Chat Review: The Play by Karina Halle

Chat Review: The Play by Karina HalleThe Play by Karina Halle
Published by Metal Blonde November , 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Copy for Honest Review, Purchased
Also by this author: Dust to Dust
Amazon US

A troubled Scottish rugby player who doesn't play by the rules.

A vivacious man-eater who's given up on love.

When it comes to Lachlan and Kayla, opposites don't just attract - they explode.

From the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact and The Offer, comes The Play, a standalone spinoff and contemporary romance about taking chances and rescuing hearts.

Kayla Moore has always been comfortable with her feisty, maneating reputation. At least it was fine until she hit her thirties and saw her best friends Stephanie and Nicola settle down with Linden and Bram McGregor, leaving Kayla to be the odd one out. Tired of being the third wheel with nothing but one-night stands and dead-end dates in San Francisco, Kayla decides to take a vow of celibacy and put men on the backburner.

That is until she lays her eyes on Linden and Bram's cousin, hot Scot Lachlan McGregor. Lachlan is her sexual fantasy come to life - tall, tatted, and built like a Mack truck. With a steely gaze and successful rugby career back in Edinburgh, he's the kind of man that makes her want to throw her vow right out the window. But Lachlan's quiet and intense demeanor makes him a hard man to get to know, let alone get close to.

It isn't until the two of them are thrown together one long, unforgettable night that Kayla realizes there is so much more to this brooding macho man than what meets the eye. But even with sparks flying between the two, Lachlan can't stay in America forever. Now, Kayla has to decide whether to uproot her whole life and chance it all on someone she barely knows or risk getting burned once again.

Sometimes love is a game that just needs to be played.

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How would you describe THE PLAY in 3 words?

Tiffany: Sexy, sad, and hopeful. What about you?

Debbie: First word that comes to mind is ‘Bowchikawowow’.

Tiffany: Due to the beast that is LACHLAN!

Debbie: And I have to agree with you..this story was definitely hopeful and emotional. Lachlan is a beast. He’s definitely my favorite McGregor.

Tiffany: Favorite hands down, like who cares about the other two. Not really, but almost.

Debbie: HAHAHAHA. That’s how I felt while reading this book. Like who were the previous dudes? Larry and Bob?

Tiffany: Pike and Joe?! They pretty much fell out.

Why do you think Lachlan was so different from the other McGregors? What made him standout from Linden and Bram?

Tiffany: Partly because he was adopted, but if Karina didn’t didn’t make this beautiful man as broken as he was I wouldn’t of loved it as much as I did. He stood out because he was the complete opposite of a male lead (sort of). He wasn’t so much out to save Kayla (the somewhat damsel in distress), but he needed her to save him. I think that’s what made him different. Bram and Linden did not have inner turmoil to this extent, not that they really had any. For me that’s what set him apart.

It wasn’t all let me put the slipper on your foot and we live happily ever after. It was real.

Debbie: I totally agree with you about Lachlan having more conflict. It kind of made Linden and Bram’s drama seem trivial compared to Lachlan’s past and the demons that haunt him. Karina definitely makes your heart ache for this man, who on the outside looks like a beast, but is really a wounded animal on the inside. As a woman, you can’t but want to be that glue to mend his broken soul. I’m a sucker for the broken or damaged heroes.

Tiffany: Yes! Omg! He in a sense is a pit bull so misunderstood but so loving and loyal. Everything about mending his soul is spot on, agreed 100%

Debbie: Don’t most women fantasize about taming the best? That’s what Lachlan is. I wanted to be the Beauty to Lachlan’s Beast, and make him realize that it is possible for someone to love, care, heal, and save him. I want to be a Disney Princess damnit!

Tiffany: He is nothing short of beast, and she really wrote him in that essence like he was all rough edges and just needed the little tiny creature that is Kayla to lay his demons to rest!

So what did you think about Kayla?

Tiffany: I actually really loved her… I generally think all heroines are DUMB. But I really like how she was the outcast and was constantly filter free but Lachlan was able to stoop her. I think her inner dialogue was real she didn’t think everything would be perfect and wonderful she had real doubts and fears about her blooming “relationship” with Lachlan and her life in general. In part 2 her emotions just ate me alive, I loved everything about her really.

