Please Don’t Stop the Music
Thank you Jennifer for this AWESOME recommendation! Another WOW book for me! I simply… LOVED it. I totally lucked out. How can that be? How can something this interesting, well rounded, heartfelt and heart wrenching be bargain priced?
I “pre-reviewed” it on on my Facebook page (I couldn’t help it!), and it looks like I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for it:
Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m reading a really good book right now. It’s witty and fast, and just good writing, but it took me a bit to catch the writing style (it takes place in England). Kind of reminds me (writing-wise) of Flat-Out Love & How to Kill a Rock Star. This too, has an angsty ex-rock star (and boy did the “reveal” surprise me!!) Very worthy of angst. LOVE this character. Overall well-rounded, excellent read. Not off the charts in romance (although there IS that), but just plain good anyway.
Jennifer: Loved this book and the reveal – had no idea!!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Me either!! I didn’t see it coming, and it was PERFECT!!! Made that slap all the more heartbreaking…
That slap? Yeah… it was a scene that tore my heart out, and yet I was so confused as to who was right, and who was wrong in the situation. Things just weren’t adding up, and I knew there had to be more to it, than the typical rock star drama that I was expecting.
Oh and there was. Much more to it.
“Jem” has recently moved to York, trying to sell her handcrafted jewelry to make a living. She lives with a couple of roommates (a sexy playboy-ish artist, and a new single mom struggling to make ends meet while juggling her new life with a baby). The three of them are close, but Jem has some misgivings about her past, and won’t let them completely into her life.
When her main “buyer” cancels her contract, Jem is left pounding the streets trying to find another store that will sell her stuff. She meets a dead end at every turn…
I perched on the edge of the fountains outside the art gallery and wondered what to do. I mean this was York! City of horse-drawn carriage rides and medieval stone work. If I couldn’t sell hand-crafted belt buckles here then I might as well go back to France. Where I hadn’t exactly taken the Continent by storm, but at least my failures had had an edge of Gallic glamour.
… until she walks into a music store. The strange shop owner relents and takes a few pieces. And that is how their story begins. She doesn’t have a clue “who” he is (or was), and he seems to personally find some relief in that. As they spend more and more time together, of course, things change, and both struggle with their fears as they begin forming a connection they never thought they wanted.
I mean, of course, it’s not the perfect book (4 stars from me). Maybe it could have been a 5 star, if the author let us indulge in them more. Maybe… less “her” and more them. There were a few moments where I was angered by Jem’s issues. Sometimes, she was just… too much. The side stories and the friendships were good (they certainly added to the mystery and drama of the main story), and there was a “villain” and a smaller dilemma that needed to be solved (that part was intriguing, although once exposed, it was… just okay). But that “meh” was wonderfully out-shined by Ben and Jem’s reality. Jem’s story (and past) had an interesting twist.
The story that captured me was Ben’s. Ben… oh wow. I’ll admit right now, that he’s not the typical romantic bad-boy or the big strong hulking sexy savior. In fact, I scrunched up my nose at Jem’s first impression of him. Skinny, unkempt, terribly dressed, morose. Detached. Certainly not her type.
He was odd. Implacable. There was something about Ben Davies that felt like he was layers deep, that there was more to him than the superficially strange.
I was on the “edge” of my crush with him for the start of the novel. Wasn’t sure if I’d fall completely into his potential magic.
As her male model-like roommate (Jason) asks her:
“He’s not, like, some kinda psycho, is he?”
“Or is he that kinda weird that you girls like, that mean and moody thing?”
LOL!!! He’s got us figured out You’ll get a kick out of Jason, for sure!
It didn’t take too long though for my crush to kick in. For sure… not your typical hero, but to me, despite his original “weirdnesses” and his dramatic, very dark and personal distress, he was deep and simply hiding under layers of despondency. But soon enough… his “sexy’ came out in spades. He once was THE ultimate Rock Star, and not that long ago, even. But I started crushing on him long before we got to see the “old” him from his fairly recent and hugely successful rock star days. Which, in turn, made his reveal that much more exciting.
Still though… it’s not his sexy rock star persona “reveal” that took my breath away (although it did help my crush along). There was another BIG reveal coming that cinched it, for me.
And oh boy, at a certain point, everything came together, everything made sense. Who he was at that point in his life, he had every right to be. I loved how the author took us on this journey through Jem’s eyes, but allowed us into Ben’s heart and broken soul via his journals.
And her eyes went all kinda deep and dark and I could hear this tune in the back of my head, up and down the scale like a warning. She’s trouble, I can feel it, the music knows it, but it’s like I can’t move out of the way in time, it’s gonna hit me and, you know what? Part of me wants that. Something vast that hits and breaks and blows me open… Sorry. There’s a lyric there. One of my better ones, from the days when… yeah. I know. Don’t dwell, don’t look back.
See the trouble is, when you don’t look back, you don’t see what’s creeping up behind you.
Soooo good! I think it’s what one might consider “chick lit”, more than all-out “romance” but I’ve come to discover that I enjoy that genre very much! And anyway, this has just enough romantic tension to give us those chills we’re always looking for in these books.