Source: Joel Froomkin – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Narrator: Joel Froomkin
Edition: Audiobook, 12Hours 35 Minutes
Genre: Romance Humor
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Michael Rourke learned this the hard way.
Struggling to make ends meet as a mystery writer, he sold his soul – and his pride – as he pedaled sex and lust writing under the pen name Christoph Strong.
No one knew he was the one behind the steamy stories on the bestsellers lists. And he planned to keep it that way.
Until he met her.
Monica Singer, an infamous blogger, is keen to discover the truth of his secret identity.
During a chance meeting at a book convention, Michael and Monica form an instant connection. And soon, an industry rivalry becomes something else entirely.
But as Michael starts to let his guard down, he doesn’t realize that the person he’s learning to trust may be hiding secrets of her own.
Secrets that could ultimately destroy everything.
Wordplay has been on my TBR for a while now, something about the whole idea of a romantic parody just kind of calls to me in general because I don’t really read a ton of romance. So I’m glad to say that it really managed to live up to my expectations. It’s both funny and charming and proved to be a rather fun listen.
Michael Rourke is a struggling mystery writer and Christoph Strong is a highly sought after erotica author, and they are the same person. I love this dual side to Michael, and it’s kind of hilarious watching him try to figure out just how to be someone like the man he writes about. He’s suave and self-sure, but he’s also sweating bullets and in over his head. We get a similar situation with Monica Singer, who hides behind a pen name and struggles to share who she really is with Christoph. We get a whole handful of tropes in this one and they all lead to a rather ridiculous situation that is equal parts hilarious and kind of cute. We have mistaken identity, alpha male, the love to hate troupe, and even a bit of the reunion romance going on. I think if you go into the novel knowing that this is a parody and that ‘yes it is ridiculous’ you’ll enjoy it quite a bit. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments in Wordplay as Michael struggles with his new fame, and as he trades jabs with Monica. Their romance is pretty steamy, but it’s also a slow burn and takes awhile before all those pesky misunderstandings work themselves out. One of the side characters that I can’t get enough of is Jeffrey…He’s sort of a parody himself as he embodies the ‘gay best friend’ role but even with that in mind I still want a friend like him. He’s supportive and as subtle as an air horn, which is just perfect.
One my favorite things about this one was the sort of tongue in cheek jabs at the reading community as a whole. Everyone who reads or writes blogs knows that it can get kind of crazy and that there are so many ridiculous people that pop up on occasion, and Wordplay totally touches on that. It’s not mean spirited and there are moments where we get to see some focus on the side of the community that really does love their hobby and works their butt off for it no matter what.
Joel Froomkin does a wonderful job at narrating Wordplay, especially considering that a good half of the book is from Monica’s point of view. He’s got great pacing and I didn’t feel the itch to hit the 2 times speed button, which if I’m being honest happens more often than not.
Listening to romances on audio isn’t something I do often (love scenes make me paranoid about volume and I get shifty-eyed), but I’m so glad I took a chance on this one. Wordplay is a really fun story and made for a fantastic light-hearted listen.