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Play by Heart

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Iason’s known worldwide for his romantic lyrics, but he never thought he’d fall in love. Will his luck change when the stars align to bring Orion into his life? Iason Leyland My love songs may have made me famous, but they were beautifully written lies that hid the fact I’ve never loved anyone. I had almost given up hope of finding true love, but then I meet him. Orion is al Iason’s known worldwide for his romantic lyrics, but he never thought he’d fall in love. Will his luck change when the stars align to bring Orion into his life? Iason Leyland My love songs may have made me famous, but they were beautifully written lies that hid the fact I’ve never loved anyone. I had almost given up hope of finding true love, but then I meet him. Orion is all my wishes on stars who can make my dreams come true. He’s my perfect partner in every way except one: he’s straight. Why, universe? Why? But the cosmic force that brought us together apparently knows what it’s doing based on the sweet way Orion blushes every time we’re together. Can I convince him that we could make beautiful music together that will be worthy of my most romantic ballad yet? Orion Donati I’ve been a fan of Iason and his beautiful voice and lyrics for years. I never expected him to know I even exist, let alone fall in love with me. But regardless of that impossibility, he looks at me like I’m the sun, the moon, and all the stars in his universe. As a straight man, I probably shouldn’t be interested, much less tempted by his flirtations. But despite that, everything in me wants a chance to be his magical muse for the songs I love so much. Meeting him makes me realize that I’m not quite as straight as I thought. The most unbelievable thing of all is that someone as amazingly famous as him could ever want a shy nobody like me. But I don’t want to doubt his sincerity. I want to be brave enough to believe he’s interested in me for real. Maybe I don’t have to settle for being a fan who adores him from afar. What if I dare to dream that I could be his boyfriend who loves him with all my heart instead? Play By Heart is the first book in the Harmony of Hearts series and part of the Sunnyside universe. This novel features a bi awakening, insta love, rock star, shy/flirt, gay romance. If you love cute sweetness, sexy fun, and no angst stories that will make you laugh and swoon, you’ll enjoy this satisfying HEA without cliffhangers. Each book can be read as a standalone or as part of the series in order.


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Iason’s known worldwide for his romantic lyrics, but he never thought he’d fall in love. Will his luck change when the stars align to bring Orion into his life? Iason Leyland My love songs may have made me famous, but they were beautifully written lies that hid the fact I’ve never loved anyone. I had almost given up hope of finding true love, but then I meet him. Orion is al Iason’s known worldwide for his romantic lyrics, but he never thought he’d fall in love. Will his luck change when the stars align to bring Orion into his life? Iason Leyland My love songs may have made me famous, but they were beautifully written lies that hid the fact I’ve never loved anyone. I had almost given up hope of finding true love, but then I meet him. Orion is all my wishes on stars who can make my dreams come true. He’s my perfect partner in every way except one: he’s straight. Why, universe? Why? But the cosmic force that brought us together apparently knows what it’s doing based on the sweet way Orion blushes every time we’re together. Can I convince him that we could make beautiful music together that will be worthy of my most romantic ballad yet? Orion Donati I’ve been a fan of Iason and his beautiful voice and lyrics for years. I never expected him to know I even exist, let alone fall in love with me. But regardless of that impossibility, he looks at me like I’m the sun, the moon, and all the stars in his universe. As a straight man, I probably shouldn’t be interested, much less tempted by his flirtations. But despite that, everything in me wants a chance to be his magical muse for the songs I love so much. Meeting him makes me realize that I’m not quite as straight as I thought. The most unbelievable thing of all is that someone as amazingly famous as him could ever want a shy nobody like me. But I don’t want to doubt his sincerity. I want to be brave enough to believe he’s interested in me for real. Maybe I don’t have to settle for being a fan who adores him from afar. What if I dare to dream that I could be his boyfriend who loves him with all my heart instead? Play By Heart is the first book in the Harmony of Hearts series and part of the Sunnyside universe. This novel features a bi awakening, insta love, rock star, shy/flirt, gay romance. If you love cute sweetness, sexy fun, and no angst stories that will make you laugh and swoon, you’ll enjoy this satisfying HEA without cliffhangers. Each book can be read as a standalone or as part of the series in order.

30 review for Play by Heart

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cat the bookworm

    Dnf at around 20%, so I won’t give it a rating. It’s WAY too insta-lovey for me, and I can’t shut my brain off enough to enjoy the ride despite of that. If you don’t mind insta-you’re-my-forever-soulmate and yes-I’m-straight-but-hey-let’s-give-it-a-go-after-10-mins tropes, you’re in for a sweet, no-angst, feel good treat.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    Very sweet and romantic instalove romance with no angst. It was exactly what I was looking for. I loved it. 4.5 stars rounded up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Florence .

