Book Review

Book Review: Playing the Part by Jen Turano

 “I was privy to a thrilling tale, one where madness ruled the day…


Series: A Class of Their Own (Book 3)
Fiction, Romance, Historical
Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date:
March 1, 2016
Number of pages: 

From the Publisher:

“Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but must abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucetta’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, seizes the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to safety at her eligible grandson’s estate.

At first glance, Bram Haverstein appears to be a gentleman of means–albeit an eccentric one–but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.

While Lucetta has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, she can’t ignore the strange things going on in Bram’s house and the secrets he hides. As the hijinks and hilarity that Bram, Lucetta, and their friends are swept into take a more dangerous turn, can they accept who they are behind the parts they play in time to save the day?”  

My Review:




Welcome to my lair, dearest friends.

Yeah, this isn’t working.

I was going to try to be mysterious and slightly creepy like the Phantom, but I’ve never really been good at playing those roles so I’m just going to be my overzealous and crazy self.

Not that I don’t like Phantom, I love him! But you have to admit, he has an interesting way of going about certain things…

If you are currently not paying attention to anything that I am writing because you are so caught up in the GIF of the Phantom, then that is a very good sign and we are off to a perfect start!

You wanna know whyyyy?!

Because Playing the Part is loosely based off of the story of The Phantom of the Opera.

*Cue squealing and flailing*

Yeah, I had the exact same reaction!

Reason #347 Why Jen Turano is amazing: She loves Broadway musicals and bases her historical fiction novels off of them.

Also, if you weren’t aware, After A Fashion was based off of My Fair Lady and In Good Company was based off of The Sound of Music (but it does have a bit of a Mary Poppins twist to it). So yeah, she’s a pretty spectacular human being!

Instead of jabbering on like I usually do, I think it would probably be a good idea to get to the point and start talking about how much I adored this book.

(I know you’re sitting there, nodding at your electronic device, quietly begging me to move on. Don’t try to act innocent).

So, apparently Booklist named Jen Turano to be “One of the funniest voices in the inspirational genre.” Well, You know what? I’m one-upping Booklist and naming her the funniest voice in the inspirational genre.


#OMG Phantom. I totally did.

To be serious, though, the plot of this story built up so well and was somewhat similar to the plot of The Phantom of the Opera but there were a lot of dissimilarities, as well. I truly think I prefer the route Jen took with this book instead of directly following the plot of Phantom – it is a lot more realistic and a little more lighthearted which is expected from her. 🙂

Speaking of lightheartedness…

Hold up! Is that even a word? If not, I now declare that it is because this is my lair and I make the rules. 😉 Lol!

Just kidding.

Not really.

Anywho (also a Rachael-declared word), speaking of lightheartedness, this book does not at all lack the usual Jen humor! There were moments where I was flipping pages so fast because I wanted to know what was going to happen next and then, suddenly, I’d drop the book on my face because I started laughing.

Yeah, I do that sometimes.

You might, too. So, I’d recommend not holding the book over your face while reading.

It’s painful.

As for the characters in this book, as with all of Jen’s books, they are so well developed with their own quirks, flaws, and unique personalities. It’s always exciting to be able to finally be able to delve into the minds of characters who have appeared in previous books and learn their backstories and get to know them better. I also loved having new characters introduced…

Like Bram…

That man, I tell you! Jen really knows how to create adorable and sometimes clueless lead male characters. I absolutely love it! He was like a really cute little puppy that you want to cuddle all the time. I wanted to shrink him and keep him in my pocket and carry him with me everywhere.

Except, that would be unsafe and I’m a very safe person…

Except for the time I ran two stop signs… in a row… and drove over a curb…

OKAY. I’m not continuing.

I’m not always safe but it’s the thought that counts. Right?

Anywho, I’m sticking to leaving him on my Kindle and carrying him around that way.

Back to talking about the book…this entire book was perfection, in of itself. I doubt she could write anything that I would not like.

Honestly, I’d read her grocery lists if she ended up retiring from her writing career.

So, all in all, this book was my favorite one in the whole series. I grew up on the stage and I love The Phantom of the Opera which has a partial say in my reasoning. Also, the plot was so clever and the characters were developed incredibly well! I loved loved loved this book!

Also, shout out to Carrie from readingismysuperpower for picking out the quote for me! I didn’t have my book handy and she was sweet enough to lend me a hand. Go check out her blog! ❤

(Pssst… if you can’t get enough of Playing the Part head over to my blog post “The 8 Stages of Reading Playing the Part by Jen Turano” and let me know how much you relate).


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


If you like suspense mixed with humor, enjoy theater, historical fiction, or simply need a good book, this book is for you!

Find Playing The Part on:



Barnes and Noble

Bethany House Publishers

Connect with Jen Turano:

Jen’s Website

Jen’s Facebook Page

Jen’s Goodreads

Other Books by jen turano:
Ladies of Distinction:

Gentleman of Her Dreams (A Novella)

A Change of Fortune (Book 1)

A Most Peculiar Circumstance (Book 2)

A Talent for Trouble (Book 3)

A Match of Wits (Book 4)

A Class of Their Own:

After a Fashion (Book 1)

In Good Company (Book 2)

*I received this book from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you, Bethany House and Netgalley for the privilege to review this book! *

*Photo borrowed from Bethany House Publishers’ website*


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Playing the Part by Jen Turano

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