I was excited to see that we were finally going to get Ava’s story, since I had read the other two books earlier last year. Unfortunately, this one fell short for me.
Ava, labeled as the fat girl, has worked hard to get where she is...not just professionally, but personally as well. Her insecurities about her weight still pop up in the form of her “loving” mother, who like to remind her that she’s be so much better off if she worked harder at losing weight.
Saddled with Miss Agnes Wolcott’s estate, part of an inheritance she, Poppy and Jane received from the deceases Miss A, the girls rent out the house to Scorched Earth Productions for a documentary. Unfortunately for Ava, the boy who once devastated her in high school not only is the film maker, but the owner of the production company.
And so begins the story of “I hate him, she is so freaking hot” that is Playing Dirty.
I get that Ava was hurt by Cade’s participation in the bet that led to Ava’s devastation, but they were in high school and he had tried, on multiple occasions, to apologize for something he did as a stupid 18 year old. I also understand her mother’s constant harping about her weight as something that would weigh down her self image. What may it really hard for me to like Ava was the fact that she didn’t seem to fight for herself, at least in a way that would make her feel better about herself. She fought for her business and she fought for her friends, it just seemed like she didn’t think she was worth the fight (no matter what she said to herself).
Cade on the other hand, seemed to bend over backwards trying to prove to Ava that he wasn’t the person he was back in high school. I don’t know too many people that would continue to press the issue after repeatedly having their apology thrown in their face. Ava had no problem accepting one of Cade’s high school buddies ‘I’m sorries’ when they ran into him at a restaurant, but Cade just about had to cut off one of his limbs before she caved in.
The ‘mystery’ that ran through the story was weak as well. It was like the Keystone Cops.
And don’t get me started on the delivery room scene in the epilogue!