    RTC but i’m pretty sure I could be heard swooning out loud during the entire time I read this book. This was just one of the sweetest thing I have ever read. I cannot get over how sweet this book was. And it was steamy too, which I really enjoyed. And I enjoyed how low angst this book was. This bopk just really worked for me. **I received an ARC of this book and this is my honest opinion**

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Klein

    Another amazing book by Ariella! This is the first of a new series in the Sunnyside universe. It can completely stand alone, but characters from previous Sunnyside universe books make appearances. I can tell this will be another great series that I'll want to keep reading over & over. The characters are so easy to fall in love with, and the writing keeps you turning the pages. Another amazing book by Ariella! This is the first of a new series in the Sunnyside universe. It can completely stand alone, but characters from previous Sunnyside universe books make appearances. I can tell this will be another great series that I'll want to keep reading over & over. The characters are so easy to fall in love with, and the writing keeps you turning the pages.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Iason and Orion have an insta love that's written in the stars. This was low angst, fast paced, with lots of love scenes and some over the top mushiness, mostly from Iason. Also low drama was the fact that Orion was previously straight. Most people weren't even surprised, and he himself came to accept it pretty fast. In that aspect, I did wish the fact he was straight was actually mentioned a few less times in the beginning, it was a bit more than necessary. But this was all a sudden, consuming Iason and Orion have an insta love that's written in the stars. This was low angst, fast paced, with lots of love scenes and some over the top mushiness, mostly from Iason. Also low drama was the fact that Orion was previously straight. Most people weren't even surprised, and he himself came to accept it pretty fast. In that aspect, I did wish the fact he was straight was actually mentioned a few less times in the beginning, it was a bit more than necessary. But this was all a sudden, consuming love that flowed pretty easy right from the beginning with a lot of supportive people and not a bunch of problems. Enjoyable, light, sweet read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heather Duff

    Sunnyside works it’s magic again! If you are looking for a light, insta-love, no angst book between a famous musician and a commoner, this is the one for you. Especially if you like your books steamy. Iason will only believe in love if it’s delivered by the stars. Enter Orion. It must have been meant to be. Even straight Orion can’t deny the cosmic pull. Iason is willing to follow his dreams and he won’t give up without a fight. Orion is shy and an overthinker but Iason makes him want to dream big Sunnyside works it’s magic again! If you are looking for a light, insta-love, no angst book between a famous musician and a commoner, this is the one for you. Especially if you like your books steamy. Iason will only believe in love if it’s delivered by the stars. Enter Orion. It must have been meant to be. Even straight Orion can’t deny the cosmic pull. Iason is willing to follow his dreams and he won’t give up without a fight. Orion is shy and an overthinker but Iason makes him want to dream bigger. Throw in a uber-fan sister, an insta-family and a very grumpy best friend, all for a fun time. It’s a fast paced, easy read, with a lot of steam and is super sweet. It’s a nice read for when you need a break from heavier stories or not up for a lot of angst.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    I received a free copy to read and review for Wicked Reads I have read a few books by this author and I like their writing style. This book came at the right time for me. I was in a book slump, nothing was holding my interest. This story is super low angst, sweet, sappy and just gives you the feels. One of the MCs, Orion was previously straight and I enjoy watching straight men fall in love with other men. I highly recommend this book and I can't wait for the next one in this series. I received a free copy to read and review for Wicked Reads I have read a few books by this author and I like their writing style. This book came at the right time for me. I was in a book slump, nothing was holding my interest. This story is super low angst, sweet, sappy and just gives you the feels. One of the MCs, Orion was previously straight and I enjoy watching straight men fall in love with other men. I highly recommend this book and I can't wait for the next one in this series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anne Harris

    An absolutely beautiful tale of Insta love First let me say I’ve got this book of gay romance reviews and this is me live in my own is review. Wow this is a stunningly beautiful story about a musician called Iason Who is told my friends that he will meet his match it is within the stars and very soon he will find his soulmate. And if honest he didn’t believe them because he’s never been inclined to even have a boyfriend. He’s not out there as gay so he has to be careful when he’s in public eye. On An absolutely beautiful tale of Insta love First let me say I’ve got this book of gay romance reviews and this is me live in my own is review. Wow this is a stunningly beautiful story about a musician called Iason Who is told my friends that he will meet his match it is within the stars and very soon he will find his soulmate. And if honest he didn’t believe them because he’s never been inclined to even have a boyfriend. He’s not out there as gay so he has to be careful when he’s in public eye. One night when he does a open music night at his friends Duke bar. In the audience he spots a man that makes his heart go wild. He’s never seen him before but he can not take his eyes off him. And a I’m going to say a hand of fate had him bump into this man in the basement while they were trying to fix an electrical error. Orion was at an open mike night with his sister and ex-girlfriend to listen to the amazing Iason Leyland. His younger sister had the biggest crush on him. When Iason started to sing Orion can’t take his eyes off him and it was strange because it felt like Iason was staring right back at him. He had never been attracted to a man before so he couldn’t understand these feelings. His sister was one of the helpers with merchandise. When his sister come running to say that they run out of CDs and Could he go down to the basement to get a box he found himself reluctantly agreed to go. And he would come face-to-face with none other than Iason. And the attraction was just instant but just as they were about to kiss his sister came running down to help him look for the box. The next day Orion was at work at the Museum when he got told he had a visitor and who would it be? none of us than Iason. And they agreed to go out and get a bite to eat. It was obvious that these two just got on like a house on fire and at the end of the night Orion took Iason home. When they were making out who would walk in none other than his ex-girlfriend. Ison took it the wrong way and quickly left really upsetting Orion because he knew what it look like. Will these two ever catch a break and finally talk about their feelings?? Of course They did. This story is so utterly I keep saying that word but it’s absolutely utterly beautiful. I really love the way that these to communicate and talk about everything nothing is hidden. Passion and the chemistry that these two share is off the charts. They cannot keep their hands off each other but it’s more than that. Iason He’s so patient and understanding will all of Orions questions and thoughts. Because Orion had been hurt in the past he had so many hangups from previous relationships, He honestly didn’t see all the good that he was. His lack of self-confidence is something that Ison really helps him with. I also really enjoyed getting to know Orions family, his mother is a hoot and my heart melted for Iason to feel that acceptance and what it should’ve been like growing up. I Honestly want to explain the whole book because I’m just in awe of what I’ve just read and I cannot wait for the second book in the series start

