Review: Role Playing by Cathy Yardley

Role PlayingRole Playing by Cathy Yardley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a lovely story! I heard about this book from a friend in a Slack community. I was reluctant at first because I just don’t read romances. My husband didn’t believe me at first when I told him I was reading a book with no high-tech devices, magic, or mystery. The description of the story had drawn me in, though, so I couldn’t resist.

We meet Maggie first. She’s a freelance editor, a mother with a newly empty nest, and five years out of a very difficult marriage. Her son is worried about her because she has fallen into an extremely isolated way of living. She’s worried about whether he’s thriving at college. He uses that to make a deal with her: he will be more social if she does the same.

Aiden is a sweet-natured, nurturing fellow who had moved off to the city but returned to care for his dying father. After his father’s death, he fell into caring for his mother, whose mental and physical health is deteriorating. Despite his dedication, his mother is verbally and emotionally abusive. There’s no one else to care for her, though, because her very successful younger son is too busy with his car dealership and family. His wife happens to be Aiden’s ex-fiancée. Aiden escapes into his online gaming guild.

Maggie joins the guild to satisfy her promise to her son. The other members met at the local community college, so she assumes they’re all around her son’s age. She calls herself Bogwitch, which leads Aiden (who goes by Otter) to assume she’s an octogenarian.

There’s plenty of comedy to be had due to the misunderstanding. The two develop a strong friendship, though they don’t talk about their “real” lives.

There’s much for the two to overcome, and the story is highly engaging. I never regretted picking up this book. It never bored me, which is unusual. I don’t find most romances to be interesting at all. Yardley did a great job of making me believe in and root for these two geeks.

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Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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