In Playing the Part, her seventh novel and book 3 of the A Class of Their Own series, Jen Turano maintains the humorous bent to romance her fans have come to expect, endearing Lucetta and Bram to them and convincing readers to root for an imaginary couple facing more than their share of challenges on the path to love.
What I love about this author’s work is the underlying humor and faith tucked in amongst the romance, history, family, and pure fiction elements. Jen’s voice is consistent yet never boring, and I always find myself totally invested in the characters’ story to the point that I’m surprised to look up from the book and realize that I’m not in Gilded Age New York with them.
Much like Jen’s Ladies of Distinction series (see my review here) and the two novels that precede this one, Playing the Part shares the love story of another couple caught in less-than-normal circumstances. Lucetta and Bram – who are near strangers – end up pretending to be in a romantic relationship to keep actress Lucetta safe from a nasty man with wholly dishonorable intentions. As is the way with Jen’s stories, these characters who never intend to fall in love with one another do exactly that. And boy is it a hoot to read! 🙂
Another aspect of this author’s style is how the elder generation always plays a significant role in the novel. Abigail and Archibald are hilarious older characters who have already nudged Lucetta’s friends Millie (In Good Company) and Harriet (After a Fashion) into their happily-ever-afters, and now they’re up to loving mischief again to give Lucetta one. Not only that, but they may find their own happy ending along the way…
Playing the Part is as lovely and fun as Jen’s previous books, and it’s definitely worth the time you’ll spend reading it. I hope you check it out!
(Playing the Part follows After a Fashion and In Good Company in the A Class of Their Own series.)
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Recommended for: fans of Jen Turano’s other novels; those who enjoy Christian historical romance where the fun isn’t just for the young characters; readers who can handle elements of abduction/nefarious characters (nothing graphic or gratuitously violent/icky, but Silas Ruff is like an extra-slimy Gaston); those who enjoy learning about Gilded Age history and culture, including the New York theater district.
Note: I received a copy of this book via Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley.