Jen Turano has become a must-read author for me. Her ability to set up humorous situations and fun side characters draw me into her stories, but the poignant messages her characters comprehend on their journey are what bring me back every time.
Readers of the first two books in the A Class of Their Own series have met Lucetta Plum, the popular actress in theaters around New York City. When one of her fans insists on winning her anyway he can, she’s forced to leave the theater (and her starring role which the playwright insisted she take) and New York. Abigail Hart, the woman who has taken Lucetta under her wing, insists they hide at her grandson’s home (er, castle).
Bram Haverstein is an enigma. Rumors spread amongst the townspeople add to the mystery of what exactly goes on at Ravenswood. Add in a second rumor hinting the man would like to be married within months, and there are now unwanted visitors to his home from the outside in addition to the strange happenings inside the walls.
After a memorable (and hilarious) meet-cute, Lucetta and Bram form an odd friendship. The actress isn’t the genteel, wilting flower Bram imagined her to be, and Lucetta’s intrigued by Bram but unwilling to depend on a man for anything.
As the two spend time together and the mysterious incidents keep building up within Ravenswood, will Bram learn that the Lucetta’s true character is much better than the one he’s imagined? And will Lucetta realize that giving her heart to another does not mean she loses her independence?
Not only are the interactions between Lucetta and Bram delightfully enchanting but Bram’s staff with all of their past baggage and different backgrounds a breath of fresh air. Their actions and attitudes kept me guessing as to which employees were loyal and which may have something to hide. Add in Abigail and her matchmaking schemes and Bram’s mother (Abigail’s estranged daughter) and sister along with Lucetta’s bodyguard, and memorable characters abound.
Several scenes in Playing the Part are lighthearted and fun while the conversations between Lucetta and Bram are revealing and meaningful. The chemistry between these two is almost immediate and readers will cheer these two (and maybe some other couples in the book) on to their happily ever after.
While we wait to see what Turano has up her sleeve for readers next, Playing the Part is available online and in stores now.
***Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.