Member Reviews

Dungeons and Drama was such a FUN read! I had really high hopes when starting the book and was not let down. I wish there had been more books like this when I was in middle school or even high school.
Riley is a die-hard theatre kid. Nathan is gamer boy who works at Riley’s dad’s game shop. If you asked them, they could not be more different. They soon discover that playing a character in D&D isn’t so different from acting in plays and musicals. Riley and Nathan may have more in common than they think.
Riley gets stuck serving out punishment in the form of working at her dad’s game shop. Riley concocts a fake dating plan to get her jerk of an ex to stop pitying her. Nathan is on board when Riley tells him it’ll make the girl he has a crush on jealous and give him a better chance.
I love how unapologetically over the top Riley is and how immediately Nathan not only expects it but also embraces it.
In addition to the wonderfully written teenage chemistry, we get to see Riley’s relationships with her parents evolve throughout the book as well. I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to buy my 13 year old sister a copy.
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children’s for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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A very cute fake-dating romance. They had such believable banter that it made it easy to feel like they were falling for each other and it made sense that the flirting was impossible to tell how much was fake or real. I enjoyed that the audience could tell that Nathan was being genuine even though Riley was unsure. I loved the friends she makes at the D&D game and it made it even better that she was able to successfully bring her awesome best friend in as well. It makes sense that a theater kid would enjoy the acting part of the game and play a bard. I did feel a bit annoyed with how Riley started out whiny and over committing, but it also felt like something teens would actually do, so I have to give it a pass. Overall, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a clean romance, and certainly to any theater or gamer kids.

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Riley, a musical enthusiast, lands a job at her dad's game shop as punishment for taking her mom's car without permission. She's not a fan of board games or Dungeons & Dragons, but soon finds herself drawn into the magical world of D&D. She starts hanging out with her classmates, including her coworker Nathan. They strike a deal to pretend to date each other, but soon can't tell if their feelings are real.

This book is a charming mix of fake dating, friends-to-lovers, and coming-of-age themes. It's fun to see theatre kids and gamers finding common ground. The romance is fast-paced, fitting the short book, it doesn't feel rushed despite the pacing. The story is full of fun references to fake dating, D&D, LARPing, board games, and musical theatre.

This is a sweet and fun read with lovable characters and a good plot. It's great for romance lovers, especially if they like musical theatre or D&D.
𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘙𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯'𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘕𝘦𝘵𝘨𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺.

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This was such a cute book! It was a little hard to get into but it didn't take long until I was hooked. Nathan and Riley were soo cute! I can't wait to read more books by Kristy Boyce!

Thank you netgalley for the arc

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Dungeons and Drama is perfect for the students who wants a fun romance. I kept turning the pages late at night even though I knew I needed to turn the light off.

Riley and her mom enjoy being together and watching musicals. Riley isn't as close to her father because he's more into dungeons and dragons, even owning a gaming store where people play games in the back. She really doesn't enjoy her weekends, feeling that her dad fails to recognize and appreciate her musical talents. After Riley drives her car to a musical without a license and without her parents' permission, she is grounded. She must work for her dad in his store after school and no school activities. Upon arriving for her first day, Riley finds Nathan, a weird gamer who seems to live at her dad's store. There are games going on in the back where she meets other nerdy gamers, both old and young. This punishment is going to be a nightmare.

Riley and her best friend decide to save the school musical when it's cancelled for lack of funding and lack of interest. Now Riley has to put together a budget, pick a musical that people would be interested in, and find a way to make it interesting for the principal to back. She can't tell her parents because she's grounded from all things musical. Now she's keeping up with homework and working at her dad's store. She ends up joining the Dungeons and Dragons game in the back with Nathan and the other gamers when she cooks up a scheme. Nathan wants to date Sophia. Riley wants to make her ex regret breaking up with her, so she suggests they fake date. Yes, I know. Another fake dating book. Please. Rest assured. It works. It works well. Riley finds that playing D & D is much like theatre. There's a story and props.

