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She might not like me, but she wants me.

I'm used to being worshipped like a football god.

Everyone on campus loves me, except her.

Which is why when her ex breaks her heart and her friends plot revenge, I volunteer to be her fake boyfriend.

She hates the plan, almost as much as she hates me. We can barely speak without tearing each other to shreds.

But sometimes when we fight, she looks at me like she might not hate all of me.

Any advantage on the field is a good one, right?

But then she asks me for a favor I don’t know if I can deliver on.

And I make a confession that could have this whole game falling apart.

318 pages, Paperback

Published October 10, 2022

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Maggie Rawdon

11 books208 followers

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5 stars
951 (35%)
4 stars
1,008 (37%)
3 stars
547 (20%)
2 stars
112 (4%)
1 star
40 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 226 reviews
Profile Image for Hey Lin.
467 reviews
November 2, 2022
Mah gah. So much talking. SO MUCH FUCKING TALKING about trivial shit. I started rolling my eyes and knew what I had to do.

Took a shit and moved on. Dnf. Boring af
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,632 reviews1,256 followers
April 13, 2023
solid read

This was a good first read for me. The miscommunication trope is hard for me, and so I did struggle with their inability just to be honest with each other, but they had great banter and I loved the group of characters. There were also some moments where there could have been a touch more development. Either way, I’ll definitely be reading more.
Profile Image for Dani (Daniiireads).
1,315 reviews116 followers
October 7, 2022
- enemies to lovers
- fake dating
- opposites attract
- sports
- miscommunication

There's a fine line between hate and lust, and Mac and Waylon have been toeing at it for years. After their first time meeting and getting off on the wrong foot, Mac has loved to hate Waylon almost as much as he loves to antagonize her.

As much as Mac despises Waylon, when her best friend suggests they pretend date to get back at her cheating ex, Mac can't turn the idea down. Waylon is gorgeous, even if he is annoying, and the complete opposite of her ex boyfriend--the perfect revenge boyfriend.

What she doesn't expect is to end up actually liking the cocky football player, or for the explosive fire and gasoline chemistry between the two of them to turn into more.

I knew from the moment Waylon went upstairs to bother Mac at a party that I was going to love this book. I'm a sucker for enemies to lovers romances, and was instantly sucked in with all the hate flirting and then swooning with how sweet Waylon actually is.

Even though what started between them was just pretend, I loved watching Mac and Waylon grow closer, and even though I hate HAAAATTTEEEE third act conflict due to miscommunication... I wasn't expecting to get so emotional over it as I did. Ughhh, so good!

I really hope this ends up being a series because I need more!!!
Profile Image for Cee.
2,381 reviews99 followers
March 3, 2023
This book starts of sooooo cute and Waylon is awesome, even Mac is cool at times, but not one NOT ONE conversation between them didn’t have some type of misunderstanding. Istg the lies, the not correcting assumptions… it sucked! Literally the only conversation without a misunderstanding or isn’t misunderstood later, is in the epilogue. I ended up playing a game of “how will they not realize the other person cares for them this time even though they are saying they care for them?”.

So much potential and I’m just so frustrated. I started this book because I wanted to make my way to book 4… but this one was meh, I already hate the guy in book 2, and the couple in book 3 have me frustrated as hell. I’m not sure it’s worth it. But the potential for good is there, so I’m not writing this author off completely. I’ll def check their stuff out in the future.
Profile Image for AJ.
2,871 reviews932 followers
March 12, 2023
2.5 stars

The first book in the Plays & Penalties series, this is an enemies-to-lovers, college sports romance that is a well-written debut, but that frustrated me no end with the characters’ inability to communicate.

I started this series by reading book #4, Reverse Pass (not knowing it was part of a series at the time). I loved that book, and was so looking forward to going back and reading the earlier books in the series, but I did struggle with this one.

Firstly, you can read about Mackenzie and Waylon’s first meeting in the freebie prequel novella, Pregame, available on the author’s website. This book starts with Mackenzie already fully hating on the popular football player, but with her best friend also being best friends with one of his best friends, their lives are intertwined. And Waylon also has a bit of a crush on Mackenzie, so he’s making an effort to be around her as much as he can.

