Following in the bestselling tradition of Molly McAdams and J. Lynn, this final chapter in the fun and steamy New Adult trilogy by Noelle August (authors Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger) features two aspiring musicians who must choose between their careers…and their sizzling attraction for each other.
Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part.
Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her—a kiss that feels very real and not at all “acted. ”
After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs around the studio, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought.
Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.
3.5 stars – Rounded
3.5 stars – Rounded
For me, New Adult stories are often a minefield for issues: immaturity, mean girl syndrome, lust masquerading as love, repetitive mistakes with no learning: each is frustrating even as it creates a train wreck moment. And while some of the moments did dance in these clichés, fortunately this author duo managed to deftly steer away from overburdening characters or plot with repetition and done-to-death drama.
Since I hadn’t read the earlier books in the series, I did have a bit of ‘catch up’ to place who went where, as friendships are established and references are made to earlier events. But, those soon shook out, and Noelle August brought in some lovely moments that had me reading straight through.
Grey’s story, in his point of view, is quite heartwrenching. He’s working to prove himself, although young, and is bound to make mistakes. His feelings for Skyler are out front and open, if a bit ‘insta-lovey’ to start, but there’s a solidity behind him and a poignancy in his honesty. Skyler, on the other hand, is aware of the chemistry, but far too willing to deny and ignore, and push Grey away. It’s never quite clear as to her real reasons, but her bouncing back and forth had me believing her irredeemable. That, fortunately is not true, as we also see the friendship between Skyler, Mia and Beth: supportive, honest, and so far from frenemies as to be the hallmark to which all female relationships should aspire to. Even when they aren’t completely sure of the words to use – the support is evident.
Now, the main relationship and romance fell short for me. Skyler and Grey are so push-pull, and so briefly interacting before becoming a sort of side-note to friendships (both Skyler’s and Grey’s) and their very well-crafted interactions and emotions that those engendered. As a romance, I really didn’ t feel the love from Skyler: a bit of a changeling she was, never quite certain what she wanted and then just going for it. That combined with limited time together left me thinking this was more a story of friendship with some dating, rather than a romance. Not a bad read, however, and I will be checking out the earlier books in this series.
I received an eArc copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss as part of the Avon Addicts program. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.