All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Chaser by Kylie Scott

Chaser (Dive Bar #3)
Kylie Scott
Pan Macmillan
2018, 400p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Love isn’t always NEAT…

Bartender and all round bad boy, Eric Collins, has come to a crossroads. It’s time to take life seriously and maybe even attempt to settle down. If only the person he was hoping to settle down with didn’t turn out to be pregnant.

Starting over in a small town, Jean is determined to turn her wild lifestyle around and be the kind of mother she always wished she’d had. Since local bar owner and all round hottie, Eric, is now determined to steer clear of her pregnant self, it should be easy. When she goes into labor during a snowstorm and her car slides on some ice, however, it’s Eric who comes to the rescue.

There seems to be a bond between them now, but is it enough? And can Eric give up his manwhore ways to be the man Jean needs?

The third book in the Dive Bar series revolves around Eric, who has certainly appeared in the previous two books enough to give readers a very clear idea as to his personality. He’s probably best known for his messy entanglement with Nell, co-owner of the Dive Bar, who was separated from her husband Pat at the time. I’m a little salty still that Pat and Nell never got their own actual story and it was resolved as side plots in the first two books. I thought their story was interesting enough to definitely carry a full book and I wanted to know more about the background.

Eric is a player. Too many girls, too little time, seems to be his motto. Now that the rest of the Dive Bar crew are loved up, Eric finds that some of his activities are under scrutiny, particularly by Nell. When a beautiful woman walks into the bar, Eric sees opportunity, but that beautiful woman turns around – and she’s significantly pregnant.

That puts Jean off limits for what Eric usually looks for in a woman but he finds himself drawn to her anyway, helping her move into an apartment upstairs and just generally getting to know each other. It seems as though Eric hasn’t really had a platonic friend before (other than the women his brother and friend’s are in relationships with, which don’t count). But he and Jean develop this friendship, even though in the beginning Eric is quite wary of the whole pregnancy thing – which is quite understandable, the previous books give the reason that Eric might be affected by it on a deeper level than just being some sort of commitmentphobe manwhore.

The thing for me was I didn’t really get Eric’s decision to go ‘cold turkey’ on sex/women based on a few shots by Nell and nor did I see the reasoning for Nell be to quite so savage on him. How Eric chooses to live his life is his own business – and Nell’s criticisms are at best, hypocritical on one count. She seems to almost blame Eric for what happened between them and that really annoyed me. It takes two and Nell was there as well. She may have been in a bad place and I queried Eric’s reasoning for doing what he did but he actually explains it in this book and it makes a bit of sense. Perhaps he should’ve tried to explain it to Nell because for some reason she seems to have the worst opinion of him and I’m not sure he really deserved it. He’s a total player but from what I saw, he wasn’t leading anyone on. He wasn’t promising things he couldn’t deliver. He was pretty clear and seemed to pick people that felt the same way. I had liked Nell in previous books but she felt dialled up way too much here and if she’s still got some lingering issues over what happened and the grief, maybe she should look into that instead of taking it out on Eric. I’m not the biggest Eric fan, he’s a man child that kind of reminds me of Mal sometimes but quite a lot of the Nell stuff was unfair.

I liked Jean – she was level headed, mature but still showed vulnerability about being a single parent. She’d moved across the country for a flimsy kind of reason it felt, but she was a good balance for Eric and I enjoyed their friendship. I also really liked the way that Eric kind of ‘learned by doing’ – he’d had no experience with babies but once Jean’s was born and he started spending time with them as a pair, he didn’t need to freak out and that he was perfectly capable of being an actual adult and taking care of someone. So many people seemed to do some sort of double take when they saw Eric carrying a baby or tending to the baby’s needs and want to rush to take the baby from him. It was very off putting. I liked that Jean was 100% confident in Eric’s abilities and she didn’t make him feel as though he couldn’t do anything or that he wasn’t good enough.

I find this book quite hard for me to rate because it didn’t for me, have the sizzling chemistry between the characters that most Kylie Scott books have. Nor was it particularly angsty. Most of the conflict centred around what other people wanted and thought and there’s a large portion of the book where there’s nothing sexual or romantic happening. Eric learns a lot about himself so I guess this is a huge period of growth for him but the reasoning behind it felt like there was a lot of reaching. I think the fact that it was only Eric’s point of view contributed to this as well because it never felt like we got Eric’s true deep thoughts on any issues – not on his lifestyle, people’s opinions about his lifestyle, even his thoughts on Jean. It all felt like it was just skimming the surface. I think I’d have liked to see Eric through Jean’s eyes.

