Bailey wasn't always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn't sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
It had only been a week after Bailey's family had dumped her on her granddad and it took me a while to understand the time lapse, as her sister had been away for a year but only not speaking to her for a week. Little confusing but I got the gist. So we're inside Bailey's head as she tries to come to terms with her absent family and not being allowed to play music publicly for fear of ruining it for her sister. Sam plays the bad-boy role here as he entices Bailey to play fiddle in his band and they are really good. Like, we could get a record contract good! But between Bailey's family rules and Sam's commitment issues, they are destined to be either at each other's throats or attached at the lips. Guess which won wins most of the time?
This came highly recommended, as Jennifer Echols is a great New/Young Adult writer and her books are apparently amazing. Having now read my first one, I can now confirm that to be true! The first thing I have to mention is the setting. I really liked Nashville, the country music scene leapt off the page and even though I am not musically inclined, so some information went over my head, it helped to understand Bailey and Sam's characters and motivation for their love of music.
Speaking of Bailey and Sam, I loved them both. Bailey was spiky and on-edge but melted into her music, whereas Sam was instantly love-able but had hidden issues. Even though Bailey was over-dramatic, I really felt for her. Her family had essentially dumped her for her sister and that wasn't fair. The whole situation wasn't handled well, be anyone, but as it was from Bailey's perspective, I was more likely to sympathise with her. And while I instantly liked Sam, the more I learned about him, the more wary I was. I really wanted to just fall for him, but he was so complicated and gorgeous that I was worried about what he was going to do next. Or at least, what he was going to say that sounded stupid and ridiculous.
Echols effortlessly intertwines seductive first loves and making it big in the music industry. Add in a hot guy that play guitar and a happy ending, and I'm sold!
Published 16th July 2013 by Gallery Books. Thanks to netgalley for my e-copy.