Book Review – Play by Kylie Scott

by Maryse on March 30, 2014 · 23 comments

in My Book Reviews

Play (A Stage Dive Novel)
*welp* I’ve come to the conclusion that Kylie Scott can do no wrong. I apparently love everything she writes, and Mal’s book was the best one yet. An easy FIVE stars from me, my friends!!!!!!! And not just that. I five-star LOVED book #1 (Lick), too, but you know what? I LOVED this one even more.

And I’m gonna be honest. While I absolutely love this author’s other books, I didn’t expect that this one would end up being my favorite of the bunch. Oh… I knew I’d be reading it ASAP, but it was THIS recommendation (by my fellow book-bud) that made me move it to the top of the list:

Celeste: “O.M.G. Play was even better than Lick. I absolutely freaking LOVED it. I only wish it had been longer. I devoured this book.”

Better than Lick??!!!! OMG I HAD to read it right away. And yep. She was right.

I absolutely devoured this book in one sitting, and giggled my way through it, with glee. But don’t get too comfortable with the “funny”. This one has a good dose of romantic angst, just the way I like it.

So why didn’t I think I’d connect to this one as much? Well… *sigh*. I know I’m not very “cool” to admit this, (’cause I know SO many loved Mal from the start). But Mal… well… initially, he just wasn’t really my thing, ya know? I enjoyed his character in book #1, sure. Mal was right “out there” from the start, and book #1 pretty much showed us this side of him. Cocky, arrogant, and a total goof.

I did indeed have a bad feeling I was being played again. However, not maliciously this time. Mal didn’t seem like he’d harm a fly. But he might accidentally trample one.

Yep!!!! Perfectly said.

I knew what I was getting into, but, even in his rock star bad-boy hotness, he just didn’t seem so much like “my type”. <— I know… *shakes head* I’m ashamed to admit this, now. BIG TIME!

You know me… I like ‘em brooding and serious, with moments of silliness only once you get to know ‘em (and only let loose to a select few). But Mal was so obviously a happy-go-lucky extrovert.

“How about her?” Ben pointed to a sleek blonde who smiled and preened in response. “I bet she’d like to meet you.”

“Ooh, she’s shiny.”

“Why don’t you go ask her what her name is?” suggested Ben, patting him on the back.

“Do I need to know her name?”

“I’ve heard it helps.”

“Maybe for you,” Mal scoffed. “I just call out my own name during sex.”

*snort* He’s such a goof!

Ohhhhhhhh Mal. rolleyes

Hehe. Oh I found the humor in it, all right. ;) But I didn’t quite connect to him as much at first. <— KEY word, ’cause OMG I fell for him HARD! BUT!! I wasn’t the only one that was hesitant about Mal:

Nikee: I liked Lick, but I didn’t really care that much for Mal in it. Think I’ll like him here better?

Carol: I enjoyed Licked to, but Mal is hands down a more dynamic character than David. I can’t even describe him….he is seriously one of a kind.

Jean: Yeah took me a while to warm up to Mal, but I did!

Missy: Finished today and I loved both characters. I gave it 5 stars.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Nikee, I wasn’t huge on Mal either, in Lick, and it took me to about 25% to “get him” and truly like/believe him, in this one, but you’ll get there, and then you’ll love him.

Apparently my type comes in all sorts of personalities, ’cause as long as they’re “awesome” I’m in. And Mal is a whole lotta that!

I went from getting used to “Mal’s” outrageous extrovert personality and being overwhelmed by it…

… it was him as a whole that blew my mind. The parts meant nothing without the amused realm in his eye and the hint of a smirk. God, I hated people who smirked. Apparently, I also wanted to lick them all over because my mouth started watering.

“I’m Mal,” he said.

“I – I know,” I stuttered.

His smirk heightened. “I know you know.”

Huh. I kept my mouth shut.

…to quickly finding him (and his adorable texts) endearing.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Mal is just soooooo cute, I wanna cuddle him. I’m on chapter 6 and his “I’m bored” texts are so… “Awwwwwwwww

Lindsay: I lurve mal !!! After anxiously awaiting plays release …. I read it in less than a day !!! So good !!

Kathy Vittitow That’s how I felt. I loved Mal!! He was so adorably funny and yet still sexy.

Tina: Just finished that last night! Love me some Mal!!!!

Kim: Love Mal….I’m thinking my lead guitarist obsession has switched to a drummer

Pamela: Just finished this one today. Soooo good. I laughed so much! Plus it packs emotional punch too. Yay! Can’t wait for Lead.

Val: I loved that book. He is really close to the top of my boyfriend list. Love Mal. He is so funny.

Renate: Just finished today, Mal was so cute…the texts are adorable….LOL in a few scenes. Need to hug him!

Kirsten: Ok Maryse’s Book Blog (Paranormal & Urban Fantasy) because it’s you I’ll share Mal, BUT I really claimed him as my own when reading Lick.