It’s like a war in my mind. Want her. Hate her. Want her. My dick and my brain can’t agree. I don’t hate her, not really. I just hate the fact that she looks at me like I’m a creature from the deep that somehow washed up at her feet.

When Mac is invited to an event where her cheating ex-boyfriend will be, she gets talked into taking Waylon along as her fake boyfriend. He’s all for the idea, wanting to prove that he’s more than just a playboy. He does just that, and the two of them actually share a conversation, and it turns out that Waylon is a good guy with a big heart, and is more than Mac thought he was. They become friends, and that attraction between them continues to sizzle.

“I’m so fucking serious, Mac. I know I’m a joke to you. I know you can’t stand me, and it’s real fucking inconvenient for you that your body disagrees with you on that one … But I like you, Mac. I’ve wanted you since the day I saw you, but then I don’t know. It changed over time from just wanting to fuck you. Getting to be friends, pretending to be together…you’re in my fucking head all the time.”

But from here, it’s just a confusing back and forth between friendship, fighting, flirting, sexy time, fighting some more, and then around and around again. They had no idea what they were doing, and frankly, neither did I. They were back and forth with each other so much, never actually talking about their feelings for each other, while Mac is still hanging out with her ex, and Waylon is letting football groupies hang all over him. I honestly had no idea what was going on between them, and though they clearly have chemistry, they just couldn’t get on the same page.

“You and Mackenzie both have the same problem. Instead of just telling each other the truth, how you feel, you keep trying to push the person toward what you think will make them happy. It’s painful to watch.”

Right on!

There were moments of a really great story – the playful banter between Mac and Waylon is lots of fun, and the rare times when they do open up to each other are sweet - but sadly it was mostly overshadowed by the constant back-and-forth of the characters, and their inability to talk to each other and just be honest. There was just too much drama that could have been so easily avoided, and I disconnected from the story.

“What was your wish, Waylon?”
“To hear you say you need me. Not just want, need. That you hate the idea of me with anyone else, the same way I do.”

But having said that, the story does end well, and I was pleased to see these two get their happy ending.

“You fit in my world, Mac. Anywhere you don’t or don’t feel like you fit, I’ll make room.”

There are stories set up for their friends, and having loved the fourth book in the series, I will continue on with the others. This one was just a bit of a miss for me.

2.5 stars.

Profile Image for angie ♡.
237 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2023
there wasn’t much enemy in the enemies to lovers and there wasn’t much fake in the fake dating trope. but it was cute
Profile Image for Miss May.
45 reviews2 followers
October 31, 2022

As soon as he decided to talk to Ezra’s new girl, and take her out to see if she cheats, which was weird, I knew it would cause a problem later. The forced drama at the end, because he did that, is the reason I didn’t rate this higher. It was unrealistic and boring. There was already enough angst and reasons for Mac and Waylon to hesitate with each other.

Also, as adults I expected more out of them. They should have been able to talk. Having a misunderstanding because one person won’t listen and the other won’t just say the truth, is annoying. All their friends had to convince her to talk to him… So, she’ll listen to them but not the man she loves? Is this HighSchool or what?
Profile Image for Kayla Newman.
279 reviews10 followers
January 24, 2023
DNF @ 93%

