Role Playing

A Contemporary Romance | Cathy Yardley

About the Book

From Cathy Yardley, author of Love, Comment, Subscribe, comes an emotional rom-com about two middle-aged gamers who grow their online connection into an IRL love story.

Maggie is an unapologetically grumpy forty-eight-year-old hermit. But when her college-aged son makes her a deal—he’ll be more social if she does the same—she can’t refuse. She joins a new online gaming guild led by a friendly healer named Otter. So that nobody gets the wrong idea, she calls herself Bogwitch.

Otter is Aiden, a fifty-year-old optimist using the guild as an emotional outlet from his family drama caring for his aging mother while his brother plays house with Aiden’s ex-fiancée.

Bogwitch and Otter become fast virtual friends, but there’s a catch. Bogwitch thinks Otter is a college student. Otter assumes Bogwitch is an octogenarian.

When they finally meet face-to-face—after a rocky, shocking start—the unlikely pair of sunshine and stormy personalities grow tentatively closer. But Maggie’s previous relationships have left her bitter, and Aiden’s got a complicated past of his own.

Everything’s easier online. Can they make it work in real life?

Buy the Book


This book is also available on audiobook from the following online booksellers:

Narrator: Chris Brinkley, Elyse Dinh
Format: Unabridged
Runtime: 10 hrs and 2 mins


“Singular characters and genuine emotion make this a broadly appealing romance.” Kirkus Reviews

“This delightfully quirky romance…is a charming celebration of the many ways connections can develop.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Role Playing features one of the most endearing couples I’ve read in a long, long time. Aiden’s kindness, warmth, and patience make him the sweetest cinnamon roll hero possible, while Maggie is the cranky, fiercely loyal heroine of my dreams. Yardley doesn’t shy away from difficult family and friend dynamics, but that only makes the way Maggie and Aiden help and defend one another all the more satisfying. And the earrings-removal moment at the wedding reception? Absolute, gleeful perfection.” —Olivia Dade, Nationally bestselling author of Spoiler Alert and Ship Wrecked

“Yardley does an excellent job writing realistic characters who still manage to be swoonworthy… Full of funny and heartfelt scenes with fierce yet kind protagonists.” Library Journal (starred review)

Role Playing is a refreshing twist on the online (and unseen) gaming-friends-to-lovers tale, featuring a reclusive heroine with feral fighter energy who I want on my ride-or-die team and an eminently huggable gentle-giant healer with a heart of gold. Yardley is an absolute queen of character-driven plotting, and her skill shines brightly in this book laced with sharp humor and nuanced realism.…It’s a small-town romance for the anti-small-town romance reader that will charm even the grumpiest, most cynical bogwitch, and I dare you not to devour this book in a single sitting.” —Jen Comfort, author of Midnight Duet

“Seriously funny and deliciously fresh, Role Playing takes all the very best parts of romance and mixes it into a wildly entertaining, heartwarmingly romantic, truly special book. I can’t wait to see what Cathy Yardley writes next.” —Suzanne Brockmann, New York Times Bestseller

“The biggest, coziest, sexiest hug of a Gen X romance. I loved it to pieces.” —Erin Hahn, author of Built to Last

“Chris Brinkley and Elyse Dinh pair up for a delightful performance in this fresh nerdy romance.… Dinh’s and Brinkley’s performances have the right intense beats when narrating gameplay. The romance unfolds more slowly so that listeners can savor its moments. Both narrators depict the genuine struggle faced by characters who are coping with life’s new chapters and finding joy in unexpected places.”AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award Winner

“If ever there were a story for our times, Role Playing…is it. …deftly narrated by the team of Chris Brinkley and Elyse Dinh who are able to bring the entire story along with its distinctive characters to life in a true theatre of the mind experience for the listener.”Midwest Book Review

“Elyse Dinh’s narration…hits her stride once Maggie and Aiden meet IRL. Chris Brinkley, who narrates for Aiden, captures the rumbling, warm nature of this lovable character. Yardley’s (Ex Appeal) latest is a perfect fit for patrons looking for heartwarming, slow-burn romances featuring middle-aged characters.”Library Journal

The Details

Published: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Amazon Montlake
Formats: EbookPaperbackAudiobook
ISBN-13: 978-1662503979

Genres & Tropes
Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Multicultural Romance