Playing the Long Game
An Enemies to Lovers Romance
by Sophie Penhaligon
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 1 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 6 Oct 2021
As the daughter of a humble housekeeper, Ellie Moreland spends her formative years with a giant chip on her shoulder and a burning desire to join the Cavendish family at the top of the food chain. As she watches their lavish parties and decadent lifestyle from a distance, she puts a plan in place that will ensure she is never seen as inferior again.
She has one particular Cavendish brother in her sights and is convinced he will be her ticket to the world of her dreams, but someone is determined to thwart her plans.
Heartbroken and bitter she vows revenge, but will her burning desire for success bring her the happiness she seeks?
"Author Sophie Penhaligon infuses the narrative with a delicious mix of romance, humor, and drama to create an enthralling love story bound to entertain lovers of romance novels. Filled with compelling characters and witty dialogue, Playing the Long Game is a delightful treat that you can't get enough of." - Readers' Favorite Review
Average rating from 42 members
This is an absolutely adorable book. I absolutely love the main character and rooted for her for the beginning. It’s a great story and the ending was perfect.
This book is so good. I read this all in one day. I could not put it down. There were so many twists and turns the description does not do it justice. This book was very well written and such a good read. I love that the author allows characters to change and grow as people do. The person you are as a child or teenager is not the same person you are later in life. Sometimes stories where people meet again after time apart, they act as nothing has changed, but this isn't realistic. I would totally recommend this book if you love a feel-good romance that's going to keep you on your toes.
I really enjoyed this lovely romance from start to finish and it was one of those books I honestly couldn’t put down. Here we have a feisty and slightly snarky heroine who is walking around feeling her life is entirely unfair. As with many teens, she goes about correcting that in completely the wrong way and gets her fingers burned in the process. I thought this was a fun romantic romp with a little bit of unexpected intrigue injected at the end, just to add interest. I particularly enjoyed the HEA ending which made me go ahh! Just my kind of thing
Will Desires Win Through….? Joining the Cavendish family is just a dream. Right? Years of pining for Ellie, housekeepers daughter, haven’t helped, simply putting a gigantic chip on her shoulder. Will her desires eventually win through? Nicely written romance with a colourful and credible cast and an overriding theme of avoiding obstacles in life. Enjoyable and entertaining reading.
This one caught my eye as it remind me almost of a Downtown Abby type book or would make a really great TV series. Premise As the daughter of a humble housekeeper, Ellie Moreland spends her formative years with a giant chip on her shoulder and a burning desire to join the Cavendish family at the top of the food chain. As she watches their lavish parties and decadent lifestyle from a distance, she puts a plan in place that will ensure she is never seen as inferior again. She has one particular Cavendish brother in her sights and is convinced he will be her ticket to the world of her dreams, but someone is determined to thwart her plans. Heartbroken and bitter she vows revenge, but will her burning desire for success bring her the happiness she seeks? I loved reading about Ellie’s humble beginnings and was curious to see how things worked out for her and if she had got the Cavendish brother she so desired!
Ellie and her mother live in the staff cottage provided by the Cavendish family. Since Ellie was little, she has had a fantasy of marrying the younger, somewhat wild brother, Felix. He occupies Ellie’s fantasy life. The older brother, Leo, is groomed to take over the family business and Ellie sees him as stiff, cold hearted, and all business like his dad. Felix knows how he affects Ellie and asks her to go to Paris with him after she graduates from high school. She is excited until Leo and Mrs. Cavendish thwart her plans and suggest she get an architectural degree completely paid by the family including food and a nice apartment. She devotes her time to proving to them she can do well and thinks she will eventually be reunited with Felix until Felix is sent away and completely forgets about Ellie. Ellie is all business and ends up engaged to her boss at a prestigious architectural firm. When her mother dies, she is reunited with the Cavendish family and the staff who all seem like family. This is a great love story, and it is fun to see Leo and Ellie’s relationship flourish. Felix is not about to give up on the millions of dollars he feels he is entitled to. Business and pleasure can mix, and Ellie learns the importance of family and forgiving herself.
This book was so entertaining. It’s cute, it’s romantic and it was a tad bit dramatic and cheesy at times but in a good way. Leo easily was my favorite character. I was not a big fan of Ellie in the beginning felt like she was naive and kind of ungrateful. Loved how the author described the vibe of the estate during the winter times.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun lighthearted read. It was very enjoyable and I loved Ellie’s character development throughout the book.Its as if the reader see’s her grow up since the book starts of when she is 16 and ends in her twenties.I loved the dynamic between Ellie and the Freestones it just goes to show that you don’t have to be of the same blood to be family.Also her and Leo’s relationship is super cute and a perfect example of non-toxic relationships.
