Playing For Fun (A Small Town Friends to Lovers Romance): Stewart Island Book 6

· Icon Publishing Limited
50 reviews

About this ebook

Is Ford Komeke New Zealand’s most reluctant bachelor?

Wanted: A woman for Ford.

Ford Komeke can’t deny he could use an up-skill in the dating arena. It’s a local in-joke that his game, as far as women go, sucks. Thanks to the meddling of New Zealand’s worst octogenarian matchmaker, he’s got an online dating profile, a new wardrobe, and a haircut from Stewart Island’s sexy hairdresser, Holly Parker. But since he’s well and truly mired in the friendzone with Holly, what’s the harm in exploring his options? A little jealousy could work wonders.

Offered: Dream job with a catch.

What do you say when you’re offered an un-turn-downable career opportunity? You say, hell-to-the-yeah! Only there’s a problem. To get the dream job Holly must leave Stewart Island and her two best friends, Shaye and Ford. But if Holly can distract Shaye with wedding planning and set Ford up with a nice girl so she can stop imagining him naked, neither will notice if she exits stage right. Neither will notice if her feelings for Ford stop being strictly platonic.

Warning: One kiss is never enough.

As addictive as the chocolate stash Holly hides in her fridge, one kiss forces them out of the friendzone—way out of the friendzone. Heat and hunger explode, but the ugliness in Ford’s past hold his heart hostage. Playing for fun or playing for keeps? Holly and Ford must decide because the consequences of falling in love means that someone’s heart or someone’s dream will ultimately end up shattered.

PLAYING FOR FUN is the sixth story in Tracey Alvarez’s best-selling Stewart Island books set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like heart-warming, sexy & seductive small-town romances with a touch of humor, you’ll love sharing the journey with these authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone.

Download your copy of Playing For Fun and dive into the sensual Stewart Island world! 
Intended for mature 18+ aged readers who enjoy their romance on the steamier side. 

Praise for the Stewart Island series!

"It’s official…I’m hooked on this series! I want to jump on a plane and fly to this island, because apparently they grow them big and HOT in New Zealand…men that is!!!" ~ Swept Away By Romance 

"Perfection comes in many shapes and forms, and Ms Alvarez delivers in her contemporary voice and quirky character traits that make a distinctive difference between average and stellar storytelling." ~ InD’Tale Magazine

"Just as the must-read series of Donna Kauffman (The Bachelors of Blueberry Cove), Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor), Terri Osburn (Anchor Island), Marie Force (The McCarthys of Gansett Island), Sherryl Woods (Chesapeake Shores) have entranced me with their seaside settings and caring communities - so has Tracey Alvarez - and I'm adding her series to my must-read shelf too."~ Fab Fantasy Fiction

Don’t miss any of the Stewart Island books!
Book 1:
 In Too Deep. Featuring Piper and West.
Book 2: Melting Into You. Featuring Kezia and Ben. 
Book 3: Ready To Burn. Featuring Shaye and Del. 
Book 4: Christmas With You. Featuring Carly and Kip. 
Book 5: My Forever Valentine. Due South Short Stories. 
Book 6: Playing For Fun. Featuring Holly and Ford. 
Book 7: Drawing Me In. Featuring Bree and Harley.  
Book 7.5: Kissing The Bride. A Due South short story. 
Book 8: Saying I Do. Featuring MacKenna and Joe.
Book 9: Home For Christmas. 
Book 10: Bending The Rules. Featuring Tilly and Noah.

