Jesse Lee is the worst!
He’s a multi-millionaire, triple-platinum-selling, Grammy-Award-winning man-slut—a worldly, self-indulgent heathen. I wouldn’t sleep with him if he were our last chance to ensure survival of the human race. The only reason I put up with him is because he’s my boss’s brother.
Whatsherface is one of those holier-than-thou types.
She’s bossy, has a horrific singing voice, and she’s so ordinary, she practically blends in with the eggshell-colored walls—the complete opposite of anyone I’d bang. The only reason I put up with her is because my career is on the line.
Playing by Heart is an enemies-to-lovers romance where opposites not only attract, they ignite.
I was 100% sure, about a quarter of the way into Playing by Heart there was no way I would ever get on board with Jesse as a good guy. JB Salsbury did a marvelous job of sending him on a journey of healing and self-reflection that made me see him in a different light, and eventually, I loved him just as much as I was led to believe I would.
Enemies-to-lovers can sometimes be a hard sell for me. It’s hard to make me love someone who proves himself from the beginning to be a jerk. Add into that the famous rockstar aspect, and it’s even harder for me to find redemption. However, Playing by Heart totally delivered in making me hate Jesiah (Jesse), then make me root for him, and finally make me fall in love with him.
The substance abuse facet of Playing by Heart was a big part of the appeal for me. I loved how JB Salsbury used it as a device to develop Jesse’s character, then make him grow. The fact that Ms. Salsbury kept his recovery and cravings for his substances of choice in the forefront for the entirety of the novel made it all feel more real.
While Jesiah may have been the star of this novel, Bethany also had a great growth arc. She was so timid and self-deprecating when the novel started, I wasn’t sure how she could ever hold her own with such a huge personality as Jesiah. Watching her shed her old skin and learn her worth was heartwarming and, though her healing wasn’t as profound as Jesiah’s, it was just as important.
One of my very favorite parts of Playing by Heart was something Jesiah’s brother, Benjamin, said to him. Often in the world of romance, everything is predicated on the feeling of love, but there is so much more to it than that. Ben told him love isn’t a feeling; it’s a choice. I have told the same thing to my children and husband, so it was an incredibly poignant moment for me.
J.B. Salsbury is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two kids.
Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance propelled her career as an author.
She spends the majority of her day behind the computer where a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles claws away at her subconscious and begs to be released to the page.