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amur Thera

    The good + Iason deciding he wanted Orion, and chasing him until he got him + Orion's family. How they adopted Iason was the sweetest thing ever and Iason deserved it so much + Orion's mom. She deserves an extra mention + Orion accepting his attraction to Iason and rolling with it + Orion knowing his family and friends would support him no matter the gender of his partner + The way they were on the same page about their relationship through every stage + The nicknames The neutral o I was kindly provided The good + Iason deciding he wanted Orion, and chasing him until he got him + Orion's family. How they adopted Iason was the sweetest thing ever and Iason deserved it so much + Orion's mom. She deserves an extra mention + Orion accepting his attraction to Iason and rolling with it + Orion knowing his family and friends would support him no matter the gender of his partner + The way they were on the same page about their relationship through every stage + The nicknames The neutral o I was kindly provided with an ARC. My review remains honest and unbiased o This book really had a lot of sex in it. Too much in my opinion o Both of these men (30 and 35 years old) had recovery times fitting a teenager or someone in his early twenties. One time, Orion came three times within one or two hours The bad - Iason's friend Duke made some casually biphobic comments and nobody called him out on it. He kept talking about Orion going "from straight to gay", and saying things like Orion would miss having sex with women and go back to the straight side or something, even after Orion said he was bi or pan - The first time Iason and Orion were intimate, Orion said he was straight and showed insecurity and reluctancy - in other words, no consent. Iason ignored this and played Orion's body until he caved. Not very cool - Orion's first sexual experiences with a man happened at the speed of light in general. The first time they did anything sexual, Orion immediately bottomed without any prior conversation - There's no mention of them going public with their relationship at all. I kind of expected that to happen because of all the songs Iason wrote for Orion, so I was slightly disappointed. They never even talked about whether they wanted to go public or what would happen if they got outed accidentally I think this book was alright. It was easy to read, but more than half of the sex scenes could have been skipped and nothing would've been missing from the story. Also, the casual biphobia really put me off. I don't think I would recommend this book, but I won't actively discourage someone from reading it either.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julie Underhill

    Play By Heart by Ariella Zoelle is Book 1 in her Harmony of Hearts series. It is a super romantic insta-love story between Iason and Orion. Iason is a huge celebrity singer with a large fan club. He’s known for his amazing voice as well as the love songs he writes and sings. He has been disdainful of finding true love but his friends told him he would find his one with “wishes on stars”. Orion is the assistant curator in the European art gallery at the Sunnyside University Museum of Art. He is s Play By Heart by Ariella Zoelle is Book 1 in her Harmony of Hearts series. It is a super romantic insta-love story between Iason and Orion. Iason is a huge celebrity singer with a large fan club. He’s known for his amazing voice as well as the love songs he writes and sings. He has been disdainful of finding true love but his friends told him he would find his one with “wishes on stars”. Orion is the assistant curator in the European art gallery at the Sunnyside University Museum of Art. He is straight and a very sensitive person especially to music and art. He has a 15 year old sister, Lyra, who works for Iason’s street team. They meet at a private concert that Iason is giving in his friend’s bar in Sunnyside. He notices Orion in the crowd and is immediately attracted to him. They meet after the concert and when Iason finds out Orion’s name he feels they are fated to be together. The story continues as their mutual attraction grows and finally blossoms into love. Of course there is some angst as Orion has to come to terms that he's not as straight as he thought and he doesn’t feel he is good enough for Iason, friends think that they are moving too fast, Orion is worried about what Lyra will say when she finds out about them since she is so attracted to Iason, and the separation when he continues his tour is hard on both of them. I really enjoyed this story. The scenes Ms. Zoelle writes are super romantic, especially the love scenes, and Iason is so sure in his love he doesn’t mind continually reminding Orion that he is the one for him. I also liked the chapter where Iason meets Orion’s family as he didn’t have a good homelife growing up and Orion’s family are so genuine and caring. I loved the nicknames they gave each other and how using them shows their affection. I also liked how their friends react to their relationship and how they helped them when they needed it. This is the first book I have read by this author and it won’t be the last. I highly recommend it and am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Janette

