Finn Macalister is a daredevil. After a life threatening experience, he decided to live life like he was dying. Finn and his best friend, Lincoln started the secretive Player's Club which has earned a legendary reputation for pulling pranks and crazy stunts. As far as Finn is concerned, the bigger the better. He has no real interest in joining the family business and following in his father's footsteps, but when his latest exploit lands him in the hospital with a concussion, he may have no choice. Finn's father brings in family attorney and all-around fix-it person, Diana Song to make Finn quit the club once and for all and take his rightful place at Macalister Enterprises.
Nicknamed "The Hammer," Diana Song is known for doing whatever it takes to get the job done, and she owes much of her success to Finn's father taking a chance on her when no one else would have. Finn and his father make a deal that Diana will join the Player's Club and report back on her findings regarding their activities. If she thinks it's too dangerous, Finn will quit and come to work at Macalister and if not, he'll continue on with the status quo. In reality though, Finn's father has backed Diana into a corner with an unspoken agreement that no matter what, she's going to say the club is dangerous. Diana believes that she has an obligation to do what he asks, but she didn't count on falling madly in love with the boss's son or coming to enjoy the Player's Club so much.
Finn was a fabulous wrap-up to Cathy Yardley's new Player's Club trilogy. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to say once again that I'm astounded by how much I've enjoyed this series. I love the club's philosophy of living life to the fullest with no regrets, but it's not about thrill-seeking so much as facing your fears to grow into a more confident person. Throughout reading this series, I've often thought it would be great to have my own Player's Club to support me through those bumps in the road when I'm not feeling very self-assured. Not only is their philosophy great, but they're so close, that they've essentially become each other's family when some of their own families have either completely failed them or simply didn't understand them.
Throughout the first two books of the series, Finn did not stand out to me for some reason. Maybe it was just that out of all the Players he was the most like a true adrenaline junkie, but in this book he really came into his own and came alive to me as a character. The nature of his need for adrenaline rushes became much more clear and understandable as well, which made him more relatable to me. Still, at the beginning of the story, he is kind of pushing the boundaries of sanity with his stunts becoming more and more dangerous until even his best friend, Lincoln is having a hard time supporting him anymore. In spite of his somewhat excessive "need for speed," Finn's energy and zest for life is rather infectious. I love how Finn saw Diana as a challenge and how the thought of seducing the "ice queen" was pushing all the same buttons for him that those adrenaline-inducing thrills did. I think the thing I liked most about Finn though is his intuitive nature. He always seems to just know when something is wrong with Diana. He is eager to help make things better for her, and gently prods her to open up to him. Finn just really had a way with melting Diana's frozen heart. He's also a very forgiving person when he finds out the real reason Diana went along with his bet with his father. He just can't seem to help pouring all his positive energy into loving her.
Diana is a rare Asian heroine. She is a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners attorney who is the head legal counsel at Macalister Enterprises, the company owned by Finn's father. After growing up poor with a junkie mother, Diana pulled herself up by her bootstraps to become a top-notch lawyer and feels she owes Finn's father almost everything for where she is today. In the beginning, she was ready to do anything she had to to get Finn to comply with his father's wishes. She didn't earn the nickname "The Hammer" for nothing, but even during those early moments in the story, I could sense her need to let loose bubbling beneath the surface. Diana is definitely the most buttoned-up of the three heroines in this series, but when Finn began drawing her out, I really liked her. She's become my favorite heroine of the three, probably because she needed the Player's Club the most. Her challenges were kind of funny, but the type of things I probably would have chosen myself except for writing the job operations manual. Of course, that would be a total snooze. Yet, that's also what made it so funny, because it's so uniquely Diana. I could really relate to her fears, although sometimes she's a little more stoic than I probably could be. Underneath that hard facade though is a hurting little girl who needs to heal, so it was a joy to see her loosening up and experiencing kid-like enthusiasm.
Together Finn and Diana were absolutely amazing. Right from the start, they share sizzling chemistry. The sexual tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife, and it was only made more delicious by their rapier-sharp bantering. It was definitely a case of opposites attract, but in a good way, rather than the "I can't believe these two are getting together because they drive each other insane" way which I often have a hard time buying into. With Finn and Diana, I always saw exactly why they were so into each other, even if they couldn't have seemed more different. Their first love scene is completely explosive, and every one after that was equally wonderful. There was lots of variety, but each scene perfectly conveyed their intense passion, tender emotions and burgeoning feelings for one another.
Most of the key Player's from the first two books returned in supporting roles. Scott and Amanda (Scott) were more in the background this time, but computer hacker, Tucker had an important job to do. As Finn's best friend and fellow leader of the Player's Club, Lincoln was a little more front and center and Juliana had a couple of scenes too. Finn's evil cousin and ex-Player, George teamed up with two sidekicks, one of whom was quite dastardly. George has been increasingly becoming more sinister as the series has progressed. He finally got what was coming to him, but not before a few tense moments unfolded.
Overall, Finn was a great wrap-up to the Player's Club trilogy. I highly recommend this book and the series in general to anyone looking for a Blaze story with a little fuller character development that isn't often found in this shorter format. It definitely left me feeling quite satisfied. This book earned a spot on my keeper shelf and Cathy Yardley a spot on my favorite authors list. I'm now very eager to check out her backlist titles.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Hope Chest Reviews on Facebook