Friday 25 February 2022

Playing For Love by Jeevani Charika HQ Digital (2022)


#PlayingForLove #Netgalley 


When Sam’s not working on her fledgling business, she spends her time secretly video-gaming. Her crush is famous gamer Blaze, and she’s thrilled when she’s teamed up with him in a virtual tournament.

But what Sam doesn’t know is that Blaze is the alter ego of Luke, her shy colleague – and he has a secret crush too.

Luke has a crush on Sam.
Sam has a crush on Blaze.

How will this game of love play out?

Five stars simply for the sheer enjoyment I got out of reading this cute and endearing story.

As someone whose idea of gaming is playing Candy Crush on my phone, I found the VR gaming scenes to be very suspenseful and exciting. It juxtaposed very well with the mundanity of real life that Luke and Sam had to navigate. Sam is trying to develop her own business and source funding and Luke is trying to deal with the ending of a business partnership.

Luke is such a lovable guy. He's sort of a Clark Kent kind of character; awkward and shy in real life but a badass in the gaming world. His crush on Sam is cute and you can't help but feel for him when all she can think about is his alter ego, Blaze.

There is a subtle nod to multiculturalism in the story but it's not really part of the narrative. I would've liked to have read a little bit more about Sam's heritage. 

Luke and Sam are both very inexperienced and innocent when it comes to relationships and this shows in their interactions. He gets flustered and embarrassed around her and she over analyses all the banter and flirting between her and Blaze. 

You have to wait until nearly the end of the book before Blaze and Sam resolve their miscommunications and reveal their true identities but it's a fun read all the way. I couldn't put it down.

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