• Playing It Safe

  • By: Barbie Bohrman
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)

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Playing It Safe  By  cover art

Playing It Safe

By: Barbie Bohrman
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
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Publisher's Summary

Julia Boyd has dated more than her share of jerks, and she's done even pretending to like them. Putting her dating life on hold and focusing on her event planning career is a much safer bet for the blue-eyed blonde…until she meets her newest client.

Organizing the opening for an art gallery should be a breeze for Julia, but gallery owner Alex Holt is becoming very distracting. Tall and muscular, with enough charisma and sexy dimples to make Julia swoon, Alex could be the perfect man. The two of them click immediately, creating enough witty banter to ignite sparks.

But just before flames of passion can erupt with Alex, Julia begins planning an engagement party…and learns the groom is Aiden, the man who broke her heart years ago. When Aiden admits that he still has feelings for Julia, everything changes. Should she seek shelter in the familiarity of the past, or should she risk everything on a brand-new love?

©2014 Barbie Bohrman (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Playing It Safe

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kd
  • 12-27-14

good story idea, poorly executed

This story is fully in the chick-lit category, a category that I think I should avoid in the future. So my critique may be different from yours if chick-lit is your thing. This is a romance between two people in their 30s. Alex is 33 and the owner of an art gallery. Julia is in her 30s too, though I’m unsure if her specific age is revealed. And she owns a party planning business that was passed down to her from her dad. Dialogue in the story is constantly between Julia and other people, like her best friend, Sabrina, and Alex, her love interest, and between Julia and herself, and from Julia to us, the unknown listener/reader, with most of it being the latter, unfortunately, so it seemed.

In many ways, this may be a fun story. Julia is a bit quirky, strong and has a potty mouth. I have no problem with the down-home, real life, unpretentious language she uses for everything, absolutely everything…except female body parts. More on that later. Julia is not a woman who uses “darn” EVER and rarely even damn. Though, I think more balance is needed there. As a professional woman from a higher economic bracket, I think it’s more plausible that she would alter her language more often than she did. So her curse word usage was a bit overdone. It didn’t bother me, it just became too much of a caricature. Some people might find the back-and-forth between her married parents funny or cute, as well, but it didn’t do much for me. Other parts of the story listeners might find fun is her commonly referencing pop culture, like a certain advertisement or male actors who look like people she knows, the back-and-forth banter between her long-married parents, her and her co-workers, and her and her younger brother, along with other aspects of her language. But they were not positive stand-outs to me.

On these points, Julia should have refrained from so many uses of phrasings originating from urban culture and now appropriated into pop culture (“get digits,” “up in my grill,” “hell to the no”). For women like this one, with her particular multiple cultural identities, her use of these seemed to be an attempt to appear “cool” or hip but which actually weakened her character instead and, again, made her more of a caricature. Similarly, Julia’s inability to have the same degree of earthiness in talking about the female sexual parts as she does when talking about sex, male sex parts and everything else was so contradictory that and inconsistent that it greatly weakened the story and the character. It reeked of a double standard or falseness in the portrayal of Julia, again, more of a caricature. She referred to the female sex parts, with the exception of the c*it (short for clitoris) at rare points, as her “happy place,” “lady parts,” “piece of flesh,” “between your legs,” “down south,” “my entrance,” “inside me” and, about twice, a vagina. But she easily used the f-word when referring to sex and referred to Alex’s sex parts with the same explicitness she used everywhere else (i.e. c*ck & d*ck). I get another reviewer’s critique of too many references to different aspects of pop culture, especially TV & movie people. To me, like her inconsistency in her use of profane and explicit language and her overuse of culturally appropriated “urban” lingo, her reference to male actors makes her appear to be working too hard to be hip or younger or something, which is an utter failure. There was also a bit too many references to her “smelling her pits” and, in other ways, checking herself for underarm freshness; apparently Julia has a bit of a sweat and, therefore, resulting odor problem. It was disconcerting. I generally like aspects that make characters appear very realistic, but that was a bit too much. I think it might have been an attempt at humor. If so, it didn’t work for me. Finally, on her language, some listeners might be offended by the frequent use of these phrases as expressions of exasperation: “Christ,” “Jesus,” “God help me,” “Oh my God,” “I swear to Christ on a cracker.”

