Series Review: Playing With Power by Adele Huxley

August 21, 2023

Playing with Power by Adele Huxley

Have you ever taken a look back on the books you read years ago? How much has your choice of books changed? Mine... A LOT! And while I don't remember reading this series all that well, I liked it enough to review it at a time when I hadn't really started writing reviews. So HAPPY MONDAY and welcome to another day where I'm sharing old books that might be new to you. Or something you've read and haven't thought about in a while. Let me know if you've read this one!

Today's flashback is the Playing With Power series by Adele Huxley. I can tell it's indie origins and its earlier release by the covers themselves. Remember when this was the standard for indie books? I'm so grateful that the trend for covers has changed so much. I'm not familiar with the ins and outs of book marketing, creating covers, or the like, but I'm just glad that these stock impersonal photos are largely a thing of the past.

So here were my thoughts...

Blurb from Goodreads ~ The office is heating up!
A last minute dinner with billionaire Damon Kael will change the course of Lauren Kemp's life.
The intense entrepreneur is able to look right through her and pinpoint exactly what she wants...success. He offers to mentor her, with the aid of a cryptic book, but does his kindness come with ulterior motives?
Meanwhile, Lauren and her boyfriend Nick are trying to make it work while living in New York City. Unfortunately, her misogynistic boss keeps getting in the way. Presenting at the largest tech expo, Agitate, might be great for her career but could also spell death for her relationship.
Life is becoming more complicated with each day. With everything she wants to achieve, can Lauren have both a personal and professional life? With Damon's help, will Lauren learn the rules of power or is she just another piece in his game?

My Rating - 3 stars

I wasn't even sure how to classify this book. I realize it's a romance, but what type? Ah well. I think it's best to give this review by character.

Lauren: I tried really hard to like her. I haven't gotten there yet. I don't dislike her, I have connected with her at all. Her views on the world around her seem warped to me, and she was a bit too condescending towards her boyfriend, Nick. I get being focused on one's career, but she was focused to the point of foresaking all others. Simply, her superior attitude was a turn-off.

Nick: I felt bad for this character right from the start. He's busting his butt trying to keep up with her demands and gets no appreciation. Just complaints. Poor guy. I could see that things were not going to work out for him in the end.

Damon: He seemed crazy hot and mysterious. Who wouldn't be a victim to his charms? I guess time will tell what role he'll play in this story. But that ending sure gave me some ideas.

Blurb from Goodreads ~ After a heart-wrenching breakup, Lauren has no choice but to throw all of herself into work; it's the only way she'll stay sane after the way Nick left her.
Lauren's life will never be the same when a twist of fate takes her on a last-minute trip to San Francisco over the Fourth of July weekend. With Ali at her side, she quickly learns there's a lot the West Coast can offer.
When she meets Landon, Lauren realizes she may have just gotten more than she can handle.

My Rating - 3 stars

Adele Huxley turned up the heat in San Francisco!! I honestly tried to have sympathy for Lauren with regards to Nick leaving her at the curb, but I just couldn't. Nick had all of my sympathy. I don't know how this man put up with her crap for so long. Patience of a saint I tell ya. The man kept trying to be romantic and give her his all. We saw that he tried. Maybe there was more happening behind the scenes that would make me not as sympathetic towards him, but since it wasn't written, I have to true.

Landon was a wonderful addition to the story. He sounds amazing. The sexual tension between him and Lauren was off the charts. And I enjoyed how Ali played off of the both of them. However, the entire time I was reading about Lauren's developing feelings for Landon, I kept wondering how her heart could hold so many men. Landon, Nick, Damon... Things developed pretty quickly between her and Landon, but when she comes home from SF, she is met by Nick, who wants to work things out. I was hoping she would let him go, but she doesn't. Another example of her selfishness. Smh.

BTW, Parker (her boss) is a real creep. Just sayin. I'm not sure in which work environment it is ok to deal with his misogyny, his assault, or his abusive behaviour, but it is definitely not ok. Why does Lauren allow it to continue???

Blurb from Goodreads ~ Lauren is fighting to keep her head above water but slowly, her dreams are coming true. My Best Friend’s Closet is now a reality!
Landon gives her a big surprise by arriving in New York unannounced, showing up to the StyleSpur offices posing as a potential investor. The connection between them is undeniable, but will they be able to remain professional? Can they ignore what happened between them for the sake of the business, not to mention her strained relationship with Nick?
As if that weren't enough, while she and Nick work through their issues, Lauren discovers a possible thorn in her side named Rose. How can she make time for Nick if he's spending it all with someone else?
There are powerful forces at play. Will Lauren have the strength to control them in her favor?