As the novel progresses, Nathan and Riley find that pretending has made them really know the other person. Riley balances everything, finds that her father and his business are actually more interesting than she ever thought, and discovers the value of friendships and family. It's a lovely rom-com that teenage girls will greatly enjoy for a nice Friday afternoon or weekend reading experience.

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This book is exactly what you would expect from the cover art--super cute and fun with an absolutely adorable contemporary ya romance. I related to the board game nerd and musical theater nerd sides of this story. The romance is a little fast paced at parts, but that makes sense for a book this short. This books has adorable fake dating, D&D, LARPing references, board game and Monty Python and The Holy Grail lingo and references, musical theater references (Sound if Music, Wicked, Six, etc.), basically no spice romance, and just so much cuteness!!!

I highly recommend this book to all theater, board gaming, LARPing, and D&D fans, but I definitely recommend this to people looking for a cute ya romance.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this advanced reader copy. The thoughts and opinions contained in this review are my own.

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This book was absolutely adorable. I cannot wait to buy a copy for my classroom to have my students read it as well. PG forced proximity but not really enemies to lovers. Fake dating all the way. After Riley gets in big trouble for "borrowing" her mom's car to head to a musical in the city she is forced to work in her dad's nerdy gamer shop as punishment. While there she meets her dad's most trusted worker, Nathan, who is from her school and his geeky gamer friends. In a mega deal, Nathan and Riley pretend to be dating --- and we can all imagine where this leads...hysterical things ensue. A super cute book that is easy to read.

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I don't normally go for YA romance, but I was a theatre major and as a board game lover as well, I just couldn't resist. The first two games mentioned in the book are even on my shelves. And I may serenade my cats with Broadway hits frequently.

This is a super quick and sweet read. The FMC can definitely be a bit much with her bard frequently breaking out into actual show tunes during D&D, but I needed something lighthearted when I picked this up and it hit the spot. Her determination and relationship with her bestie is great. This has all the feel-good, cheesy fun of a good high school romcom.

You've got fake dating, friends-to-lovers, plus some good coming of age and friendships going on. Loved seeing the theatre kids and gamers come together and find things in common. If you're not familiar with tabletop and role-playing games or musical theatre, there may be some references that go over your head. Nothing that wouldn't make the story make sense though.

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This book is so adorable!

Musical-loving Riley is forced to work at her dad’s Sword and Board Games shop as punishment after getting caught taking her mom’s car to a musical without permission or a driver’s license! Riley’s never seen the appeal of board games nor heard of Dungeons & Dragons, but she gets sucked into the magical (and musical) fun that is D&D and starts hanging out with her classmates who are regulars of the store, including her coworker Nathan. After some awkward encounters with crushes and exes, Riley and Nathan strike up a deal to help each other out: she’ll pretend to flirt with him during their D&D games to make his crush jealous, and he’ll pretend to be her boyfriend at school to prove to her ex that she’s moved on. While Riley loves all things drama and acting, she can’t figure out if she and Nathan are acting anymore or if they really have feelings for one another.

I thought this YA romance novel was very cute! However, I may be biased due to the fondness I have for my local comic book store, the days when I used to play D&D with my friends, and musicals! The story is predictable, but it’s sweet in the friendship Riley builds with her classmates and the store patrons. Idk if it’s because I’m getting older, but I also liked the parts about Riley and her dad (divorced) and how working at the store helps repair her relationship with her dad. It’s all very sweet!

If you’re looking for a nerdy YA/high-school story with enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, and fake-dating tropes, then check our Kristy Boyce’s Dungeons and Drama!

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Dungeons and Drama is a YA book that explores the unlikely friendship between two groups of high school students: the drama club and the gamers. The author skillfully blends humor, romance, and adventure as the characters navigate their personal and social challenges. The book is a fun read that celebrates diversity, creativity, and teamwork. It also offers a positive message about overcoming stereotypes and finding common ground with others. Dungeons and Drama is a book that will appeal to fans of both fantasy and realistic fiction.

