All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Lead – Kylie Scott

on August 6, 2014

LeadLead (Stage Dive #3)
Kylie Scott
St Martin’s Griffin
2014, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Jimmy Ferris is the lead singer of successful band Stage Dive. But Jimmy steadily found his way down to rock bottom through abusing both drugs an alcohol. Successful rehab stint now completed, Jimmy has gone through several “assistants/personal sobriety companions”, driving them away with his foul temper and abuse. The band and management are almost at wits end…. enter Lena.

Lena is smart and sassy and she’s not about to take any crap from a spoiled rock star. She keeps him in line and he pays her. It’s a very simple arrangement. Jimmy needs to improve his PR and the band need him in form with a tour coming up. Although determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, a glimpse at a softer and more vulnerable side of Jimmy has Lena in trouble and it isn’t long before she’s fallen head over heels for the sexy singer. But Jimmy has a lot of issues: emotional intimacy issues, commitment issues, politeness issues. He doesn’t want Lena’s feelings for him but yet he cannot let her go either. So Jimmy decides that he has the perfect plan to help Lena get over her love for him. They just need to work through several steps, like her dating other people and talking up his flaws. And if that doesn’t work, well he’s got other ideas too.

Eventually Jimmy goes too far and Lena knows she can’t stay anymore. But will Jimmy ever look beyond what happened in his past and realise that he’s ready for a proper relationship? If he doesn’t, he could lose the best thing that ever happened to him.

Oh Jimmy. I would count the ways in which you are a giant knob but I have to cap this review’s word count somehow and aint nobody got time for all that. So I’m just going to sum up the circular interactions in this book after Lena falls (inexplicably) in love with Jimmy-

Jimmy: {does something thoughtless/cruel/humiliates Lena (often in front of others)/generally acts like a knob}
Lena: Retreats to her room/ignores him/tells him he’s horrible/sometimes cries
Jimmy: Sulks, demands she speak to him, offers some insincere platitude or buys her something ridiculously expensive
Lena: Pleased, because Jimmy is showing feelings. But still demands he actually apologise, like a grown up person
Jimmy: Sulks, refuses, says he doesn’t know how. Manages to scrounge up the word sorry
Lena: Not good enough Jimmy, say sorry and mean it
Jimmy: {not at all convincingly} Sorry Lena
Lena: Claps hands. Yay Jimmy! You’re making progess

Except, no.

Jimmy brings new meaning to the words ‘boundary issues’. Lena lives with him because her general job is to keep him sober, to help him when he feels the need to drink or get high, even though she’s not actually qualified for that. Apart from basically one instance at the beginning of the book, Jimmy doesn’t seem to actually struggle all that much with his addiction so mostly Lena answers his emails, keeps his schedule and serves as his verbal punching bag. Despite the fact that he didn’t want her employed, nor was he keen when she expressed the feelings she was having for him, Jimmy can’t let her go. Instead he comes up with ridiculous ideas, such as setting her up with other people, to get her over him. This might have had a snowball’s chance in hell of working if Jimmy hadn’t actually done such douchebag things as go on the date with Lena and sit at the table and generally make a nuisance of himself. To be honest that whole scene felt really out of character – it actually felt a lot more like something Mal would’ve done, in Play. Jimmy also decides that, when the dating thing doesn’t work (no kidding, who saw that coming?) that they could just sleep together and get it all out of their system. Jimmy is so ridiculously backward in expressing desires and feelings that I’m amazed. He must be nearly 30, I can’t really remember how old he is.

I can pinpoint the exact moment Jimmy lost me. He’d done something to upset Lena and she retreated to her room and locked the door. In the morning when Jimmy woke her for them to go jogging together, he found the door locked and demanded she open it. Lena didn’t, so Jimmy kicked it in. Sorry, but no. She might work for you and the terms of her employment might dictate that she reside in your house but everyone is entitled to their privacy and a locked door is a locked door. Especially as it was 5am and Jimmy was not in danger of drinking or using. He wanted to talk to her to express one of his terribly inadequate apologies and she didn’t want to hear it. So he kicked her door in, because hey, that’s normal behaviour and not a red flag at all! If I were Lena, no matter how in love with this man I was, I’d have been out of there that day. But despite the fact that Lena is fun and sassy and full of herself in the prologue, when it comes to Jimmy she’s a total door mat.

I might have been able to forgive Jimmy this behaviour if the big scene at the end had given me the pay off I needed but unfortunately it fell flat for me. It seemed like it was mostly Lena convincing him of what he felt, not him coming to the realisation himself and that’s what I needed Jimmy to do. To actually man up and own his feelings and realise his mistakes.


Book #155


Lead is book #58 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

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