29 May 2016

Leveling the Field by Megan Erickson

Hey everyone,

Today I’m reviewing Leveling the Field by Megan Erickson, the fourth book in her Gamers series. Levelling the Field finally gives us Ethan’s story, a figure who has intrigued fans since he was first introduced. Now I will admit I’ve only read Tied to Trouble from the Gamers series, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, so when I saw Leveling the Field on Netgalley I couldn’t resist requesting it!

The book:

Reclusive magazine exec Ethan Talley is furious when his business partner hires a photographer—a gorgeous photographer who insists on speaking her mind, damn it—to take pictures for an upcoming article. No matter how badly he wants the woman…under him, over him, against the nearest wall…he has reasons for not wanting to be on camera anymore, and his scars are only one of them.

It takes approximately two seconds for Lissa Kingsman to recognize Ethan as the popular YouTube gamer who fell off the planet years ago. But this Ethan is different than the charming man she used to watch, and the crush she had on him then is nothing compared to the way she’s lusting after the brooding man he is today. If sex is all he can give her, fine. Why not use that bearskin rug in her studio for something other than a prop? But she’s determined to put a chink in his armor, no matter how much he resists.

My thoughts:

I was mainly drawn to Leveling the Field for two reasons. One Megan Erickson. Two Ethan Talley. I love damaged or scarred heroes, be it emotional or physical scarring. I’m not sure my love of them is particularly healthy, but I can’t stop reading about them. Heroes who are scarred always seem to have more emotionally driven romances and that is what I can’t get enough of! Ethan Talley is no different. His past has left him emotionally, mentally and physically scared. He has alienated himself from friends, family, work and life, becoming a shell of his former self. I thought Megan Erickson did a great job of developing Ethan’s character and showing the affect it had on those around him. I understood why Ethan was acting the way he was; why he acted so defensive and irrationally angry at times. Yet I could also see the pain it was causing to those around him.

Something about his pained expression, his all black suit made her want to see what he’d be like warmed up. Hell, even with a smile.

Lissa is the opposite of Ethan in so many ways. She’s a strong, spirited, straight-talker who refuses to let life get her down. When tragedy strikes her family they banded together, and arguably came out stronger by managing to create something positive from what happened. Lissa refuses to let Ethan see himself as a victim. This is the kind of women Ethan needs. Someone who will expose his rubbish and force him to deal with it. Yet at the same time Lissa is vulnerable, she’s caring and sweet to her family, she can be hurt, she doubts herself and her actions. I loved that Lissa wasn’t a ‘perfect’ character, that she had flaws and insecurities. That she questioned whether her actions are always best.

“Do you ever listen to a word that comes out of my mouth? You’re always searching for ulterior motives and there are none. I want to have sex with you. I don’t want a relationship right now. I’m busy with my job, and since you’re on the same page, it’s a win-win. Why do you have to look deeper?” 

Although I liked Ethan and Lissa as individuals I adored them as a couple. Right from the beginning Lissa and Ethan have off the scale chemistry. They can’t stay away from each other and every encounter between was both steaming hot and wonderfully witty. I loved them as a couple because they genuinely had fun together. Despite their pasts and the issues they both have this is a couple who make each other laugh. Who can find the joy in the small moments. In my opinion Lissa made Ethan come back to life. She injected emotions back into him, be it happiness, passion or anger.

She wanted to say, I love how you treat my body, but will you treat my heart the same? Instead, she closed her eyes and held him close.

I’d recommend Leveling the Field to anyone who enjoys reading hot contemporary romances with a high emotional impact. Also although I didn’t read the previous books in the Gamers series, I imagined if you had the cameo appearances and references to other couples who enrich this story further. It definitely isn’t necessary to have read the previous books but it could add a little something if you had. I’ve given Leveling the Field a solid four star rating!

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!