Playing by Heart is a really cute rockstar romance. I’ll admit in saying it is not the best I have ever read, but I enjoyed the read. I thought Bethany was fantastic. I loved her character; she’s funny and most importantly, I really felt for her. Her heartbreak over her ex was not unrealistic, as wasn’t her attachment to him for a while. I have mixed feelings over Jesse. He’s swoonworthy when he wants to be, but some of the time, he’s just a stuck-up jerk and I wasn’t a fan. In the end, he came out on top for me though. Their romance was a slow burn for a while, and one that once it happened, you could forsee all the bumps they were about to run into. Lastly, this book’s theme was all about love. Reflecting back on what I just read, I think this book is a great guidebook for teenagers. It is all about how the word “love” is thrown around so freely nowadays and for people to not believe one another until the other person can show that they are feeling it. Love is thrown around so much it loses impact and meaning, so when somebody is feeling it, they don’t know what it is. So many hearts are broken because people “love” each other when they’re in a fling or casually dating. Love is more powerful than that and is not something that should be taken for granted. It is a feeling that existed inside you, and this book did a FANTASTIC job of showing that. The story itself, as mentioned, is super sweet and cute. The characters are great. But it’s the theme that really sets this book apart. It’s written during such an appropriate time in our lives, being 2018 when it was published.
It was a fantastic read filled with great banter and chemistry brought upon by some lovable characters. Jesse and Bethany’s slow burning romance provided the right amount of sweetness, heat and angst to give me all the feels.
Bethany is the type of girl you marry. She's a nanny, wants to be a teacher and goes to church ... but she got dumped by her boyfriend and desperately wants him back. When she arrives at her nanny job one morning, she learns that her boss' brother is sick and will be staying with him for 3 months. Jesse is a bad boy rock star who has hit rock bottom. His label dropped him, then his band walked out on him, and between the drugs and booze, he can't even remember what day it is and who he's sleeping with ... or how many at a time. His manager says if he wants to try and save his career, he has to do 90 days of rehab, but not at a rehab. He ends up at his brother's house and his brother is a single dad who is a preacher. When Bethany and Jesse meet, she cannot stand the arrogant rock star and Jesse is desperate and can't believe that a woman is saying "no" to have sex with him ... never mind that she is a plain Jane. But as time wears on, they become friends ... and then more.
I could not put this book down ... I ended reading until the wee hours of the morning to finish it. This is one of the best books I have read this year (and I read about 3 books a week). It made me laugh out loud, but also had a heartbreaking story. I couldn't help but fall in love with Bethany and Jesse. Bethany is just this sweet girl who just wants to be loved. And Jesse is an arrogant a$$hole, but he's so broken I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. I loved all the characters and hope there is going to be a book for Ben (Jesse's brother) and Ryker (Jesse's drummer). I highly recommend this book ... believe me, you won't regret it!
I graciously received an ARC from the author in exchange for a honest review.