Release Day + ARC Review: Playing with fire by Lexi Ryan

descriptionDr. Phoenix Reid isn't who she seems... 

 Everyone knows a phoenix rises from the ashes. What they don't talk about are the people she drags with her into the fire.

I thought one hot night with Max Hallowell was harmless. I never expected it would force me to face my past or bring back the man who swore he'd never let me go. Now Max wants to help me. Wants to save me. But if I let him, he'll be destroyed. I can already smell the flames.

A woman with a secret past. A man determined to protect her. A dangerous passion that could cost them both everything.  

Playing with Fire is the first in a new series of standalone novels featuring the New Hope characters Lexi Ryan fans have come to love. While you wait for Nix and Max's story, explore Love Unbound, the collection of books set in Lexi's New Hope world.




My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was waiting patiently for Max HEA for some time now and the story was like him cute.

For those who have read other books by Lexi Ryan, you already most of the characters who will appear in this one. Even if it's a stand-alone, most of Lexi Ryan's books are connected to one another and a lot of them are happening in New Hope.

If you want to start from the beginning, here's the order, you need to follow
Unbreak Me (Splintered Hearts, #1) by Lexi Ryan Stolen Wishes (Splintered Hearts, #1.5) by Lexi Ryan Wish I May (Splintered Hearts, #2) by Lexi Ryan
Lost in Me (Here and Now, #1) by Lexi Ryan Fall to You (Here and Now, #2) by Lexi Ryan All for This (Here and Now, #3) by Lexi Ryan
Something Wild (Reckless & Real, #0.5) by Lexi Ryan Something Reckless (Reckless & Real, #1) by Lexi Ryan Something Real (Reckless & Real, #2) by Lexi Ryan

If you don't want to read all of them before this story I only recommend to read the Here and Now trilogy, just so you can learn more about Max.


Nix wants everyone to believe she's a strong independent woman but she knows better.
She is hiding from her past and now it seems that all is coming back at her.


Max has always been known as the good guy but who never get the girl at the end.
He lives a happy life with his daughter Claire and he seems content. At the same time, he's very attracted by Nix. He doesn't know her that well but when a chance to get close comes by, he's happy to help.

Too bad, Nix is trying to keep personal relation at bay.

“Everyone needs someone. Some of us are just better at lying to ourselves than others.”

I honestly enjoy this story. Lexi Ryan doesn't make things easy for Max in the past and he's going to work for his happiness in this one as well. What I liked was how both of them are trying to protect the other but in two different ways.

Max doesn't know who he is fighting because Nix is very secretive. She doesn't want to see him hurt but she doesn't understand that it's her own actions that hurt him the most.

“I can be trusted with secrets, Nix. If you need someone to hold some of yours, I’m good for it.”

They come close together slowly and it's sweet, beautiful just like I thought it would be.

Other couples from previous books come and go and I was happy to have some news on each of them. I think it's the first book where everybody seems happy in their lives.

Yes I found Nix a little frustrating at times but when you finally understand her real reasons to stay away and push what she feels for Max, you can only appreciate what she wants to do.

"Max found out I’m afraid of the dark and bought me a nightlight. He found out I was afraid of falling for him, and he’s giving me time."


New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Lexi Ryan’s novels have been described as intense, emotional, and wickedly sexy. A former college professor, she now writes full-time from her home in Indiana, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a neurotic dog. Find her on Facebook or Twitter to chat about books, TV, and her children’s latest antics.

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