PLAYING WITH TROUBLE – Chanel Cleeton
A Perfect 10
Capital Confessions, Book 2
Washington, D.C. – Present Day
The first day Blair Reynolds entered Graydon Canter's class in Hannover School of Law changed her life. Hannover wasn't the most prestigious law school, but after finding her groom-to-be with another man the day of their wedding and stopping the wedding had her struggling to decide what to do. Her father is prominent Senator Edward Reynolds and on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Gossip about Blair leaving the wedding appeared on the Capital Confessions Blog, and while used to being in the political spotlight all her life, law school was just a last ditch effort to decide what to do with her life. Although any gossip shouldn't be blamed on her; when her father revealed he had an illegitimate daughter, Jackie, the family has also had to deal with that scandal. But, she soon realizes law school might not be for her, especially when she is being called on every week by Professor Canter to present briefs.
Graydon Canter noticed Blair the first day of class and was immediately attracted to her. Unfortunately, Gray isn't a regular professor, he's only there because the school had an emergency and needed a teacher. Gray had a spectacular career in a medical malpractice law firm in Chicago with the fast track to the top. Gray stated drinking, doing drugs, womanizing that caused a divorce, and was asked by his firm to go into rehab and then let go. He knows he eggs Blair on, but he can't help himself. As Blair and Gray start to get to know each other, Gray strives to keep it from getting too serious. Dating one of his own students could cause trouble for both of them, trouble he doesn't need after what happened to him. But Capital Confessions keeps writing about Blair and bringing him into it. Neither one of them needs gossip about their relationship going public.
Blair also has a younger sister, Kate, who is obsessed with her dead fiancé. He died in some sort of secret mission in Afghanistan three years ago, and she's sure her father knows the details and it had something to do with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Jackie, as the illegitimate sister, is not included in the family; Kate has separated herself from the family, and so it is Blair who is the good one who goes to political events and dinners and endures her mother's opinions of her clothes, refuses to marry her ex-fiancé, and generally doesn't help with the election. Blair feels powerless under the control of her parents' opinions, law school that she cannot understand no matter how hard she studies, and Gray who goes hot and cold in their relationship.
This is my first time reading Chanel Cleeton and I absolutely loved the story. Written and divided into sections written by Blair and Gray, they are trying to hide their growing bond. Her writing is fun and entertaining, but the deep down message will grab at your heart. When Blair finally confronts her mother regarding the way she is living her life for everyone else, the emotions and passions she has kept tamped down will grab your heart and have you agreeing with everything she says.
Secondary characters are perfect. Jackie is the sister she is just getting to know, also engaged to a politician, who survived a scandal of their own. Blair's sister Kate is dead inside and cannot give up her quest to find out what happened to Matt, her fiancé, and her quest for vengeance almost destroys Blair.
PLAYING WITH TROUBLE is an outstanding example of a romance story with a deeper message that leaves you satisfied and content. Capital Confessions started with FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL (May 2015) about Blair's sister Jackie. FALLING FOR DANGER (September 2015) is Kate's story, and already looks to have constant surprises. PLAYING WITH TROUBLE is certainly deserving of my seldom given Perfect 10. Look for PLAYING WITH TROUBLE this month, a deeply satisfying and outstanding story!