My Rating - 3 stars

Third book in and the story is still moving at quite a steady pace. I didn't find it lagging at all, which is what I kind of expected. I really wish I could have gotten another POV in this story because to be honest, I still don't much care for Lauren. Landon seems to be such a great supporter of her and it seems that she is still harboring strong feelings for him, despite the fact that she is trying to work things out with Nick. As for Nick, it seems that he's been giving some of his affection to another woman (Rose). Not that I really blame him. I don't condone cheating, but I do think these two definitely need to go their separate ways. Stop beating a dead horse. I'm ok with her being with Landon. At least he's above her level and she can't look down her nose at him lol.

The cliffhanger involving her frenemy Sahra and Parker is a bit baffling. Not sure when these two characters would have had a chance to hatch a scheme but I'm sure that is exactly what they're doing.

Blurb from Goodreads ~ Lauren starts to question how well she really knows Landon DeWitt. Can she truly trust this handsome businessman, especially after the stunt he pulled with Sahra? How can she be sure he'll always work in her best interests?
During a whirlwind weekend trip to San Francisco, Lauren's confidence is shaken. Landon's top adviser is less than impressed and right when she begins to question why anyone would want to invest, the MyBFC prototype comes in.
Can Lauren keep fighting now that she's so close to realizing her dream? Who will be there for her once the dust settles?

My Rating - 3 stars

Book 4 had a bit of the unexpected. I'm glad that Lauren finally grew some balls in this one!! She accepts that her future may lie with Landon and is finally ready to say goodbye to the life she was building with Nick. Little did she know that coming home from a trip to SF would be the catalyst to their breakup. Walking into your room and seeing your man banging some chick in your bed kinda spells out the end, dontcha think?! At least she still has her fledgling business to fall back on (My Best Friend's Closet), as well as Ali, Landon and Damon. Actually, this chick has one heck of a support group.

Rochelle (or Rachel or intern-extraordinaire) is scheming with both Parker and Sahra. Losers tend to travel in packs lol. I can't wait to see what Ms. Huxley has planned for their comeuppance.

Blurb from Goodreads ~ MyBFC is on the brink of launching and Lauren has to decide if she is willing to leave New York City to make it a reality.
Someone isn’t happy with the choices she’s making. With a violent and invasive stalker tracking her every move, Lauren turns to the only person who she knows can protect her, Damon Kael. Can she resist the power he has over her?
Sparks fly when Landon finally confronts Nick and Parker finally takes it too far.
Can she find the inner power she needs to demolish those who stand in her way? Will she find Damon or Landon at her side?

My Rating - 3 stars

I'm not sure if this is the last book. If it is, then I feel like the series is incomplete.

Lauren and Landon have a stalker. Someone who is taking pictures of them, sending them animal hearts and heads, and infiltrating all of their communications. A very determined stalker. Is it Nick? Parker?

I feel like there was so much unsaid in this series. In book one, we see Lauren reach out to Damon. We're told through a jumble of sentences that they had a sexual encounter, but there are no details. Actually, most of the communication between her and Damon is unwritten. I just didn't get this strong connection between them, however, she almost cheated on Landon with him! This just didn't make sense.

Also, Lauren, Faith and Landon finally get an opportunity to turn the screws on Parker, to get him to confess to all of his wrongdoing. And it was a great scene to read. However, two broken hands later (Lauren's and Landon's lol), we still don't know what happened with Sahra and Rochelle, considering that they were equally culpable in his actions.

My sympathy is obviously no longer with Nick. What he did was wrong. But I'm sorry, I totally get why this character acted the way he did.

I'm not even sure if Lauren and Landon got their HEA. It's almost implied, just like Damon and Faith's. Speaking of which, why the heck did Damon and Faith hook up???? And how did Faith go from being a simple woman with gorgeous looks to being a 'forensic accountant'????? Now she's brilliant? Ummmm... just no.


  1. I loved reading all your questions at the very end. I would probably be wondering the same thing. It's interesting how both books, tastes, and covers have changed over the years.

    1. It is. Finding these old reviews has made me take a hard look at the way my reading trends have changed. I wonder what I would think of these old books if I found them now instead of then :)


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