I liked this, I enjoyed the story but I didn’t love it. And for me, Eric and Jean are probably not a couple I’ll revisit again and again like say David and Evelyn or Lydia and Vaughan.

6/10

Book #79 of 2018

1 Comment »

Review: Twist by Kylie Scott

Twist (Dive Bar #2)
Kylie Scott
Pan Macmillan AUS
2017, 272p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he’s been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they’re emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets… apart from the one that really matters.

And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.

Love with a modern ‘twist’.

The second book in the Dive Bar series is here and the wait is definitely worth it. This book focuses on Joe, bartender at Dive Bar and Eric’s brother. Joe set up an online dating account for Eric but quicker than a match burns out Eric lost interest. Joe only meant to go in and shut it down for him but then he saw a message from Alex Parks, graphic designer and home renovation enthusiast. He couldn’t help responding and the two of them built a really solid friendship, confiding secrets, sharing dreams. Then Alex makes a snap decision to ‘surprise’ her online friend by showing up to his birthday at Dive Bar….only to discover that Eric literally has no idea who she is and all this time she’s been conversing with his brother Joe.

Alex is hurt, humiliated, angry. She hates being lied to and she wants nothing more than to get the heck out of town as quick as possible and forget this ever happened. But Joe, the person she has been conversing with, wants her to stay, so he can explain, so he can make her see that everything they were sharing is still real.

This book gave me all the happy feels. I loved returning to this world, catching up with the characters from Dirty and getting to know Joe a lot better. Alex was super kick ass but with a bit of an appealing vulnerable side as well. She has the guts to take a risk, to travel across the country without warning to meet Eric, a guy that she’s really ‘clicked’ with online. But with all online interactions comes a risk – and Alex discovers that actually she’s been talking to Joe, Eric’s bear of a brother who reminds her of a giant lumberjack.

Joe is a delicious sweetie who made a very big mistake unintentionally and now he really really wants to fix it. Even though he pretended to be Eric physically in that he just didn’t tell her that he was Eric’s brother, he was still himself in messaging her, in sharing things with her. He’s so contrite and so earnest that it’s hard not to feel for him, even though what he did was a bit wrong. In his defense though, I don’t think he ever expected that Alex would get on a plane and just turn up! It goes to show that you should probably watch what you give away online…Joe told her all about Dive Bar and the people in his life so when Alex shows up, she proves to them that she has a very good background knowledge of them all and she’s not just some psycho stalking Eric, when he claims that he doesn’t know her.

Because things in person got off on such bad footing, their relationship almost has to be rebuilt from the ground up. Although she was attracted to the personality of Joe, she was focused on the physicality of Eric. It’s interesting that the more Alex gets to know Joe in person, the more she finds him attractive – and the less effect Eric’s looks have on her. Alex wasn’t really on the dating app for anything permanent and she has some commitment issues but the longer she stays in town, the more things deepen. Kylie Scott has the most unique ways of developing and nurturing a friendship between her characters as well as a relationship that has sizzling chemistry. I loved the way that Joe sucked it up and apologised to Alex and then tried to do everything he could to explain and make it up to her and the way that their online connection carried over, despite the fact that Joe was a different physical person to the one that Alex thought she’d been talking to.

I’m sure a lot of series’ readers appreciate glimpses into the lives of past couples and the closeness of the characters in the Dive Bar series is great for this. We get to catch up with Vaughan and Lydia and of course the heartbreaking story of Nell and Pat continue in this book and despite the fact that it’s very much in the background (still think it should’ve been its own book) it’s an incredibly powerful part of the story. Nell and Pat are responsible for some of the most stomach-dropping angst I’ve read in ages. I love their story though and it’s amazing what has been done with the smaller amount of page space devoted to them.

Once again Kylie Scott has proven that she’s the worthy of the vote of Australia’s favourite romance author because she’s delivered another incredible story that flips everything I think I prefer upside down. Before reading this, I’d have said Joe wasn’t my sort of guy….after reading this? Yes to Joe. Yes to everything about Joe. He’s the sort of character that would win over any woman – not just Alex.

Bring on Chaser, the third installment in this series. Eric doesn’t look the most redeemable character based on his actions so far…..so I’m pretty keen to see how that plays out.

9/10

Book #65 of 2017

Twist is book #21 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017

 

1 Comment »

Review: Dirty by Kylie Scott

DirtyDirty (Dive Bar #1)
Kylie Scott
Pan Macmillan AUS
2016, 275p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she’d marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong-maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what’s wrong with getting dirty?