This was a tricky one for me to decide on a rating. The beginning was a bit slow for me and I sometimes struggle with romance novels anyway because they can get pretty cheesy. I was worried this was going to be a disappointing read, but it definitely picked up and I got more invested as I kept reading. In saying that, it was still cheesy and predictable but I ended up loving that! This novel involved a classic enemies to lovers trope. Ellie’s mom works on the Ashton estate as a maid and Leo is the son of the head of the estate. Ellie and Leo essentially grow up together, but Ellie has her sights set on Felix, Leo’s brother, and thinks that Leo is bossy and wound too tight. She quickly discovers that Felix is not the golden boy he seems to be and she decides to live her life without ever falling in love again. But as I’m sure you’ve guessed, Leo eventually brings her back to love. I found the writing to be rather rushed. There was a long timeline to cover and I often felt that I was just settling into a time in Ellie’s life and then it would skip to a few months or years later. I also sometimes wanted to scream at Ellie because some of her choices were beyond infuriating. But in spite of all that, I loved the relationship between Ellie and Leo. Throw in the suspense of a classic kidnapping and some rather steamy scenes and you’ve got yourself a book! Overall, this was an easy, feel-good read and I really enjoyed it. Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy!
"Aww.. it's so good! "- That's my first though after reading this book. Really felt nice after reading a good romance .. this story , characters, emotions and all were so perfect it drawed me right into it from the very first... I couldn't stop reading and I was laughing all the way through it. Actually I am in between exams and so stressed I mean serious exam tension & stress .. and was running on 4 hrs sleep everyday Reading this book was so refreshing and it kinda felt nice.. once again I was reminded how thankful I should be about books God knows what I need! Content warning: one closed door sex scene - not graphic just a lil 🔥 -Kidnapping scene not disturbing though.
The synopsis of this makes it seem a bit like the film Sabrina but while they have their similarities, Sophie Penhaligon takes a different approach to the tale which I ended up really enjoying. I admired Ellie's character and I thought the chemistry between her and Leo was well done. Leo was of course the perfect love interest. Kind, patient and supportive. I like how Ellie's feelings for him grew gradually and how honest they were with one another. My only criticism of the story would be that I wasn't a fan of the conflict in the story. I thought the villain was a little too moustache twirling for me. The choices made in the last 20% of the book completely took me out of the story because it just seemed a little melodramatic and far-fetched.
This was an unexpected favorite. Ellie was a bit difficult in the beginning but really grew on me by about 30%. I loved every scene with the Cavendish's, especially Leo!! It did feel more like womens fiction than romance at times but I love both genres so that was fine by me.
Ellie and her mother live on the Cavendish property as her mother is employed by the family. They live in the servants cottage while the family lives in the estate. Such is Ellie's view of life... always on the outside. But she is determined to find her way in. The plans to have the youngest Cavendish boy, Felix, fall in love with her and together they'll have their (very wealthy, socially affluent) happily ever after. Thwarted by Felix's older brother, Leo, and his mother, Ellie's plans never take flight. She tucks her tail between her legs and goes away to architectural school, She spends the next years of her life working hard at her career and at her continued hate of Leo Cavendish. She doesn't return to the estate for almost seven years until it's basically unavoidable. When Ellie is forced to face Leo again, she begins to realize she may have misjudged him. Along with her judgement of Felix, and their mother, and her fiancé, and many other areas of her life. Ellie is learning that her judgements of many aspects of her life may have been way off... so much so that she feels like life if she knows it is imploding. She must decide to make the choice to release old hurts and stereotypes in order to move forward. She also must learn to forgive herself for the choices of her past and allow love to be a part of her future. Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very entertaining. I just find the dialogue too cheesy for my taste — but then again, it is a romance novel, so that should have been expected. I love how the author wrote the characters and made them “real” — real for me because I know that the behaviors/reactions in real life would be the same for most if given similar circumstances. The characters were not “too fiction” and I liked that. Ellie showed that with hard work and patience anything is possible, may it be in love or in ensuring that she is never seen inferior again. Overall, it is a story packed with romance, witty comebacks and drama that I think a lot would enjoy reading.
I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley #netgalley Romantic and sweet! It kept me up late reading this one. It hit the spot.