Im done getting book recs from booktok. This book is so awful, and I’m mad I just wasted my time on it. The characters are both so stupid, and the MMC constantly talks about other women/hooking up. The whole plot barely made sense. Easton, the friend, is NOT a friend, and I have no idea why anyone would like his character. The way women are talked about in this book is gross, and the amount of times the MMC thought about hooking up with other women and pretending it was the FMC was disgusting. I didn’t even care to see how this book ended, and I can’t believe these people are supposed to be seniors in college when they can’t even have a conversation.
Profile Image for Jillian Gisoni.
40 reviews1 follower
November 7, 2022
Miscommunication trope at its worst. All of the conflict in this book could’ve been resolved with one short conversation.
Profile Image for nikki rose.
478 reviews96 followers
March 6, 2023
I've got a LOT of things to say about this book, so better buckle up for the ride ladies and gentlemen. First off, the miscommunication really was miscommunicating in this one lmfao. Look, I've not got anything against this particular trope - if done right. But after reading this book, I can understand why a majority of readers hate it. Istfg, I was pissed off and extremely irritated at the characters for most of the book. Like jesus, get a fucking grip and COMMUNICATE!!! You're adults ffs! Waylon (I'd forgotten his name lol) was extremely inconsistent in his behavior and I was so NOT here for it. The immaturity and inability to actually decide what he wanted from the supposed "girl of his dreams" was fucking frustrating. For someone who was apparently attracted to her from the very first time he saw her, he sure did a shit job in showing it lmao. Mac wasn't any better anyway. Okay, maybe she was slightly better and I was rooting for her ig. She should have kicked both Ezra AND Waylon to the curb and sworn off of men. Maybe enter her heartless bad bitch era idk. The hot and cold behavior and nature of Mac and Waylon's relationship had me wanting to fucking tear my hair outta my head (but I didn't do that because obv I love my head full of hair PURRRR). I honestly do love a good ol' college sports romance, but this just wasn't it for me. The OW drama was a bit much and the jealousy part (for both MCs) wasn't done that well imo. Too much of a headache, if you ask me. Truth be told, I'm a college student myself and I swear to fuck I've never seen this much drama go down. In high school? Fuck yeah. That's why I've left all this shit behind already. I mean, c'mon, women tearing other women down and calling them fat? Fuck that shit. We don't stan insecure bitches who like to make other females feel less than. So basically, to summarise my review, Play Fake wasn't bad per se...but it wasn't good either. Something forgettable, I'd say. But that's just me because if you know me, you know that I hate unnecessary drama and petty shit. So over it. Still giving it 2.5⭐️ because the writing was good and plot wasn't too bad - even though there wasn't a whole lot of stress on the faking dating part and butterfly inducing shit that comes with it (I'm gonna let that go btw). With that being said, I prolly will continue with this series but not right now. I'm not a huge fan of Easton especially atp, but let's see if I change my mind before I get to his and Wren's book. I'm curious to see if Liam and Olivia's book is gonna live up to my expectations and whether gonna have the same drama as this one (I hope not for my sake😬).
Profile Image for Lunarbookwyrm aka Phoebe.
329 reviews61 followers
March 30, 2023
I was expecting a bad boy, but well you know he was confused until he isn’t. Actually both characters are confused. Not sure what they want until the end. Well yeah I my tolerance for miscommunication is much better than before but alas I do have a limit.

It was ok from the beginning very promising though. It was slow, slow, slow burn till idk it was anti climactic to me. I guess the book wasn’t for me.

Girl got cheated on with her bf and wants revenge. So her friends concocted a plan by having her fake date some hottie lol her enemy. Promising, but not executed well cause omg so much miscommunication I can’t I’m sorry.

🖤 fake dating
🖤 enemies to to lovers
🖤 opposites attract

Rating 3/5
Spice 2/5

Profile Image for Jenifer Briggs.
1,338 reviews144 followers
October 10, 2022
3.5 stars, rounded up.

Ok, so let me preface by saying that for this being a debut, it was really good. I love a good enemies to lovers romance, and throw in a misunderstood football star with a heart of gold and a Curvy witty heroine who doesn't take shit from the said football player, yeah, that's pretty much my catnip. I even like fake dating romances, so combine alllll that with that hot AF cover, I was really excited for this book. But here's where it lies short for me: it's hella heavy on the misunderstanding genre and miscommunication and I can usually get past it once, but it was throughout the entire book. Just when these two would move forward, something would happen and they would push the other away DUE to the misunderstanding and miscommunication, but they never actually talked it out like ADULTS. *sigh*

So MacKenzie was recently cheated on by her longterm boyfriend, and understandably isn't doing the best. One of her best friends is also besties with the quarterback of the football team, and in turn his BFF, Waylon (I hope that was easy to follow. I feel like I just need some red string and their pictures now to tie everyone together, lol!) is around a lot. But the thing is, Waylon and Mac don't get along -- due to another misunderstanding-- but when Macs friend brings up the idea of showing up her ex with someone hotter and all around better, Waylon jumps at the opportunity to prove he's not the fukboi she thinks he is. And as they start to get closer, she sees a softer side to Waylon that she loves, and their chemistry is just out of this world. If only these two would get out of each others way and actually BE together.

