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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
A housekeeper's teenage daughter vows revenge on the wealthy bachelor that ruined her love life in the romance novel, Playing the Long Game: An Enemies to Lovers Romance by Sophie Penhaligon. Living on the Cavendish estate since she was three years old, Ellie Moreland spent her childhood watching the Cavendish brothers, Leo and Felix, from the shadows. From as far back as she can remember, the youngest brother, Felix, fascinated her. She dreamed of marrying him while kicking the scowling older Leo off the premises. When Ellie turned eighteen, Felix started meeting her secretly in the summerhouse. Believing he loved her, Ellie made plans to move to Paris with him. However, Mrs. Cavendish and Leo thwart their plans by sending Felix to Paris alone and paying for Ellie's schooling. Seven years later, Leo enters her life again, and Ellie is furious. She is determined that Leo won't have any control over her life. But something about him is different. Has Ellie misjudged Leo all these years? Can she resist his charming appeal?
Playing the Long Game: An Enemies to Lovers Romance by Sophie Penhaligon is an enchanting and unforgettable story. Reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite movies, the 1995 remake of Sabrina starring Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford, and Greg Kinnear, this story is far more charming and heartwarming. Feisty and strong-willed, Ellie's character has a natural feel, making her relatable. Leo's admirable strength of character and appealing personality make him a superbly lovable hero. Entranced from the first page, I didn't put the book down to eat dinner or do anything else until I finished it at midnight. Everyone who loves a little adversity in their romance will not want to miss this stunning novel. Due to mildly intimate scenes, the story is more suitable for a mature reader.