Playing With Fire: A Bad Boy College Romance. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Playing with Fire: A Bad Boy College Romance by L.J. Shen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

A broken boy on the path to destruction.


A scarred girl without direction.


A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain

and sealed with a lie.


Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.

She is the strange girl from the food truck.

He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.

She is invisible to the world.


He is the town’s beloved bad boy.


She is a reject.


He is trouble.


When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.

But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.

Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:

She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.

And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.

Playing With Fire

They both have scars, the worst were the ones that couldn’t be seen.

The following ratings are out of 5:
Romance: 💙💚💜❤️
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📕📗📘📙
World building: 🌎🌍🌏🌎🌍
Character development: 👤👤👤👤👤

The setting: Sheridan University

The Hero(s): West St. Claire – He is the popular playboy on campus. He has gone through more than his fair share of girls and he never sleeps with them more than once. He makes money in underground fighting and never loses a fight. However, West has some issues going on in his life and needs more money than fighting can provide and he applies for a job at That Taco Truck where Grace works.

The heroine: Grace Shaw – Grace was burned in a fire and is known around town and campus by the nickname “Toastie”. She works in a food truck selling fish tacos, and has extremely low self esteem. She was beautiful prior to the fire and now she covers the burned part of her face with a bunch of foundation and wears a baseball cap to hide under.

The Love Story: While working together, West is impressed with Grace’s sarcastic nature and the fact that she stands up to him and lets him know what she thinks. Grace is unlike all of the other girls he has been with and is not impressed with his popularity and looks like most girls. They become good friends first.

I was surprised at this book for a number of reasons. I usually don’t like books where the heroine has such low self esteem and I like a beautiful heroine. It may be shallow of me, but why read about what we live every day? I like to read about heroine’s that are thin and beautiful and Hero’s that are tall and muscular and have large hands. I especially don’t like it when the heroine dwells on her imperfections.

However, I really ended up liking this book. I loved the fact that West was never bothered by Grace’s scars, he didn’t really even notice them at first until others pointed them out. I also liked the fact that West had deep scars on the inside and his were as bad as Grace’s but he was there for her and propped her up. The story was about overcoming your scars and being free in the end.

I also liked the fact that West wasn’t the bully in this story. He didn’t do everything right by any means, but he wasn’t outright mean to Grace because of her scars like his friend Reign was.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.


View all my reviews


    • Thanks Komal! I am glad I am not the only one. I know that there are a lot of books featuring BBW’s and the like and it is one thing to not promote stick thin models in the media, but another to just not mention weight at all. I like the imperfections to be non-issues. I live in a body that is bigger than I want it to be, I don’t want my heroines whining about stuff like that too. 😉


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