Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Playing James” as Want to Read:
Playing James
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Playing James

(Colshannon #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  8,489 ratings  ·  284 reviews
When Holly Colshannon is made crime correspondent for her local paper, she begins shadowing a detective and writing a diary column about his working life. But, Detective James Sabine is a sour-puss - although he does have very nice green eyes - and furious to be landed with accident-prone Holly.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published 2005 by Time Warner (first published June 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,489 ratings  ·  284 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Melinda Elizabeth
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is being made into a rom com, right? Or has it already been done? It's one of those books that was made to be a film, with some upbeat, annoyingly smiley type blonde in the lead role and a grouchy somewhat unshaven leading man as the love interest.

It had a touch of shopaholic about it (but nowhere near as irritating as the characters can be in that particular franchise!) and Holly's optimisim never wanes, even in the midst of catastrophe.

I have to say that the end, whilst you know where t
May 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The pacing of this book is awful! They spent so much time on the cases, the narration for which felt completely repetitive and didn't really further the relationship between James and Holly, and then the author remembered after 97% of the book was over that she forgot to throw in the romance and crammed it into the last three pages after randomly making the fiance MWAH HA HA evil and letting James experience all these revelations about how in love he is with Holly off the page.
Aug 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2009
Holly Colshannon is a young journalist who thinks her career is about to take a terminal nosedive when she is moved from covering ‘pet deaths’ for her local Bristol paper and made Crime Correspondent – a poisoned chalice if ever there was one.

However, a brilliant idea from the new police PR officer sees Holly shadowing a detective and writing a diary column about his working life. Detective James Sabine is bit of a sour puss – although he does have very nice green eyes – and he’s furious that he
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm frankly amazed at the relatively high reviews this book has received from other reviewers. As a piece of chick lit, it was frothy, hugely contrived, tried too hard to be humourous and won't be remembered past the last page.

Holly Colshannon is a two dimensional journalist for a local paper in Bristol, who is to shadow a detective as part of a new diary feature. The two do not hit it off to begin with, but, what do you know, they start to thaw towards each other ready for a rushed finale where
Sandy H
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, chick-lit
I downloaded Playing James to my Kindle when I was in dire need of mindless fluff. That's about what I got--and it wasn't even particularly memorably mindless fluff. Some beach reading romances at least have fun characters or catchy dialogue or something that will once in awhile come to mind again later--or, at very least, make you a little sorry when you finish the book because there's no more fun to be had there. This one didn't have any of that for me. It almost felt like Mason was trying too ...more
Hadia Siddiqui
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, sarcasm, adventure, romance and anything a reader can ask for..... Playing James has it all...

I started this book and I just couldn't keep it down. The way Sarah Mason presents the story, as a reader I felt living the character of Holly. I actually giggled with her and made faces on the rude, knife sharp comments of James.

Though the ending was somewhat clinched n predictable, it can be forgiven, as other than the end, the entire book was just too good to complain about.

Playing James made a
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
This book was exactly how I love my chick-lits - funny, quirky and with lots of heart.

We're first introduced to Holly Colshannon as she calls the casualty department on behalf of her friend who has a....situation. She makes plenty of later appearances in the ER throughout the book, all of which had me laughing out loud. Detective James Sabine doesn't know what he has done in his past life when his Chief saddles him with Holly, who has been thrown into a new job as the crime correspondent for a
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am giving this 3.5 stars. This is a cute fun book that would be a great romantic comedy movie. Holly is a reporter who gets a chance to be the paper crime reporter & gets assigned to follow a rugged good looking detective on his job. Looking for a fun read one weekend that is not to serious & easy to enjoy, this book is it
Um, definitely have never had a book start off quite like this, best friend of lead female character has a condom stuck, well, um, where condoms go.
I love how Holly gives her car a name. I do to and don't understand why people think it is weird. (My car's name is Essie by the way)
So I'm guessing this author is from England or something because of the lingo I am reading here, adds a little something to the story for me.
The author does a great job of writing this story in a way where I felt like I
I found the story to be utterly delightfull. I would catch myself laughing out loud. There is a particular scene where she is involved in an accident with her foot, a wine bottle, a hen party, and an emergency room.
How it ends
(view spoiler)
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book with a need for some feel-good books after digesting a pretty intense and big book. This book did the trick, splendidly i would say.

The book started off with a bang. It was funny and i got into the book really quickly. I would have never imagined such outlandish situations that Holly got herself into. It was hilarious and i was turning pages feverishly. The plot was fresh and original even though it had a pretty cliche ending like every other mindless fluff.

The dynamic be
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Playing James by Sarah Mason was hilarious. Holly was one of the most funny characters I've ever met. After single-handedly donating a seeing eye dog and part of another one due to her language, Holly decides that something else should be put in place. So instead of using the traditional four-letter words, Holly and the rest of her workplace has adopted the use of much hated vegetables. So it's hard not to laugh when she utters a "holy turnips" in the middle of an internal dialogue.

Holly has jus
Alida Arabelle
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: girl, lovely-tears, lol
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
UGH!! I don't like writing bad reviews, but I just felt dumb finishing this book. I love British chic lit, but this was just too over the top for me. I couldn't get into the main character, she was just too overwhelming at times with her constant clumsiness, and the self-recrimination. I was just waiting for her to say "Silly Bridget" (not that I felt this character had anything comparable to the famous Bridget Jones). Her and James really show no signs of getting on until the last few chapters, ...more
Jennifer Bernard
Our dear Holly is a reporter without a good story.. she is the youngest reporter at her office and therefore is given the dirt job.. to be the crime reporter and to trail after the hot Detective James Sabine.

The klutzy heroine kinda grows on you as you keep reading the book and there are parts where you will laugh out loud... and how she ends up in the hospital so often!

