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Ari Bookzilla

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Unmasking the Spy
Janet Kent
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Playing the Part

Playing the Part - Darcy Daniel I liked this for how different it was. I wanted to start this review with she doesn't know that he knows that... but it's more than that.It's a sweet love story about trust and forgiveness and finding out that you can go back, after all.I need to get something out of the way. I loved the writing! The first time you meet Cole, you figure out his disability right away, without the author having to spell it out for you. Seriously, I had this lightbulb moment when I figured it out and I just said "Oh my god, he's..." (no spoilers though.) Now, for that alone I would have given this book five stars, but the whole book is awesome.I liked Anthea. She's not a spoiled, bratty actress and it really got to me how she was actually acting like she thought an actress should act when she's not acting (this sentence makes perfect sense in my head). At first she may seem like she's living the starlet dream but her dissatisfaction with her life and striving to be more becomes obvious pretty early on. I was rooting for her to get that role so much, because I thought she was so much better than being a blonde bimbo in action parodies.Cole's character surprised me. I mean, the guy admits that everything he knows about sex, he learned from romance novels. How many times do you hear that from a hero? And he's a very bad schemer and manipulator, but I admired his efforts. If only he wasn't dealing with Anthea. I did think he was being childish about the whole payback thing, but at the same time it amused me. And he's actually really nice, I loved that he was such a good sport about the pink shirts. Obviously, he's man enough to wear them.There is awesome chemistry between these two from their very first encounter, but the romance is really slow building. That first kiss of theirs is...probably one of the best things I've read in a while. I really liked their dynamic, they're like fire and water, but there is always something that makes them more right than wrong for each other. And the tables are kind of turned - instead of an experienced hero and inexperienced heroine, you have it the other way around. It was different.The book will make you laugh - Anthea's oblivious mishaps, Cole's plans that backfire every time, witty dialogue, these two are bickering all the time - it's really entertaining. There's also a serious note to it, Cole's traumatic childhood and Anthea's evasion of dealing with her grief. I loved the character development, the way they grow to understand and accept the other for who they are and learn new things about themselves along the way. I thought that Cole's disability was dealt with in a respectful manner - nobody treats him different than any other character in the book, I really liked that.Btw, the author makes the setting come alive with wonderful description of the farm and Mayfield. You can check out some more photos of the Paulownia plantations here, on Darcy Daniel's website. Pretty, aren't they? I can totally understand why Anthea liked it so much.There's a graphic sex scene, for those who like to know these things. I actually thought it was very sweet and as far as sex scenes in romance go these days it's pretty mild.I have to say I'm loving the new Carina Press releases. I've discovered a couple of great new authors and I'll definitely be looking forward to the next Darcy Daniel novel. This was funny and touching, with a great setting and characters, and I definitely recommend it.**Free copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley.