Photographer Elliot is near the top of his field and loves his work, even if it means putting up with models like Cory: beautiful, egotistical, and aggravating. Then a photoshoot in Norway shows there’s more to Cory than Elliot thought, and he agrees to dinner despite himself. But even if he’s not completely a brat, it’s well known Cory prefers to play rather than settle. And Elliot isn’t interested in being anyone’s toy—no matter how persuasive and persistent Cory proves to be.
I have very rarely given a book just one out of five stars but Playing the Lines has earned the rating. The only truly positive thing I can say about this read is that there are little to no grammatical issues. Otherwise, this read failed me on so many levels.
Characters: Elliot is a snob who has allowed his preconceived notions about Cory to overshadow true experience. As a photographer, Elliot is trained to see and he has seen Cory flirt relentlessly with everyone. From these observations, Elliot has determined Cory is a man-whore who will sleep with anything with a pulse. When Cory attempts to show real interest in Elliot and get to know him, Elliot is quick to fire off all he “knows” about Cory and why it wouldn’t be a good idea to get involved. Elliot is quite unlikeable and though Cory is more likeable, there just isn’t enough time to get to know him and truly like him.
The plot: Playing the Lines has the thinnest of plots. What it amounts to is Cory becoming interested in Elliot and Elliot being an ass yet ultimately giving in to Cory. That’s it!
The naughty bits: Netgalley has this title classified as Erotica but there is nothing in this short story that can reasonably qualify this as erotica. It is only within the last few pages of the read that Elliot and Cory become intimate. There is absolutely no description of their sexual encounters and only the briefest mention of them having “fu&^%d” in a few places.
The Bottom Line: At every level Playing the Lines is a disappointment. The characters are very flat and generally unlikeable, the plot is decidedly thin with little to no substance and, the naughty bits are non-existent. In all, this read feels like a grammatically correct early draft that was never developed into something more significant.