The story is not through our hero's eyes and therefore you only get to know him through Holly. But whatever i saw, i loved!

Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
One of my early Brit Chick Lit reads. Thoroughly enjoyed it and had a good laugh especially towards the end when Holly's mistaken for a homeless person as well as her many visits to Casualty. I also loved the vile fruits & vegetables profanity in lieu of curse words - in order to cut down on the foul language (there's a fee for every expletive uttered) at her place of work the staff has resorted to substituting the names of fruits and vegetables for your everyday run-of-the-mill swear words. ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: old-friends
I love reading this book. I found it when I was perusing the shelves at the library and the story stuck with me so much that a few years later I had to purchase a copy. Many a rainy day has been spent with me on the couch reading Playing James.

It is a fun, sassy read. It is one of those books that I turn to like an old friend. The heroine isn't perfect and she isn't trying to be. The hero falls in love with her in spite of her meddling. It pulled at my heart strings and made me smile. what more
Apr 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I debated between giving this 2 or 3 stars. Truthfully, I was so ecstatic to read it, but it was wholly disappointing. I don't think I'll ever read another book by her again. For the most part, it was predicable yet erratic... The ending just came abruptly. And there was no real explanation for why... not an adequate one anyways, in my opinion. So amusing sometimes, though. All in all, not a good book. It wasn't well-developed or well-written.
Nov 30, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Yet another chick-lit I can't seem to read.
I know they say to open up with a bang, but
extracting a condom from a best friend's nether-regions?
Over the phone?! No way will I continue to read past this stupid
little scene!
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very light and nice chic lit .. I love it it made me laugh and feel all the feels with holly .. I love that there was a lot of things to reveal until the very end of the book. Sadly i want more of "Homes" the last chapter was just not enough
So funny and hillarious !!!
Re-reading it still got me laughing the chemistry between Holly and James (^_^)

more about this book, just check my complete review at here :
( )
Jun 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
A really good friend gave this to me and I tried. I really tried, but just couldn't get into this one. Maybe it's the British thing; maybe it's because I'd just read Something Borrowed which was a far, faster-paced romance. Sorry Sarah Mason. Maybe another time.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
terrible, worst romcom/mystery book ever. it's like the author knows what she wants to happen but she doesn't know HOW to make it happen.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only made it to page 28 and then I had to stop due to the mass number of exclamation points. It was starting to hurt reading and anticipating them. Just far too many.
Lulu Herdinawati
at first, i never like read chicklit stuff.. and this book made it (i liked it so much..) cheesy but cute love story.. and i started to become sarah mason's fans..
Nurul Kamilah
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the first chick-lit book that i've ever read. now i need more chick-lit....!!! Love this book!
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
This book had me laughing out really loudly every few minutes. So much so that my mom came into my room and demanded to know what exactly I was doing.
The book has been written in single point of view- the heroine Holly's. Holly is a cute clutz one can stop from falling in love with. Our hero, Sergeant James Sabine is very likable. To be honest there is little romance in this novel but do not put it down just because of this, you will like it all the same. Holly has hilarious parents and a teens
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read High Society by this author some years ago now and liked it so much I kept it to read again. I think what I liked about that book was the Cornish setting, and I did think this one would feature that but I was to be disappointed ............. though I did think it a very funny caper of a book. I read a similar book around the same time this was published, Hot Pursuit by Gemma Fox and I could probably write the same review about this one. There’s no great characterisation or character devel ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
In 2 words: ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS! This has got to be the funniest lighthearted book I've ever read; I laughed out loud with every turn of the page! Loved the mysteries and fell in love with James and Holly! The plot twists were realistic and wonderfully done. It was such a realistic book with its slowly unfolding romance and a moderately paced plot such that it did not feel too slow or too fast. It honestly felt as if I had lived another life in her shoes, which is exactly what a book reader wan ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Accidental It Girl
  • Holly's Inbox (Holly's Inbox #1)
  • Little White Lies
  • A Girl Like You
  • The Nearly-Weds
  • The Nanny
  • A Promising Man (and About Time, Too)
  • Love You to Death
  • Chasing Daisy
  • The Love of Her Life
  • True Love (and Other Lies)
  • Scot On The Rocks: How I Survived My Ex-Boyfriend's Wedding With My Dignity Ever-So Slightly Intact (Brooke Miller, #1)
  • Just Friends
  • Swept off Her Feet
  • Katy Carter Wants a Hero (Katy Carter, #1)
  • Educating Caroline
See similar books…
Sarah Mason was born on 1971, and grew up near the sea in Cornwall, England. She obtained a degree in Maths from University of Bristol. At the age of 25 she began importing gourmet popcorn from USA and selling it to everyone from Sainsbury's to Virgin cinemas, she soon became a millionaire and was running a company with a seven figure turnover. When she married she sold the business on, she decide ...more

Other books in the series

Colshannon (2 books)
  • Society Girls
“There are only two ways to get in and out of an MG Midget sports car – the elegant way or my
way. The elegant way is how you see the film stars do it on TV when they arrive at the Oscars. To get
in, put your bum inside first and then swivel legs round. Similarly, to exit, swivel legs out, bum last.
My way is to get everything but bum in first, leave bum out in the cold for a bit while struggling with
other appendages, and then bum can come in. To get out, I simply fall on to the pavement.”
“Have you met James Sabine?' I'm getting a little heated now. 'Well, let me tell you, getting some sort of repartee going with him is like trying to get some sort of repartee going with HANNIBAL LECTER!' I am suddenly aware of someone standing in close proximity to me and I glance up to find James Sabine staring straight back down at me. I don't know how long he has been there, but probably long enough. 'Who is my cousin and a very nice man …' I murmur into the mouthpiece” 7 likes
More quotes…