Play For Me by Libby Hubscher
Publication Date: June 20th 2023 by Berkley
Sophie’s life implodes when her decision to keep the star pitcher out of the game ends with the Red Sox losing the World Series. Sophie is fired, and her boyfriend breaks up with her, kicking her out of his apartment. Her name is mud in Boston, so her best friend suggests she take up a job at her old boarding school in New Hampshire for a change of scenery.
However, things are not all bad, as Sophie is a glass-full kind of gal. The boarding school, Monadnock, is beautiful and so is the location. She has a closet sized bedroom in the apartment she shares with three other men, and all are nice except for one: Jonas Voss. The handsome but grouchy music teacher seems to take an immediate dislike to her, but Sophie’s determined to make the best of her situation.
As they cohabitate Sophie begins to see another side to Jonas and he seems to soften towards her, here and there. Sophie discovers her training may be able to help Jonas get back on the career path he had to abandon, and they start working together. Sparks fly, although Sophie’s not sure Jonas feels the same.
Play For Me was a wonderful, slow-burn romance, but there was so much more to this lovely story! Both Sophie and Jonas had their dream jobs taken away and the story examined the repercussions and whether a job alone brings happiness. I was delighted to see both Sophie and Jonas help each other to recognize they had value and could find happiness in many different ways and that there wasn’t just one career path that could bring joy. They had complicated issues, but they supported each other through them, and I just loved that!
When her new job takes her to a New England boarding school, she’s surprised to find her roommates are all men – including a very handsome one who plays by his own rules.
Sophie Doyle has her dream job as the head athletic trainer for her favorite baseball team (go Red Sox!), a handsome boyfriend, and easy access to the finest cannoli in Boston. When she loses all three and the World Series to boot, she’s forced to apply for the open trainer position at an arts-focused boarding school in New Hampshire. The only available room is a glorified closet in an apartment with three guys: Jonas Voss, the aloof and attractive orchestra teacher, and his two rambunctious roommates.
Sophie knows that training a bunch of privileged high school kids whose idea of a play is A Chorus Line instead of a walk-off homer is going to be a big change from the pro athletes she’s used to. She wasn’t expecting that these students would have big-time talent and even bigger-time problems. Sophie has troubles of her own—Jonas is a full-fledged grump who clearly doesn’t want her near him or the precious piano he never plays.
With sunny optimism, Sophie sets out to win over Jonas and help the kids she’s growing attached to. But when her relationship with Jonas moves to the major leagues and plans change at the end of the season, they have to choose whether they are playing for keeps.