Kristy: Love Mal and his quirky energy!!

Jennifer: Finished it at 1am this morning. A rare 5-star read for me!! (I’m picky.)

Carol: I enjoyed this book better than the first! Mal was great.

Linda: Im right there too!

Maryse’s Book Blog: OMG I can’t stop laughing!! I wasn’t finished that whole text part and it just cracked me up even harder. That co-dependency comment killed me!! I wanna be Mal’s fake girlfriend so bad.

Angie: Just finished this…..I never laughed so hard while reading a book!!!!! Loved loved Mal!!

Karen: I read the book in one day. I was laughin out loud at him. Love Mal.


To crushing on him. To pining for him (even though we made a promise not to get attached while we “faked” being boyfriend and girlfriend). I mean… Anne and him. Right riiiiiight… I wasn’t in that deal at all. *hrmph* ;)

A deal was a deal, but I… er… I mean, ANNE couldn’t help but develop a crush. With a gorgeous, sweet, hilarious guy like Mal, it was simply inevitable.

And then I was FUMING at him <—- oh did I FUME!!!!!!!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: *blink blink* Oh no he didn’t!!!! ROAR! evil

Sarah: Uh oh! Naughty Mal!

Polly: Think i may know. The book took a turn for me there

Melissa: I know!!!!

What did he do? Lemme just say that I was drowning in jealousy, and it was my own!

But we soon discover that Mal isn’t all “life of the party” and as Mal and Anne develop their friendship, she soon discovers a whole other side to him, and it just made me wanna cuddle him hard. Malcolm, Malcolm, Malcolm. You literally rocked my world!

So what’s it about?

Anne is friends (and used to be neighbors with) “Ev” (the heroine in book #1 who is married to the guitarist). After coming home one day to finding her roommate suddenly gone (with her money), and her male best friend (that she’s been pining for) still so obviously in “friend-mode”, she accepts an invitation to a rock star party (that of her most favorite band, and hoping to catch a glimpse of “Mal”. Her biggest rock star crush).

Not only does she catch a glimpse of Mal, but after overhearing her slightly sad phone conversation, he pretty much insinuates himself into every aspect of her life. At first she thinks he’s just messing with her, and then she thinks he must be drunk… but she soon realizes despite his brand of “crazy” he’s actually quite serious.

“Whatever you want is great.”

“That is the correct answer. We are going to be the best fake couple ever, pumpkin.”

*giggle* Let the “rock-star fake relationship” fun begin!!!

This book is a must read, for those that love good ol’ fashion rock-star infatuation romance. Lots of sweeeeeeet laughs, a HUGE crush, and boy is it steeeeeeeamy (even though it’s kind of a slow burn at first <— which makes it THAT much better the whole way through). Oh. And plenty of angst in so MANY ways. I’m telling you, my heart felt it all.

Maryse’s Book Blog: OMG LOL!!!!!!!

“It’s a sign of affection. You think I salivate on just anyone?”

“You… I can’t even.”

“There are women who would kill to have me licking their face. You do not even begin to appreciate just how lucky you are to have my spit. Now lick me back.”

He pointed to his jaw, demandingly.

“Anne, Do it. Do it now, woman, before I get offended.”<— eeewwwwww!!!! :P Tee heeeeeee!

I *heart* Mal. He’s gonna be such a heartbreaker. I just know it.

Kim: *heart* THEM! This book made me laugh so hard

Jennifer: He is great the entire book! He has such a way with words!!

Melissa: I just finished it! Loved it!!!!

Jo: He’s my husband, you know….

Maryse’s Book Blog: Jo… Them’s fightin’ words!

Jenn: I was cracking up!!!

Sasha: Omg, when he struck up a conversation with her *spoiler* I DIED.

Milissa: I laughed so hard at that book!!!

Sharna: Hubby was looking at me strange a lot when I read play as I was laughing an giggling and grinning loved. Play!

Candace: Mal is my baby daddy I swear

Sali: Baaaahaaa OMG I LUV MAL !!!!!

Jaime: Reading this right now! Loving Mal. Funny and sexy. Best combination!

Cindy: Lol ew…

Hang: MAL is AMAZING!!!

Tina: Just finished!! Loved it!


Kristen: I’m loving it even more than Lick

Sara: If we could only clone a Mal, there would be no divorce.

Lindsay: I could not agree more !! I have seriously loved the first two books so freaking much !! They are a total mind body and soul experience !! Seriously I’m a wee bit obsessed ;) tee hee !

Tell me you don’t already love him like crazy!??

This book is another example of why I love reading as much as I do. It had EVERYTHING I want in my reads. It made me laugh like crazy, made me swoon, made me fume, made me fall SO hard… made me tear up so bad. Just the right amount of everything, too. So well paced, the emotions were just spot-on for me. *squeeeeee* I fell in love!!! Guilty pleasure romance read perfection!

5 stars!!!

