Luke Clarke loves his family, but he has no desire to fulfill his parents’ dream by getting married and going into politics. So when he’s invited to his sister’s week-long wedding gala, he asks Kai along as a decoy. Having a date will squelch his mother’s matchmaking attempts and Kai’s outrageous appearance might—just might—convince his family once and for all that he’ll never have a career in politics.
But as stress, desire, and close quarters eat away at the masks both Luke and Kai wear, their easy arrangement begins to transform into something neither expected. Will they cling to the stable roles of the past, or bet on an uncertain future together?
Gaming the System by Laura K. Curtis
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Kai lived a rough youth, but from the moment she could, she left and lived her life independently on her own terms. She's found a life with a job she enjoys, where she can pursue her own passions, and friends. Luke comes from privilege, but has a family who has tried to mold and control him for a long time into something he didn't want to be. His sister's wedding is coming up and he asks Kai to be his date so his mother won't try to set him up with anyone. As they spend time together at the wedding they find that in addition to a physical attraction to one another, there may be a lot more to their relationship.
The plot of this book was fairly predictable, but the characters were unique. Kai was easy to like and cheer on throughout. Through a lot of difficult circumstances, she has figured out who she is and what she wants. She has taken care of herself and come to find friends who have become family. She is witty and interesting, and it was enjoyable to spend time with her. Luke is also easy to like. He seems to be someone who has overcome the negative aspects of what his life could have become. He definitely makes some mistakes, but for the most part he is kind, fun, and sexy. I liked watching the situation Kai and Luke found themselves in lead them to a friendship and relationship that both needed very much. I have not read the first book in this series, but this book read just fine as a stand-alone. I would read more by this author in the future. 3.5 stars
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review