Debbie: I loved Kayla. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would end up liking her as much as I did. I enjoyed her character in the first two books, but I wasn’t sure how much depth there was to her character. The spunky Asian slut really surprised me. I love how loving and tender she was. Not just with Lachlan, but with her friends and family. She’s definitely the kind of friend who will be there for you through thick or thing. She’s the one that’s ready to cut somebody.

Tiffany: Yeah she was!

Debbie: I loved seeing her relationship with her mom too.

Tiffany: That was a definite tear jerker.

Debbie: I think seeing her being so devoted to her mom showed how Kayla just wasn’t this wild party girl that we had assumed she was.

Tiffany: Her layers definitely went deeper than that. You’re so right.

Debbie: And being able to see that gave me hope that she would be able to handle whatever or all of Lachlan’s issues. I also really enjoyed reading a book where the heroine was of another ethnicity…or at least half. Cause you know most contemporary romances star caucasian characters

Tiffany: True! White girls are cool and all… But Asians have #greedyvaginas

Debbie: #truedat

Tiffany: Hahhaha I just have a needy one… That wants Lachlan

Debbie: Not want but NEED that Lachlan D!

Tiffany: Ummm… Yes! Him taking her raw was the hottest shit EVER!

Debbie: Lachlan and Kayla’s sex scenes in THE PLAY overshadowed all sex scenes in The Pact and The Offer.

Tiffany: And Bram had a hot masterbation session…


I could envision Lachlan over me propped up on elbows… I’m mean over Kayla!

Debbie: Every single one of their love scenes gave me vagina tingles. TMI?

Tiffany:  Black Heart knows no such thing of TMI!

Debbie: Bram’s masturbation scene was hot but the scene where Lachlan has Kayla bent over and he’s all pulling her hair…..ovary explosion.

Tiffany: Or when he took her by the window?! Damn!

Debbie: Or the under the kilt blow job? FUCK ME!

Tiffany: He was so primal and once again dare I say the word beast… But that all played into it!

Tiffany: Omg! I almost forgot about under the kilt blow job!

Debbie: You know I highlighted and marked all the sexy times.

Tiffany: When I grow up I want to give blow jobs like Kayla and swallow cum like a champ!

Debbie: #lifegoals

Tiffany: I wish she could give me lessons!

Debbie: Dirty whore.

We both agree that Lachlan and Kayla sizzle in the bedroom, but what did you think about their relationship? Did you find their chemistry outside the bedroom to be just as compelling?

Tiffany: I would say it was fragile and that’s what compelled me to it. It was so foreign for the both them and honestly and this may or may not be a spoiler but with the entirety of this book I would of accepted it whether it be a HEA or not and still be happy with either outcome… Because yes they meshed and he was perfectly showing her off the way any woman wants to be showcased, but they had onlyy known each other such a short time that I wouldn’t say there was much “relationship” yet more so passion for one another.

Does that even make sense?

Debbie: I get what you’re saying.

Tiffany: I’m glad you get me!

Debbie: Their relationship moved really fast. Like they went from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds. There were parts of this book that made me think that these two really shouldn’t be together. I honestly wasn’t sure if Kayla would be able to handle all of Lachlan’s heavy baggage. But she sensed early on that he had a lot of issues and that didn’t turn her away. It’s like Kayla sensed instantly that Lachlan wasn’t someone you just toss aside so easily. And that’s what he needed. Someone who really saw him for him and was still willing to stand by him continuing towards him rather than running from him.

Kayla had that sense that Lachlan wasn’t just some stray dog you just ignored and let continue to live a sad and lonely life. With a little care, she was able to get him where he needed to be.

Tiffany: My heart just clenched. Like I really felt it pulse.

Debbie: I hope it’s still pulsing or you’d be dead!

Tiffany: Hahaha! Debbie I’m a Vampire!

Where there any parts of THE PLAY that didn’t work for you?

Tiffany: This may sound frivolous…but some of her Asian traits weren’t as true to form, I do know she was born and raised in America but I would of liked her to be a bit more Asian-esque

Debbie: I totally get what you’re saying. I haven’t read a lot of contemporary romances where the female lead is of Asian descent so when you do find a book with one, you want to be able to connect or relate to that character. Some of her characteristics did stick out a little and I did find myself asking, “Say whaaa?”

