Play by Kylie Scott

Play by Kylie Scott
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (304 Pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl. Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

What Kylie Scott excels at is creating compelling characters that own their stories. Play is no different.

When Anne meets her teenage crush, rock band drummer Mal, she makes crazy eyes. I think I did pretty much the same thing as soon as I delved into this story. Mal is thoroughly convincing as a slightly crazy, fan-spoiled, irresponsible flirt of a man. Scott would be risking making her leading man a conceited, unpleasant hero if she hadn’t given him a soft (not in a cliché way) core and a wild sense of humor.

A propos of humor, the novel is chock-full of laugh-out-loud scenes that make the atmosphere around Anne and Mal electric with sexual tension and palpable lust. Mal’s comical side also accentuates the darker issues that Mal faces, making the novel all the more attractive because of how compelling and intricate a character Mal turns out to be despite the initial impression of him being shallow.

The dialogue is witty and truly engages the reader because every line spoken between the characters adds to their personalities or forwards the plot. The pacing is relentless, also on account of the clever rejoinders flying to and from between Mal and Anne. The fast pace also mimics Mal’s hyperactive personality and the rushed lifestyle of a rock band. It seems like Ms Scott doesn’t leave anything to coincidences; every word in this novel has a specific purpose. This makes the narrative fast-paced, compelling and utterly enjoyable.

Although Mal is so over-the-top that one would expect the shy heroine to be completely overlooked next to him, Anne is still a character that manages to hold her own. She grows throughout the story, and we follow her journey as she begins to get to know herself. Towards the end of the story, she proves she is a woman with a backbone when she makes a choice that is painful, but right. Anne becoming the strong character who learns to fight for what’s hers makes the relationship between her and Mal so much more realistic and consequently more fascinating.

Scott’s Play is far from just another hot romance. It’s a novel with a strong plot, compelling characters and a very real attraction between them. What happens to Anne is bound to happen to every reader – you will fall for Mal.

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