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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
Alexia Burton is an actress and her career trajectory is steadily rising and would rise faster if she could fix one thing: her sexual experience and confidence. She needs a lover but that’s all because she believes a man interfered with her mother’s career, leaving her with a very unhealthy view of relationships. So with no relationship experience to speak of, Alexia is looking for a lover, not a relationship. Parker Hargreaves has history with Alexia; they went to school together and he treated her horribly. To make amends, Parker wants to be the one to help Alexia. Madeline Ash has done quite a job of packing a full and well-developed story into a few pages. Alexia and Parker have chemistry but will the past continue to define their current relationship?
What is so great about The Playboy is the vulnerability you sense in both Parker and Alexia. She has been given a warped view of relationships which is now having an impact on her career, but also her life if she cared to admit it. Parker is used to being the wealthy playboy but his priorities have recently shifted and so he not only wants to help Alexia to make up for his teenage transgressions; he also wants to show her that he is better than that cocky guy she knew years ago. Madeline Ash knows how to show that vulnerability without telling us and it made this story far more compelling. It can be difficult to recognize the changes in someone with such a prominent role in young trauma and heartache, and Alexia’s willingness to shift her view of Parker made this story not just enjoyable, but real.