Every now and then, a book just ticks all the boxes you have. For me, Dirty was one of those books. From the very first page until the last, I was hooked. And even though it wasn’t perfect, it was written with flair and humour and I could utterly overlook things that might normally bother me a bit.

Lydia Green is about to get married – literally about to walk down the aisle. She’s wearing the big white dress and all. Then she’s sent a picture of her groom in a very compromising video clip with someone else – someone very unexpected as well. She flees over a fence and finds solace in the bathroom of a nearby house, sitting in the tub for hours….until Vaughan Hewson wants to take a shower.

Vaughan is at a crossroads and his return to his family home, a place that brings pain and bad memories, is supposed to be brief. When he finds a crying bride in his bathroom he offers her solace and security, drawing her into his world.

This book has one of the funniest ‘meet-cute’s I think I’ve ever read. Lydia is crouched in the bathroom and Vaughan arrives and is about to take a shower when, ripping back the curtain he encounters Lydia and Lydia encounters…. a part of Vaughan. I actually think that it’s quite hard to make a scene like that work and be hilarious and it’s a testament to Kylie Scott’s comedic timing and Lydia’s voice that this scene comes together in the way it does. I think Lydia has had enough shock for one day that encountering Vaughan in the buff just isn’t on her radar. She’s just….. matter of fact about the whole thing and for me, that was sheer brilliance.

Lydia has always gone the safe route before, wanting to be respectable and feel worthy. She was engaged to someone that she felt epitomised that, unable to see that the two of them had a relationship that was full of flaws and red flags from a long way out. Vaughan is definitely not the type of man that Lydia would normally go for – he’s a tattooed rocker who has left the road behind briefly and is working as a bartender for his sister. He’s also not particularly settled in life, longing to be back on the road, living a band life. For Lydia, who seems to crave precisely the opposite sort of life, it’s clear from the beginning that whilst there may be a simmering chemistry between them, there are some obstacles that make a long term option look a bit bleak.

But this is a romance, so not too bleak. Vaughan realises that sometimes, sacrifices need to be made and the thing you think makes you the happiest might not actually be. I really enjoyed the evolution of Vaughan and Lydia because it began with friendship. After her disastrous wedding day, he learns she has no where to go and so he offers her a place to stay, as long as she needs. They become friends, acknowledging the attraction between them but navigating it somewhat slowly which works for me. I really appreciate authors who take time to lay the groundwork for something long term, something that gives me a way to see how a couple will move through different stages of life and their relationship. I think Scott does a good job of this with Vaughan and Lydia.

As this is the first in a series, we’re introduced to Vaughan’s group of friends as well as his sister Nell, who runs the bar the series takes its name from. I found myself pretty invested in Nell’s story and I really hope she gets a book of her own. Her story plays out as a significant portion of this book and becomes more and more messy as this book goes on. Her and Pat though – I ended up so invested in them! They are intense and kind of make my heart break a little.

As firsts go, this one is a really good hook – for me, it was as good as Lick, the first in Scott’s other series and it vaguely crosses over here with a cameo appearance from one of the Stage Dive members. But it doesn’t need that, it stands well on its own. Vaughan is refreshingly free of douchebag behaviour, an interesting contradiction of bad boy looks but a tender heart. From the very first he’s understanding about Lydia and then helpful and protective and he’s really the way in which Lydia finds somewhere to belong.

Dirty is smart, sexy and very funny. Definitely a fave of mine for this year and it has me excited about the possibilities of future books.

9/10

Book #70 of 2016

AWWC2016

Dirty is the 25th book read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016

Leave a comment »

Review: Lead – Kylie Scott

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.

4/10

Book #155

AWWW2014

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

Leave a comment »

Review: Play – Kylie Scott

Play coverPlay (Stage Dive #2)
Kylie Scott
Pan Macmillan Australia
2014, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Anne has had a bad day – her flatmate who owed her money has absconded without paying it back and also taking most of their shared apartment’s furniture. This also leaves Anne with rent that she most likely cannot pay given a lot of her money goes toward supporting her younger sister through college. Her friend Lauren who lives in the apartment next door urges Anne to forget her worries for a night and come with Lauren and her boyfriend Nate to Nate’s sister’s party. Nate’s sister happens to be Evelyn, who sensationally married the guitarist of rock band Stage Dive recently. Anne knows her only to say hello to but she allows herself to be persuaded by Lauren to go to the party.

