Playing Dane; Florida East University #1
(#1 within an interconnected series)
Publication Date: June 1, 2022
Genre/Tropes: Past-Trauma/Sports/Secret/New Adult Romance
Author: Hannah Gray
Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars
An angsty, emotional romance that is also fun and steamy and everything you’d want in a new adult book.
For two young adults, both Dane and Layla, they have already had a rocky life, but they are also both excellent at hiding their pain. When they first meet they have an instant connection, but distance doesn’t make it easy for these two to see one another and Layla is a stickler for the rules that whatever they decide to jump into is a non-relationship.
Dane Wade is super sweet, but also lost when he meets Layla. It’s hard to tell if he’s replacing his past hurt with a rebound, but it doesn’t take long to realize that when Dane falls, he falls hard and fast and he easily falls for Layla. He plays along with all of her rules because he’d rather have her for a non-relationship than never at all. His compassion and understanding of all of her triggers is swoony. He’s a total keeper, unfortunately Layla has all of these rules for a reason.
Layla is, I hate to use the word broken, but she’s been damaged by a past that was not hers, but by the environment she grew up in. Her trauma runs deep and it keeps her from enjoying a lot of things, like Dane, but when they come up with an agreement to a no-strings non-relationship…unbeknownst to her she finally begins to heal. Actually they both do, but it might be too late.
Playing Dane is an interconnected book, but this was my first time reading anything by Hannah Gray and I was able to jump right in to this world with absolutely no problem.
Dane Wade is a breath of fresh air. Sexy, charming, and with abs that could melt any woman’s panties. With my rules and boundaries in place, he is the perfect person to have fun with to pass the time. As long as he knows it will never amount to anything more. Which he does … I think.
But then boundaries get shattered. Lines get blurred. And I know it’s time to bolt before things get harder and I risk falling deeper. Running away is the only thing I know how to do. And in my twenty years on this earth, it’s worked for me.
They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. They’re wrong. I knew what I had all along. I just couldn’t accept it.
And now … he might be gone for good.
One thing is for sure: it’ll take more than an apology for him to want me back. But saying I’m sorry is a good place to start.