Review | Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken

March 19, 2019 | 2019, rachel van dyken, review / 0 Comments

Review | Risky Play by Rachel Van DykenRisky Play by Rachel Van Dyken
Series | Red Card #1
Release Date | March 19, 2019
Published by Skyscape
Genres | Contemporary, Sports Romance
Format | ARC
Buy | Amazon
Rating |

Even one-night stands deserve a second chance in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s novel of sporting desire.

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.


A new series by Rachel Van Dyken, sign me up always for any of her books. When I heard she had a new sports romance coming out, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Let me begin that I thoroughly enjoyed Risky Play, but there was something that stopped me from giving this one a 5 star rating.

I was eating up every word, but there were things here and there that were noticeable enough to take me out of the story. There’s a bit of drama towards the end that I wish didn’t play out, it almost didn’t seem necessary. I think I would have absolutely loved the book more without that bit at the end.

Rachel really starts this book off with a bang! We’re introduced to Mackenzie and Slade, who have a rather crazy encounter on a plane, in a situation that is my worst nightmare come true. There’s this instant deep connection that resonates between the both of them and it’s something they simply can’t ignore. With both of them escaping to paradise before they go back to reality and face their present, they spend a day forgetting it all and taking jumps.

That little turn of the tide in the beginning really set things going for me and I was just reading so quickly trying to appease my mind to what was to come between Slade and Mack.

I gotta say, there are only so many authors who can get me to change my mind about a hero that’s a Grade-A you know what in the beginning and just loving them by the end. Even though I wasn’t on board with the way that Slade was treating Mack, I understood what he was doing. Everyone grieves differently and he was harboring a lot of that day and who he lost. But my goodness, he was gutting me with his hurtful words towards Mack. I have no idea how she found it in herself to forgive him, but she made him work for it!

Mackenzie is the absolute best! I loved that even when she was constantly knocked down by people in her life, she remained strong and did her best to keep moving forward. Rachel didn’t give us a weak heroine. It was definitely heartbreaking at times because she was just getting things thrown her way from all angles. But it didn’t matter what Slade or her ex and sometimes her father would throw her way, she ALWAYS gave it back. And I was 100% rooting for her!

There was one quick thing that I wanted to touch on before wrapping my review. There’s alot of different characters in this one and I was coming around to the bromance between Slade, his agent and probably his only friend, Matt and his ex-friend/teammate, Jagger. Their banter is absolutely hilarious and I hope we see more in the rest of the series. I was a bit iffy about Jagger and I still kind of am because the bit of side drama involving him and just some of his motives in general. I’m hoping he gets a book because I need to know more about this man.

So yeah, definitely an enjoyable read, but it was the unnecessary drama that I could have done without. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series!

major thank you to skyscape and netgalley for the complimentary copy in consideration for a review. this does not affect my opinion of the book or review.

About Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA TODAY Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and, adorable son. She loves to hear from readers!