Playing Nice by JP Delaney, 3.5 Stars

I can tell it’s going to be a rough summer. I think I blogged about this already, but I will be mourning the absence of a pool to go to ALL SUMMER LONG. It’s just not the same sitting in my sweltering hot backyard in my swimsuit for all the neighbors to see (not that they want to), while I read. ITS JUST NOT THE SAME as reading in the sweltering heat poolside.

Wah, poor me. Rant over. I’m glad I don’t have real problems, right? Because the scenario in Playing Nice on the surface seems everday, but I can say from experience as the mother of a toddler, it’s terrifying.

From the Publisher:

Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent’s worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete’s son, Theo, isn’t actually his son—he is the Lamberts’, switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they’ve been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.
The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents—or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts’ glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.
They are done playing nice.

My Review:

OMG, the premise of this book is terrifying. I simply cannot imagine someone showing up on my doorstep and telling me that my child I’ve been raising for the past two years isn’t mine. Of course, they couldn’t because my kids look just like me, but still.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who say, hmm, whose nose did he get? Or, “oh, he has your father’s eyes.” I mean, there are plenty of kids out there who don’t look like their parents. But I digress.

Pete and Maddie are blindsided when Miles and his wife, Lucie, try to lay claim to their son Theo. They are raising Pete and Maddie’s biological son, David, but the matter is more complicated by the fact that David has had some delays from the NICU, ones that Theo was able to beat.

They try to work it out for a while, but I think anyone who is a parent knew that wasn’t going to go well. And then it kind of turns out that Miles is a complete pyscho and things just go on from there.

It reminded me a little of a Jodi Picoult book, in that there is a legal battle that everyone is going through. But of course, Picoult would be slightly less sinister domestic thriller and more family drama. I did find it hard to believe that so many people couldn’t see through Miles. And they couldn’t put two and two together on certain events (but no spoilers).

Playing Nice was a good book, I give it a B, or 3 1/2 stars. A perfectly nice way to spend a sweltering afternoon. Special thanks to Ballantine Books and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out July 28. Get your copy:


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