Julia Boyd has dated more than her share of jerks, and she’s done even pretending to like them. Putting her dating life on hold and focusing on her event planning career is a much safer bet for the blue-eyed blonde…until she meets her newest client.
Organizing the opening for an art gallery should be a breeze for Julia, but gallery owner Alex Holt is becoming very distracting. Tall and muscular with enough charisma and sexy dimples to make Julia swoon, Alex could be the perfect man. The two of them click immediately, creating enough witty banter to ignite sparks.
But just before flames of passion can erupt with Alex, Julia begins planning an engagement party…and learns the groom is Aiden, the man who broke her heart years ago. When Aiden admits that he still has feelings for Julia, everything changes. Should she seek shelter in the familiarity of the past, or should she risk everything on a brand-new love?
Lisette’s eyes dart to my hand as it’s flexing and tightening itself, before raising an eyebrow in defiance. “Don’t give me that look, Julia. You’ve just had a run of bad luck in the man department. Everybody goes through those once in their life before meeting their Prince Charming. But you need to actually get your ass out there to meet him and not lock yourself up in your house all weekend, doing God knows what.” She immediately crosses herself, as if what she just said implies that I’m skinning cats or some crazy shit like that, and that the power of prayer is going to absolve me somehow.
I clench my fist around the stress ball and roll my neck around like a prize fighter getting ready to do battle before I hear it crack. “First of all, I’ve been busy redecorating Sabrina’s old room.” This is such bullshit, although I have given it quite a lot of thought while watching an exorbitant amount of television. I can’t help it if I have to catch up on Jax Teller, but she doesn’t need to know this. “Secondly, do I need to remind you of the long list of losers that I’ve had the pleasure of dating over the last year?”
“It wasn’t that bad,” she says, dismissing me quickly, even though she damn well knows it totally was.
I chuck the stress ball onto my desk, and it lands smack-dab on my keyboard. A distressing amount of beeps sound off in the background while I stand up and plant my hands on my desk, ready to remind her of just how bad it really was.
“First, there was Jack, who told me he was into ‘alternative films,’ which really meant he liked to watch porn all day. Then there was Dave, who apparently thought I looked so much like his beloved ex-girlfriend that when we finally had sex he shouted her name when he came. Then there’s Ryan, who told me on our very first date that he didn’t have a bank account, had never filed taxes, and had worked on a drug farm. Let’s see, oh! Then there’s Vincent, who—”
“¡Por favor! Stop, I get it. You’ve had some bad luck.”
“Bad luck?” I say with a mocking laugh. “Bad luck is more like not winning the pick six by one number. Or when you get a flat tire. Or getting your period while you’re at the beach. This is so much worse than bad luck. This is just . . . Jesus , I don’t even know what you call this, but I sure as shit can tell you it’s not just bad luck!”
Lisette is trying to stifle her giggle fit by covering her plump, red -coated lips with her hand and looking everywhere but at me. Between her sputtering laughter, I sit down again and calmly pluck the stress ball off the keyboard and being to massage it, hoping that it will help me center my chi, or whatever you call that nonsense. After about ten seconds of squeezing it to death, I give up and throw it back onto my desk, where it lands with a loud thud, barely missing my coffee cup.
“You need to work on your aim,” Lisette says while still snickering.
“I need to work on a lot of things,” I mutter under my breath.
Mag's 3.5 Star Review:
Playing if Safe is the first book I have read by Barbie and I can honestly say it was fabulously hilarious! Julia is such a spit fire, who has the worst luck in the dating scene which pared together makes for some funny commentary. I haven't laughed this hard at a book, in a very long time! Julia has this love/hate relationship with dating, meaning she loves to hate it. She has had a long line of horrible boyfriends and potential disaster, ever since her ex up and left her five years ago. Enter Alex, an ubér charming and super sexy friend, who just happened to have a thing for Julia's bestie a while back. Julie tried to fight her feelings towards Alex (after all isn't there some type of girl code?) but their chemistry and over the top non-stop flirting wears away to very hot and heavy passion.