There she meets Mal Ericson, the drummer and former pin up on Anne’s wall and her teenage crush/obsession. Mal overhears a conversation Anne has on the phone and picks up that she’s in a pretty desperate situation and he thinks they might be able to help each other out. Mal needs a squeaky clean girlfriend for a little while, someone who will make his parent’s happy and keep the press off his back and he thinks that he and Anne can come to an arrangement. He’ll help her out financially if she’ll pose as his girlfriend. Anne is exactly the sort of person that Mal thinks is right for the job.

But pretending to be the girlfriend of a sexy rock God comes with a danger. Anne isn’t sure she can do this without it ending badly. Or might she be what Mal is really looking for, not just something to improve his image?

When I read the first Stage Dive novel Lick last year, I couldn’t praise it enough. I recommended it to plenty of other bloggers, I included it in my top 10 favourite novels of the year. It was a great book – fantastic chemistry, a delicate handling of an instant relationship and the writing was virtually flawless. Naturally Play became one of my most anticipated books for 2014 and I was so excited when I saw the cover and when I nabbed a copy I started it almost right away.

It is so, so unfortunate that this book didn’t work for me. Mal is a character who appears in Lick and I enjoyed his brief scenes and thought that his book would be a total hit with me but I have to say, his character in this novel….I just couldn’t warm to him at all. From the first scene he appears in, he’s smarmy, a bit weird and then launches into some kind of ADHD man-child personality that I found utterly irritating and alienating. Moving unannounced into someone’s apartment is kind of stalkerish, whether you’re a famous rock star or not. I tried to imagine if I suddenly came home in my early 20’s and found Joey Jordison living in my apartment and quite frankly the idea mostly creeped me out. I think that this could’ve been worked around had Mal not seemed so bi-polar all the time. He’s either extremely up, where he talks and bounces and carries on like a child or he’s down in the dumps drinking Jack and escaping to play drums for hours. And you know from the get-go that Mal has some sort of emotional pain going on that he’s trying to deal with and perhaps is the reason for his wildly swinging personality but the reveal is really ineffectual and lacks the dramatic impact that it should. Everything about Mal’s character should fall into place after that reveal but it doesn’t. It still just ends up coming off as really strange and almost every scene with him being “up Mal” I found myself skimming because he was obnoxious.

In Lick, the chemistry absolutely was in danger of setting my kindle on fire and the sexually charged relationship between David and Evelyn was amazing. Mal and Anne have all the chemistry of two wet socks for me and some of the scenes (in particular the one where Mal has a conversation with Anne’s clitoris) come off as cringe worthy in my mind, rather than hilarious. I’m well aware that after a casual glance at Goodreads, I’m significantly in the minority here and I’m also much more drawn to angsty romance rather than the humorous variety and I expected a much more sexually charged story. There were a few moments that made me giggle but there weren’t many. Anne was quite uptight and one of those characters that sacrifices everything, even her own ability to live comfortably, in order to support another member of her family. I felt like that because of this, she wasn’t particularly defined as a character. She worked in a bookshop and her job sounded pretty cool but a lot of it revolves around a kind of love triangle story with a person she works with that really adds little to the story.

To be honest, the best parts of this book were the glimpses we got of David and Evelyn and the groundwork done for the next Stage Dive book, Lead which is singer Jimmy’s story and looks as though it could be quite interesting – and angsty! Perhaps quite a lot more up my alley. I am definitely still going to read the next two books because I loved Lick so much. I’m hoping that the next stories are more to my liking than this one, which I am very sad to say, was just not the sort of story I enjoy.

5/10

Book #73 of 2014

AWWW2014

Play is book #28 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

4 Comments »

Worldwide Cover Reveal: Play by Kylie Scott

Last year Australian author Kylie Scott introduced us to the band Stage Dive, a group of tattooed, muscled men who were hot as hell and could also rock. The first book Lick saw Evelyn marry guitarist David Ferris during a wild night out in Vegas and wake up not remembering how it happened. Lick shot up into the top 20 on the Amazon 100 and with good reason – the chemistry between Evelyn and David was electric. You can check out my review of Lick here.

On April 1st the second novel in the Stage Dive series, Play is going to be released in eformat and the wonderful people at Pan Macmillan are having a worldwide cover reveal! Thanks to Pan Mac AU for asking me to take part and share this, because it’s pretty fabulous! 😉

Play cover

Play is drummer Mal’s story and fans of Lick will remember him very well. Here’s the blurb {courtesy of the publisher}:

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast – at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. But he didn’t count on exactly how much fun he could have being with the one right girl.

