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“Playing the Player” by Lisa Brown Roberts —> review & quotes —> blog tour

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Trina, just think about it,” said Mrs. Gonzalez. “You’ll still be the supervising nanny for the kids. Slade will be your… apprentice nanny.

Meet Trina – the very well organized, if a bit too formal for her age, experienced nanny. Honour roll student. In need of money… She gets a proposition she can’t refuse – to take an “apprentice nanny” under her wing ( 😉 ) so to speak, which would pretty much double her earnings….
The catch? Well. The “apprentice nanny”  she’d be in charge of is none other than Slade, a party guy, whom everyone seems to fall in love with 🙂 Everyone but Trina that is. She’s immuned to his charms (or so she believes…). Her opinion on Slade?

Slade was the original slacker, right down to his pathetic fashion sense, living in old T-shirts, faded shorts, and flip-flops. He even tied back his shoulder-length hair with a shoelace, which most girls thought was all grungy sexy.

Well. That’s how the story starts. PlayingthePlayercover
Then we meet Slade, fun-loving, easy going – that’s how he thinks of himself anyways. And he gets very upset when his best friend Alex tries to open his eyes for the truth. That he in fact is a total player, breaking girls hearts left and right.
He agrees to take that nanny job only because he gets sort of blackmailed by his mom – either he takes it or no allowance for him…

Oh, and Slade’s opinion on Trina? Lets just say, she’s not his type. How can a party guy like him find anything in common with an organized, dependable, trustworthy, laid back girl? Who absolutely loves her binders?

But Slade is so sure of his charms and influences on any girl he wants, that he shakes on a bet with his best friend.

“Fifty bucks says she’s the life of the party.” I paused. “Or at least not a total buzzkill”
He shook my hand, laughing. “This is gonna be easy money for me, my friend. Not even you can unwind that girl.”

And now what? He bets that he can “loosen her up”, she gets paid for working with him…

Well. Now all the fun starts. 🙂 I do not want to spoil the book for everyone. Let me just tell you few things about it – it is very fun, very engaging story. Light and full of humour, but also good character study. The dialogues between Trina and Slade are just priceless. Little example (with the ever-present binder of course)

“I’ve also made copies of a few articles for you to read”
He stared at me like I was an exhibit in a traveling freak show. “Articles? What about?”
“Child development. Child safety. Important stuff.”
I thought I  saw him shudder, but I must have been imagining things.
“In fact…” I reached into my backpack and pulled out a red binder. “I made you your own binder.”
This time he definitely shuddered. He even stopped chewing. He swallowed, and then started choking. He grabbed his mug and took a swig of coffee, but that just made it worse.
I rushed to his chair and pounded him on the back. 
“Probably just went down the wrong pipe.”
He coughed harder, leaning over the table, crumbs flying from his mouth.
“I know the Heimlich.” I kneeled in front of him, worried by all his hacking noises. “Do you want me to do the Heimlich on you? Give me one finger for yes, two fingers for no”
Still coughing violently, he waved four fingers at me, two on each hand.
Geez. Whatever. Not like I’d hurt him. I totally knew what I was doing from Babysitter First Aid class.” 

In a funny way, I find that the binder represents Trina’s character. It is her safe place. She can control it, edit it ,change – add things if needed. The tragic events of her childhood were out of control, and she feels the need to make her life as predictable as possible, so she can be prepared for everything. But that’s not how life works… So when her heart starts to take over, she learns there is not much that she can predict… Hence the binder gets… Well. 🙂 Read the book! 🙂

Both Trina and Slade could not predict what is going to be happening with their hearts. They both change the opinion about each other. They are getting closer. Trina’s reports get not so critical, and she, in all her honesty, admits:

We got off to a rocky start but I’m hopeful next week will be smoother. Slade’s interactions with the kids are entertaining and surprisingly helpful. He has some unexpected skills, which are coming in handy.

Her meticulously created construction around her heart goes tumbling down.

Nanny notes: Zoo
CONS: My crush on the other nanny. Telling him my deepest secret.
PROS: My crush on the other nanny. Telling him my deepest secret.
CONS: Me being stupid enough to give into this crush. Because we all know it’s going nowhere.
PROS: But it feels so good.

.All goes so well… until…

Well. I think I already said too much anyways 🙂
Let me just add – I loved the book. I think it was not only funny but also sneaked some really important qualities. Young reader might just ask himself/herself a few quite important questions about the priorities in life…

Great read!

LisaBrownRobertsAbout the Author:

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off her eyebrows and penciling them in for an entire school year. This and other painful memories inspire her to write books in which girls big on wit and heart earn happy endings with swoony guys…eventually. 
Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-­legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

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