Now as far as Waylon, I didn't love him, but I didn't hate him either. I could feel his love for Mac, but I hated the cocky front he would pull when he was uncertain about their relationship, which was basically all the time. I especially hated how even though he was all in with Mac, he entertained other women. He may not have slept with them, but I wish he did more fighting for her than he did. I know to his core he was a truly nice guy and vulnerable and just wanted Mac to see him the way he saw her, but I wish we got to see more of that side to him. And honestly, there was a few things he did that I'm not sure I would forgive if I was in Macs shoes.

As for Mac, I have mixed feelings on her as well. I know they are all in college, but dang, grow up people. There was so much going on with her, and even though I emphasized with her a lot, especially over Waylons fucboi-ness, I wish she wasn't so damn stubborn and let him in. These two would have full on conversations with one another, but really not meaning what were saying and it drew me CRAZY. I just wanted to shake them. Repeatedly.

I know it sounds like I disliked this book more than I did, but that's not true. This author writes really well and has laid out the groundwork for the future couples I'm really excited about and can't wait to read. I just hope she doesn't rely on the miscommunication theme so heavily with them.

All in all it was still an enjoyable read and I am excited to see where else thus author takes us!

**I received an ARC of this book and these are my honest opinions **
Profile Image for Laura Fabian.
352 reviews25 followers
October 10, 2022
ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review

Maggie Rawdon grabbed my attention from the teasers for this book and needless to say, my expectations for Way & Mac were through the sky, and being a new author I was a little scary because I've already been disappointed this year, but luckily Play Fake was everything I expected and MUCH more! So I have another amazing debut on my list of readings! One with a love story that I really enjoyed, full of drama, tension and some of the best supporting characters I've ever read, so I couldn't be happier with this read and I'll definitely be expecting more from this author.

Mackenzie was a character that I completely LOVED: a little shy, nerdy girl, with a great charisma, strength and an attitude that always puts Waylon in his place, at least from their perspective. I love her love for reading, that she's a girl who is sure of herself and her body, but sometimes experiences some setbacks, something that seemed very real to me and that I appreciate that Maggie has shown in his debut story, plus I LOVED the cute friendship she has with Olivia & Wren and the bond she forms with Ben. Also, Mackenzie has a complicated story: her boyfriend cheated on her and she has the feeling of not being enough, that's why when Olivia suggests looking for a fake boyfriend, she accepts immediately, the problem begins when Waylon, the boy she hates, offers himself for the job and Mac has to face everything she's felt for him since she saw him.

Waylon was an absolute stunner and goes straight to my list of favorite book boyfriends, he's one of the biggest football players in Highland State and one of the biggest playboys on campus, and what I loved most about him was getting to know his kind, flirtatious, considerate side and especially how sweet and lovable he is with Mac. Obviously the best moment of his character was when he offered to being Mackenzie's fake date, and all because Waylon has always been attracted to her, has the need to show her his true personality and is really desperate to let her know how he feels about her, even though he doesn't know how to do it and everything is much more complicated than necessary.

As I said there is a lot of drama between these two AND I LOVED IT!! I think Maggie gave me the perfect, and very enjoyable tension with Waylon & Mackenzie, plus they have really good chemistry, even when they are fighting. I loved that Mac realizes Waylon's true personality, that she tries to fight her feelings for him, but still ends up trusting him and opening her heart to him, but definitely what i liked the most was the desperation with which Waylon needs Mac to know what he feels, how he is willing to give her what she needs and how tender he can be with her. Also, I think I've never read two characters so afraid to say what they feel and be rejected, and although I suffered for that, it was one of the things I liked the most about their love story.