    Play by Heart is a sweet, rock star romance kicking off Ariella Zoelle’s new Harmony of Hearts series. Fans of low angst, low conflict instalove will enjoy this easy, entertaining story featuring hot rocker Iason and the studious, unassuming Orion, complete with heart-melting lyrics and dreamy sighs. While this story was enjoyable and at times interesting with all of its facts about art and art history, overall I didn't find it extremely engaging; much of that is down to my personal preferences. Play by Heart is a sweet, rock star romance kicking off Ariella Zoelle’s new Harmony of Hearts series. Fans of low angst, low conflict instalove will enjoy this easy, entertaining story featuring hot rocker Iason and the studious, unassuming Orion, complete with heart-melting lyrics and dreamy sighs. While this story was enjoyable and at times interesting with all of its facts about art and art history, overall I didn't find it extremely engaging; much of that is down to my personal preferences. In the beginning the writing seems a bit heavy, as if every sentence carries an immense weight and importance. Whether this is intended to foreshadow the imminent and instant connection between Iason and Orion, I'm unsure. I wasn't sold entirely on the idea of love at first sight between them, so it was a bit more difficult for me to get invested in the intensity of their connection. Earlier I described this story as low conflict, and I mean practically no conflict. I know many readers find this refreshing, but I prefer a story arc with a little more dialed-up angst and tension working toward a satisfying resolution. There are three elements - Orion's sister, Iason's best friend and Orion's sexuality- which could be potential points of conflict, however they ended up mostly being non-issues. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out how Orion is just so okay with everything all things considered... Overall, this one started off slow for me but gained steam and finished strong. Toward the end is when a lot of art history information is woven into the story, and I really liked reading about those details and how they created a special bond between Iason and Orion. Perhaps my overall opinion about the story might have been more favorable if this had happened earlier and carried on throughout? It's possible it might have made all the difference. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Xanthe

    Play by Heart is the perfect example of the instalove stories that we've come to expect from Ariella Zoelle, though I was surprised with just how quickly Iason (yay-son) professed his love for Orion. It's a really sweet story of how he believes fate has had a hand to play in bringing Orion into his life and he'll do everything he can to hold onto the man. Orion, however, is not quite so sure, never having been attracted to another man but there is just this undeniable connection between them fro Play by Heart is the perfect example of the instalove stories that we've come to expect from Ariella Zoelle, though I was surprised with just how quickly Iason (yay-son) professed his love for Orion. It's a really sweet story of how he believes fate has had a hand to play in bringing Orion into his life and he'll do everything he can to hold onto the man. Orion, however, is not quite so sure, never having been attracted to another man but there is just this undeniable connection between them from the first time their eyes lock as Iason sings on stage and Orion is in the crowd. The singer's voice also has a big hand to play in his attraction to the man. Orion may have a mini freak out or two but he is quick to explore things with Iason and see where things go but not without worrying about any possible future between a museum curator and an best selling music artist. Their relationship is equally sweet and hot as they grow closer and there is a great cast of characters that I'm looking forward to getting to know in the rest of the series. It's always fun to come back to Sunnyside and read about familiar faces. You don't have to have read any of the other books set here but it helps with friendship and relationship connections. Orion's family are a blast, really fun to read, especially his mother who has no filter, and Iason's band mates will making for interesting characters in the rest of the series. A book with all the feels and quite a high heat level. Very little angst in the love fest, just an over protective best friend and some self doubt on Orion's part. Another recommended read from Ariella Zoelle. I received an ARC and am happily giving a review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samyka

    OMG! I read this and feel like going straight to heaven. What is it about Ariella that her books get to me so? This is a rockstar romance set in the Sunnyvale universe but starting a new series. All books can be read as stand-alones but it's funnier to read them all because most characters appear in other books as well. If by chance you have read other Sunnyvale books you might know Iason Leyland, the rockstar currently living in New York but hailing from Sunnyvale. In "Honeymoon Ever After" he m OMG! I read this and feel like going straight to heaven. What is it about Ariella that her books get to me so? This is a rockstar romance set in the Sunnyvale universe but starting a new series. All books can be read as stand-alones but it's funnier to read them all because most characters appear in other books as well. If by chance you have read other Sunnyvale books you might know Iason Leyland, the rockstar currently living in New York but hailing from Sunnyvale. In "Honeymoon Ever After" he meets Hollywood actor Kieran Aiello who has just found his HEA and wishes for the same luck. If only the wish would be granted by the stars. On an open mic night back in Sunnyvale he meets Orion, a museum curator in Sunnyvale, and falls instantly in love. But Orion is straight. How could that work? Well, it takes some work, a little bit of meddling by Orion's mother and sister - et voilà! The story is so sweet and wonderful you'll love it. And for the first time, I loved the women in this novel too. Usually, women in MM fiction are just annoying. The know-it-all sisters, mothers and female best friends or the bitchy exes. Just clichés. But Ariella really put work in all the characters. Orion's mom really is a star! She's so funny and likeable. An astronomer turned astrophysicist who named her children after star constellations. ❤️ I can't stop gushing about this funny yet sexy book because it is totally worth the praise!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Canadian Girl Book Blog (Menotah)

