Review (and a Giveaway!): Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Posted March 19, 2016 by meezcarrie in Christian, giveaway, historical, Jen Turano, romance / 7 Comments

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Playing the Part by Jen Turano is a 352 page book in the Christian historical fiction genre. It is published by Bethany House Publishers and was released on March 1, 2016. To purchase your own copy, click here.

About the Book

final ptp cover.jpgLucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucinda’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson’s estate to hide out.

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.

Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can’t ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it’ll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.

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SERIES: A Class Of Their Own #3
GENRE: Historical Romance, Christian
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016
PAGES: 352

my thoughts

Hysterical historical.

That’s the new term I’m coining for Jen Turano’s books.

Always a delightful mix of humor, romance, history, and suspense, her novels never fail to have me in giggles, smiles, and swoons.

I am happy to report that Playing the Part is no exception.  As the former Millie Longbottom (heroine of book 2 and my personal favorite character of the series) remarked, “I was privy to a thrilling tale, one where madness ruled the day…”  And not just the madness of the villain.  But the sort of madcap mayhem that only Jen Turano can bring to life on the page.

Take, for instance, the meet-cute between Lucetta and Bram.  Actually… meet-hilarity might be a better description. I’m not going to spoil it for you but you will find yourself laughing out loud and shaking your head in disbelief at the antics of Bram’s rather motley crew of staff attempting to rid the castle grounds of the trespassers (namely, Lucetta and Abigail). A couple encounters with the moat, a pack of rascally dogs, a cannon (yes, you read that right), and even pitchforks factor in to this guffaw-inducing first encounter. Followed by Lucetta’s faked & on-cue swoon… and Bram’s first inkling that she may in fact not be the fragile, delicate creature he’s built up in his infatuated mind.

And um… without really giving anything specific away… I have also discovered of late that I simply adore kissing scenes that occur in closets or storage rooms.  Scenes from Pepper Basham’s The Thorn Keeper and Melissa Tagg’s Like Never Before are coming blissfully to mind right now.  Along with one newly from Playing the Part.  But you’ll just have to read it for yourself to discover the appeal 🙂

Bram, the collector of misfits and perpetual knight in shining armor.  Lucetta, the spunky heroine no one but Bram would mistake for a damsel in distress. Both playing a part of some subterfuge, each hiding their true selves in one form or another, and neither sure if being “real” will turn out so well for these romantical feelings that are growing between them. (Side note: How could anyone, but especially ME, not love Lucetta? Reading is HER superpower too!) The twists and turns of their journey to authenticity take some rather zany detours, and I adored it all.

Bottom Line: With her trademark humor firmly in place, Jen Turano crafts a novel with shades of both the gothic and the hilarious as the fitting final act to her A Class of Their Own series.  A misfit band of secondary characters elicit the majority of the laughs in Playing the Part, their easy-to-envision antics stealing several scenes. Familiarly beloved friends from the previous two books in the series also take the stage, and fans of matchmaking matron Abigail Hart will delight in uncovering more of her past, present, and future.  Delicious, sweet romance – tempered with a grain of snark – and undertones of suspense round out the ensemble perfectly.  Readers who’ve been with the series since After A Fashion (and if you haven’t, you really must) will be fondly satisfied with the epilogue – the curtain call, if you will, for this truly entertaining cast of characters.  I highly recommend this series – and Playing the Part – to any fans of historical fiction, to anyone who loves to laugh, and to anyone who’s ever struggled to fit into someone else’s expectations for them.

If you like the setting for Dawn Crandall’s Everstone Chronicles series, you will love this A Class of Their Own series too.  If you are a fan of the type of humor found in Kristan Higgins’ books – even though she writes contemporary for the general market – you should really give Jen Turano a try as well. Fans of Mary Connealy and Deeanne Gist will also find themselves right at home with Jen’s style.

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 5 stars / In a class of its own! (ooo… didn’t that work out nicely?)

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

Other Books in the Series:

after a fashion   in good company

About the Author

jen turanoJen Turano is the best-selling, critically acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, will release in the spring of 2016, followed by a new four-book series, The Wallflowers. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She can be found on Facebook at or visit her on the web at She is represented by Susan Brower of the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found in most fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find additional places to purchase her work.


Jen is graciously giving away an entire set of this series! Click on the link to enter!

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Blog Stops

Visit all the blogs on the tour!

March 16: cherylbbookblog

March 16: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 17: Singing Librarian Books

March 17: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

March 18: Bookworm Mama

March 19: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 19: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 20: Faith * Love * Books

March 21: A Greater Yes

March 21: Southern Chelle

March 22: Splashes of Joy

March 22: Daysong Reflections

March 23: Bigreadersite

March 23: Texas Book-aholic

March 24: 100 pages per hour

March 25: simpleharvestreads

March 25: Karen Krayons

March 26: Buwurmzzz

March 26: Cassandra M’s Place

March 27: Jeanette’s Thoughts

March 27: The Power of Words

March 28: Two Girls and a Book


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