And the best bonus of all were the supporting characters that Maggie introduced us to in this book!! They ALL stole my heart in the same way, I really liked that Ben tried to be the voice of reason for his teammates and I'm dying to know more of his love story. Obviously I also NEED to know what is going to happen between Olivia & Liam and I hope that between Wren & Easton could happen something, because I would love to read him suffer for my favorite girl. And if it's not too much to ask, I would love Lauren to also have her own book she's a sun.

🏈Waylon: 4.5/5
🏈Mackenzie: 4.5/5
🏈Plot: 5/5
🏈Love story: 5/5
🏈Secondary characters: 5/5
🏈Cover: 5/5 😍
🌶️: 3.5/5

ARC amablemente proporcionada a cambio de una reseña honesta

Maggie Rawdon atrapó mi atención desde los teasers de este libro y de más está decir que mis expectativas con Way & Mac estaban por los cielos, y al ser una autora nueva tenía un poco de miedo porque ya me lleve una decepción este año, pero afortunadamente Play Fake fue todo lo que esperaba y MUCHO más! Así que tengo otro increíble debut a la lista! Uno con una historia de amor que disfruté muchísimo, llena de drama, tensión y algunos de los mejores personajes secundarios que he leído, así que no puedo ser más feliz con ésta lectura y definitivamente estaré esperando más de esta autora.

Mackenzie fue un personaje que AMÉ por completo: una chica un poco tímida, nerd, con un gran carisma, fortaleza y una actitud que siempre pone a Waylon en su lugar, al menos desde su perspectiva. Me encana su amor por la lectura, que sea una chica que esta segura de si misma y de su cuerpo, pero que veces experimenta algunos tropiezos, algo que me pareció muy real y que agradezco que Maggie haya mostrado en su historia debut, además de que AMÉ la amistad tan linda que tiene con Olivia & Wren y el vinculo que forma con Ben. Mackenzie tiene una historia complicada: su novio le fue infiel y ella tiene la sensación de no ser suficiente, por eso es que cuando Olivia la sugiere buscar un novio falso, ella acepta de inmediato, el problema empieza cuando Waylon, el chico al que detesta, se ofrece para el trabajo y Mac tiene que enfrentar todo lo que ha sentido por él desde que lo vio por primera vez.

Waylon fue una absoluta maravilla y va directo a mi lista de book boyfriends favoritos, él es uno de los jugadores de futbol más importantes de Highland State y uno de los playboys más grandes del campus, y lo que más me encantó de él fue conocer su lado amable, coqueto, considerado y especialmente lo tierno y adorable que es con Mac. Obviamente el mejor momento de su personaje fue cuando se ofreció a ser la cita falsa de Mackenzie, y todo porque Waylon siempre se ha sentido atraído por ella, tiene la necesidad de demostrarle su verdadera personalidad y está realmente desesperado por hacerle saber lo que siente por ella, aunque no tiene ni idea como hacerlo y todo se complica mucho más de lo necesario.

Como dije si hay mucho drama entre estos dos Y ME ENCANTÓ!! Creo que Maggie me dio una tensión perfecta, maravillosa y muy disfrutable con Waylon & Mackenzie, además de que tienen una química muy buena, incluso cuando están peleando. Me encantó que Mac se de cuenta de la verdadera personalidad de Waylon, que intente luchar contra lo que siente por él, pero que aún así termine por confiar en él y abrirle su corazón, pero definitivamente lo que más me gustó fue la desesperación con la que Waylon necesita que Mac sepa lo que siente, como esta dispuesto a darle lo que ella necesite y lo tierno que puede ser con ella. Además, creo que nunca había leído a dos personajes con tanto miedo a decir lo que sienten y ser rechazados, y aunque sufrí por eso, fue una de las cosas que más me gustó de su historia de amor.

