When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not
only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure. College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.
But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?
Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.
To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.
So, though I’ve read this a while back, and liked it a lot, I wanted to share what I thought about Layla Payne’s first book under her Whitman University Series.
We are introduced to Sebastian and Quinn, “polar opposite” half-brothers who are both attending Whitman University. Along with the other characters, we are also introduced to Emilie Swanson, the main character in their game.
The characters she created are complex characters. They have depth that we see and get to peel off as the story unfolds.
On the outside, Quinn is your typical playboy, living through parties and a revolving door of women. He lives life with nothing to look forward to besides the games Sebastian and he participate in.
Emilie is their chosen subject. Yet, the difference with her is that she just might be the one to break their game.
Can this young woman be the key to breaking through Quinn Rowland’s full potential?
Quinn and Emilie are perfect characters for each other. She is brave and bold, he is scarred and beaten. They are each others’ first loves and frankly, their chemistry is off the charts. You feel their connection with each other through the pages. Emilie is a feisty h, she is absolutely brave even against all odds. To Quinn, she is it, and he will do anything to protect her, even at the cost of himself.
Layla Payne created a great beginning story to introduce us to everyone in Whitman University. She has introduced us to extremely complex characters that both will break your heart and stomp on it really hard, making you want to beg for an HEA. The conflict present in Quinn and Emilie’s lives bleed through the pages, making you flip through more, trying to see where they are both headed.
Did I like this? Yes!
Drama? Conflict? Hell yeah!
Will I read the rest? I actually did, I was dying to read Sebastian’s story as well. He is the ultimate bad boy.
And yes, I did read the rest in the series.
In short, if you are into stories that will grip your heart, you’ll love this! It has happiness, heat, betrayals and conflict, sacrifices and love…
More about the author:
Lyla Payne has been publishing New Adult romance novels for a little over a year, starting with Broken at Love and continuing with the rest of the Whitman University series. She loves telling stories, discovering the little reasons people fall in love, and uncovering hidden truths in the world around us – past and present. In her spare time she cuddles her two dogs, pretends to enjoy exercising so that she can eat as much Chipotle as she wants, and harbors a deep and abiding hope that Zac Efron likes older women. She loves reading, of course, along with movies, traveling, and Irish whiskey. Lyla’s hard at work, ALWAYS, and hopes to bring you more Whitman University antics and at least one more Lowcountry ghost tale before the end of the year.
Lyla Payne is represented by Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.