Play With Me
(Grove Beach Team, #1)
by : Piper Shelly
Genre : YA Romance
Published : Dec 2012
Book Description :
Ryan Hunter's parties are legend.
And tonite she's going to be there.
Liza Matthews anticipates the return of her best friend and only love since kindergarten from soccer camp. But when Tony finally shows up, his mind is more focused on another girl. And worse, she's a soccer player. Fighting for the attention Liza craves, she's just a hairbreadth away from making a very stupid decision. But when extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, she's prepared to play ball to get her man.
The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party she wakes up in the worst possible place -- in the arms of the captain of the soccer team. The hottest guy in school. Ryan Hunter.
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(Grove Beach Team, # 2)
by : Piper Shelly
Genre: YA Romance
Published : April 2013
Ryan Hunter kissed more girls than he cares to remember. But the only one he ever wanted is in love with his best friend.
Watching Liza Matthews' obsession with Tony Mitchell is torture Ryan conceals from everyone. Until after a five-week soccer camp, where Tony gets involved with someone else, things suddenly take a different turn. Ryan knows if he doesn't make his move now and grab his chance, he might never get another one.
Asked by Tony to distract Liza, Ryan is only too happy. He subtly seduces her first into his soccer team and later on to his party. He does all in his power to make her see that he's not just an insufferable playboy but a guy who really cares about her. Some one-on-one soccer training, a passionate kiss --- things seem to be going the way he wants. Except Ryan didn't reckon on his best friend showing up at the worst possible moment and destroying everything....
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I thought this would be hard to do. Comparing two books that are virtually the same story. Yes, they are both in essence the same story told from different points of view -- Playing with Me is from Liza's POV, while Ryan Hunter is from Ryan's POV. Yet in reality the are completely different books.
Playing with Me (Liza's POV) is a great story about a 16 yr old who is in love with her life long best friend. Naturally he "doesn't notice" and even though she's basically his little groupie, he gets a girlfriend elsewhere ,breaks her heart and then decides maybe he wants another chance. Too bad Liza has finally realized that Ryan isn't the stuck up snob she imagined in the hallways of school. Now don't get me wrong- starting out the book, I really liked Liza and Tony (the bff) together. I thought how adorable it would be if they ended up. Knowing that b/c I was going to be reading Ryan Hunter next, she obviously wasn't going to end up with Tony twirked me a little at first. And then Ryan really started making appearances.. Probably my favorite excerpt from PWM is after a party at Ryan's where Liza accidentally got drunk on some "berry soda" and ends up in his bed. Bear with me and read it :
The sun breaking through the windows woke me the next morning. I felt as if I was drifting out to a restless sea on an unsound airbed. It took a few seconds for the eerie swaying to stop so that I could focus.
My cheek rested on a pillow smelling of pine trees and warmth. I inhaled deeply, wanting to keep that scent, and opened my eyes to stare at the sensual lips of Ryan Hunter. My hand on his naked chest rose and fell with his slow, even breaths.
Holy cow, what the hell happened? I was in bed with the captain of the soccer team. Heck, I should never have gone to that party.
Now, my only thought was run. But shock kept me pinned to the bed as I became aware of the entangled position Ryan and I had taken on in our sleep. Lying on my right, my left leg was slung over his hip. My calf rested neatly on his groin. He lay on his back, his left leg bent so, that I wouldn’t be able to withdraw mine. I tried to stop my body from shivering. No chance.
Not daring to wake him, I didn’t move, frantically running through the options I had. Great, there were none. I was trapped.
Maybe if I lay still, pretending to be fast asleep, until he woke up and got out of bed first, then I could sneak out after him and be gone before he noticed. I would have slapped myself for that idea if I could remove my hand from his warm chest.
And a firm chest it was. He must lift weights besides playing soccer. As if my eyes had their own mind, they traveled down his gorgeous body. A thin trail of dark hair led south from his navel over his flat stomach until it vanished under the waistband of his jeans. His bent leg seemed amazingly long. I never paid attention, but he must be more than a head taller than me.
My gaze swept up to his neck and the part of his face not covered with his arm. A lean jaw and a perfect, straight nose. He sported an overnight shadow that begged to be rubbed. I resisted. Under his left ear was an old scar, about an inch long. One would never notice unless close to him, like I was now.
Suddenly his lips twitched.
"I can feel you staring at me,” he said in the softest wake-up voice I’d ever heard. “I only hope you’re a girl and not one of the drunken guys.”
My breath caught in my chest. I jerked my hand back from him. Not taking his arm away from his face yet, he reached down with his other hand. And slowly ran his palm over my naked thigh in the direction of my bum.
“Yep, definitely female,” he purred.
In panic, I held his hand in place. “Move another inch, Hunter, and you’re a dead man.”
“Matthews?” Surprised amusement filled his chuckle. Unlike me, he seemed relaxed enough.