    "𝙃𝙤𝙡𝙙 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬𝙨 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙡 𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜." ⏤ 4.5 Maple Leafs ⏤ Iason never thought love was in the stars for him until he meets Orion at one of his private shows and knows instantly that they are meant to be together. Orion can not understand why a megastar wants him, a straight shy guy who blushes as red as a cherry but can not seem to fight the growing urge inside him to see what can happen between them. Orion and Iason's story is entertaining, swoony, and extremely sexy. Orio "𝙃𝙤𝙡𝙙 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬𝙨 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙡 𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜." ⏤ 4.5 Maple Leafs ⏤ Iason never thought love was in the stars for him until he meets Orion at one of his private shows and knows instantly that they are meant to be together. Orion can not understand why a megastar wants him, a straight shy guy who blushes as red as a cherry but can not seem to fight the growing urge inside him to see what can happen between them. Orion and Iason's story is entertaining, swoony, and extremely sexy. Orion is so adorable in how he blushes at the drop of a hat and Iason is such a flirt. The connection between them is instant and oh so steamy. I loved the side characters and that there was no angst, which made for a refreshing read. I can not wait for the rest of the band to get their HEAs. This was my first book by Ariella Zoelle and for sure will not be my last. Play by Heart is the first book in the Harmony of Hearts series which is an mm, musician (rockstar), strangers-to-lovers, bi-awakening, sky/flirt, instant love romance told in the dual first-person point of view. *advanced copy kindly provided and honestly reviewed on behalf of Canadian Girl Book Blog* Follow → Facebook ❤️ Instagram 🖤 Twitter ❤️ TikTok 🖤 Blog

  15. 5 out of 5

    The secret librarian

    This was a very sweet read, as usually with Ariella’s books it’s a fast paced story with insta love/lust and no angst. Orion was a total sweetheart and I loved how adorable and shy he was. I had a bit of a harder time liking Iason, he was just a lot in the beginning of the story with how he pursued Orion. Orion told Iason he’d never been with a guy before but Iason didn’t really back down or gave Orion a chance to process his new attraction to a guy. It just didn’t always seem like they were on t This was a very sweet read, as usually with Ariella’s books it’s a fast paced story with insta love/lust and no angst. Orion was a total sweetheart and I loved how adorable and shy he was. I had a bit of a harder time liking Iason, he was just a lot in the beginning of the story with how he pursued Orion. Orion told Iason he’d never been with a guy before but Iason didn’t really back down or gave Orion a chance to process his new attraction to a guy. It just didn’t always seem like they were on the same page in the beginning and it didn’t sit right with me. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of sweet and tender moments between the guys once they’re a bit further into their relationship. Many swoon-worthy and steamy moments as well. I really liked how Iason helped Orion get over some of his insecurities and hang ups from past relationships, I just wanted him to be a bit more patient with him at the beginning. There were some things I struggled a little with in this book, I thought the language was a little cringy and repetitive at times, and it didn’t feel as it reflected their ages well either. I also struggled with keeping my interest in the story up towards the end since there’s no conflict or angst, it just felt like it dragged a little. Overall a really sweet story, that just didn’t fully capture me. If you’re looking for a totally sweet book with insta love I think this author is a perfect match for you!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sharon L

    Made out of wishes on stars!!! This is book 1, in a new series, Harmony of Hearts. This book was such a sweet story, low angst, high heat, protective friends, and quirky family. Iason (pronounced yay-son), gay, famous musician, heart throb to his many fans. Orion, straight, maybe not so straight, art history nerd who loves his job as assistant curator at the Sunnyside University Art Museum. Iason is back in his hometown on a small break from touring. After being alone for so long, he's ready to have Made out of wishes on stars!!! This is book 1, in a new series, Harmony of Hearts. This book was such a sweet story, low angst, high heat, protective friends, and quirky family. Iason (pronounced yay-son), gay, famous musician, heart throb to his many fans. Orion, straight, maybe not so straight, art history nerd who loves his job as assistant curator at the Sunnyside University Art Museum. Iason is back in his hometown on a small break from touring. After being alone for so long, he's ready to have a relationship of his own. All his friends are coupled up and happy and they've been joking for months about him finding his soulmate at his fan club's next open mic night. During his performance, at his friend's local bar, he sees Orion in the audience and he can't stop looking at him. A chance encounter, in the bar's basement, is all it takes to make Orion realize he desires Iason, even though he's a straight man and it doesn't make sense. Every time I read a book by Ariella Zoelle I never want it to end... I'm never disappointed and she always leaves us wanting more. I love the time and effort she takes to add all the extras (vision guide plus bonus chapter). I never pass on checking out the vision guide, it's such a treat to see the things that inspired the book and it makes the book come to life. Can't wait for Levi's story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Moore

    Play By Heart is another amazing book by Ariella Zoelle! I have loved every single book I have read by Ariella. Her books are full of sweetness, steam, tender moments, and fun and flirty men! This is the first book in this new series in the Sunnyside universe! We get a glimpse of some of the previous characters front he Sunnyside world and that is always so exciting to pop in and check on our boys! Ariella writes so smoothly and the flow is utter perfection. Everything just comes together and wo Play By Heart is another amazing book by Ariella Zoelle! I have loved every single book I have read by Ariella. Her books are full of sweetness, steam, tender moments, and fun and flirty men! This is the first book in this new series in the Sunnyside universe! We get a glimpse of some of the previous characters front he Sunnyside world and that is always so exciting to pop in and check on our boys! Ariella writes so smoothly and the flow is utter perfection. Everything just comes together and works together perfectly. Iason and Orion have an instant connection and some super steamy chemistry! They fell for each other immediately and developed such a beautiful relationship. They are utter perfection together. I just wanted to keep reading about this beautiful relationship. This book is no angst, insta love, fast paced and super sweet! It is definitely worth the read and I am so excited for the next one in the series! I received a copy of this book from Gay Romance Reviews, and this is my honest review. POV: 1st Person Dual POV Standalone or series: Book 1 in the Harmony of Hearts series Would I recommend it: 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ highly recommend!! 🤩 Would I read it again: Most definitely!

