Spin-off Saturdays: The Players by Monica Murphy

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

The Players Series is a spin-off of the One Week Girlfriend Series



SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: The Players

This is a spinoff of the One Week Girlfriend Series.

Author: Monica Murphy
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Heat Rating: Toasty
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: December 2022 – August 2023
Source & Format: Author—eARC

WARNING: If you have not finished the original series, this review may have spoilers!


My Expectations?

This series features Owen Maguire’s kids from the One Week Girlfriend Series. Owen is Fable’s younger brother and was the lead character in Four Years Later. Much like Fable’s offspring getting their own series called The Callahans, Owen’s family gets the special spin-off treatment this time! I think its so much fun to see the next generation fall in love and get a glimpse of what some of my favourite romantic pairings are like as parents.

How Does It Compare To The Original?

–Similar Romance Tropes–

Like father like son? Seems to be that way! Much like his old man, Knox (Playing Hard to Get, #1) ends up falling for his college tutor while trying to make the cut for professional football. It’s sweet and charming and I think fans of Four Years Later will love all the similarities.

All the romances have great chemistry from the start and it sucks you in as a reader to see how everything will unfold.

–Lighter Tone–

I do think this series has a lighter, less dramatic tone than the original series. It didn’t seem as melodramatic as the One Week Girlfriend Series, rather the drama is more in everyday relationship obstacles and occurrences. I appreciated the more realistic tone and that we didn’t fall into the many new adult romance clichés that we could have.

Anything I Didn’t Like?

–The Title of “Playing Hard to Get”–

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure why the first book is titled “Playing Hard to Get”. I felt like these two went from 0 to 100 quickly and there wasn’t a whole lot of friction to stop it. I could see their chemistry but I couldn’t see that deeper connection that would make Knox want to give up his pact so soon. That changes in the second half of the novel though. I’m not sure what I would have titled it though to be honest.

Series Rating: 4/5

Playing Hard to Get 3.5/5 | Playing by the Rules 4/5 | Playing to Win 4/5


With a more grounded tone and great character chemistry, new and returning fans will easily enjoy this New Adult sports romance series!

Read if You Like: sports romances, New Adult romances
Avoid if You: dislike sport romances



Synopsis for Playing Hard to Get (from Goodreads):

Knox Maguire is the king of our college campus.

Star offensive tight end on the football team.

He is the complete opposite of me in every way.

I’m quiet. He’s loud.

I’m shy. He’s definitely not.

Everyone loves him. No one knows me.

Fresh out of a breakup, I don’t really trust him, and why should I? Knox is the ultimate player. When I become his English tutor, I tell myself we need to keep things between us strictly business. Watching my mother deal with my ex-athlete father long, long ago taught me to stay far away from that type of man.

Yet Knox is impossible to resist. Next thing I know, we’re getting hot and heavy in the library—and that was never part of the plan. When Knox admits he can’t stop thinking about me, I have a realization.

I can’t stop thinking about him either.

Instead of keeping my distance, I pull him in closer. Until somehow, we’re spending all of our time together and I find myself falling for Knox. Hard.

Will this actually work between us? Or am I getting played?

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