cover image Role Playing

Role Playing

Cathy Yardley. Montlake, $16.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-66250-397-9

This delightfully quirky romance from Yardley (Ex Appeal) finds divorced, biracial Asian American Maggie, 48, embracing a reclusive lifestyle after her son goes away to college. Emotional trauma—including the death of her parents in a car accident when she was two, being raised by her prejudiced grandmother, and suffering through a loveless marriage—leaves Maggie uncomfortable with IRL relationships. Instead, she finds solace in online gaming, where she can be herself under the screen name BOGWITCH. Like Maggie, 50-year-old Aiden (screen name: OtterLeader) has a fair amount of familial baggage. He lives a solitary life devoted to caring for his elderly, widowed mother. When Maggie joins Aidan’s online gaming guild, they quickly become virtual friends, though they have some comical misunderstandings about who exactly is on the other side of the screen. A chance meeting in real-life topples the wall of protection provided by online anonymity—and sparks new feelings. The older leads and their unconventional meet-cute set this rom-com apart. The result is a charming celebration of the many ways connections can develop. Agent: Tricia Skinner, Fuse Literary. (Apr.)