Keywords: small town romance, romance series, New Zealand romance, contemporary romance, sexy romance, matchmaker, beach romance, coastal romance, island romance, family saga, boy next door, friends to lovers, mechanic, hair stylist, The Bachelor, heart-warming, sensual, rural romance, friends with benefits, escape down under, interracial romance, Maori culture, series romance, heartwarming romance, island romance series, family relationships, sweet and sexy romance, first loves, exotic foreign romance, vacation romance, beach reads, summer reads

Ratings and reviews

50 reviews
WK Liew
May 21, 2019
A good and enjoyable read of how two good friends who took the leap of faith and follow their hearts finally after years of dancing around each other The story started a little too slow for me but I like the chemistry between Holly and Ford. Feel that the build up took up too much time, hence not enough space on the romance part & the ending was a little abrupt. Still it's an enjoyable read
Nancy Stopper
December 28, 2015
In all honesty, I struggled with this book at the beginning. It moved way too slowly for a long time at the beginning. Almost to the point that I considered putting the book down. It took a lot longer than I thought it should have to get to the meat of the story. There was just too much back and forth between Ford and Holly with "Ford this" and Holly that" But once it finally did, I enjoyed the book. One thing I really enjoyed was Maori and New Zealand language and traditions. They were well placed in the story and really added to the depth of the story. I also really enjoyed the interaction with previous residents of Oban that we've met in former "Due South" books. It's great to check in and see how their lives how progressed, and what's happening in their lives affects the hero and heroine of the current story. I also loved the octogenarian input into their lives. Adding a comic component like that in a book always adds to the richness of it. The love story between Ford and Holly, once it finally got started, was sweet and wonderful and I was happy to see they finally worked through what were easy communication issues to dig to the root of what they needed to do to make themselves happy. Together. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Roberta Capizzi
December 20, 2015
Another great story of friendship and love in the sixth book in the Due South Series, Playing For Fun will not disappoint fans of author Tracey Alvarez’s books. But if you’re new to the series, the good news is you can start at this point and get pulled into the Due South world without any problems. The good thing about this series is that every book works well as a standalone, but it is obviously enjoyed that little bit more if you’ve read all the previous books and met all the side characters. Playing For Fun is the story of two characters who have always been rather in the background in the previous books, always the best friends but never the leading characters. Having read all the previous books in the series, I was curious to read what the author had in store for them. Before I start my review, I have to point out that I am a little partial to a certain character (namely, Ryan “West” Westlake, the hero in book one) so no other hero has ever measured up to him – even though I’ve liked all the previous books in this series. However, when I started reading the book I couldn’t help liking Ford. He’s the brooding, introverted and handsome hero any girl would like to cuddle. I know the image the author meant to give was probably completely different, but I imagined him like a giant teddy bear with dreadlocks – one that you can’t help wanting to hug and squeeze like a teddy bear. Holly, just like every other heroine in the series, is super easy to relate to and a girl you’d like to be friends with. I’m happy the author decided to tell her story, because she deserved a little spotlight. My only complaint is that I would’ve liked for the author to delve a little bit deeper into Holly’s family problems, which played a big part in her past and in the way she grew up but were only briefly mentioned, whereas we get to read ore about Ford’s family and his troubled past. Following the style of the previous books, there is humor and banter and there are funny small-town community moments (Mrs. Taylor is hilarious) and as usual, I enjoyed the camaraderie all the guys and girls on the island share. They’re all friends who grew up together, and even the outsiders who have now become a part of the community are treated like family. I’ve loved this small island setting from the very first book, to the point that I’ve been dreaming of moving to New Zealand. But I’m sure if you read these books, you too will be tempted to get on a plane and find out if an adorable little island with friendly and funny locals really exists, somewhere in the Southern Emisphere. Like in the previous books, there is steam when the two leading characters decide to give in to their feelings. And well, in this book there is a loooot of steam. Prudish as it sounds, I have to say that the author went a little overboard with the sex scenes in this book. Even though the previous books also contained adult material, I felt that the scenes between Holly and Ford were a little too graphic and left me a little surprised since I wasn’t expecting that side of Ford. To be honest, the giant teddy bear didn’t feel like one anymore, after I read their intimate moments… It is only a personal opinion though, so don’t let this discourage you from reading this book because you would definitely miss out on a great friends-to-lovers story if you did. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review and the opinions are my own.

About the author

Tracey Alvarez is a USA Today Bestselling Author living in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

Follow Tracey on Twitter as @TraceyAlvrezNZ or Facebook as 

Her website is and don't forget to sign up to her newsletter here:

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