There were several—about 4 I think—somewhat detailed but not explicit or erotic sex scenes. Alex requires control in the bedroom. And there was 1 butt smack episode. They never used or even referenced a condom. There first sex was phone sex; the second sex scene was at his office against a door.
There were 3 things I liked in the book. I liked Julia admitting, earlier in their developing relationship, that she was not in love with him but “in like” and growing towards more. It was refreshing to have a character not jump to “love” so quickly while still recognizing that there are intense emotions present. Finally, I witnessed an author who recognizes that there are several other great, positive emotions that often precede romantic love and that it’s just fine to use those in a story. And it actually makes the story more plausible especially for mature characters. Also, I was in awe at her description of the Harry Potter birthday party she put together. And The final hour of the book was good, but, unfortunately, it was the only good part of the book. During that time, Julia acted maturely and dropped the horrible “cool” or “hip” façade. But I can’t say that it was worth listening to almost 8 hours to get there. I became bored and was just ready to get it over with. But it had a good ending.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

I really enjoyed reading this author.  I look forward to reading more books by this author in the near future.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awesome!!

I absolutely adored this book. I love the personalities of the characters, especially Julia and Alex. Kate Rudd did a great job really bringing out their personalities. I really enjoy listening to Kate Rudd.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love to Argue

What a great story, made me laugh, hurt and sigh in the end. Can friends become more, learn to trust again especially your own judgement. This is my second time listening and just loved it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ok story, great performance

The narrator did a wonderful job switching between characters in the story! The story itself wasn't really my speed because of the descriptive sex escapades and the very strong and frequent language. If those things are your speed then you will enjoy the book... I do love a good sappy love story and this didn't disappoint in that area, but I had a hard time getting past the constant string of cursing.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Light & fun--but frustrating at times

I picked this book because it 1) it was narrated by Kate Rudd & 2) because it seemed like a sweet romance. It was romantic at times, funny at other times, and quite frustrating at others​. Overall I really enjoyed it though. I recommend it if your in need of something sweet, steamy and fun.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

My Musings

Loved the hero, but did not care for the heroine at all. She came across almost crude and very immature. Also didn't care for the narrator. All the male voices sounded the same to me. Happy reading!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

Narration is perfect. Story makes me feel like I'm watching at Tom hanks & meg Ryan romance. Great sex scenes,realistic cursing, heartwarming, witty, funny.

I was able to listen to this via kindle unlimited but I liked it so much I want to buy it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Uh-huh !! Don't lie, we've all been Julia once....

If you could sum up Playing It Safe in three words, what would they be?

Hot, Real, Funny

What other book might you compare Playing It Safe to and why?

Haven't come across it yet!

Which character – as performed by Kate Rudd – was your favorite?

Alex :) Kate really has a way of making a guy's voice sound gooooooood.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yup & sure did.

Any additional comments?

Loved IT.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just Perfect!

Kate Rudd's performance was icing on the cake. The book overall was funny and carried well by Julia as told in her point of view. Albeit the story is a little cliche but it was overall funny and sweet. Kate's performance just brought the story to another dimension. I chuckled, laughed, teared up a little, and had "oh no!" moments. To me an audiobook is just perfect when it grips me enough that I don't want it to end. I've passed this book on several times as I thought from the cover that it was YA and wouldn't be interested. I'm glad I finally listened to it because I was trying out the kindle unlimited for a month. Suffice it to say, I will invest and purchase this book so I can have it in my library.

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Profile Image for Kindle Customer BB
  • Kindle Customer BB
  • 06-07-18

Excellent book!!!!@ well read by Kate Rudd

This was a really good book read by
Kate Rudd. Loved the read in 2 days.