So, thankfully Karina timed the release of this book to perfectly coincide with my week off of school. Coincidence? I think not. (I'm lying, it totally was but just let me lie to myself.)
Before I get into the actual book, I'm going to discuss a couple of things.
One is that Tom Hardy is the muse for Lachlan. Tom Hardy. TOM HARDY!
God, I heart Tom Hardy so freaking much.
I'm not normally obsessed with actors (I'm more of a musician kind of girl) but something about him just flips my skirt. Literally and figuratively.
Two is that Karina not only committed to donating $1 of all her presale profits to various animal charities, but she also decided to donate 100% of her release day profits and extend out her $1 of her profits until her original goal of $10,000 is reached. As someone who only has every had rescue pets and has spent countless hours volunteering at rescues, this is something that only makes me love her more and I was already pretty obsessed. So, if you are on the fence on buying this for whatever (insane) reason, that alone should make you just want to take the step over the fence. You know you want to save the puppies.
So, onto the actual book.
The Play follows along with the previous two books within this series. Yes, it can be read on it's own without you being completely lost, but it helps to read the previous two. This book, however, has a slightly different feel to it. Lachlan is an entirely different beast that his McGregor cousins all together. He doesn't automatically draw you in with his charm and charisma. Yes, those of us who have had months of joy from being bombarded with Tom Hardy gifs/pics such as above had the outstanding mental picture of his outward charms, but it took me a while to really understand the kind of person that he is. It was the same with Kayla for me. Kayla is first two books never really made me want to just love her. I liked her, but she never really just stood out for me. This is one of my favorite things about how Karina writes her characters though, sometimes it takes a while for me to fully warm up to them but when I finally do it was worth the wait. Maybe it's because I'm one of those people that generally needs the warming up process for others to really handle my personality, but whatever the reason it is what makes me love Karina's writing and characters. They may not be immediately lovable, but it makes them all to more realistic and human and I'd much rather have human than ridiculous fantasy.
Anyway, I got off on a tangent there.
I loved this book, mostly because of the above mentioned rantiness. Neither Kayla or Lachlan were perfect, actually they could be downright frustrating. But they found something they needed in each other and that gave them the willingness to fight for each other, even when they didn't want to at times. That is what love is though, fighting for each other even when you don't want too at times. It's being willing to battle with demons, yours and your love's. It's also knowing when you need to not battle those demons and allowing your partner to realize that they need to find the strength to want to fight for themselves. It's also seeing through initial impressions and other people's superficial thoughts into who that person really is. That is what this book is for me. Both Kayla and Lachlan went into this story with preconceived notions about themselves hanging over their heads. I mean, they both got respective warnings about the other about what to expect. But the both were able to see through all of that and really see each other..
"I can see all your cracks and your darkness and your flaws and I fall in love with it all. And I hope you can fall in love with everything that I am, all that lurks in my dark, all that shines in my light. I want you to love every little piece of me, because it all belongs to you.”
Kayla and Lachlan's story wasn't all wine and roses. They are both two flawed people who are struggling with their own demons. But doesn't that make for the best happy endings when they finally get it together? Maybe I'm just feeling all sappy and emotional, but every part of this book made a little part of me sigh with joy. Maybe I felt my black heart had a kindred spirit with similarly black-hearted Kayla. Maybe I was riding the high of mentally picturing Tom Hardy is oh so many interesting scenes, but whatever it was, it worked in a big way for me.