Play With You by Alison Cole
Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Johanna Williams is a keyboardist for an up-and-coming band from London, The Lonely Lovers. When their bassist, Gemma, is kicked out, Johanna and the rest of the band must find a suitable replacement. They decide on Laslow Hadley, a young prodigy also hailing from London. But what catches Johanna’s eye isn’t Laslow – it’s his older brother, Marcus.
Although relationships with people affiliated with the band are strictly forbidden, Johanna can’t help but pursue her growing feelings for Marcus. Soon, her heart and her virginity are taken away by her new love interest.
While the band continues to grow exponentially in popularity, Marcus and Johanna continue their affair in the shadows of fame. However, when the spotlight grows too big for their secret, they must face the consequences of breaking the band’s most important rule.
When separated for a lengthy U.S. tour, will Johanna be able to cope with her new found loneliness? Will the surprise of her life end her life-long dream of becoming a successful musician? Will her relationship with Marcus ever be rekindled, or is their candle of love doomed to be extinguished forever?
In the game of loneliness, the odds are not in Johanna’s favor. It’s up to her and Marcus to beat it.
Book Review – ‘Play With You (Loneliness #1)’ by Alison Cole.
I really hate giving less than 4 stars on a book, because I believe that every book, no matter the genre or the previous reviews, has the potential to be given 5 stars. However, there was just no many problems that I had with this book that I couldn’t justify giving it more than 3 stars. It was only because the storyline had promise that I gave this book as high a rating as I did.
I think this book is a prime example of how every author should have at least five proof-readers before they even entertain the idea of publishing their work. It’s a shame because this storyline had so much promise and I was really expecting great things from it, but the writing style made me groan with frustration.
I felt that the entire story seemed to comprise of; “The next morning I did this,” and then “I went to practice, and when that was finished I went home.” and then “The next morning I did this.” I felt there was a lot of “showing” and not enough “telling”, for want of a better description. For example, most of the lines of dialogue were all written in long paragraphs, with no action shown as to how the character was actually saying it. I feel that if the dialogue had been cut up into smaller sections with more adjectives inserted to describe how the speaker was feeling emotionally, and how they acted physically, (e.g. waving a hand in annoyance, or pushing their hand through their hair) then it would not have been so hard-going to read.
I felt it was a shame seeing as I was really invested in the storyline but felt that certain events weren’t getting any attention. It was interesting that Marcus came with his brother every day for the band rehearsals, but I didn’t feel like there was any explanation for him being there. Why did he go with him every day? Left to my own conclusions I originally assumed that Marcus was there to drop him off and pick him up, but then why would he stay? I then assumed that he was his brothers legal guardian only to later discover that Laslow was married. There was a lot of occassions that I felt backstory was lacking, and this left me really frustrated that the reader was given an interesting piece of information and then nothing followed on from it, and it was just ignored.
There were also a number of little errors that had been missed. Tim phones Johanna to tell her that practice is cancelled because Linny is ill, only for the next paragraph to state that it was Laslow that was ill, which immediately broke my connection to the story as I had to go back and re-read the previous chapter to make sure I hadn’t misread it.
I think it is a real shame that the book was riddled with errors as I really did love the storyline. In my opinion it would be best for the author to take their book down, get a few more proof-readers and go through the original edition with a fine-tooth comb. The story had real promise and I’m sure the author could improve this book so much to give the story the writing it deserves.