  18. 4 out of 5

    WycEd Reader

    Check out our full post for PLAY BY HEART on Wicked Reads. Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team Angie – ☆☆☆☆ I have read a few books by this author, and I like their writing style. This book came at the right time for me. I was in a book slump; nothing was holding my interest. This story is super low- angst, sweet, sappy, and just gives you the feels. One of the main characters, Orion, was previously straight, and I enjoy watching straight men fall in love with other men. I highly recommend th Check out our full post for PLAY BY HEART on Wicked Reads. Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team Angie – ☆☆☆☆ I have read a few books by this author, and I like their writing style. This book came at the right time for me. I was in a book slump; nothing was holding my interest. This story is super low- angst, sweet, sappy, and just gives you the feels. One of the main characters, Orion, was previously straight, and I enjoy watching straight men fall in love with other men. I highly recommend this book and I can't wait for the next one in this series. Reviewers received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Sharon

    Talk about instalove! Iason and Orion's eyes meet during Iason's coffeehouse concert, and when they meet face to face for the first time, OMG, the sexual tension! Not just that, though - Iason is stunned at how he reacts to Orion, and knows he has met his soul mate, just as his friends predicted would happen at this concert. And though Orion has always been straight, he absolutely feels the attraction right away, and really no time is wasted on wondering why. When you know, you know, and these t Talk about instalove! Iason and Orion's eyes meet during Iason's coffeehouse concert, and when they meet face to face for the first time, OMG, the sexual tension! Not just that, though - Iason is stunned at how he reacts to Orion, and knows he has met his soul mate, just as his friends predicted would happen at this concert. And though Orion has always been straight, he absolutely feels the attraction right away, and really no time is wasted on wondering why. When you know, you know, and these two just seize the day, and we get to be along for the discovery, and as their relationship gets more and more solid. Oh, and the steam, good lord! For one, Orion's reaction to Iason's voice, whether whispering in his ear, or onstage singing, is hot hot hot. Just you wait. So yeah, insta-love, high heat, found family (because Orion's family is the best ever), and the loveliest quiet HEA ever. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. While this is the first book in Ariella's new Harmony of Hearts series, it is part of her greater Sunnyside universe. The connection to prior books is easily explained, though, and this can definitely be enjoyed as a standalone.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Manon

    In a way this is a book very typical for the author, no angst, bi-awaking, insta, very HEA. And often I do read these books as they give me a feel-good and escape from reality. But Iason and Orion - sorry, something went wrong here. It is following the usual set-up but in a way I do wonder if it was written ages ago and just re-polished. Especially the start of the book just reads completely different. Iason - we met in some of the other books - always came over as a cynical guy, not believing in In a way this is a book very typical for the author, no angst, bi-awaking, insta, very HEA. And often I do read these books as they give me a feel-good and escape from reality. But Iason and Orion - sorry, something went wrong here. It is following the usual set-up but in a way I do wonder if it was written ages ago and just re-polished. Especially the start of the book just reads completely different. Iason - we met in some of the other books - always came over as a cynical guy, not believing in love. Now, one look at Orion and he is a sappy, love/lust guy who turned 180 degrees. I missed the changes we saw in other characters like Arsene and Rune. Orion- for someone who thinks he is straight, he falls into bed immediately. No doubt, no questions, nothing. I like the fact that there is no large age gap like in some of the other books. But then, where are the questions about the future, a famous rock star and a museum curator? Iason was seen as a friend to Rook's and KIllian and now they don't eve appear. Neither Arsene. I do know this is a start of a new series but we had small interactions with previous characters beforehand. I hope book 2 will improve.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Play by Heart is the first book in a new series. There is some interconnection with previous books because of being in the Sunnyside universe. But this can be read completely as a stand-alone and would be an excellent book to choose if you are new to Zoelle's writing. Iason is a very famous rockstar, but quickly falls for a shy, nerdy guy that catches his eye at an open mic night while singing at his friend's bar. Orion is unfamiliar with being attracted to a man (having only dated women before), Play by Heart is the first book in a new series. There is some interconnection with previous books because of being in the Sunnyside universe. But this can be read completely as a stand-alone and would be an excellent book to choose if you are new to Zoelle's writing. Iason is a very famous rockstar, but quickly falls for a shy, nerdy guy that catches his eye at an open mic night while singing at his friend's bar. Orion is unfamiliar with being attracted to a man (having only dated women before), but can't seem to resist Iason. There is a LOT of sexy times to test out these new waters. (You have been warned that there is full steam ahead!) I believe this book would be a good fit for readers looking for high steam, no-angst romance full of funny banter and sweetness along with a very supportive family dynamic. Even though I love music, I’m not a big fan of musician-oriented main characters. But Play By Heart has the right blend of characters being world-wide famous, but not being jerks about it. I can’t wait for the next book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    4.5 stars Play By Heart is an eyes meet across the room, instant love story. Iason and Orion have instant chemistry when they meet, and although it takes Orion a little longer to adjust to his new feelings their relationship is hot from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed their story, although the almost instant steam between them didn’t feel quite right for Orion’s shy character at first. But I loved how they worked things out between them, and the heat was off the charts. The first book in a promis 4.5 stars Play By Heart is an eyes meet across the room, instant love story. Iason and Orion have instant chemistry when they meet, and although it takes Orion a little longer to adjust to his new feelings their relationship is hot from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed their story, although the almost instant steam between them didn’t feel quite right for Orion’s shy character at first. But I loved how they worked things out between them, and the heat was off the charts. The first book in a promising new series, it’s still set in Sunnyside and has appearances of characters from the previous series but could easily be read as a stand-alone. This sweet story is filled with heat, emotion, low- angst and the words of a song towards the end that was so lovely I found myself swooning in my chair as I read them. I received an ARC of this book to review, and this is my honest and voluntary opinion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ishita Sehanabish

