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  • Writer's pictureTheLittLibrarian

Play to Win - Review

Updated: Nov 13, 2023


*I received this physical & audio from Netgalley via St. Martin's Griffin & Macmillian Audio. All reviews are my own.*


Summertime is here, and I am knocking out my Summer reading list like there's a pizza party at the end of the rainbow. Today I finished a romance novel I picked up from NetGalley from the READ NOW section entitled, Play to Win by Jodie Slaughter. I'm still trying to get more into romance, and I saw black faces on the book's cover, so why not?


"Miriam Butler’s life is going nowhere in the slowest, most excruciating way possible. Stuck in the same barely-paying job she’s had since she was sixteen and spending every night sleeping in the spare twin bed in her mother’s house, her existence might be hilarious if it wasn’t so bleak. One trip to her favorite corner store upends everything when she finds herself the winner of a Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot. Unfortunately, not even life-altering roses come without their painful thorns. Hers just so happen to be in the form of an estranged husband who has the right to claim his share of her money.
It’s been eight years since Leo Vaughn has had a conversation with his wife. When she calls out of the blue, practically begging him to come back to Greenbelt, the last thing he expects her to tell him when he gets there is that she’s come into a whole heap of money. She offers him a life-changing proposition of his own. Take a lump sum, finally sign the divorce papers, and be done with her for good. Only, a forever without her is the last thing Leo wants. So he gives a proposition of his own. One that won’t cost her nearly as many millions, but will buy him the time to do the one thing he’s been hungry to do since he left -- win her back."

Let me start off the back and say PTW was an "it's not you, it's me" thing. The book was okay, but not enough to make me want to shout it out to the public. I thought there would be more to the story. A girl wins a ton of money from the lottery but has to cut her estranged husband loose, so he can't get claims to the money; it sounds like an avenue of petty I like to read about. Except the guy wants to win the girl back. So I'm deprived of my petty, but it's replaced by, okay, what are the big and thoughtful gestures you'll do? It turns out that the chauvinistic side was basically following the girl around like a puppy and begging like James Brown pouring his soul on the Please Please Please track. It wasn't quite typical, but it didn't wow me either.


In typical fashion, I chose to use the audiobook avenue for this read, and the voice actress (Lacy Laurel) didn't impress me either. She reminded me of the actress who played William's wife, Monica, on Girlfriends. Her inflections seemed grander with a mix of a southern accent, and it just didn't do it for me. If my math is correct, the main characters in this story should have been in their 30s, and Laurel made them sound older. It also doesn't help that the cover artist also made the couple look older.


Overall I rated this book 3-stars. It was meh. I appreciate the black rep of second chance romance, but that's about all that does for me.


Play to Win debuts July 11, 2023


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