, looks quite interesting, but it was cancelled. These have been a rather good bunch of highly polished, well written books, but alas, I’ve read them now. And there are no more to read.June 22 2016
I did like the book, just not as much as the previous three. The falling in love came a bit too soon for me to believe it and, I think, that was the biggest obstacle for me. Madeira's conversion from player to devoted just came too quickly and easily for me. I found the two main characters very likable and enjoyed their chemistry. The extended family was a nice addition to the mix. DoDo and the Bees were a treat. Even with its problems, I still enjoyed the book and the characters. I'm a little sad to see it end. I miss Emie, Iris, Paloma.
Entertaining read, I like the way the author writes.
The weakest of the four novellas by far. Particularly coming, as it did, after what was (IMHO) the strongest of the series. I found the angst overly and unrealistically drawn out, the constant references to 'signs' really irritating after a while and the quick switch from player to one woman only unrealistically fast and angst free [the main angst was around 'why won't Grace pay me attention].Overall it required too many leaps of logic / believability for mine, compared to the other three which had it much more in balance.