A other well written book which makes you want to keep on reading! Well done on a brilliant book. I will be looking out for more!
This book was a nice and easy read. The love interest was predictable in the best way possible. I loved the childhood crush gone wrong and how she ended up falling for the older brother. Watching as the pair went from enemies, to friends to lovers was amazing and is one of my favourite tropes to read about. Seeing how much he cared about her and the love confession was everything and more I need in a romance novel. I would read this book again for a comfort read and i believe the way they depicted Felix as the golden child turned rotten egg was amazing. Ellie and Leo deserve the entire world and seeing how their relationship looked in the epilogue filled my heart with so much joy and I felt like the story was told from start to finish and that Ellie was finally given not only her prince in shining armour but also the family and friends she had longed for her entire life.
Very mills and boon in that you can predict almost exactly what will happen- right down to the mild peril towards the end. Nevertheless it’s a feel good story and it was enjoyable to see Ellie finally fall in love. I found this really easy and leisurely to read- the perfect book for switching off and some harmless escapism into the world of the super rich. Loved the descriptions of the Ashton Estate too.
This one is my favourite Sophie Penhaligon so far! I love the main characters, Ellie and Leo, and the story was immediately engaging and read smoothly. The conflict between Leo and Felix added interest to the narrative, as did the development of Ellie and Leo's relationship and her changing view of the other Cavendish family members from the beginning of the book to its end. The final chapter and the epilogue brought a satisfying HEA to Ellie and Leo's love story.
This is a review for Net Galley. In this story we follow Ellie whose mother worked as a housekeeper for the Cavendish family to raise Ellie by herself. Ellie dreamed of working her way up in the world as an architect so that Felix, the younger brother, would marry her and get rid of his older brother whom she thought of as Starchy pants. One day Felix shocked her by asking her out on a date. From then on they spent the summer together until one day Felix left without saying good-bye. She was told by the Cavendish family they would pay for her schooling and place to live. She was upset about it at the beginning but in the end had no idea it would change her life for the better. A very heart warming cute story. I highly recommend. I also liked towards the ending when a certain event happened that the author did not go all out in details. I can't say too much because do not want spoilers. I really don't have anything that I didn't like about the book.
4 *stars* I wanted some cute romance book between my reads and this was the book! My thoughts: I really liked the main character Ellie especially how she realized what she has been seeking for years. I was happy how she stood up for herself and at the same time was really emotional and trusted the one person she really needed to. I really wanted more erotica between the characters. The book teases the reader and I hoped there would be a little bit more. Brief synopsis: Story about enemies to lovers. Ellie was the daughter of the maid for the Cavendish family. She lived on the housekeeper cottage with other staff member and they were like a family to each other. Ellie was madly in love with one of the Cavendish boys and she dreamed about the day she won't be working for someone else like her mother, but will be like the Cavendish family. She was madly in love but it is going to come true? Thank you for the book! #PlayingtheLongGame #NetGalley
You do know what you are getting with Sophie Penhaligon, there will be love, a bit of suspense and some fairly graphic sex! It will all end happily ever after and sometimes that is the right sort of book to tuck into as the nights start drawing in.
An enjoyable and somewhat predictable romance. Surprised by the English spelling of colour/color, etc. and had to verify this was taking place in the United States. That may be changed now as I read an ARC. The romance and the upstairs/downstairs feel of the story was charming. The use of the "f" word was glaring when it occurred. I also would have been happier without the intimate details. Overall I really enjoyed the story.
This is a great read, not really a Christmas novel it's just starts that time of year, which makes it more endearing. Ellie comes from a humble begins, her mother sarts out as a housekeeper and Ellie sees her sewing and ironing the Cavendish clothes. But she gains the promotion to household manager. But deep down she has a plan to rise above this either collage (which she can't yet afford, just working part time in the grocery store) or he rather dubious idea begin a relationship with one of the Cavendish boys, whose father owns the estate were she lives with her mother in staff cottages The father, Lionel Cavendish is said to have "ruled his empire with a rod of iron". He also seems to favour one of his sons over the other. The Ashton Estate is 50 acre on the edge of a lake and very beautiful. It then jumps forward 7 years and then at goes on forward months and I wish I was filled in a bit better. I loved the drama / dark side arer of this book as it comes together in the very last part of the book, it is well worth the wait and makes it stand out to from the usual romantic novels. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me a digital copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. Sent from my Galaxy