    This is the first Insta-Love book that I truly Love 💕😘 I read a ton of Insta-Love books none makes my heart sing like this one😇 Ariella create a magic again😚 her words choices are awesome and her characters are soo real ❤️ Orion and Iason 's love was written in the stars ⭐ this was a Low-agnst, fast paced, lots of swoon, lots of love scenes and Iason's mushines 😘 there's no drama in this book Orion's family was amazing, they adopted Iason instantly and accept his love for Orion ❤️. Orion himself This is the first Insta-Love book that I truly Love 💕😘 I read a ton of Insta-Love books none makes my heart sing like this one😇 Ariella create a magic again😚 her words choices are awesome and her characters are soo real ❤️ Orion and Iason 's love was written in the stars ⭐ this was a Low-agnst, fast paced, lots of swoon, lots of love scenes and Iason's mushines 😘 there's no drama in this book Orion's family was amazing, they adopted Iason instantly and accept his love for Orion ❤️. Orion himself accept his new attraction for men or for only Iason 🤭 without much fight. They fit together Orion and Iason ❤️😍 Orion's sister Lyra's acceptence of their Love was beautiful 😍 Duke was a bit of to harsh on Orion at first but we can understand where his hungups are coming from that issue was felt beautifully too 🤗 Soo overall this is very good book and beautiful experience for me😉 I'm sure a re-read is coming for me in near future 😌😊 #ARC was provided by GRR and this is my honest review

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy Weller

    A wonderful, heartfelt and sweet love story! This book is amazing! The story of Iason and Orion is filled with love, laughter, overprotective friends and amazing family! Iason is a famous musician back in his hometown during a break from his current tour. Orion works at the local University museum. The two meet when Iason is performing solo at his friend, Duke’s, hometown bar. Iason is sure Orion is the man his friends wished for him and is immediately drawn to him. The way their relationship dev A wonderful, heartfelt and sweet love story! This book is amazing! The story of Iason and Orion is filled with love, laughter, overprotective friends and amazing family! Iason is a famous musician back in his hometown during a break from his current tour. Orion works at the local University museum. The two meet when Iason is performing solo at his friend, Duke’s, hometown bar. Iason is sure Orion is the man his friends wished for him and is immediately drawn to him. The way their relationship develops is an absolute joy to read, Orion’s family is a hoot and Iason’s friends are overprotective but softies on the inside. While Orion has always considered himself to be straight, he finds that being with Iason makes him feel things he’s never felt with anyone else. The two will find that life is perfect when they are together and it will lead them on the journey to their happily ever after. I read an ARC copy of this book and am volunteering my honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna Lynn

    Ms. Ariella Zoelle was a new-to-me author a year ago but now I look forward to reading her books. She writes low-angst, full of sweetness stories of two men loving each other. And her writing style is just amazing! Iason has been witness to his close friends falling head over heels in love with their significant others and he is really hoping for his, but with his career always on the go and the fact that he is quite famous makes him believe that that is an impossibility. But his friends always r Ms. Ariella Zoelle was a new-to-me author a year ago but now I look forward to reading her books. She writes low-angst, full of sweetness stories of two men loving each other. And her writing style is just amazing! Iason has been witness to his close friends falling head over heels in love with their significant others and he is really hoping for his, but with his career always on the go and the fact that he is quite famous makes him believe that that is an impossibility. But his friends always remind him that he will find the one for him, that it is written in the stars. And one day he did. Orion thought himself straight until he caught the eye of a famous singer. He isn't afraid of what people will say when he switch sides because he knows that they will accept him no matter what. As I said earlier, this one has all the sweetness and schmoopy scenes that will make your heart sing, and I love it! Here's hoping for the next book in this new series very soon! Congratulations!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kandice

