PLAYING BY HEART – A JB Salsbury Review


Wow..Just WOW! Trying to think of a way to explain this romance isn’t easy. First of all, JB Salsbury is in her own genre when it comes to romance. They’re dark in a different way, with non-traditional heroes who are tough to love at first. And that can definitely be said with Jesse. Jesse is an ASSHOLE at the beginning of Playing by Heart. I hated him at first, but in the best way. Reading his level of dirty, you just KNOW there’s going to be an epic redemption of his soul. A womanizer to the extreme is his least offensive description. He’s an alcoholic and a drug addict. He shows no concern for anyone, not even himself; and has a tendency to self-destruct at the most inopportune times.Now his only option to salvage the wreck of his life he’s made is to spend time with his religious and estranged brother.

There’s a brief snippet at the beginning in to Beth’s chaos but by the time her and Jesse’s paths cross, she’s focused and on a path to find happiness. They are complete and polar opposites; Jesse is mid-withdrawal and Beth is in a place of solitude and commitment. Beth seems demure and peaceful when Jesse is a storm of self-hate and bad habits. Somehow…SOME HOW…Salsbury has the ability to win readers to Jesse’s side. He may be self-destructive but as you read into his past and where it all comes from, you can see its from a place of loss. Not of a loved one or a dream, but Jesse has lost his creativity. Jesse Lee used to write amazing rock god anthems and stardom sucked him down it’s dark hole. Beth becomes a beacon of hope in his darkest moments to pull him out.

The more time he spends with her, whether its teasing and riling her up or seeing her side of life and finding happiness, she slowly eases her way in to his heart. Slowly, Jesse finds his way back to the heart and soul of his music. Songs begin to pour out of him and the rock star side of Jesse becomes more appealing again without the temptation of the dark side of fame. But that’s when Beth begins to fear how her heart feels for him. She’s been focused for so long on winning back her ex and Jesse threatens that happy dream shes’s always had. But even more, Beth decides that her future is hers and no one else’s. Cocooning herself away from Jesse, she misses his heartfelt revelation of love to her. But now that Jesse’s won the fight against himself, he’s ready to fight for HER. This love story is all a tale of what a person can handle when it comes to self-love before loving anyone else and Salsbury does it ABSOLUTE justice.

Jesse Lee is the worst!

He’s a multi-millionaire, triple-platinum-selling, Grammy-Award-winning man-slut—a worldly, self-indulgent heathen. I wouldn’t sleep with him if he were our last chance to ensure survival of the human race. The only reason I put up with him is because he’s my boss’s brother.

Whatsherface is one of those holier-than-thou types.

She’s bossy, has a horrific singing voice, and she’s so ordinary, she practically blends in with the eggshell-colored walls—the complete opposite of anyone I’d bang. The only reason I put up with her is because my career is on the line.

Playing by Heart is an enemies-to-lovers romance where opposites not only attract, they ignite.


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Before I started writing all I did was read. There wasn’t a contemporary romance out there that I wouldn’t pick up. One day I realized a lot of stories I was reading seemed to follow the same formula. I got frustrated with predictable outcomes and unimaginative story lines and decided that rather than scour the Internet for the kind of story I wanted to read, I’d just write it.

When I published my first book I didn’t intend to write more than the one. If I could sell six books  to six people I didn’t know I considered myself a success. But that first book sold well over six copies and I knew I couldn’t stop there.

I was bitten by the writing bug and have poured my soul into every novel I’ve penned since. Some of my books have become USA Today Bestsellers, New York Times Bestsellers, and Fighting to Forgive won a RONE Award. I couldn’t be more proud of where my writing has taken me.

I live in Phoenix with my husband and two daughters where I’m lucky to be able to do something I love and still be home to juggle carpool, field trips, and fifth-grade homework.

When I’m not writing, reading, or spending time with my family I can be found on any of the local mountain trails hiking, or at the gym when the desert temps become unbearable. I love being outside, beach vacations, and spending time with friends.

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