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Peek Inside Played

Helping launch the career of country singer Aaron Major should be a cakewalk for PR pro Melody Sharp. Aaron is sexy and charming on stage. Off stage, though, he’s her worst nightmare. A stubborn, ornery, reclusive nightmare. The only way he’s going to make it in music is with a serious makeover—and quite possibly a personality transplant. Soon, they’re engaged in a game of give and take, and though it’s Melody calling the shots, it’s Aaron who holds all control...

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Play. Or be played.

The music should be enough. End of story. But Aaron Major is finding out it’s not, and now his agent has hired a firm of suits to help launch his debut album, turning his life into a goddamn circus. Smile here. Play there. Be nice. Well, screw that. If Aaron wanted to spend his time shaking hands and kissing babies, he would’ve gone into politics.

Helping launch the career of country singer Aaron Major should be a cakewalk for PR pro Melody Sharp. Aaron is charming, sexy, and oh-so-appealing when he’s on stage. Off stage, though, he’s her worst nightmare. A stubborn, ornery, reclusive nightmare without a lick of business-or fashion-sense. The only way he’s going to make it in music is with a serious makeover-and quite possibly a personality transplant.

Soon, they’re engaged in a game of give and take, and though it’s Melody calling the shots, it’s Aaron who holds all control…



"5-STARS!! With a hint of naughtiness and a whole lotta sass, this scintillating romance is as swoon-worthy as it sounds." Happy Ever After Book Reviews

"All my favorite elements - romance, smart characters, clever dialog, witty banter, and deliciously steamy sensuality." - Books and Bindings Blog

"The steam factor was very hot, just the way I like them. I read this as fast as I could because once I started reading, I got hooked right away." -Sultry Steamy Reading

 "A hot, romantic story of second chances, trust and love ... will leave you singing a happy love song.  -Quesarasera Book Reviews

"Really fun and light story ... also some really good steamy scenes..." - Mandy, Goodreads

"This was really a fun read! I am so glad to have discovered Clare James. I truly enjoy her writing style and will be going through her back list. I think everyone would enjoy this book and I definitely recommend it." Bette, Goodreads

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633754515
Series: Elite PR, Book 2
Release Date: Oct 19, 2015
Page Count: 203
Imprint: brazen
Genre: contemporary, cowboys
Tropes: boss and employee, ugly duckling

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on
By Sultry Steamy Reading October 16, 2015

I received an ARC of this book from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review and as part of the book's blog tour promotions.

Can anyone say hot? I read the first book in this series, and that was sexy and steamy in all the right places. This book wasn't any different. We now move on to Melo ...more

By Mandy October 10, 2015

I really enjoyed this book! Melody is in a rough place in her life -she's just been demoted at work and has no money to pay her rent. She's questioning if she should stay in the city or give up and move home. When she gets locked out of her apartment and has nowhere to go, her neighbor Aaron lets he ...more

By DJ September 30, 2015

My Rating:
Favorite Quotes:

“She had always wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara, unconventional and brave, a woman who made her own rules. Unfortunately, she ended up coming off more like Celia Foote from The Help – a pretty, ditsy caricature of a woman who was about as smart as tree bark.”

My Review:

Clare ...more

By Bette October 08, 2015

An excellent read! Melody Sharp is definitely having a rough time. She's taken a demotion at PR firm she works for which of course cut her salary and now she's been locked out of her apartment since she hasn't been able to pay her rent. Even though she and her very hot neighbor got off to a bad star ...more

By Gwyn October 12, 2015

With a hint of naughtiness and a whole lotta sass, this scintillating romance is as swoon-worthy as it sounds. The backstory smoothly provides readers with enough information about the well-developed lovers without slowing the pace or losing focus of the current events. The hero and heroine have a d ...more

By Karen November 08, 2015

I really liked this book. ...more

By Catherine (The Sassy Bookster) October 23, 2015

I have been anticipating Mel's story since I finished reading the first book in the series and I enjoyed it. It was light, entertaining and steamy. From the very first page, the heat between Mel and Aaron had me primed for fireworks between them. Why did I enjoy this so much? Because a successful co ...more

By Home. Love. Books. October 14, 2015

To read this review and others like it check out my site at

I love book where people are starting over, or trying again, I think it's something that we can all relate to. I also like books about musicians, so when I realized this book was about a guy trying to get a second chan ...more

By Margaret October 23, 2015

3.5 Stars

This was a quick, fun read that had some sweet, a bit of heat, and some fun characters that kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. I really like the setting of this series - the Elite PR firm is filled with some great characters that all seem to have an interesting story t ...more

By Downward dog October 17, 2015

I was given an advanced copy of this book to write an honest review for Entangled Books and Cocktails and Books.