    I had several issues with this book. I'm generally fine with instalove but the way this one happened felt odd. Iason's behavior was almost stalkerish, with a scene that felt almost dubcon. Despite this being Book 1, it was clear from the story that it must be a spinoff. Ias' behavhir and thoughts were inconsistent. Orion balking and begging off stating he was straight, Ias pushing anyway. Then they jump into penetrative sex with absolutely no conversation about it and then ditching condoms with I had several issues with this book. I'm generally fine with instalove but the way this one happened felt odd. Iason's behavior was almost stalkerish, with a scene that felt almost dubcon. Despite this being Book 1, it was clear from the story that it must be a spinoff. Ias' behavhir and thoughts were inconsistent. Orion balking and begging off stating he was straight, Ias pushing anyway. Then they jump into penetrative sex with absolutely no conversation about it and then ditching condoms with almost no conversation. Ugh. And this line "What if it was because he had been prepared to choose me over his sexuality." No. Just no. I've read a couple other books by this author and don't recall the writing to be as flowery. "Awash in bliss from hearing his mellifluous voice filling such a small space." It was just off-putting. This one was not win for me. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy provided by GayRomanceReviews.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    “I’m just a nobody.” “No, you’re somebody to me.” Iason is so smooth. Talk about a swoon-worthy guy! A world famous musician who is convinced the stars have led him to his soulmate in Orion. Now he just has to convince the other man to trust what he feels and give him his heart. Sigh. This author really knows how to write some wonderful characters and create light no angst escapes from reality. I have read all of the books in the Sunnyside universe and have yet to be disappointed. Orion’s family “I’m just a nobody.” “No, you’re somebody to me.” Iason is so smooth. Talk about a swoon-worthy guy! A world famous musician who is convinced the stars have led him to his soulmate in Orion. Now he just has to convince the other man to trust what he feels and give him his heart. Sigh. This author really knows how to write some wonderful characters and create light no angst escapes from reality. I have read all of the books in the Sunnyside universe and have yet to be disappointed. Orion’s family just adopts Iason as one of their own and it broke my heart to see him so surprised at being welcomed anywhere. Found family and everlasting,unconditional love for the win! And can I just say how much I love Estelle?!?!? I know many scoff at “insta-love” or “love at first sight” stuff but these and found families are often some of my favorite books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    LateciaJ

    **ARC Review** Lovely and sweet. This is what I get when I read Ariella's book. A lot of passion also with steamy scenes that scorches the pages but mainly sweet romances without angst to get in the way. Iason and Orion is the reason I love reading these romances. That instant connection they had at the beginning blew me away. Orion couldn't help but fall for the charming Iason and Iason saw his forever in Orion. Bi awakenings are always interesting to read because sometimes the attraction just h **ARC Review** Lovely and sweet. This is what I get when I read Ariella's book. A lot of passion also with steamy scenes that scorches the pages but mainly sweet romances without angst to get in the way. Iason and Orion is the reason I love reading these romances. That instant connection they had at the beginning blew me away. Orion couldn't help but fall for the charming Iason and Iason saw his forever in Orion. Bi awakenings are always interesting to read because sometimes the attraction just hit and that person is confused but the feelings are real. Orion has the doubts/confusion but the Iason pull was too hard to resist. Loved their relationship and it was wonderful to see so much support from the family and friends. Everyone should have such delightful parents as Orion:) Whirlwind romance with a very nice ending...glad I was given a chance to read such a lovely story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Iason, despite having written love songs and crooning them to a wide fanbase, has never even remotely felt the emotion behind those songs. And yet, when his friends wish for him to find a man and he throws in the caveat that his name has to be something celestial, he never believes he'll find him. Enter Orion, who is a fan and despite all evidence that Iason is staring at him during the intimate concert in Sunnyside, he dismisses his reaction and the fact Iason might be interested in him. Both c Iason, despite having written love songs and crooning them to a wide fanbase, has never even remotely felt the emotion behind those songs. And yet, when his friends wish for him to find a man and he throws in the caveat that his name has to be something celestial, he never believes he'll find him. Enter Orion, who is a fan and despite all evidence that Iason is staring at him during the intimate concert in Sunnyside, he dismisses his reaction and the fact Iason might be interested in him. Both characters are wonderfully fleshed out with enough angsty backstory to shape them into the men they are. The secondary characters; Orion's family, Iason's best friends and band mates are wonderful and supportive, making the story richer. This is a sweet, romantic, scorching hot story!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bayb

    3.5 This story has a cute concept: a famous musician (Iason) suddenly finds himself head over heels for someone in his audience (Orion). Orion is supposedly straight, but he can’t deny his attraction to Iason. Early on, it seemed like Orion was going to quickly accept that he could be attracted to a man, but then suddenly he was in denial again. Thus began the constant jerking of emotions. In one scene, the two are hotly making out when an ex walks into Orion’s apartment, and Iason immediately assu 3.5 This story has a cute concept: a famous musician (Iason) suddenly finds himself head over heels for someone in his audience (Orion). Orion is supposedly straight, but he can’t deny his attraction to Iason. Early on, it seemed like Orion was going to quickly accept that he could be attracted to a man, but then suddenly he was in denial again. Thus began the constant jerking of emotions. In one scene, the two are hotly making out when an ex walks into Orion’s apartment, and Iason immediately assumes he’s a cheater (simply because the ex has a key). This book was headed to being a favorite, but then it started causing a seesaw of emotions. It had such potential. It does have an eventual HEA, but there was just too much drama and manufactured conflict for me to love it.

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