The Player and the Pixie by Penny Reid and LH Cosway

Lucy falls into a relationship with her brother’s rugby teammate and sworn nemesis Sean. In the previous book in this series Sean played the important bad guy role. So it was great to get to peel back his layers and see how sweet he really is. What wasn’t great was Lucy.

I label these “toxic family” books in my head. You know – where the judgmental mom says such terrible things that you learn to dislike both her and the heroine? The heroine has no boundaries, and is, thus, an amorphous glob of angst and reaction. She exists as her own reflection in other character’s eyes – while the reader is constantly reminded that she’s “spunky” and “different.” I understand that working through mommy-issues was a huge plot point – it’s just not one that I enjoy.

So Lucy was terrible to Ronan. Sort of like a cliche romance-book dude. Into him. Then running away. Leading him on. Refusing to share her feelings. Tromping all over a nice guy bc he’s hot – thus he would be okay. Apparently attractive people have less-valid feelings. Lucy’s reason for jerking Sean around was her brother’s likely disapproval. If you’re such a little kid that your brother picks your dates – maybe you aren’t mature enough to be in a relationship.

Tbh the relationship obstacles felt contrived. I never got a full picture of Lucy – she was pretty light refracting off the surfaces around her. Sean seemed like a good dude – who was treated so poorly yet kept coming back for more. I’m fairly certain after their first dinner date Lucy could have told her brother she was dating Sean and gone on about her life. End of story. Everything after that felt like unnecessary complications to fill pages.

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