Author: Sandra Brown
Title: Play Dirty
About the Book: The seven deadly sins help propel this provocative, sex-fueled thriller from bestseller Brown (Ricochet). Foster Speakman, an eccentric Texas paraplegic millionaire, offers $500,000 to Griff Burkett, a disgraced former NFL quarterback fresh out of prison after serving a five-year sentence for racketeering, to impregnate Foster's wife, Laura. Foster insists the child be conceived naturally (The way God intended). Broke with no prospects, Griff takes the job. Meanwhile, Stanley Rodarte, the crooked detective behind Griff's arrest, is bent on pinning an unsolved murder on him and takes to terrorizing Griff and those close to him in the hopes of nailing him when he self-destructs. After Griff's stint as stud takes a bad turn, the ex-footballer must track down the one man who can secure his freedom. The tension builds as lust, greed, pride, wrath and envy threaten to undo everyone in this tightly told tale of modern temptation.
I most definitely enjoyed the book. I picked it up this morning and didn't stop until I was done. I thought the main character was drawn especially well. Griff is a former pro-NFLer who cheated, by intentionally throwing a SuperBowl game. His team lost, he got found out, he went to jail, and earned the undying hatred of NFL fans everywhere, but especially in his home state of Texas. Griff is released from jail with nothing to his name and is trying to make his way. Then he gets an offer he can't refuse from the very wealthy Foster Speakman. A hundred thousand dollars to impregnate his wife, five hundred thousand once a baby was conceived, and a million dollars a year for the rest of his life if he'd keep the whole deal secret.
The blurb on the back of the book says something about a "web of deceit and lies....", but really, there was not much suspense or intrigue or web of anything. It just didn't read like that to me. What caught me was the main character himself. Watching Griff try to pick himself up after such a spectacular fall from grace was quite gut-wrenching. Several times I think I wanted to cry. Just the sheer magnitude of what he'd lost - everything - and the vitriol people harbored towards him, how his "friends" behaved....all of that was not easy to watch, and Ms. Brown did a fantastic job showcasing that. I was wholly in Griff's corner, and that is what made this book for me.
I also quite liked the romantic aspects of the novel - it's another one of the things Ms. Brown does well. It's only a small part of the whole entire story, but she manages to make it integral.
So although this book is classified under suspense, it was not so for me. It read more like a character study with a nice romantic element and some drama. The revelation at the end COMPLETELY blindsided me! Completely, and I thought it was brilliant.
Well anyway, I really enjoyed myself and would most definitely recommend this one. Just be ready for not-suspense :D