Review Post: The Proposition (Players #2) by Elizabeth Hayely

 

Professional hockey player Ben Williamson doesn’t quite know how he got himself into this situation; hiring someone to be his date to his brother’s wedding is way out of character for him. But with family pressuring him to settle down, going stag just isn’t an option. It would just be one more thing his polite, cultured family uses as ammo against him.

Ryan Cruz is having a bad day. Wait, make that a bad year. Broke, technically homeless, and living on a friend’s couch, she’s now also unemployed after her sharp tongue gets her fired from her job. So when a handsome stranger approaches her out of the blue with a proposition–he’ll pay her to be his date to his brother’s wedding for the weekend–accepting his offer is a no brainer. She needs the cash and figures it wouldn’t be in the best interest of a professional athlete to murder her.

What starts as a simple business arrangement soon becomes more as these opposites attract and get caught up in the wedding magic. Will Ben and Ryan be able to turn their relationship into something more? Or is love based on a proposition too much of an obstacle to overcome?

 

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*****5 Fantastic Stars*****

Elizabeth Hayley continues to be a writing duo that I can always count on to create a phenomenal story that will make me laugh, that will deliver me with dynamic characters to love, and that will give me a fantastic reading experience. Their Players Series has delivered all of that and more, and I was beyond excited to get back with Gabe, Jace, and Ben as it was Ben’s turn to find the one woman who would change everything. With everything I love about a sports romance perfectly woven together with an enrapturing romance, The Proposition was the exact book I needed to read right now.

It was a book that felt good to read through every page, it was a book that had me loving what I was getting with these characters, and it was a book that delivered an extremely enjoyable story with so much fire, connection, and vibrancy through every word.

Elizabeth Hayley once again delivered a book that made me laugh, that made me smile something fierce, that gave me real characters that equally made me swoon while being completely believable, all while crafting a story that was enjoyable through every turn of the page. What I love about this series is how it perfectly couples so much together. It gives you a sports romance and what it means to be with a professional athlete, it gives you an authentic love story between two seemingly opposite characters, and it gives you a story that manages to be light and so very engaging and so easy to connect to.

The Proposition was another fantastic and fun addition to this series, and it has me all kinds of excited to get more time with all of these characters and to see where the next book will take them all.

What I loved about The Proposition:

  • Ben’s genuine sweetness. Ben was a character that completely melted me from the start. What I loved about his character was that he was this tough hockey player with a heart of gold. He was strong, yet sensitive. He was real, yet had this allure that made me want him and love him even more. He was sweet and genuine and kind, and he thought of others, which practically made me molten lava in his hands. He was also so easy to root for through this story because I felt so much for what I got with him and his story. The way that Elizabeth Hayley makes him a man that will simultaneously turn you on, while also stealing your heart made him the best in my eyes. He also made me swoon something fierce, and even though he isn’t perfect, he was pretty much golden in this book with what I got with him.
  • The chutzpah of Ryan. Ryan had some serious fire and gumption to her. She was a girl who wasn’t afraid to take a chance, to put it all in, and to just go with it. I loved that about her, and I loved how she was a character who wasn’t afraid to risk it all. I really respected that about her, and I especially respected that after learning her backstory and all that that girl had gone through in her life. Elizabeth Hayley does the most fantastic job of letting you know how she became the woman she is in the present of this book, how she found herself the escort to a professional hockey player, and how she ended up feeling what she did. Ryan was real, vibrant, and just so easy to connect to, and that is just part of what made her such an outstanding female character to love and root for.
  • A proposition no one will soon forget. The overall premise of this story follows Ben and Ryan, two opposites, who find themselves in the middle of a proposition to help each other out. He needs a date to his brother’s wedding, and she needs a job stat in order to stay above water. What ensues between them over the course of this story is more than either of them bargained for. Their sexual chemistry is off the charts, what they start to feel for one another soon becomes more real than either of them were prepared for, and the more this story progresses, the more they both start to question what this proposition of theirs got them into. I loved the story itself, and I found it to be so enjoyable, consuming in a very real way, and something that just gave me so much to love.
  • The gangs all here. One of my favorite parts of this series is getting to be back with the fantastic and funny as all get out characters that make up this world. The banter and friendship between Gabe, Ben and Jace is the absolute best. Those three crack me up so much, and I loved getting every single moment with them was I read this book. The three of them made me cry I was laughing so hard, and through it all I so completely felt how they were all there for each other, and how they would do whatever it took to be there for one another. I loved how Elizabeth Hayley perfectly balanced giving me that as I read this book. Not to be outdone, Camille’s character was a gem too. That girl had me dying laughing just as much as I was with the guys, and the way her humor and one liners added to what I got in this book was fantastic. The supporting characters of this series just made reading this book even more fun and enjoyable, and it added to everything I got with these characters in this story.
  • The laughs and the heat and the way they give you it all. Elizabeth Hayley perfectly balanced giving me so many moments that had me laughing in the most memorable way, while also creating the fieriest heat between Ben and Ryan. The way their writing brought it all to life, the way they perfectly balanced making me blush, making me laugh, and making me feel every breath of connection and fire these characters shared for one another is just one more thing that had me loving every word of what I was reading. Elizabeth Hayley found a way to deliver it all in this book to create such an outstanding read. The way they so seamlessly weave all of that together had me in every word of what I was reading, had me living every fantastic word, and had me just eating up every moment I could get with these characters.