A strange heat rose from my gut to my head as I studied his hand on my bare skin. Wearing nothing but jeans and a black wrist watch, he looked more like a guy from the many posters on the walls of Caroline Davis’ bedroom than the boy I knew from school.
I felt awkward for not letting go of his hand on my leg, but I was too scared he’d continue the path he’d started if I did.
“Tell me, Matthews,” he said as he dropped his arm to the pillow and tilted his head to study me with warm eyes. “Why do I have you in my bed, when I’m not allowed to touch you?”
“I didn’t know there were strawberries in the soda,” I whined.
His brow furrowed, his lips pursed. “Come again?”
Jeez, did he not realize that he was still holding my leg, and how very uncomfortable—and excited—it made me? “Someone was getting me sweet soda all evening.” My voice shook slightly. “I didn’t realize it was the wine cooler you meant when you said—”
“—not to touch the strawberries,” he finished for me, closing his eyes. “Damn, I told her not to punch it too much.”
What? The wine cooler? I was pretty sure I had a tad too much of that stuff.
A frown creased Ryan’s brows as he looked at me again. “Sorry, I don’t remember much of the night after I carried you up here. Am I in trouble?”
Considering I still had my clothes on, nothing had happened during the night. “As far as I remember you were pretty drunk yourself. So I was quite safe from you.”
A smirk played around one corner of his mouth. “I’m afraid my time of numb indifference is over.” His thumb had started drawing small circles on my skin. “So, unless you’re up for some trouble now, would you mind moving your leg?”
My eyes widened at his seductive threat.
“What? You know you’re not the ugliest girl in the world.”
Wow, what a compliment. Idiot. I needed to get out of here. Back to…back to… Damn, Ryan had a nice smile.
Yum... that, the Pool Table sceen and Lime Surprise were my favorite parts of the book (sorry you have to read it on your own, I can't give everything away! Geesh!). It's a short book, a quick read but if you want a book that takes you through the emotions - lots of laughter, dreamy sighs and a little heartbreak, then you are looking at the right book!
And now let's talk about Ryan Hunter - Ryan's POV. I'm not sure if this is because I obviously read Play With Me first and I was already just a tad bit in love with Ryan...but to me, Ryan Hunter was even better. Like I read it 3 times vs PWM's 2 times. Part of it is how much more you get in the story (I just wanted more, more , more after PWM - in a good way). With Liza's point of view, she doesn't even acknowledge any interactions with Ryan for a while and so there's no need for the author to write about them.. However, Ryan has had his eye on Liza since third grade and he notices everything about her. The story starts 5weeks earlier as they leave for soccer camp and he encounters Liza seeing Tony off. It's adorable how every little thing about her is cataloged in his brain.. How he always tries to play it cool but inside is a mess. I always thought that reading from a guys POV was awkward at best.. I always preferred the girls POV that I could relate to more, but this time I'm going to disagree. Both are great books, but if I have to pick one - I'm going Ryan Hunter all the way. We get soo much more background, so much more feeling when we don't have to deal with Liza struggling with her feelings for Tony and starts of feelings for Ryan.. Now we can just concentrate on Ryan's love for Liza thru it all. I have the same favorite parts in this book at the last, reading them from the other point of view throws a little bit more into it and makes it just as good.. But this time I will add that my absolute favorite part of the second book is the epilogue that takes us just a bit farther past where the first book ended.. Into the land of garden swings ,cuddling and declarations of love. : sigh:
About the Author :
Wow, this is always the hardest part for me to write…don’t know why. You would think talking about my life should be easier.
I was born and raised in Austria. Half my life I spent in Vienna, but I didn’t like the city. I much prefer the beautiful countryside, with its many meadows and the breathtaking Alps. That’s why I moved to Upper Austria right after graduation. There are trees now in front of my window instead of just another ugly gray building, and I love to be woken by the cacophony of birds every morning.
At seventeen, I met the love of my life, but it took another four years until we finally got together. It was the best decision I could have made. I’m now married to this man, and I count myself lucky for someone like him. Even I will admit it can be hard at times to live with me. I’m moody and tend to lapse into my fantasy world at any given minute—well in my defense, I’m a writer. :-)
We have a ten-year-old son, and together we travel a lot…although I sometimes wish the trips were shorter because I can’t wait to get back to my laptop and WIP. Yeah, that’s just me. I built my world around my passion, and I like it that way.
So, you see, I'm leading a pretty normal life.
Of course it will all change the day my book follows the act of Harry Potter, and I'll become richer than the Queen. I swear I'll never again clean my windows myself then. Yeah, one day, LOL...
Stalk Her :
I encourage you to visit her website and sink into the adorable Character Interviews she has up.. I spent a while just looking around.. :sigh: Damn Ryan Hunter crush.. lol.