The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid Publication Date: April 12, 2016 Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Humor
How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehole. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?
The Pixie and the Player is a full-length, romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the second book in the Rugby Series.
THE PIXIE Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby. As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.
THE PLAYER Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone. His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.
THE PLAN Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal? Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.
I didn’t know what I was doing.
Requests, things I wanted, words I would never speak or allow myself to think were now uncontainable.
It’s the sex, I reiterated. Again. I’d used this explanation, now on repeat, as a simple justification for the complex cacophony of my mind.
“Be with you?” Her long, dark lashes fluttered, beating like distressed butterfly wings against warming pink cheeks.
I licked my lips, tasting her there. “Yes.”
She stared at me, confused. I was also confused. And oddly frightened.
Because it wasn’t the sex.
Several seconds ticked on as we studied each other in breathless silence. She found her voice before I did. “What does that—”
“Lucy?” Annie’s voice was paired with a soft knock on the bathroom door. “Are you okay?”
I opened my mouth to whisper a clarification to the question Lucy hadn’t quite posed, because I was compelled to tell her it wasn’t the sex. We didn’t have to have sex. We could just . . . talk. Or play cards. Or touch. Or look at each other from across the room.
We could merely be together.
But she covered my mouth with her hand. Her features arrested with unmistakable panic.
“Yes. I’m fine! I just . . . started my period is all. Made a mess in my jeans, like a crime scene.” Lucy hollered in response then grimaced. She immediately mouthed I’m sorry to me. Her cheeks flushed red.
I lifted an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes, ducking her head with obvious embarrassment. I pressed my lips together so I wouldn’t laugh.
Issuing me a quelling look, Lucy released me and skittered out of the stall, whispering, “Stay here and count to three hundred.”
“Oh! Do you need anything?” Annie’s voice was less muffled and I surmised she’d opened the bathroom door.
“Ah, no. Have it all sorted now. Thank God Tom has these nice absorbent napkinsinstead of those troublesome hand driers. Although I feel like I’m wearing a nappy. They’re bad for the environment, so I should talk to him about replacing the napkins. Maybe make a few available for emergencies . . .”
Lucy’s anxiety-riddled chatter faded as the bathroom door clicked shut.
I released an audible exhale. My heart was beating as though it might leap from my chest. I needed to catch my breath. Neither had anything to do with being caught.
What the fuck were you doing?
It was the sex. She’s phenomenal in bed. You’ve never had that before. It was just sex.
I nodded, reiterating the logic of my justification for the uncharacteristic behavior. If I repeated it enough, perhaps I would believe it.
I didn’t count to three hundred as instructed. I counted to one hundred and twenty-three, then realized what I was doing.
“You’re mad, Sean,” I muttered, shaking myself and promptly leaving the ladies’ room. I checked the cufflinks on my dress shirt—a nervous habit—and strolled back to the table, eyeing the assortment of eejits gathered.
L.H. CoswayL.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.
Penny ReidSEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing). By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.
Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway are the ultimate dream team when it comes to co-writing romance. They showed their excellence in The Hooker and the Hermit, their first collaboration and the first in this Rugby series. With this next installment, they've proven again that their writing compliments each other flawlessly. Both with a quirky flair and attention to unique characterization, they've managed to do the impossible. Take a character who was previously reviled and detested and turned him into someone that we're happy to see end up with our lovable heroine Lucy.
Lucy isn't without her own flaws, yet she's a good person who struggles with an unusual addiction. Kleptomania. Instead of drugs, alcohol, food, or many other variables that people use for coping mechanisms, she has an uncontrollable urge to steal. Deep down, she's ashamed and loathes herself for what she does, but doesn't have the proper help she needs to conquer her problems.
Her mother is at the root of her issues, only causing her stress and frustrations to increase. Compared to her brother, the golden boy of the family, she's always been looked at as a disappointment. So she rebels by dying her hair in a rainbow of shades and refusing to fall in line with what her mother wants her life to be. She's very independent and strong, just as you'd come to expect with these two authors. She's also sweet, and always has a witty comeback to counteract Sean's cutting remarks aimed at keeping people away.
There was something inextricably enticing about the dichotomy of her. For a softly spoken fairy princess with a rainbow mane, she had a remarkably tart mouth.
Sean is on her brother's Rugby team and the most disliked person by everyone she knows. His manwhore reputation, and his history of blatant and outrageous moves to hurt her brother make him someone she has no desire to get to know.
He's untrustworthy and cruel. Filled with jealousy and aggression. But things aren't always exactly what they appear. There are hidden depths that he keeps locked up tight. And a secret about his womanizing ways that no one would ever suspect.
As many women as he's slept with he's like a fumbling teen when it comes to foreplay. Not your typical hero now, is he? Take my word on this though, Lucy is just the woman to teach him how to satisfy. But more importantly, she opens his eyes to the world in a way he never allowed himself to do before with her honesty and free spirit.
"You have this incredible way of showing me new ways to look at things, do you know that, Lucy Fitzpatrick?"
The authors managed to make me empathize with Sean. Not immediately, but in a very naturalistic way. His attitude and personality didn't flip like a light switch, it was a clear evolution through Lucy's caring and affection. This was something that he never felt from anyone in his life except his cousin, and it made him want to be the type of man who would deserve her love.
The underlying message underneath the romance was a strong one. We're all flawed, we're all struggling with issues that have molded us into who we are. But our faults don't define us, if you can find the strength to look within yourself and examine what needs to change. I enjoyed seeing both Lucy and Sean shed their insecurities and their fears and find a most unlikely love. They found a feeling of belonging together, a home. It was heartwarming, funny, and very engrossing from start to finish. And with the wonderfully fleshed out secondary characters, there's plenty of potential for future stories in the series. I'm eagerly awaiting book three, I can't wait to see who's lined up for us to read about next.
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