Rayleigh’s Review: Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

The Synopsis:

Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But when she receives a shocking telephone call from her sister, Jewel, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

After the sudden death of Jewel’s husband, Jewel needs Lula’s help. With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister. But the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Neither subject belongs anywhere near the halls of academia, according to Lula!

Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year, determined to do well and prove herself to the town. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys’ coach, Chet, to learn the game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She’s returning to college as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends in Dunn, the more Lula realizes God is working on her heart–and her future is beginning to look a lot different than she’d expected.

My Review:

This review is from my sister MaKenzie who read this book for me, as I was quickly coming up on deadline:-)

MY GENERAL THOUGHTS: The way Playing by Heart is written was new and refreshing, as it was written in first person from both main characters. The characters were greatly made, well described, and realistic, I very much enjoyed reading about them. The plot was well written, though fairly predictable there were a few surprises that I enjoyed reading. Before I began reading this book, Rayleigh told me that in a survey type thing hosted by Bethany House, in which you answer questions to see which character you are from a certain selection of books, that she had been Lula from this book. As I read this book, I saw this to be very much true and enjoyed reading it all the more.

QUESTIONABLE CONTENT: There is not that much questionable content, however there is some kissing and mention of a character who gets beaten at home. The beating is not actually described, just mentioned. This book is also a slower read, as there is no major catastrophe.

RATING AND RECOMMENDATION: I give Playing by Heart 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Historical Romance!

“I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”

Author Bio/Website:

Anne Mateer

While I have been writing for what feels like my whole life, I began seriously studying the craft in 2000. Since then I have completed five novels, had several pieces published in local periodicals, attended six writing conferences and managed to final in ACFW’s Genesis contest in 2006, 2008, and 2009. My first historical novel, Wings of a Dream, released in September 2011. My second, At Every Turn, is available now. But writing is only a piece of my life.

I am mostly just a woman trying to live her life in a manner pleasing to the Lord. That involves being a wife to Jeff and a mother to my three young adult children. Neither role has come easily, but both have stretched me, requiring me to press in closer to Jesus. And because of this, Jesus has taken an insecure, fearful, sometimes angry girl and is turning her into a more trusting, peaceful, grace-filled woman. At least some of the time. There is still such a long way to go!”
Her website is http://www.annemateer.com

Links for Purchase:



2 thoughts on “Rayleigh’s Review: Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer”

  1. Glad you enjoyed this one, Rayleigh. I’ve heard mixed thoughts on this novel, which makes me curious enough to possibly want to read it at some point. Thanks for sharing the fab review! 🙂

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