Title: Playing the Part by Darcy Daniel
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 65,000 words
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
Anthea Cane is a successful actress—well, action star. Her films are mostly about how hot she looks silhouetted by fiery explosions. But Anthea is determined to prove she’s more than just a body. With the role of a lifetime up for grabs—a serious adaptation of her favorite novel—Anthea sets off to her small hometown in the name of research.
Cole Daniel is a blind farmer with no patience for divas, especially one who mercilessly teased him as a young boy. When Anthea shows up using a fake name and pestering him into letting her stay, he can’t pass up the opportunity to torment her just a little.
But Anthea won’t let the stubborn farmer deter her from her goal, even if he is hotter than any man she’s ever met. Cole finds his form of payback less than satisfying when Anthea keeps turning the tables on him, proving her mettle and gaining his respect. Will Anthea’s research land her a man, as well as the part?
Playing the Part by Darcy Daniel is so much more than a sweet (and steamy) romance. It is a beautiful story about coming to terms with the past. It is also a wonderful lesson in trust and acceptance.
Anthea Cane is an actress who successfully transitioned from child star to action hero. She is now ready to take on more challenging roles and when she learns her favorite novel is being turned into a movie, Anthea goes to great lengths to secure an audition. Her research for the role takes her back to her small hometown where she comes face to face with the past she has resolutely put behind her and Cole Daniel, her long ago crush.
Playing the Part is one of those novels that I thought I knew exactly how it was going to play out, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was wrong. My first clue? Anthea Cane. My first impression was that she is a spoiled, prissy diva who is afraid to get her hands dirty. Yes, she started out that way, but she quickly abandons her glamorous facade and dives into her research. And in doing so, Anthea becomes quite introspective and questions many of the decisions she has made. She takes a good hard look at what she has become and she is honest enough with herself to admit her past mistakes.
The next clue that I had no idea where the story was going to go was Cole Daniel. He is just as wounded by the past as Anthea and his character is so much more complex than he first appears. Despite the fact that he tries to make life difficult for Anthea, he really is just a nice guy at heart and he does wind up cutting her some slack. Of the two, Cole has so much more to come to terms with and the resolution of his issues is not easy.
There is an immediate chemistry between Anthea and Cole and their romance builds slowly. The scene with their first kiss is absolutely sizzling and so incredibly romantic! And when they finally move into their romance into a more physical direction? Delectably sensual and so unhurried that I savored every minute of their encounters.
The conflict between Anthea and Cole is another thing that took me completely by surprise. I am not a big fan of the miscommunication and big misunderstanding plot devices, but they really work in Playing the Part. Without it, I doubt Cole would have sought the counseling he needed to deal with his traumatic past. And for Anthea, it gave her the depth she needed for her audition, but it provided her with some much need perspective.
Playing the Part is a enchanting romance that is quite unique. Anthea and Cole are vivid, three-dimensional characters and they both undergo an enormous amount of growth. The setting is quite distinctive and Darcy Daniel brings it vibrantly to life. A thoroughly enjoyable novel from beginning to end that I heartily recommend.