Changing Constantinou’s Game—a title with a name I actually can spell! I was surprised, although I don’t think I’m pronouncing the hero’s Grecian last name correctly. Well it can’t always go both ways, right?
So this is the fourth novel of Jennifer Hayward. (In other words I caught up to her releases! Yay me! I’ve always wanted to follow an author I like and be able to have read all of their published titles. Right now Ms. Hayward is that only author. :D)
Okay, now really to the review.
We have yet another sexy couple who work…really well together. (Double yay for chemistry!)
Isabel “Izzie” and Alexios “Alex” are not exactly like fire and ice though. They’re way more alike than most couples I’ve read. The only big difference is that Alex is supa-rich and Izzie isn’t. Oh and I guess Alex is a tall, cool drink of Greek on a hot summer Manhattan day and Izzie…isn’t.
The body issues touched briefly on in this book are really concentrated all in the beginning…like that first chapter because unlike most books I’ve read Izzie and Alex are not drawn together by a sham of a convenient relationship to do a slew of things, usually the most common character motivation being a quick need for money, protection of some sort and/or throwing a lifejacket for a floundering reputation.
I repeat: there is NO contractual obligation binding these two people together. The glue is all sexual tension.
Do I hear a triple ‘yay!’???
I also liked that not ever dropped thread from the past was neatly wound up. I already mentioned Izzie and Alex are WAY more alike, and one of those similarities they share is an insecurity that stems from a crap relationship with one of their parents which then prompts the theme of trust-building issues that riddle their relationship.
Neither of these pasts is fully, neatly tucked in at the end. For instance I don’t imagine Alex’s father is going to get an invite to a wedding anytime soon.
And that’s realistic.
Or as realistic as it gets during some points—which brings me to why I’m not going to give this a full-star rating.
I didn’t really like how Alex handled Izzie. I get that he went through so much, and there was this huge plausible reasoning that was entirely rational for his behaviour…yet at the same time it felt rehashed.
His anger at the media no longer seemed like a genuine concern. And Izzie kinda just took his bullshit reactions. Like so many times he yells at her, totally freaks out on her and she’s not in the wrong. And, okay, Alex acknowledges that…but as he says in the book and which I totally was hoping Izzie might throw back at hime: “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.
She kept running back to him and in any other situation where she didn’t’ have a really cool boss and a great work environment, she’d probably have been fired.
Essentially when this couple gets hot—welllllll *ahem* they get hot. But sometimes it felt rushed.
I should also probably forewarn about pacing. This book moves like Kat Cantrell’s Marriage with Benefits. The timeline I think works out over 8 months, and it makes sense because the book really captures the early relationship of Izzie and Alex and its ups and downs—totally normal given Alex’s billionaire status and Izzie’s larger-than-life experiences.
And although they weren’t my favourite book couple of the year, I would still rank Izzie and Alexios as part of my top…well, actually I don’t know how many romances I’ve read but they’re up there. Trust me…actually don’t trust me. Go read the book for yourself and if you have time to spare a comment, let me know what you think of Changing Constantinou’s Game.