Like, have you ever met an Asian girl with naturally long lashes?

Tiffany: Nope! Never! I’ve been wearing falsies since I was 16!

Debbie: And what Asian from the Bay Area doesn’t say ‘Hella’?

I was seriously expecting her to say ‘Hella’ a few times. I’m totally stereotyping my Asian peeps from the Bay Area but seriously every Asian person I know from there says ‘Hella.’

Tiffany: Yeah, hella is a definite staple!

Like you mentioned Asian heroines usually never get a staring role so it’s exciting when they do, maybe we are on the bias though.

Debbie: We are. We should be should become Asian authenticators.

Debbie: I do a have another issue with Lachlan and Kayla’s story. The last few chapters of this book was similar to how the story arch of the The Play and The Offer concluded. I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, but it just seemed familiar and repeated.

(Debbie explains which parts she’s talking about to Tiffany but we’ll leave that out cause we’re not spoilery brats)

Tiffany: I didn’t even think about that to be honest, but now that you mention it they did sound about the same.

Debbie: You definitely saw it coming but I was hoping that Karina would have used a different device to drive them apart. Like, I get why Kayla did what she did but….shit…I don’t know. I wish she and Bram would have been able to resolve their shit differently.

Tiffany: I was in limbo with that too. I almost thought she wasn’t, and I think the reality of losing her would of hit harder for Lachlan.

Sorry for the vagueness….

Debbie: Lachlan definitely needed that push to get himself cleaned up but I was hoping that it wouldn’t be losing her.

Tiffany: Also I wished the actual fight would of been addressed more after…Because that was a heavy hitter and it was raw and intense! It deserved a bit more recognition. His words hurt me as if he were speaking directly to me and I wanted him to know the hurt they caused. I mean I know he was remorseful but I wanted her to rip him apart for it so she can really show him no matter what she will help piece him back together.

Debbie: YES! As painful as that scene was, I really loved it. That’s why I was upset what happened afterwards happened because I felt like they never really dealt with that situation. And then BAM! Lachlan is getting his shit together and then they’re happy fucking like rabbits again.

That fight/argument scene though….I loved it.

Tiffany: He really laid it on her

Debbie: Right? That was such a good scene. But I also expected for Kayla to fight back. She’s always been so fiesty and I was a little disappointed that she didn’t. Like she was just this defeated little puppy.

Tiffany: That’s shit men really say, not the baby I’ll be here when you come around nonsense. They really call you a whore and fool! Yeah but I think if anything she was shameful because in that moment only he proved to her “maybe” she should of never came in the first place

Overall, what are your thoughts of The Play? How many stars would you rate it?

Tiffany: I think I would rate it almost a 5, just about 5. I loved Lachlan and I feel like my love for him overshadows things that may have bothered me. Shiny things distract me

Debbie: What the hell is just about 5?

Tiffany: Like it slid home you know…Like, Ahhhh I almost got you pregnant, but I saved you

Debbie: OMG! I can’t with you right now.

Tiffany: Hahah sorry.

Debbie: I definitely liked The Play more than I did The Offer. I  was definitely a lot more emotionally invested in Lachlan and Kayla’s story. I’m a sucker for damaged heroes, and I loved that Karina delved into heavier themes with this book. I loved that she was able to give us all the romantic and sexy times ,but also gave us a good amount of angst. This is definitely my favorite book out of all the McGregors and I’m wishing that she continues with the heavy hitting stuff in Brigs’s book. She better give us his book or I might go over to her house and steal all her boots and handbags.

Tiffany: I will venture into that adventure with you Brigs better get a book! But yes, I loved the issues this book touched. Lachlan and Kayla were a completely different breed and I loved them!

Debbie: As far as rating…I’m still torn. There were a few other issues I had with the book on top of what we briefly discussed which is making want to give this book 3.5 to 4 stars. If the issues had been eliminated or dealt with differently, this book would have definitely been 4.5 star. Maybe even 5 stars because of all the good sex scenes.

Anything else….?

Tiffany: Lachlan is a beast. We like Kayla, just wish she was a better Asian. Brigs better get a book!!

Debbie: What she said.

Tiffany’s Rating: 5 Stars

Debbie’s Rating: 3.5? 4? 4.5? I really enjoyed the sex.



About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

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