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The Devil's Playground (The…
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The Devil's Playground (The Devil's Playthings) (Volume 1)

by Laura Oliva

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Recently added byTammyDewhirst

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“The Devil’s Playground” is quite a dark read. It could be called a romance novel except that it plays more by the rules of suspense than romance. What Olivia is giving us is a good start to a series that promises to appeal to readers who prefer the darker side and protagonists who have been through the fire and have no real promise of ever living outside of it. “

Frankie starts the novel as something of a victim of her past. She is harassed by Bianca and seems almost helpless to really put an end to the fixation because she’s not completely sure how she feels about the attention and there’s something comforting about it continuing. When Cookie is attacked Frankie snaps in to something of a take charge character in a way that feels wholly organic. She’s still somewhat weak when it comes to Bianca but she’s focused on doing whatever she has to do to keep her friends safe. The character she becomes is a character that readers knew she could be from the moment we met her. Oliva makes bold choices that may not appeal to all readers but those choices add a unique voice to her story that this reader really enjoyed. Things are not as simple for Frankie as they may be for most characters in her genre.

What readers may not like is that this is a story on Viagra. I cannot recount how many sexualized elements there are and the kicker is that they’re not sexualized in an unrealistic way. Frankie is on a path of escaping her past and going forward on her own terms. Johnny’s journey is somewhat less pronounced. We know he’s tortured but for readers of this genre while he’s well developed as a character he’s perhaps more the foil. The eye candy who rides in when needed and when we know that Frankie needs him even if she finds him somewhat inconvenient.

All things considered, I really liked “The Devil’s Playground.” These are fascinating characters in a dark world that readers seldom experience. I am very interested to see where Oliva goes with the rest of the series. ( )
  TammyDewhirst | Mar 5, 2014 |
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