Sparks fly when an ex-rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant rendezvous at a local resort, but neither are prepared for the emotional entanglements, family complications, and threat from the past that unexpectedly resurfaces. Set in the 1980s, this story brings two opposing forces together in a clash of romance and danger, while its musical undertones highlight the theme that God can turn anything into beautiful music. Play It Again is the 'prequel' to Conspiracy of Bones. Find out where Mark Graham's journey began in this, the story of his parents.
|Publisher:||Fictitious Ink Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.64(d)|
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The tension in Play it Again kept building and building until I thought there would be an explosion around the bend. While a number of elements in the story are common to romance novels, the author did such a great job putting them together and making the plot compelling. The setting, characters, and dialog brought me back to the 1980s, and parts of the story felt like they could have come from my life. The dialog was convincing and realistic. I knew some guys who were just like the bunch of band members Deanie hung out with. Is that crazy, or what? Her mentality was pretty 80s, too. I loved how the heroine called it like she saw it. I also loved how the author strung me along until I couldn't see straight. I was so emotionally caught up in this book that I forgot I was reading. I wanted to crawl into the novel a few times and shake some sense in to Russ. At the same time I understood his fear. When you feel so strongly about someone that it terrifies you, well, you do some pretty stupid things sometimes to spare yourself further hurt. Ironically that very wall of protection often causes more hurt, rather than blocking it out. Great illustration of this in Russ and Deanie's relationship. For me this was the perfect novel for a number of reasons. Not only was it well-written, but it was edgy in that the story dared to be honest. I loved that. The characters thought like people actually think in those unfortunate situations they found themselves in, and not like people--especially Christians--want them to think. I believe that sometimes we, as Christians, forget that we are sinful people in need of a savior and no matter how good we think we are, we're not good enough without Jesus. And even then, it's all about Him and not about us. I remember what my life was like before I became a Christian in the mid 1980s, and it wasn't pretty. But most of the heartache I had caused myself. I loved Deanie's relationship with Mark, and Russ's conflict about Rita. Those scenarios were very well done. They played out like real life. Russ's mistrust and jealousy were not totally misplaced, nor was the band's overprotectiveness of Deanie. The author set up the situations so they made total sense, rather than feeling contrived. The faith element also felt natural and real to me. There were no easy conversions, and the way the characters saw Christianity when they were standing on the outside looking in rang true to me. When people get a taste of what it's really like to have a saving relationship with Christ, it's compelling. There was nothing sappy about this novel. People who have no faith in Jesus may not "get" it, but I can see this touching a lot of people who have thought about God but have been afraid to move forward. In fact, it reminded me of just how much people need to know Jesus and that He can and does change hearts. Heart-wrenching, and yet beautifully written. This story will stick with me for a long time. It's making my best fiction list for 2011! Play it Again was published by Strategic Publishing and released in Nov. 2011. (The Wordsmith Journal strives to guide readers to books of personal interest, with the understanding and respect that what appeals to some may not appeal to others. Therefore we attempt to keep our reviews focused on content, genre and style. The rating is necessary to make use of Goodreads and Amazon. It reflects the reviewer’s own level of enjoyment, but the review is intended to be informative for the benefit of all readers.)
In this sensitive romance by author Tracy Krauss, conservative accountant, Russ Graham, finds himself unexpectedly attracted to a vibrant young woman he meets at a resort where her jazz musician father and his band have a gig. Deanie Burton, a former rock singer who is in school studying for what she hopes will be a more stable career, is likewise surprised by her immediate attraction to Russ, and the two share an intimate evening. But a past relationship that still haunts Russ leads to him compounding this passionate mistake with another. Set in 1980’s Canada, Play It Again is a story about the difficulty of letting go of pain and trusting again, both in others and in the belief that God has a plan for everyone. The two main characters, Russ and Deanie, are very well-drawn and realistic, and author Tracy Krauss does a wonderful job of portraying with honesty and sympathy the heartbreaks of their past and the challenges they must face to overcome them. I also loved the vivid portrayal of all those who shape and impact Russ and Deanie’s lives, from Deanie’s jazz musician father to her former bandmates and friends and the relationship the couple have with Russ’ son, Mark. While most definitely a Christian novel with themes of redemption and coming to faith in Christ, it can also be enjoyed as simply a spiritually-uplifting contemporary romance because it comes from the character point of view of those who are not starting off with any kind of strong faith perspective, but who are instead just two everyday people who face the struggles, deal with the consequences and must decide how they will heal from the traumas and mistakes all human beings make. A recommended read for all fans of edgy Christian fiction.
Tracy has done a masterful job of weaving this story into my mind. I became very attached to the characters. Not just the protagonist, but all of them. It is an edgy story, but not out of line for the characters. Some of them reminded me of me when I was in my twenties. I wanted to punch Russ in the nose more than once and have a man-to-man talk with him. I fell in love with Deanie. She became my daughter. I wanted to protect her. Dorothy reminded me of my own mother. I understood the frustration Russ felt whenever she questioned him. It was difficult for me to put the book down and go to sleep. I've got her sequel, And the Beat Goes On, on my list to read. Great writing, Tracy.
I've gotta tell you, Play It Again is definitely a story worth reading. Yeah, it takes you through some rough scenes, but life isn't always sweet and easy. And the path we choose to follow isn't either. Ms. Krauss did a great job of making the characters real - so real that I thoroughly disliked Russ through much of the story. Deanie on the other hand is definitely someone I could be friends with. She's so real, so willing to take on the world and accept her own faults and just deal with things as they come. Play It Again is a wonderful story with a whole lot of life lessons within those pages! And the real message is laid out plain and simple for all to see - that yes, salvation is for all, that it's not about who we are, but about who He is. This is one of the best gospel messages I have read in a story!