P.S. Here is the Stage Dive Series Reading Order

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Nadia March 30, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Absolutely loved this book. I tried to read it slow to make it last but I couldn’t do it. Stayed up all night just to finish and it was so worth it. Love Mal ❤️❤️

Kirsten March 30, 2014 at 8:51 PM

I do love him like crazy and I’m missing him. :/

Jody K March 30, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Loved it so much! I totally agree Nadia tried to stretch it out but couldn’t stop reading. Every time I hear the song Undressed it reminds me of Mal and how he would be with Pumpkin. :)

Maryse March 30, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Right to the very end, I loved it. Sometimes when I get to the last quarter, I find things a little over drawn out, and am anxious-ish to finish, but not with this one. I was hooked right to the very last word. :D

Celeste March 30, 2014 at 9:40 PM

YAY! So glad you loved it, as well. I’m still sad the book’s over, but at least we have two more to look forward to! I’m so looking forward to how she’s going to hook us on Jimmy, because at this point, I’m thinking it’s gonna be a hard sell! After seeing what she’s done so far, I have no doubt she’ll pull it off.

I’ve only read these two Stage Dive books of hers, but I just one clicked her zombie series. (I’d avoided it because um, zombies don’t usually come to mind when I think romance, but now I’m thinking if Kylie wrote it, anything’s possible!)

Tessa March 30, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Just finished this an hour ago and OMG it was awesome!!! I loved Mal meeting the sister. Every moment hilarious. Right now I’m in great book land. Oh even she was funny, just by being her. :-)

bev March 31, 2014 at 12:22 AM

Loved loved loved this book and Mal. This book I wish was twice as long. Such a sweet read.

Linda March 31, 2014 at 6:21 AM

Finished reading Play last night. The characters and the whole progress of the story had me from the beginning to the end. Hard to breakdown favorite moments. Loved them all. The bathtub scene priceless. Mal was ADORABLE and Anne held her own. Loved the way she was nonchalant about his kissing skills:-) Just made him work harder!!! Love:-)

Renate March 31, 2014 at 7:02 AM

I never liked the endearment ‘pumpkin’ before this book….;-)

Maureen March 31, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Totally agree 5 stars for me too. That book was FUN!

Patty R. March 31, 2014 at 8:26 AM

OMG… I read this last week ….it was amaaaaazing… I liked that the situations in the book weren’t drawn out, like her relationship with her BFF. I cant wait for a sequels with Jimmy and Ben and you know who…. Loved the humor is this story.

Kim March 31, 2014 at 8:55 AM

You know it’s a great read when reading an awesome review takes you right back to the exact moment when you fell in love with a book boyfriend. Mal is the most adorable BBF ever. #LOVE

Shannon March 31, 2014 at 1:02 PM

I read both this weekend and LOVED them both! What a Book hangover!

Ashley March 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

I didn’t think I could love this as much as the first one but I agree – it surpassed it!! Mal is my new book boyfriend until someone better comes along….. :)

P.S. Happy new release day tomorrow! Preordered The King and cannot wait!

Ashley B. March 31, 2014 at 3:05 PM

I absolutely loved this one and I love Mal! I cannot wait for the next books in July and December – too long to wait!

No, onto Bomb and Guns, which I hear are incredible! Look out Spencer – I’m coming for you! ;)

Erin M March 31, 2014 at 5:22 PM

I am reading it now…after that review. Only on chapter 3…it’s a problem I keep flipping back to the cover and just staring at it. Damn that is a nice cover!
Focus Erin!

Sarah March 31, 2014 at 6:13 PM

I love love love this series, it’s probably my favourite. And I have a lot of favourites! I am suffering withdrawals from mal now! Can’t wait for more of the series

Nanette March 31, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Absolutely loved Mal! I was reading in bed after hubby fell asleep and had to bite back my laughing, it was so goooood!!!!! Yep definitely a great book for sure!

Suzanne March 31, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Great review Maryse. I am SO HOOKED on this series. Both Lick and Play were 5 stars for me too! So LOVE Mal!

Bethany Lopez April 1, 2014 at 2:27 AM

I’m 75% in to this now and I love Mal to pieces! He was my Fav in Lick, so I knew his book was going to be awesome, but it’s better than I expected!

Marina April 1, 2014 at 8:42 AM


JenM April 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

I adored Mal in the first book so I had a happy squee when I found out the second one was his book. Definitely not disappointed. He’s so adorable. Those texts, and the discussion with her female parts, OMG, I died laughing.

Liz April 19, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Started to read Play now after it being on your best of 2014 (could not get myself to it when you reviewed it. Was worried I may not like it as much as Lick). After I was a few pages in I stopped and read Lick again as I could not remember all details with Ev and David. Went straight into Play after that. This author is sooo good. The story may not be so different, but how she develops her characters is amazing. This felt so real and I fell hard for Mal too. Again an author that not only has a good storyline, but also knows how to write it for real. Go Kylie – we need more of you!

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