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BOOK REVIEW: Role Playing

Role Playing by Cathy Yardley
Publication Date: July 1, 2023

This book is for the people who wish they could fall in love without having to leave their house!!

Before we get started, lets have a moment of appreciation for this gorgeous Leni Kauffman cover!!

I have no idea why I requested this one…I think it was “Read Now” on Netgalley and I am weak so I downloaded it, even though the only other book I’ve read by this author was only okay to me. But whatever led me to getting this book, I’m so glad I read it because I LOVED IT SO MUCH.

This one doesn’t release until JULY, but April 6th was International Asexuality Day and Aiden figures out that he is on the ace spectrum through the course of this book so to celebrate I figured I would post this review! Also, I just really wanted to post this review because I loved this book so much.

Plot: Maggie and Aiden are both massive introverts but connect over an online video game in ways neither of them expect.


  • It’s a slowburn and a big focus on the story is both of them growing as people and there was *a tad* too much talking and conversing between the two leads for my liking, but I loved them so much so seeing them work through their issues instead of brushing them under a rug mostly worked for me. 
  • Older characters! Both of them are late 40s/early 50s which is sadly not super common in romance these days.
  • I love an online friendship turned IRL friendship turned into LOVE.
    • Add a bit of mistaken identity/assumption and it just worked for me. She thinks he is a 20 year old and he thinks she is an 80 year old grandma!! When they meet IRL for the first time it is iconic!
    • (As a note I do not care about video games, but I loved seeing them play with their guild and message each other). 
  • Aiden is figuring out his sexuality throughout the book and eventually comes out as bi/demisexual which I LOVED SEEING. 
    • Maggie and him have some great conversations about this and she helps give him the words to figure things out.
  • And Maggie!! Gosh I loved her so much! She is almost 50 and just wants to play her video games and be alone (#relatable) but she is kind and will fight for the people she loves. (literally has a “HOLD MY EARRINGS” moment which like was iconic.
    • She is a mom and her son has just gone to college. The reason she starts to even leave her house is because she promises her son she will be more social…as long as he makes an effort to make friends too.
    • She also reads romance which was unexpected in the best way.
  • There is a splash of fake dating that I obviously loved. And also a sick/comfort scene.
  • This is technically a small town romance but everyone in the town lowkey sucks which I thought was a fun twist, because sometimes your neighbors are not nice! Or your friends!


  • My main complaint about this book is that I thought some of the conversations were a little long. 
  • I also didn’t like how her best friend (who I am assuming is Latinx) uses the word “Chica”. It felt a tad stereotypical since this character is not on page herself and only talks to Maggie via the phone. (Also, I read an ARC so this may change in the finished copy).

5/5 stars (it’s not a perfect book, but I had a great time reading this one)

Also I do want to note – MAJOR TW FOR HOMOPHOBIA/BIPHOBIA AND FORCED OUTING. I haven’t read a book with this much homophobia in a long time and it is 100% challenged and Maggie legit is about to fight the woman who outs Aiden, but Aiden’s family is not supportive. And I’ll put how it works out in white in case you’re curious –  I am so glad Aiden was able to walk away from his mom bc she was the worst (0/10 for parenting) and stand up for himself bc there way no way this relationship could’ve been saved.

TW: (see above), racism, verbal/emotional abuse from parent, death of a parent (both MCs prior to novel, one from cancer, Maggie’s parents in a car accident when she was a toddler), social anxiety, caring for an elderly parent

CW: divorce

Overall, I would recommend this one to my slow burn contemporary romance lovers out there.

*thanks to the publisher & netgalley for the copy; all thoughts are my own*

xoxo, Tree

7 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Role Playing”

  1. Well, first of all, this cover is beyond adorable!!! And secondly, the story sounds so cute. My husband and I both really love video games (he plays them, I watch him play haha), so that element feels really relatable. I also really like that this is focused on more mature characters – that’s not as typical and I love seeing it! Sounds like a super cute read!

    Liked by 1 person

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