Y el mejor plus de todos fueron los personajes secundarios que Maggie nos presentó en este libro!! TODOS se robaron mi corazón de la misma manera, me gustó mucho que Ben intentara ser la voz de la razón para sus compañeros de equipo y me muero por conocer más de su historia con su amor de la infancia. Obviamente también NECESITO saber qué va a pasar entre Olivia & Liam y espero que entre Wren & Easton haya algo, porque me encantaría leerlo sufrir por mi chica favorita. Y si no es mucho pedir, amaría que Lauren también tuviera su propio libro, ella es un sol.

🏈Waylon: 4.5/5
🏈Mackenzie: 4.5/5
🏈Trama: 5/5
🏈Historia de amor: 5/5
🏈Personajes secundarios: 5/5
🏈Portada: 5/5 😍
🌶️: 3.5/5
Profile Image for Mariana Ramirez.
57 reviews
December 30, 2022
This was so fun and easy to read after finishing a heavy book lol gives the Deal by Elle Kennedy vibes but much better in my opinion!! Love being in my smutty romance phase 😅
Profile Image for kat.
59 reviews2 followers
January 3, 2023
i mean this in the least rude way possible but this book was so fucking stupid? like the characters were stupid people who made stupid decisions because of stupid reasons.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
64 reviews2 followers
October 13, 2022
This book was really good, like the writing was amazing. I was so captivated by the story and I could not stop reading. I don’t know, something about this book, it caught me off guard. It just like touched me and all the right ways. The book was just so sweet, and it was a slow burn. (Which I love and hate) hehe. and when the guy always liked the girl but she never knew. Waylon is like a sweet teddy bear, and I love his confidence, his cockiness, and big ole heart. His sense of humor was great. I fell so in love with Waylon it took me by surprise. The miscommunication trope. I don’t know, I kind of forgot every book that I read like that, but it’s so funny how we think something and it’s not even really what it is, and now you have beef between two characters for the silliest reasons, but it could all have been cleared up either way, with a simple conversation. But I guess you won’t have a story after all without it. I really like McKenzie. She had a great/strong personality. You know she was a heavyset girl, but I don’t think she wallowed in her insecurity and she knew what she wanted. Nor with the main male character per say, but she wasn’t shy because of her weight, and that’s what I loved about her. Like she knew she was still feminine and sexy even being curvier than most girls. She had attitude and this grit about her. Shes actually a very enjoyable female character in this book. I think this is a great debut novel for the author. she did a wonderful job bringing everything together. Waylon and McKenzie had awesome chemistry, and I kinda don’t wanna let them go. This book had some laugh out loud moments that I busted out laughing. I love when I book randomly cracks me up, and not forced humor. I’ll miss this story and I can’t wait for the next book. The take away from this is someone does want you, no matter what you think of your self.
5/5 ✨✨✨✨✨
2/5 🥵🥵
Profile Image for Murphy.
581 reviews
February 27, 2023
Waylon and MacKenzie

This was a great little enemies to lovers love story. Waylon has it bad, and even though they mostly just love to get on each other's nerves, when an opportunity presents itself to make an ex of Mac's jealous, Waylon is way too quick to hop on the opportunity.

These characters over do it with miscommunication and crazy back and forth. They both have growing feelings for each other but don’t see how the other looks at them. They both are always thinking the other person wants something else or someone better. How wrong could they be!? I loved these characters and wish they did less fighting and more...something else. lol.

"You fit in my world, Mac. Anywhere you don't or don't feel like you fit, I'll make room."

I did not like all of the Jersey chasers all over Way, even though he never let things get too serious, if he was realllllly feeling the way he felt, he should have never let them get as close as they did. But I blame drunkenness and bad decisions on an unhealthy heart. Together they were cute and I definitely didnt want to see their story end. I wished we got more of them together at the end. I look forward to seeing more of them in their friends' stories. They were also pretty great!!!!