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- “enemies” to lovers
- forced proximity
- fake dating

- gaming
- theater
- young love
- father/daughter bonding

I wanted to read this book because my husband loves playing D&D and the cover and title drew me in. Since I myself don’t play D&D, I was worried that I would be confused a lot. The author did a great job of explaining some aspects of the game just enough to where I was only slightly confused and not REALLY confused (lol).

As a person in their mid 20’s, I did find this book to be a bit cringe at times. But that is the reality of having crushes in your teens. I expect and somewhat enjoy that aspect in a YA romance novel. I will say, by the middle/end of my reading experience, I was giggling and kicking my feet at some of the things that Nathan did/said. He reminded me so much of my dorky husband. :)

I think the most impactful part of this book for me was the relationship between Riley and her father. I really loved watching them bond and form a better relationship, and I even shed a few tears. I think a lot of daughters can relate to not having as strong of a relationship with their father as with their mother. Her new friendships she formed by playing D&D were very special, too.

I found that I was not as interested in the plot line of saving the play as much as I was interested in their fake dating and working together plot line. I found myself skimming some parts of that plot in the beginning. I did enjoy how everything turned out in the end with the play, but in the beginning I just wanted to get back to Riley and Nathan bickering and playing D&D at the store.

Overall, I recommend this book! I thought it was very cute and realistic, and I had a fun time reading it. Plus, that cover??? So well done. When this book is published on January 9, 2024, I will be adding the paperback to my bookshelf. Happy reading!

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Dungeons and Drama had all the makings of what I love in a YA novel. Fake dating trope, nerdy characters, misunderstandings. I really enjoyed the interactions between Riley and Nathan, and the progression of their relationship. Unfortunately, I felt that other parts of the book overshadowed them sometimes.
Random House Childrens', Delacorte Press for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Between that adorable cover and the cute, fake dating premise, I was really looking forward to this one.

Riley has gotten in trouble with her parents for driving without a license and they decide to ground her by forcing her to work in her father’s gaming store. While there, she meets Nathan, another employee and the two of them eventually agree to fake date each other.

This was a cute little read, but very slow moving. The reasoning for Nathan participating in the fake dating didn’t make much sense to me. Why would he want to attract a girl who is only interested in unavailable guys? This is a very short read at just over 300 pages, so there wasn’t a lot of fake dating or chemistry or feels between them. Riley went from finding Nathan annoying to swooning over him practically overnight.

I also didn’t really enjoy the side plot with Riley’s divorced parents, especially her mother. It seemed like the mother put Riley in the middle of the divorce and that didn’t seem right to me.

I really enjoyed the D&D moments and the friend group. They were all very different from each other but they were always there for each other and it was very sweet.

Overall this was a cute, younger end of YA read.

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So cute! I loved this high school romance, especially since I was a theater kid myself. I really appreciated that none of the characters tried to change anything about themselves - they all just seem to know who they are and are good with it. Plus, any book set in Ohio is an automatic win for me.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

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"Dungeons and Drama" by Kristy Boyce has officially kicked my obsession with fake-dating romance books into overdrive with this one. Boyce masterfully weaves the fake-dating premise into an engaging plot, delivering a fresh and creative narrative that had me hooked from the very start. For enthusiasts of YA fake dating, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, and delightful teasing banter, this book is an absolute must-read – a perfect blend of romance and wit that I wholeheartedly recommend.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for granting me the privilege of ereading this book in advance.

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Musical lover Riley has big aspirations to become a director on Broadway. Crucial to this plan is to bring back her high school’s spring musical, but when Riley takes her mom’s car without permission, she's grounded and stuck with the worst punishment: spending her after-school hours working at her dad’s game shop.

Riley can't waste her time working when she has a musical to save, so she convinces Nathan—a nerdy teen employee—to cover her shifts and, in exchange, she’ll flirt with him to make his gamer-girl crush jealous.

But Riley didn’t realize that meant joining Nathan's Dungeons & Dragons game…or that role playing would be so fun. Soon, Riley starts to think that flirting with Nathan doesn't require as much acting as she would've thought...


