Title: Lead (Stage Dive #3)
Author: Kylie Scott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Release Date: 7/29/14
Rating: 4 stars
As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it’s booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.
Lena’s not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.
This third book of the series focuses on Jimmy Ferris, the lead singer of Stage Dive. If you read the previous books, you already know him to be a bit of an ass. As a recovering addict, we finally find out what led to his addiction and overall dickish behavior. His childhood was not a good one, but he managed to shield his brother, David, from most of the drama.
Although he’s a moody prick, I knew there was a reason for his turn to alcohol and drugs. No one could seem to control his pain in the ass ways, until Lena Morrissey.
“Why, you two are getting along like a house on fire already! It’s like you’ve known each other for years. I think she’ll make you a wonderful live-in assistant,” said Mal. “Tell him, Lena.”
While they don’t hit it off right away, the band quickly recognize that Lena might actually be perfect for him, in that she won’t put up with his shit. She’s a pitbull herself, and developed a thick skin after being taken advantage of one too many times. She manages to not only tolerate Jimmy’s rude behavior, she seems like the ideal match to keep his sobriety in line. It’s when Jimmy has some tender moments in her presence that her feelings change from more than tolerance.
A feeling, a sensation worked its way up from deep in my belly, spreading right through me until it tingled in my toes. It was all about him. It was hot and cold, forever and never all at once.
She tries to walk away numerous times, knowing that the feelings she has now developed could only end badly, given that Jimmy has no emotional capacity for love. But Jimmy’s new dependence has become Lena, and he won’t let her get away. Even though every moment they are together breaks her heart.
Of the three books in this series so far, I found this one to have the highest level of angst. There was a battle against addiction, unrequited love, and Lena’s struggle on how to manage both. I really felt bad for her as our heroine. She could save herself from heartbreak, which could result in a sobriety breakdown from her boss/friend/owner of her heart. She is so invested in helping Jimmy, and he took advantage of her every step the way.
Fancy falling for someone you didn’t even particularly like half the damn time. Who did something so stupid?
I mean apart from me, obviously.
I really wished we got some of Jimmy’s POV. What were his feelings for her? Why was he fighting their relationship so much? Was he aware how much he was hurting her? We find some of this out later, but it would have been interesting to be inside his head.
While this is Jimmy’s story, and I thought it was an emotionally strong story, I think Mal Ericson not so quietly steals the show. I actually listened to Play on audio, which is amazing btw. And I swear, each time I read his character’s words in this book, I could hear the narrator’s voice, which just made me smile. He’s still completely loonie in this book, and I love him for it. But he’s also very observant and has no shame in pointing out the tension/chemistry between Jimmy and Lena.
Mal’s green eyes narrowed, “Your lips are unnaturally puffy and your lipstick is all worn away. What the hell were you two doing in the bathroom within sight of my firstborn child?”
(Note, Mal would be referring to his puppy Killer, here. Loooooonie!)
There’s an unexpected turn in this book, which you know can only lead to bad things. Broken hearts galore. But don’t worry your pretty little heart, we do get a HEA.
Ben’s book is next and based on the cover that was just revealed, I am dying to find out the story behind the little surprise. Somehow, I have a feeling someone’s sister is going to be involved. Eeeeep! Deep will release on January 6th, 2015. Way too far away!
*An ARC was received from the publisher via RockStarLit PR for an honest review.
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“Lena, you seen my old black Led Zep shirt?”
“You sure?” His brows became one dark cranky line. The scratches on his face were healing well, thank goodness. Though it didn’t reduce my desire to throttle his mother on a daily basis.
“Yes. I haven’t seen it.”
Can’t find it anywhere…”
“And this is a surprise, how?” I slipped my hands into my back jean’s pockets. “Jimmy, you own more clothing than Cher, Brittney, and Elvis, put together. Things are bound to go missing.”
“Sure you haven’t seen it?”
“For goodness sake, what do you think, Jimmy? That I stole it to sleep in or something?” I laughed bitterly. Sure as hell, the truth deserved a good mocking. I’d sunk so despicably low. I hadn’t even meant to steal the stupid thing, but the shirt had been mixed up with my laundry a few days ago. It’d been the first top I laid my hand on after stepping out of the shower, ready to go to bed. Without thought, I’d put it on and it’d been so soft, the scent of him lingering beneath the laundry detergent. Every night since, I’d found myself in it come bedtime. My shame knew no limits. And no, I still hadn’t quit. The words still hadn’t come even close to leaving my mouth.
He frowned. “No.”
“That I have some deep secret longing to feel close to you resulting in my stealing your shirt like some creepy perv?”
“Course I don’t fucking think that,” he replied crankily, reaching up to grip the top of the doorframe. All of his bulging muscles stretched the arms of his white T-shirt in the nicest way. It was all I could do not to start drooling, my heart beat taking up residence somewhere down between my thighs. And who could blame it? Not me. Maybe if I got laid, this would go away and things would return to normal. It’d seemed safer to avoid rubbing up against any men just in case I got carried away and started dating again. This new situation, however,
“Well, of course not! That would be crazy.” And wasn’t that the god’s honest truth? Cray-zeee. Lock me up and throw away the key because it wasn’t like I didn’t know better.
“Just can’t figure out where the hell it could be.”
Angels couldn’t have smiled as innocently. They might have tried, but they would have failed, the dirty-mouthed, winged, little liars. “Jimmy, I don’t know where it is. But I’ll look around for it later, okay?”
“Yeah,” he said, and then added as an afterthought, “and stop looking at me weird.”
Deep (Stage Dive #4) available on January 6th, 2015:
Check out more of Kylie’s work:
About Kylie Scott:
Kylie is a long-time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.
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