Play Dirty - Sandra Brown

I can't remember ever reading a book with such icky characters and situations, but was so compelling, that I couldn't put it down.  


This is run down of the story, with minor spoilers, be warned.


Ex-football player, who was once beloved, becomes a product of his troubled upbringing and gets kicked from the NFL, fined and ultimately jailed for gambling (with local mafia) and for throwing a football game for money.  Once out of prison he answers a summons to a billionaire's home. Billionaire, who is a paraplegic, contracts ex-football player to impregnate his wife (since he is now incapable) for large sums of money.


Backstory, Backstory, Backstory.


In the meantime, "Mafia Cronie" harasses d-bag ex-pro football player about an unsolved murder of a certain bookie who supposedly hid tons of money.


Beatings of multiple parties ensue.


All the while, ex-pro, now somewhat worse for the wear,  meets billionaires wife in scheduled fashion for stiff and uncomfortable insemination sessions. (ha.) Wife isn't exactly down with this whole get-pregnant-by-stranger plan.


Backstory, Twisted Backstory, Tender Backstory


Ex-pro falls in love. Another death. Another shocker.


Ex-pro football player is highly suspected of murder and more, and the race to find all the answers ensues.

Ex-pro is redeemed.



This was my first Sandra Brown, and from the very first chapter I was totally put off. I love a good thriller, but people had shelved this as romance as well...and the whole time  reading I was distracted by that shelving. LIke, how is this a romance when there is some sleaze bag banging this other guy's wife for money?


I was probably MOST surprised, in a book of surprises, to find that I understood that romance shelving in the end.


Overall, I couldn't get past a mountain of why's I had for everyone's actions and the ick factor - no matter who redeemed who, or what the true intentions were - it was a messed up premise to begin with. It was perhaps the only book that I thought was pretty good in the end, but I'd never recommend anyone read.



So tell me, Sandra Brown fans, do all her books have an ick factor?