I read CAUGHT, the first book in the Elite PR series and I fell in love with the book and Clare James’ writing style, so I was excited to read her newest ...more

By Laurie October 20, 2015

Since I finished Caught, the first book in Clare James’ Elite PR series, I have been eagerly anticipating Played. Clare James did not disappoint!! This book is all kinds of sweet and spicy. The characters are well developed – you want to know them, hang out with them and maybe even make bad choices ...more

By Riki October 23, 2015

YAY! So, I read the first novel in this series (CAUGHT in the Elite PR series) and I loved the premise of the book and the amazing leading lady in it. So, when I heard that Clare James had written the second book, I was totally on board with reading it. And wow! If it's even possible, I think it's b ...more

By Kimberly (Kimmy Loves to Read) October 18, 2015

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Melody is going through a rough patch. She has been demoted at work and abruptly evicted from her apartment. Luckily for her, her hot new neighbor takes pity on her and let's her stay overnight in his guest room. But fate is about to in ...more

By Garden Of REden October 26, 2015

Becky's Review

Played, the second book in Clare James’s Elite PR series, is a sweet little country love song of a book. The two central characters in this story, Melody Sharp and Aaron Major, are both working on making comebacks. Aaron needs to reboot his career as a country star and Melody needs to ...more

By books are love October 21, 2015

Received in exchange for a honest review

Of all the characters in this book it was Aaron that I loved the most. I loved how he learned from the sins of his past and was trying to get beyond that. I loved that he was making an effort to become who he wants to be and not what others thought or expected ...more

By Becky October 23, 2015

Yay--Mel's story!

Her best friend's left town (Viv from Caught ), work is no longer inspiring her--in fact, she's been demoted in a big way--and now she's getting emails from her ex. She's behind on all her bills and it's almost time for the biggest party of the year back home, which she has to at ...more

By Amber October 20, 2015

Im on a HUGE country music kick right now (thank you Chase Rice and Sam Hunt) so when I saw the blurb for Played.. I knew I had to have this book. Clare James did not disappoint! Aaron Major is a has-been before he even really got started. He's a very talented country music singer but like many youn ...more

By Melanie October 16, 2015

This is a great story by Clare James that just flows so well. There were just the right amount of everything that blended together to make this a pleasurable read.

Aaron is a young guy that got a big break as a singer early on in his life and quiet possible too early. Aaron has a hard time with all t ...more

By Deanna December 30, 2015

*ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review*

First Impression: Well-written, with a heroine to remember.
I really liked this book. Melody Sharp is a woman in dire need of finding herself, but I adored her character something fierce. She’s so real and unique and one of those rar ...more

By Char October 21, 2015

This book picked me up and grabbed me and didn't let me put it down until the last page. And that last page is soooo worth it! "Played" is the second installment of Clare James' Elite PR series and is an attraction at first sight novel. Not the certainty of heart pitter-patting, the feeling is frien ...more

By Lisa Hoang November 30, 2015

4.5 stars.

So this is the second book in the Elite PR series (I hope it's a series). We start off with Melody Sharp, another gifted go-getter at Elite PR. She's friends with Viv from book one if you have read the first book, though IMO you could read this without reading book one. Reading book one fi ...more

By Denise October 11, 2015

This was a nice story that was easy to get into. This is also the first time in reading this author for me. It was like she innocently pulled me in at first feeling a bit sorry for the main girl Melody who is trying not to muck stuff up even more since her friend has left the PR firm. Her luck runni ...more

By Linda October 22, 2015

*I received an ARC from the Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review*
Aaron is a former country music star who, now older and wiser, is trying to revive his career. One look at his gorgeous neighbor, Melody is all it takes for him to know that he wants her, but romance is not part of his ...more

By Jessica October 18, 2015

See more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.

My Thoughts:

I had a super fun time reading the first book in the Elite PR series, Caught, that I was anxiously awaiting book number two by Clare James. The first book had a race car driver, and this one had a country singer. Melody is ...more

By Sara October 19, 2015

Played was a story about starting over, making something of yourself, winning at your life, if you will.

Aaron was starting over with his music career, trying to do what he loved without falling into the same habits as before. He wasn't willing to compromise on that fact, but Mel made him feel so mu ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.72 avg rating
Clare James

About the author

Clare James

Clare James writes contemporary romance and new adult novels with spunky heroines and sexier-than-sin heroes. Her books have made several best-selling lists including the tender love stories in the Impossible Love series; the steamy romantic comedy Dirty Little Lies; and the touching family drama Wednesday. Her new title, Caught, is the first in a series about the women of Elite PR and their very naughty clients. It will be published with Entangled Publishing’s Brazen line in June 2015. A former dancer, Clare still loves to get her groove on – mostly to work off her beloved cupcakes and red wine. She lives in Minneapolis with her two leading men – her husband and young son – and is always on social media chatting with readers. Find her at: @clarejamesbooks

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