*Overall 3.5/5
*Heat? 3/5
*Dual first person POV
*Med Burn
*Ends on 1 yr later HEA
Profile Image for Heather Pingree.
372 reviews8 followers
October 13, 2022
This book got my attention after reading the blurb and seeing the teasers on social media. After that, I just knew I HAD to read it! And oh my goodness!! I'm so glad I did!! I got carried away with the writing because it flowed so smoothly and kept me entranced from beginning to the end! The characters were wonderful and I loved the main characters!! The enemies to lovers trope is a tropes I love!

Waylon is a playboy on top of being one of the well-known football players at Highland State. He's gorgeous and definitely knows how to use the charm! He meets Mackenzie through his best friend Liam, who is best friends with Mackenzie's best friend, Olivia. As soon as he meets Mackenzie he begins to have feelings for her but doesn't know how to act on them as she thinks all he does is mess around. I loved all the drama and tension between Mackenzie and Waylon! They have really great chemistry and their bickering just adds that extra spice to it all! It was superb!

I also loved how close Mackenzie was with her girlfriends, Wren and Olivia! I would love to see them get their own books in the future!!

I definitely recommend this and can't wait to see what's next from this new author! An absolutely wonderful debut!!
Profile Image for Kate ☕.
462 reviews
January 28, 2023

This could have been a good college book. Could have been...
This book has all I hate about HS / college romances. Miscommunication, tons of OP drama, and too much f*ing talking!!

Waylon is your typical fuckboy, having crush on our heroine Mackanzie, but she's taken and hates him. When he finds out she broke up with her BF, instead of chasing her, he plays some kind of game I didn't get. Here the Fake dating trope came up, but it wasn't making any sense.

The miscommunication together with many vain discussions frustrated me. On top of it, the book isn't very safe. Obviously the author thinks only sex is cheating, so both MCs have OP kissing them, touching them, and they both consider sleeping with someone else. I personally hate the "limp dick" for everyone except the heroine cliché. Makes you feel like the guy would actually sleep with someone else if he could, and his mind has no saying in it.

There is pretty cute grovel towards the end, so I changed the rating to 2 stars only because of that.

If it actually contained some real drama except the OP one, it could have been a nice book.

Profile Image for Kristen Dugan.
186 reviews1 follower
November 15, 2022
Holy Miscommunication!

This is maybe 2.5 stars, but I just refuse to round up in this case. Because all 2.5 stars belong to either Waylon or the side characters.

Look, the only narrative conflict here was miscommunication between our main characters. That’s the plot. And I get it, that’s a common thing when you’re doing the fake dating trope. I DO understand. But.. this was so hard for me to sit through. It’s been so long since I had to force myself to finish a book and i don’t know if it was worth it? Your story HAS to be built on a conflict other than the 2 characters not communicating with each other but the audience knows the truth. A little of that works just fine, but the entire plot? The entire book on the same bit of miscommunication? It’s flimsy and lazy and boring and so frustrating when it’s drug out over 300 pages.

Maybe I could’ve been more on board with some of the ridiculous miscommunication if I liked Mac even a little bit, but WOW.. I hated her character. Not in a “I love to hate them” kind of way, but in a straight up “this character sucks” kind of way. I didn’t even want Mac & Waylon together by the end of the book because I felt like Waylon could do better. So if you’re not invested in the main characters getting together in the end, then you’ve got a problem. Mac was not great. Waylon had potential though, he was sweet.

Now, a bit annoyingly, what the author did do well? She made me like the side characters. She obviously intends to write them their own stories and damnit.. I want to read them. Do I think I can trust this author to write their stories well? Not really. Am I going to give her another chance? Yes.

So, do I recommend this book? Hardly.

BUT, I promise to come back here after the next book comes out and update on if you should take a chance on this one, purely so you can get to the next one. I think Olivia & Liam are next and I’m in. If I was a betting girl (and I am) then I’d say it’s probably going to be the friends to lovers trope, which I freakin’ love, so pleaseeeee Maggie Rawdon, don’t make their entire book about miscommunication where one honest conversation would solve literally everything & the book has no meat. PLEASE DON’T. You can do it!
Profile Image for Irma *Irma The Book Whisperer*.
1,502 reviews120 followers
October 11, 2022
I was barely even past the first pages before I was beaming a giant smile at this book like some kind of a madman. The tension, the angst, the flirtation, the misunderstandings, the longing, the wanting, the pain,... Gah, this is what I search for in romances.