The Proposition was another phenomenal addition to this series. It was a book about what happens when you meet that one person you never expected in the craziest of situations. It is a story of two people who would never have met normally, but can’t seem to fight the intense connection they share, no matter how many boundaries they try to put in place. What you get with Ben and Ryan in this story will give you the two of them, will give you their proposition and all its consequences, and in the end, will give you one helluva love story.

This book gave me it all. It had the humor, the heat that made me blush and melt, and it had the vibrant characters that made this a memorable and overall enjoyable story that I loved. I have loved getting more of this series, and this book has me even more eager for Gabe’s book to see what this series will bring all of these characters next.

If you are looking for a phenomenally written book, with dynamic and memorable characters, then do yourself a favor and run yourself to this book this very second!

 

***EXCERPT***

 

“All right, all right,” Gabe said. “I’ll be serious and help you.”

“Thank you,” Ben said, happy he had the support of both his best friends. The three had been practically inseparable since they’d met in college and roomed in the athletic dorm. All three had been lucky enough to play professionally, Gabe as a shortstop for Philadelphia and Jace as a quarterback for New Jersey. His friends’ close proximity to one another was the reason Ben chose to get an apartment in Philly and spend his time here in the off-season. “I knew you were kidding when you mentioned the bet, but–”

“I wasn’t kidding. I have an idea that might work.”

“No,” Ben said sternly.

“Didn’t you learn anything from me, Torres?” Jace asked Gabe. Now that the bet they’d made last summer was behind them, they could all joke about it. But a year ago, it would have been a different story. Jace had nearly lost Aly when the three friends had competed to see who could bring the hottest date to an awards ceremony. Jace had unexpectedly fallen hard for the beautiful doctor, but all of that had almost crumbled when she’d learned he’d initially asked her out because of a bet.

“Okay, I get why doing a bet again would be a bad idea, but I do think that finding some arm candy as a distraction is a solid plan. A buddy of mine brought some chick he met at an airport to his parents’ anniversary party, and everyone thought they’d been dating for months.”

Ben was skeptical. “Like a fake girlfriend? There’s no way that’ll work.”

“I don’t know, man,” Gabe said. “It might. The secret to a good lie is you gotta believe it yourself.”

“You’re so wise,” Ben said flatly.

“I’m serious,” said Gabe. “The chick I was telling you about ended up getting my buddy’s grandmother’s crab cake recipe, and that shit’s for family only.”

“Just to make sure I’m understanding you right, I should believe you because of a crab cake recipe?”

Jace raised his eyebrows at Ben and Gabe. “It’s actually not a bad idea.”

Ben rolled his eyes. “Not you too.”

“You got any better ideas?” Jace asked. When Ben was silent, Jace continued. “I didn’t think so. There’s a decent chance this could work. We just need to figure out who to get to pretend to be your girlfriend. You’re gonna be up there for a few days.”

Ben rubbed a hand over his forehead in frustration. “I don’t know. Fuck. No one’ll want to spend that much time with my family. A few hours with them is more than enough.”

“She doesn’t have to want to spend time with them,” Gabe said, a look in his eyes that told Ben he was up to something Ben was probably going to want no part of.

“Should I even ask what you’re talking about?” Ben said.

“Probably,” Gabe said. “Because I have the answer to your problem.”

Ben looked at him expectantly, but when he realized that wasn’t enough, he said, “Fine, you’re really gonna make me ask, aren’t you? Why doesn’t it matter if she doesn’t want to be there?”

A smile spread across Gabe’s face. “Because you’re gonna pay her,” he said simply.

“Like a prostitute?” Ben replied.

“Not a prostitute,” Gabe said. “An escort.”

 

 

 

Elizabeth Hayley is actually “Elizabeth” and “Hayley,” two friends who love reading romance novels to obsessive levels. This mutual love prompted them to put their English degrees to good use by penning their own. The product is Pieces of Perfect, their debut novel. They learned a ton about one another through the process, like how they clearly share a brain and have a persistent need to text each other constantly (much to their husbands’ chagrin).

They live with their husbands and kids in a Philadelphia suburb. Thankfully, their children are still too young to read.

Elizabeth Hayley’s writing motto is best captured by the words of Patrick Dennis: “I always start with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.”

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