Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 12/17/13
Rating: 4.5 stars
The third sexy novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton’s playful and erotic Redhead series continues the sizzling romance between actress Grace Sheridan and Hollywood’s hottest leading man Jack Hamilton.
Grace has landed the lead in a new TV series—but when the director asks her to lose fifteen pounds, she goes public with her weight struggles and suddenly develops a huge fan club who support her right to have curves. But between that and the public’s continuing fascination with her “are they or aren’t they” relationship with Jack, Grace begins to wonder if anyone’s really interested in her because of her upcoming TV series, or if it’s all speculation about the size of her ass and her bedroom partner.
Meanwhile, Jack is voted the Sexiest Man Alive and becomes a little too enamored with the party-hard lifestyle. Grace vows to give him the space he needs to find himself, but then he begins to spiral down from lovable Brit to Hollywood brat. People are talking, but are Jack and Grace? Her career is on the rise, and his continues into the stratosphere, but will she be able to catch him if he falls? Will they ever be able to just be a couple who can hold hands when they walk down the street?
In late 2012, I went on a heavy duty Alice Clayton binge. I read -and loved- Wallbanger, then dived straight into the Redhead Series, which I loved even more. Jack and Grace and their sweet romance won my heart. Their relationship was intriguing; with Jack being a new, huge Hollywood heartthrob and Grace his older (by nine years) still unknown lover. Grace loved Jack's charm, running her fingers through his soft hair, and the fact he loves her exactly as she is. Jack loved long sexy showers, Grace's heart, and her boobies, even when they sparkle. Theirs is a match that made me ridiculously happy. So much so that I insisted my husband read the series so I could try to force him to be my Jack. (I'm kidding. But seriously, he did read and love the series. What can I say, he likes the sexy and witty women, and Clayton brought the funny. )
So you would think that I would have read The Redhead Plays Her Hand the moment it showed on my doorstep (thank you Gallery!) unexpectedly, wouldn't you? I wanted to. But what happened was: I promptly put that puppy straight into the freezer. I just couldn't handle the thought of my beloved George and Gracie -Sweet Nuts and Crazy- in turmoil once again. I gave myself two months to calm my tits, put on my big girl undies, and I pulled Redhead #3 out of the freezer.
Guys, despite my fears, I loved The Redhead Plays Her Hand. The story picks up with the couple in question in transition. Grace's star is rising; Jack's is burning out of control. This is very much a story about a couple in near-crisis. But really, it is just as much a story about each character's individual story.
Grace is headlining a new show for a cable network, which is awesome for our favorite redhead. But despite her success, her relationship with Jack overwhelms all else. As does her body. Grace is a beautiful woman with a beautiful, natural body. Hollywood is obsessed with picking her apart. I loved seeing Grace struggle with her perception in the media and Hollywood, come to some healthy realizations, and become a spokeswoman for health.
As for Jack, I won't lie, as much as I've always adored the Brit, he thoroughly pissed me off in this book. I got his struggles, truly. I could never endure the scrutiny and violation of privacy. I just hated to see him make such bad decisions, hurting Grace along the way. But, leave it to Crazy to be strong and pull her Brit through.
I honestly wasn't sure what I would get in The Redhead Plays Her Hand. I was certain there would be some bad decisions and heartache. I knew I would get laughter and possibly some heartache. I knew I would get seriously sexy moments that had me wishing for my own Hamilton Brand. I hoped -and was almost certain- I would get that happily ever after. I will say that Alice Clayton has once again made me a happy reader. I'm happy I gave the Redhead Series a try and thrilled I finally took this book out of my freezer.
In this moment, in this car, on this stretch of highway, we were a couple in love. We were not an older woman and a younger man, Jack wasn't the Sexiest Man Alive, bit he was the sexiest man in my world. I wasn't an up-and-coming actress who'd been asked about the size of her boyfriend's dick the night before by a total stranger, I was a girl in a convertible in my pajamas, holding hands with the man I was in love with.
And for the record, it was perfectly sized.
He pressed countless kisses into my skin, shifting me in his arms so I could wrap my legs around his waist as he walked, feeling his strong body underneath and all around me. In between the thousand kisses, his lips told me how beautiful I looked tonight, how lovely, how he couldn't believe I was his, how he didn't deserve me. I tried to argue with him, but each time I tried to speak he planted another searing kiss on me, stopping my thoughts right in their track and funneling them into an entirely different thought process-- one where we existed alone, just mouths and lips and arms and legs and tongues and all the time in the world.
(covers lead to GoodReads page)
About the author
Novelist Alice Clayton makes her home in St. Louis where she enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up after, and is trying desperately to get her long-time boyfriend to make her an honest woman–and please buy her a Bernese Mountain dog.
After working for years in the cosmetics industry as a makeup artist, esthetician, and educator, Alice picked up a pen (read laptop) for the first time at 33 to begin a new career: author. Having never written anything longer than a grocery list, she soon found writing to be the creative outlet she’d been missing since walking away from the theater 10 years before.
She has a great time combining her love of storytelling with a sense of silly, and she was shocked and awed to be nominated for a Goodreads Author award in 2010 for her debut novels, the first two installments of The Redhead Series–The Unidentified Redhead and The Redhead Revealed. Her latest novel Wallbanger is a return to her trademark comedic erotica, or funny smut, that Alice has become known for.
Additionally, Alice loves spending time with her besties on Not Your Mother’s Podcast (check them out on iTunes) and has recently partnered with actor Greg Grunberg, blogger Brittany Gibbons, and actress Keili Lefkovitz on a new travel show that will begin filming in January.
Alice enjoys pickles, Bloody Marys, eight hours of sleep and a good pounding