Anne Rollins has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a demented drummer was never going to be a good idea. No matter how hot he is. She’s had her sights set on her male bestie, Reece, for years. And now that she’s supposedly taken, he’s finally paying attention. If only the chemistry between her and her rock star would stop hitting new heights.

Yep…pretty much cannot wait to read this one!

 

3 Comments »

Lick – Kylie Scott

LickLick (Stage Dive #1)
Kylie Scott
Momentum Books
2013, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Evelyn has big plans to celebrate her 21st birthday in Las Vegas in a special way. That way did not include waking up, sick as a dog with a tattooed stranger. And a diamond on her finger the size of a golf ball. It seems that after many unwise tequila shots, Evelyn married David Ferris, guitarist for rock band Stage Dive. And she has no recollection of doing so.

David immediately offers her an annulment but when Evelyn lands back in her home town of Portland, Oregon it seems that news of their marriage has leaked to the paparazzi and she is besieged by reporters and photographers who harrass her at the airport and invade her family home. David then offers to fly her to LA so that they can sort out this mess in private, without involving other people, an offer that Evelyn accepts.

Evelyn has always been the girl with ‘the plan’. Study hard, become an architect, work even harder. Marriage and kids were maybe 10-15 years down the track not now, not at 21. She’s always been the good girl, the one that pleased her parents and did everything that was asked of her. Marrying a tattooed rockstar that she’d known mere hours does not fall into the plan, nor is it something that fits in with her parents view of her. But during her time in LA, after a few misunderstandings, Evelyn begins to spend some time with her husband and the two of them get to know each other in David’s house up in Monterrey. They both agree not to go through with the annulment.

But it’s not easy – David has some severe jealousy and trust issues and he is still keeping some secrets guarded closely to his chest. Evelyn wants to be patient, to give him time but when she witnesses something she doesn’t think she can forgive, she flees, doing the one thing that David had begged her to never do, leave him. Back in Portland, Evelyn is bereft, devastated but after a month, she gives up hope that she will ever see David again and find the happiness that once looked so promising.

This book is amazing.

About a week ago my youngest son was feeling unwell and wanted nothing more than to just snuggle up on the couch with me. I had my kindle handy and just began reading the book I’d most recently loaded onto it, which was this one. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. The story of David and Evelyn is so compelling and so entertaining that I had to keep going until I’d reached the end, no matter what else was happening around me.

Normally I’m not a fan of the instalove but Kylie Scott managed to hook me into this story because Evelyn didn’t remember meeting David or marrying him. She woke up and was mortified to find herself violently ill and also that there was a half naked stranger in the room with her. She immediately assumes annulment and David leaves (storms out actually) and although he comes to her rescue later on when the paparazzi descend upon her it’s also clear that he kind of wants to punish her just a little, for not remembering. When she meets another member of the band, David’s jealousy and possessiveness make Evelyn wonder exactly what his side of the story in their swift marriage is. They retreat away from the glitz of the showhouse and set about actually getting to know each other.

It’s not an easy journey. There are a lot of problems and misunderstandings for Evelyn and David along the way and I got so hooked into their story. The sex scenes were hot and very entertaining and I think they were balanced out perfectly by the emotion in this book. There’s a lot of pain and heartbreak as well, from both characters. We’re with Evelyn most of the time and her devastation is obvious but when David arrives after they’ve had a brief separation, you can see that she’s not alone, that he is hurting too, just as much. He’s determined to fix what went wrong and Evelyn isn’t sure that she can go there again, that she can put herself out there again. She’s done everything that was expected of her her whole life and the one time she lashed out, got drunk, woke up married, nearly got it annulled and then decided not to, she ended up heartbroken. David is going to have to work very hard to convince her of his sincerity and also that the trust issues he had surrounding her were not longer a problem – and that in return, she could wholeheartedly trust him.

And the best thing? This is the first in a series and we get to revisit Stage Dive as each of the band members get their own story! I can’t wait for that, especially the drummer and also David’s brother, with whom he has a fractured relationship. I look forward to his side of the story! I’ve heard some amazing things about some of Kylie Scott’s other books, Flesh and Skin but they’re about zombies and I have to admit, I’m not much of a fan of zombie novels. However I love the way she writes and I’m thinking that I’m going to have to buy the others anyway because if they’re as good as this novel, as well written and entertaining, then zombies might become my new favourite thing.

9/10

Book #163 of 2013

AWW2013

Lick is the 70th novel read and reviewed for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013

7 Comments »