Summary: After her boyfriend dumps her for a teenage pop starlet, Caroline Curran moves to a rental house so far outside of downtown Atlanta that even the care of her closest friends cannot reach her. Short, stacked, and soft hearted to a fault, Caroline allows her failed relationship to drag down her songwriting career. An influential friend in the music business sends a gift to inspire her to write some new songs: a talented young singer named Trent Buckney whose beautiful voice is overshadowed by his stony demeanor and poor White trash accent.
Running from a violent past, and from being overworked, underpaid, and overwhelmingly responsibility for his mother and sister, Trent is desperate to work with Caroline both for money and for surcease from his dismal life. The songwriter and the singer form an uneasy relationship cemented by their mutual willingness not to ask questions that neither wants to answer.
However, just a few days together in Caroline’s house stir up artistic admiration and arousal, while they collaborate on a song, “The Way That You Play It.” They try to sublimate their attraction into forming a band and recording a single, but late nights full of torrid blues music only feed their festering sexual tension. They engage a raw romance that is put to the test when Trent’s past catches up to them both. Facing the consequences of his actions leaves Trent with one chance, at one pivotal performance, to turn his feelings for Caroline into more than a one hit wonder.
On opposite sides of the same guitar, they both learn that love isn’t limited to the hand that you’re dealt if you gamble on The Way That You Play It. (SOURCE)
It took me a while to really get into this book. Probably not until I was about 60% done did I really feel the chemistry between Trent and Caroline. I spent a lot of time worried that Trent was going to get hurt, either emotionally or physically. I loved his devotion to his mother and sister and my heart went out to him– that his family had been through so much and it was all on his shoulders to take care of them.
I liked Caroline and her sass and really wanted to see her happy with someone that treated her right. She definitely got a raw deal with her ex. It was understandable that any attraction she might have felt for Trent in the beginning was fought against.
I enjoyed some of the secondary characters. Caroline’s girl friend was funny and their relationship entertaining. I definitely felt like some of the secondary characters had larger roles than I expected. Especially Reyes, who tried to woo Caroline throughout the book. He was kind of a jerk, but I guess that’s to be expected when you are suppose to be rooting for the ‘hero’ of a novel. He was just so pushy! Ms. Thornton did an excellent job of making me want to punch him time after time haha
I had my fingers crossed for Trent through the whole book, desperately hoping that he would be able to do something with his music. I wanted something big to happen for him so bad. He definitely went through many obstacles in a short period of time. With the help of others, he really started to shine.
Once Caroline and Trent allowed their chemistry to come to a head things really picked up. They were delicious together. Caring and trusting and giving. I enjoyed that side of them– seeing them as a couple since they’d fought against it for most of the book. I was on pins and needles until the end, worried that something was going to happen and it would fall apart. Thank goodness that did not happen!
Overall, I enjoyed The Way That You Play It. It had some great dialogue and an interesting plot.
These are my personal observations and thoughts regarding this book. Any and all books blogged about here are paid for with my personal money unless otherwise specified within the review. If you have questions please feel free to contact me.