I was only half way through with reading when I felt the urge to check all the books written by this author, only to realise that Play Fake is this author's debut! What?!

The chemistry between Waylon and Mackenzie was like a spark that ignited as the story progressed. I loved how tentative they were with each other, but inside they burned with need. Their flirty banter was so fun!

Play Fake was phenomenal! The friendship, romance, steam... It's all there. The writing sucked me in immediately and held my attention to the last word.

Fake relationship romance at it's finest!
Profile Image for Chelsea.
196 reviews21 followers
March 6, 2023
First off, I love this couple, and I love their dynamic. A nerdy girl and a guy who looks like Thor? Yes, please. Now, I will say this book centers a lot around the miscommunication trope - which I usually despise. But the way Maggie Rawdon wrote it made it not only bearable, but I actually really enjoyed this whole book. They both speak up, and often, it's just usually at the wrong time.

I really loved many of the supporting characters too, especially Wren. But Ally? She's a shit friend, and I hope she doesn't show up in any other books. When reading this, I was really hoping for future books to center around Liam and Olivia (hooray for book #2) and Easton and Wren. But thank God I read Ben's book first because I don't know if I could have handled waiting three more books for his story!! Overall, Play Fake gets four stars from me.
October 9, 2022
“You want a relationship, you’ve got it. You just want to be friends, I’m yours. You want to call me late at night because the new guy can’t fück you right. I’ll be there.”

5⭐️ 3🌶️

This story was absolutely amazing!!!! Waylon and Mackenzie were so cute together. And the tension between them was so dang hot 🥵🥵
I love how we got to see their relationship blossom they went from hating each other to falling in love with each other. It was a slow burn but so damn worth reading. The storyline alone draws you in from the very beginning. I couldn’t get enough of this story. It’s my first sports romance and I’m OBSESSED. I can’t wait to see which characters love story this author will write next because I’ve fallen in love with all of them. Highly recommend this book it’s phenomenal 🤌🏼
Profile Image for Anna.
134 reviews3 followers
October 25, 2022
Love me some Waylon

I love the fake dating trope and she nailed this one. The miscommunication in the book is enough to drive you crazy! But the way that Waylon and Mac care for each but are totally oblivious to how each other feels has me sitting my phone down to catch a break lol I loved the dual POVS. This will be a hard book to follow. I'm excited to read liams and Olivia's story!
Profile Image for Tiffany .
14 reviews
March 18, 2023
This book just jumped to the top of my favorite sports romance! It was sooo good it took me like a day to finish and instantly I moved on to the 2nd book!

Waylon was just 🔥🥵 You fall for all the characters. I can't wait to read all of their stories!

This one is seriously soooo good!
Enemies to lovers, fake dating, drama, banter, spice and super hot football players 🥵 I don't think there is enough words to explain how much I loved this book.
Profile Image for Kaileigh Bowers.
15 reviews2 followers
October 12, 2022
This book was AMAZING. I fell in love with Mac and Waylon and even the side characters! This book is for you if you like fake dating, playboy, enemies to lovers, etc. I look forward to reading more work by Maggie! Was shocked when I realized this was her debut novel with how well she delivered everything!
Profile Image for Loveleigh.Reads.
137 reviews8 followers
November 10, 2022
This was such a sweet enemies-to-lovers story! I loved the banter and tension between Waylon and Mac! A miscommunication from the very beginning creates some animosity between the two which ultimately leads to off the charts chemistry! If you're a sports romance fan, definitely check this one out! I can't wait to read more from Maggie!
Profile Image for Salina.
7 reviews1 follower
April 2, 2023
I almost gave it a 4/4.5 BUT there was seriously nothing wrong with it so why shouldn’t it be 5 lol. This was exactly what I needed it to be. A quick 300’ish pages of enemies to lovers banter, spice, friendships, lust, love and a great HEA. I definitely have want to continue this series.
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