🐉 Fake-Dating
🐉 Enemies-to-Lovers

Where to start………
I absolutely loved this story. It was the perfect YA romance.
Riley loves musical theatre and gets sent to work at her dads gaming store after joyriding in her moms car.
Nathan works and spends all his extra time at the gaming store.
The two of them could not be more opposite - but you know what they say - opposites attract.
This was a cute, cozy, and nostalgic read. All of the characters were lovable and the plot was followed through and through.
Before starting this book I thought it was going to be cheesy - I’m so glad I was proven wrong. It was not cheesy. It was a super cute YA romance that put me right in my feels.

I hope to see more of Riley and Nathan in the future.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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Such a cute book! I love the fake dating trope. Throw in musicals and nerdy role playing games, and it just elevated everything! Adorable! ❤️

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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Riley and Hoshiko are best friends and obsessed with musical theater. So when Hoshiko's car breaks down on their way to see Waitress, Riley "borrows" her mom's car and drives her and Hoshiko there. But Riley doesn't have a license, so the parentals are furious.

Riley and her mom are tight, but her mom's design business is busy so she can't keep an eye on grounded Riley most evenings. So Riley is forced to work at her dad's tabletop gaming store as punishment, even though she's never seen most of the games on the shelves.

When her ex-boyfriend goes to the store with his brand new girlfriend, Riley panics and says she also has a new beau. But when no name jumps to mind, she blurts the first thing she can think of -- fellow game store employee Nathan. But Nathan has a crush on a girl from his D&D game, so Riley comes up with a deal. She'll flirt with Nathan at their D&D game so the other player will be interested in him, and Nathan will pretend to be her boyfriend at school where her ex can see them.

Romance readers, you'll know where this is going...

Recommended for teens (and adults) who are into musical theater, or gaming, or both. Romance readers who like the fake dating and enemies to lovers tropes, and those who are here for the will-they-won't-they buildup instead of steamy romance will also enjoy.

Romance rating: G (kissing and cuddling)

Representation: main character with divorced parents, Asian-American side character, gay side characters

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When Riley gets grounded and is forced to work at her dad's game store, little does she know she is about to fall into a dilemma of her own making: a fake-dating scheme.

I really enjoy books that employ the fake-dating trope. It's usually fun, humorous, and keeps me guessing about when the train-wreck will happen, when they'll go from faking to feeling it for real. Boyce does this dance well, and her characters are so adorable, it was really fun to see them play off of each other and, eventually, fall for each other.

As someone who plays a lot of D&D, I really enjoyed this aspect of it. I love musical theater, too, so I liked seeing this combo of interests. I also enjoyed how different from each other Riley and Nathan are, which leads to some fun rivalry and a bit of enemies-to-lovers thrown in.

The story is fun, light, and full of drama. I would say that it's also predictable, but I don't mind it in this case because it's a rom-com and, to a certain point, all rom-coms are predictable. I was entertained, which is the important thing. I love all of the characters and I think that the writing is good. The story kept me engaged and I was rooting for Riley and Nathan the whole way.

I would recommend this book to any romance lover, especially if they're either into musical theater or D&D, and if they happen to like fake-dating, this is a bonus!

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This was an amazing read, I devoured this book in 2 days. The premise for the book is so cute and different. I'm not into Dungeons & Dragons myself (I've honestly never tried it out so maybe I would be if I did) but the idea that someone who is into drama and musicals getting into role playing doesn't seem like that far of a stretch. I love an enemies to lovers story, and this one did it well. There are a lot of times in this book when they almost poke fun at everything and I appreciate that kind of humor. The characters were done really well and I loved the journey that the characters took. I love the friendship in the book, both the guys and girls. This book could appeal to so many people even, it has so many qualities that lead to a good story. I've already been recommending this book to people that I know, I'm so excited about it.

I can't honestly think of anything about this book that I would change or improve upon - it was just that good.

Thanks to #netgalley for an advance copy of #DungeonsandDrama by Kristy Boyce to read and review.

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