Monday, July 31, 2023

Book Review: Play for Me

By Allyson Bales

Sophie Doyle has her dream job as the head athletic trainer for her favorite baseball team (go Red Sox!), a handsome boyfriend, and easy access to the finest cannoli in Boston. When she loses all three and the World Series to boot, she’s forced to apply for the open trainer position at an arts-focused boarding school in New Hampshire. The only available room is a glorified closet in an apartment with three guys: Jonas Voss, the aloof and attractive orchestra teacher, and his two rambunctious roommates.

Sophie knows that training a bunch of privileged high school kids whose idea of a play is A Chorus Line instead of a walk-off homer is going to be a big change from the pro athletes she’s used to. She wasn’t expecting that these students would have big-time talent and even bigger-time problems. Sophie has troubles of her own—Jonas is a full-fledged grump who clearly doesn’t want her near him or the precious piano he never plays.

With sunny optimism, Sophie sets out to win over Jonas and help the kids she’s growing attached to. But when her relationship with Jonas moves to the major leagues and plans change at the end of the season, they have to choose whether they are playing for keeps. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

This was a really fun read!  I am not sure about you, but lately I find myself gravitating towards anything heartwarming and entertaining and Play For Me was exactly that! 

From the opening chapter I loved Sophie.  Growing up, my family bonded over baseball games, and Sophie’s love for the game and her reaction to an angry fan was EXACTLY what I would have done!  Sophie is a trainer for the Red Sox and when she loses her job, her apartment, and her boyfriend all in one swoop, she gets a little help from her friend and becomes a trainer for an arts boarding school in New Hampshire.  It’s clear Sophie doesn’t know what the heck she is doing helping art loving high schoolers,  She moves in with her three roommates, one of which is grumpy Jonas. 

Jonas reminded me a bit of Roy Kent from the television show Ted Lasso, and I absolutely adored their grumpy sunshine dynamic!  I also really enjoyed Sophie’s roommates and her best friend, Astrid.  The high school environment and all the kids was an added bonus and made me nostalgic for my old high school counselor job and made me love this book even more.  I also really loved Sophie’s dad and their dynamic made me think very thoughtfully of my own Dad. 

I love stories that make you feel happy.  Books that remind you of all the lovely things in your life including the places you’ve traveled, the things you have learned, and the people you love.  This is my first Libby Hubscher book and I can’t wait to dive into her backlist now!  Her writing is thoughtful and tender and was the perfect balance of lightness while also exploring some more sensitive topics.

If you are into music, found family, a slower burn romance, and some really REALLY fun side characters, definitely read this book!

Thank you so much to Berkley Romance for the early copy in exchange for an honest review. 

More by Libby Hubscher:

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.

Listen to this book on Speechify!

No comments: