Playing Autumn is part of the Rock Gods of Romance bundle. I was kind of hesitant to buy the whole set and just read Mina’s story. So I silently hoped that Mina would release a solo edition of her work. Fortunately, the day came when she announced the limited paperback edition release of Playing Autumn for a limited number of copies. And, I was lucky enough to be one of those who bought a copy! Yey!
Here’s the summary from the back cover of the book:
“Hot Piano Girl” Haley and rock star Oliver officially meet on a plane ride back to Houston, where they’re both serving as mentors at a music festival for young artists. Unofficially? Haley has been a fan of Oliver’s since she was ten (and he was twelve), when she saw him on a TV talent show. And Oliver’s had her in his head since he saw her performing covers of his songs online. His career has hit rock bottom, and hers has stalled before even starting.
Will an autumn weekend in their hometown give them exactly what they need?
This is the first Mina V. Esguerra book I read that’s not entirely set in Manila. We’re not just dealing with ordinary characters here, or even the familiar settings we read in her other books. For a change, Playing Autumn is about musicians! I’m quite curious how Mina would utilize this in her storyline and make it unique.
Oliver and Haley are both talented musicians, yet they choose different paths, affecting their lives for good and bad. Oliver is someone we often see in showbiz and music industries. Discovered as someone with potential at such a young age, Oliver has chosen a life he thinks would be easy. His road to fame has earned him quite a lot of fans, including Haley, but he doesn’t know the pressures and demands that await him. Haley, on the other hand, has been a loyal fan of Oliver, but her amazing skills in playing the piano and singing does not convince her to follow Oliver’s footsteps. She’s already satisfied with doing YouTube videos consisting of piano tutorials and singing (while playing piano) covers.
Oliver and Haley’s lives are not vastly different from the reality. We’ve seen people and celebrities who are like Oliver, and there are those who simply enjoy doing covers in YouTube. It’s quite amazing to witness people who showcase their God-given talents that make one hope and wish to become like them. As a frustrated pianist and singer, I definitely adore those who are musically-inclined. I’m really impressed that Mina V. Esguerra is able to portray characters with expertise in this aspect. It’s as if Mina is a musician herself!
As all of you may well know, the music is just the tip of an iceberg. I love the fact that it’s what connected Oliver and Haley. From being friends, eventually, their sexual attraction cannot be ignored. As I go further along the book, it’s evident that their relationship might just end up as a fling. I don’t want that to happen actually. In just a short span of time, I have come to love Oliver and Haley. The alternating point of views help me get to know them more and find out what’s bugging in their minds.
I guess through the music festival they attended and mentored, both Oliver and Haley manage to reflect and re-evaluate the things important in their lives. Despite being a short novella, Playing Autumn is a fun read. I’m actually satisfied with how the story ends. Moreover, I now fully understand why the novella is entitled Playing Autumn. It’s sweet and cute. Undoubtedly, fans of Mina V. Esguerra will love this book. They will get to see a different side of her with how she comes up with this story.