Billionaire casino magnate Rafael “Rafa” Salord is forced to exchange caviar for cowboy boots when he’s sent to “grow up” and run his father’s newly acquired casino in the middle of nowhere downtown Reno. When he crosses paths with feisty Destiny Morson, he starts to wonder if that nonsense about love-at-first-sight might actually be true. Maybe it’s time to trade in his playboy status and bet on something more.
Social worker Destiny Morson has always had good reason for keeping romance at arm’s length. After finding out that her business partner ran off with the community-raised funds from their non-profit, she’s ready to swear off people completely. So when the sexy casino executive seems interested in helping her with her woes, she can’t help but mistrust his motives, no matter how he makes her burn…
From a night out throwing axes to supporting Destiny’s charity, Rafa stops at nothing to win over the gunshy woman he can’t get out of his head. He’s determined to break through her tough exterior, and Destiny slowly lets her guard down. But after a night of passion in his penthouse suite, things at the casino go sideways for both of them, forcing them to decide if the past is enough to prevent them from a future together.
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: No Player Required
Series: Biggest Little Love Story #3
Author: JoAnn Sky
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: October 18, 2021
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
My Rating: 4 stars
No Player Required continues the Biggest Little Love Story series with a couple who, on the surface, seem to mix like oil and water… not that well. But when mixed with the right ingredients, that oil and water could be part of one delicious treat — something one spoiled, rich man and one romance-shy woman who no longer trusts herself will soon find out.
Rafa is definitely a spoiled, rich playboy when we first meet him there is no denying that. He feels he’s being punished by being sent to his father’s newly acquired, rundown casino in Reno and that persona is on full view. Yet, he’s also a man with a good heart that he hides well but peeks through now and then. Destiny has a lot on her plate between her partner making off with the funding for their non-profit, her family’s issues, and the clear fact that she doesn’t have the least belief in true love or trust… at all. And maybe that’s understandable as we get to know her background a bit, especially her – let’s say – unique family situation. Add to that mix this couple’s first truly cringe-worthy meeting and it’s easy to see that this couple is going to have a rocky road to travel before that happy ending comes for them. Still. I liked them individually and as a couple in spite of their views on life and love.
Although I believe in the possibility of love at first sight and read about it often, I just didn’t buy it here. Oh, I’ve no doubt that Rafa got hit with the lightning bolt but maybe more like lust that could grow into love… but that’s me and my interpretation of their emotions. There were times when I wanted Destiny to just stop assuming everyone was like her mother, that there were good, believable emotions out there for her if she’d just take the risk of believing in those possibilities. Rafa and Destiny got there in the end, it simply took a little time and patience.
I had fun with No Player Required, loved that some familiar faces popped up, enjoyed the secondary characters so much, and really wanted Destiny and Rafa to find their way to each other and those future possibilities. This is a closed-door romance, so if detailed scenes aren’t your thing then this would be fine.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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