Play On was just what I was in the mood for. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew that it was going to be right up my reading alley. When I noticed the length of this book, I rubbed my hands together in glee. I am happy to report that it did not disappoint. It was everything that I was hoping it would be.
I am a huge fan of the slow burning, slow building romance. It’s all about the anticipation. Samantha Young delivered this perfectly. She took her time to develop the characters, allowing her readers the chance to get to know them, understand them, and care for them. The book is divided into three parts. This provided a solid backstory, glimpses into important parts of the characters’ lives, and moved the story along at a fluid, effortless pace. I was immediately pulled into the story and invested in the characters right from the beginning.
Nora O’Brien had experienced her share of heartbreak and loss from an early age. She had nearly given up on all of her dreams of a bright future when she met a man who offered her up the promise of a new life in a new country. But this new life in Scotland ended up not being exactly what she had envisioned for herself. Despite having people who cared about her, she still felt as stagnant as she did when she was living with her parents in Indiana. Nora’s dreams continued to feel out of reach and unattainable. She felt guilty for not being satisfied with the new life that she had, and was merely going through the motions of living.
Everything in life can change in the blink of an eye, and Nora was no stranger to this. I wanted Nora to find her true happiness, to let herself off the hook that her guilt kept her tethered to. She was in her early twenties, her whole life was ahead of her, and she had plenty of time to make something of herself. She was so laden with guilt and sadness that it was stunting her ability to move forward. Sometimes life gives us what we need, when we need it the most. Nora found a glimmer of happiness in the least likely of places.
Aidan Lennox. Sigh. He was a successful music composer whose life had experienced a major change. He was no longer living the single life as he once had. He had other responsibilities that had to come first. But underneath the confident, charming, knows-what-he-wants air was a man who was dealing with his own grief and guilt. While he could come across as harsh and pompous, his heart was just as fragile as Nora’s.
I haven’t said too much about the romance that was developing in this story. Oh, it was a good one. It was slow, meandering, and built up the intensity and chemistry between the characters. It kept my heart rate and growing anticipation at a high. It was far from a perfect romance, and I may be in the minority here, but I would rather have a complicated, messy romance any day than a smooth, too-good-to-be-true romance. The author made me wait for it, she teased me with it, gave me bits and pieces of it. I am a very patient reader, though. I thrive on the slow burn, and I was more than happy to let it all happen in good time. It was tumultuous, passionate, angst-filled, and so worth the wait!
Play On was everything that I had hoped it would be. It is an emotional read that is filled with heart, humor, and romance. It was an absolute pleasure to watch Nora evolve and grow throughout the pages of the book. From the main characters to the secondary characters, they were all well-developed and added their own spark to the overall story. As I mentioned above, I was quite happy about how long this book was, and truth be told, as I was nearing the end of the book, I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to the characters and their story. That is the sign of a great book!