Review: Playing Games ( Franklin U #1) by Riley Hart

Rating: 4 🌈

Playing Games is a wonderful enemies to lovers romance from Riley Hart. It’s the first in a multi-author series called Franklin U that can be read in any order, the only main factor is the campus all the characters live on and the college they attend.

I enjoyed the layered approach Hart takes here to both the characters, their differences in social status and histories, as well as how often even the harshest of arguments and familial divides worked their way out in areas of grey, adult relationship style instead of stark black/white divisiveness.

That same narrative outlook was applied to Braxton Walker, who’s tough upbringing and history is one he’s working hard to rise above. Despite his rough appearance, he’s set goals to achieve.

Tyson Langley is his opposite. Rich, sliding through his studies, a star on the college LaCrosse team, he represents everything Brax is fighting hard for and yet Ty seems to appreciate none of it.

The characters are well defined. And when a believable crisis causes Ty to seek a job that brings him into Brax’s orbit, the enforced intimacy that breaks down each other’s walls has a realistic feeling to it.

The romance happens a tad fast but the groundwork is laid for it and a relationship. It does work.

I ended up really enjoying their story and the characters. They each make a couple of “guest” appearances in other books in this series.

If you’re a lover of contemporary romance, add this sweet book to your list!

Franklin U series:

✓ Playing Games #1 – Riley Hart

✓ The Dating Disaster #2 – Saxon James

✓ Mr. Romance #3 – Louise Masters

◦ Bet You #4 – Neve Wilder

◦ The Glow Up #5 – A.M. Johnson

◦ The Learning Curve #6 – N.R. Walker

◦ Making Waves #7 – Christina Lee

◦ Football Royalty #8 – Eden Finley › showPlaying Games (Franklin U #1) by Riley Hart | Goodreads


Tyson Langley thinks the king in Franklin University Kings is in reference to him. Star lacrosse player and God’s gift to the female and male population, there’s nothing the spoiled jock can’t have.

It’s impossible for us to be in the same room without talking crap to each other. But I also have a secret… As much as I despise Ty, I want him too. I revel in our banter and in never knowing what he’ll say next.

I’ve spent too much time on the wrong side of the law for someone like Ty, though, and if I want to make it through college and escape my past, he’s a distraction I don’t need.


Braxton Walker needs to learn to lighten up. If you search brooding online, his name pops up. He’s the bad boy with a leather jacket and a scowl. We couldn’t be more different.

Finding ways to annoy him is like the longest foreplay session of my life. And when we end up working together, it gets harder to deny how hot he makes me.

What’s a little hooking up between enemies?

We weren’t supposed to become friends or share secrets. We weren’t supposed to understand each other and all the complicated stuff we’re going through.

I’m used to playing games, only the more time I spend with Brax, the less it feels like playing around and the more it becomes something real.


This series takes place across a calendar year. The books have been released in chronological order but are all stand alones and can be consumed in whichever order you choose.


Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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