Playing by Heart is the newest release from Anne Mateer.
I’ve loved her first three books and this one does not disappoint.
Lula Bowman is on her path to become the first woman Ph.D in Oklahoma when a tragedy forces her to return home and her reputation as flighty Fruity Lu.
Chet Vaughn is a math teacher and boys basketball coach at the Dunn, Oklahoma high school. Chet lost the luck of the draft draw so his brother is off fighting in the trenches in World War I and Chet is home taking care of their mother.
Lula applies for a job teaching mathematics in Dunn but she is offered the position of music teacher and girls basketball coach. She accepts but is already looking forward to her return to the university.
Chet and Lula are drawn to each other, but the school has a strict policy regarding female teachers and men. Not to mention that Lula is planning on leaving Dunn at the end of the school year while Chet is stuck.
Mateer’s created a compelling story with fully realized characters who live and breathe. Chet and Lula’s attraction is real as are the reasons keeping them apart. This is a romance in the best sense of the word. The hero and heroine are likable and their obstacles rise naturally from their characters’ natures and circumstances. Nothing felt contrived, which is the kiss of death for me.
Lovely story and highly recommended!