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and their development. I wished I would of read the first book in the series, just to get more of Julia, because she is hilarious. Although she has a lot of pros, Julia also has some negative things I don't always like in a heroine, hence the lower rating. Overall, this is a very solid book that I would recommend, especially if you are looking for something to laugh your (you know what) off!
Barbie Bohrman was born and raised in Miami, FL and ultimately moved to the Garden State where she currently resides with her husband and two children. Life, and all that comes along with it and having long since given up on her dream of pursuing anything in the writing world, a prologue contest in a book club garnered her interest enough to throw her hat in the ring to see what, if anything, would come from it. From that contest came the roots of her debut novel, Promise Me. When she is not writing you can find her trying to get through the 1000+ books on her Kindle, or watching Lost or Seinfeld.
Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22341260-playing-it-safe?from_search=true
Goodreads Author Link: https://www.goodreads.com/bbohrman1
When did you first realize you had a passion to write?
I always had some sort of passion for it. I remember in high school being one of the few people who loooooooved writing research papers on books, authors, etc. But, I would say that probably the biggest turning point in my life was while I was in college and took a few creative writing classes that got me really thinking I could do this as a career. But, life kind of got in the way and I just figured it was never going to happen for me. It wasn't until some 20+ years later that I entered a prologue contest in a reading group on Facebook and won that I thought, "Holy sh*t!! Maybe I should give it another try and see what happens." Plus, with the advent of self-publishing nowadays, which was not an option at all back when I was in college, it opened the door for me to seriously consider it. That definitely helped!
What types of books do you read in your spare time? Any favorite authors?
I read a lot. So much sometimes, it scares me lol. I would say my favorite all-time genre is Young Adult. There's something about that time in your life when everything is a struggle and you're just starting to find your own voice and not quite sure of how to act around boys or how to deal with life in general. I feel like I will always be able to relate to these kinds of books/characters because I went through the same exact thing when I was a teenager...cause it kind of really sucks to be a teenager, you know?
I do also love just great books in general, regardless of the genre. Basically, if it's good and catches my interest, I'm in. Also, if I read a book of an author for the first time and really like it, I'll always go back and read all their other books too.
As for my favorite authors...I could be here all day, but here are quite a few in no particular order that came to mind: Diana Gabaldon, Barry Lyga, Tiffany Reisz, Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward, Lisa Kleypas, Maggie Stiefvater, Holly Black, Michelle Hodkin, JK Rowling, Charlotte Bronte, Helen Fielding, Karina Halle, Kristen Ashley, Claire Contreras, T. Torrest, Bret Easton Ellis, Rainbow Rowell, Jojo Moyes, S.L. Jennings, MJ Abraham, Paullina Simons, Katja Millay, CJ Roberts, John Irving, and last but certainly not least, Stephen King.
How did you feel when you typed 'The End' on your very first book?
It felt exhilarating!! I couldn't believe I had done it. I still remember sitting on the couch when it happened and it was somewhere around two o'clock in the morning. Then I immediately went to sleep and didn't wake up until the next afternoon lol!!
Do you have a writing quirk or something that you must do when writing?
I don't really have a quirk while writing unless you think being completely alone and in total silence a quirk. Actually, most of my author friends and a lot of the ones I see in my social media feeds seem to listen to music while writing. See, I think that that's crazy because I would be sitting there writing the lyrics while singing along. Trust me, I've tried it once. Before I knew it, I had written the entire lyrics to "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar in my manuscript. So my motto now is: silence is golden.
How was it writing a character like Julia, who is so opinionated and loud?
It was fun because who doesn't sometimes want to just say whatever the hell they want, when they want, to whoever they want? I know I do. She was even easier to write for because she's basically me amplified. I mean, to a certain extent...not ALL of Julia is me, lol. But certainly a lot of her dialogue and thoughts are directly from me and conversations I've had with my friends. Her love life...not so much. So that was really fun to just make her extremely miserable to begin with and then work from there. I think because of the way she comes across on the surface that's why when I started writing it, I ended up with her actually telling the reader the story directly to them. Almost as if you and Julia would be sitting at a bar with drinks and just passing the time while she poured her heart out to you. And as opinionated and loud...and crass and filthy...and whatever else Julia is, at heart, she's just a woman who's looking for love.