Series: Stage Dive

Review: Deep by Kylie Scott

Posted March 31, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Deep by Kylie ScottReviewer: Holly
Deep by Kylie Scott
Series: Stage Dive #4
Also in this series: Lick: Stage Dive 1, Lead: Stage Dive 3, Lick (Stage Dive #1), Play
Published by Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: March 31st 2015
Pages: 231
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Don't miss a beat with the fourth and final novel in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Stage Dive series from Kylie Scott.

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man she's ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible . . . but will it lead to a connection of the heart?

I was really looking forward to Ben and Liz’s story after all the buildup in the previous books.

We first met Lizzie in Play, book two. Her sister, Anne, got into a relationship with Stage Dive’s drummer, Mal. Lizzie was immediately drawn to bass player Ben, but Mal warned Ben off her right away. Anne was worried about Ben’s reputation and didn’t want him anywhere near her sister. Ben tried to stay away from her, but Liz made it nearly impossible. She started texting him right away, and despite everything they formed a friendship. But still, he made it clear it couldn’t be anything else…until the night of her sister’s wedding, when he took her back to her hotel room and did delicious, dirty things to her.

After months of pushing, Liz was thrilled when Ben finally took her up on her offer. She’d come to know him quite well, and her feelings had deepened from a causal crush to something more. She thought he was finally ready to commit to being with her, to bring their relationship out in the open, until he disabused her of that notion first thing the next morning. So she does what any self-respecting woman who’s spent the last few months throwing herself at a man only to get rejected does – she threw him out of her room, sans pants, then proceeded to avoid him like the plague. Until a few months later, when they can’t avoid each other anymore. Amid tension from the band and a world tour, Liz and Ben need to work on finding a way to navigate the future together.

Liz’s crush on Ben and his avoidance made me think there was going to be a lot of tension in this book, and I was right. Unfortunately the buildup worked against it in a lot of ways. Ben’s fear of commitment and constant push/pull with Liz was frustrating. The final resolution especially worked against the story. Liz did all the giving, while Ben spent the majority of the book pushing her away. I wish their issues had been addressed in the end, rather than him making a grand gesture and her caving. They had a lot to work out between each other, yet we were to believe “I love you” made everything all right? I didn’t buy it.

That aside, there was quite a bit I liked. Liz was a fun, irreverent character who was easy to sympathize with. Though she was young (she turned 21 in the book), she knew what she wanted and didn’t let anyone treat her like a child.

His hands tensed on my shoulders, fingers rubbing. “I told you not to come in here.”
“I know.” I sniffed, then set my chin on his chest and gazed up adoringly at him. “But have you noticed how I actually make my own choices like a real live adult?”

Her relationship with her sister was well written. Their mother wasn’t much on being maternal, so they basically raised each other. Anne sacrificed a lot for Liz, and Liz took care of Anne as much as she could. They had a strong sibling bond that came across not just in their heart-to-hearts, but in their every day conversations.

“Huh.” The whites of Anne’s eyes were showing. “Good. This makes me think better of the bearded wonder.”
“Mm.” It was a step up from her calling him the Sperminator, at least.

I liked how she connected with other members of the band and their significant others. I didn’t like how she spent the majority of the book sitting in her room, watching t.v.. She needed to get out more and make friends outside the ladies of the band. Actually, I would have liked to see her have a life outside the band, period.

When Ben let his guard down, he was actually pretty funny and sweet. Unfortunately we didn’t see enough of that. It doesn’t help that the story is told in first-person from Liz’s POV. His relationship with his bandmates came across well and I liked how quick they were to call him out, and how quick he was to admit they were right, when he was being an ass.

Though I had some issues, I fell right into the story. Humor, angst, romance…this had it all. I wish it hadn’t ended the way it did, but I can’t deny it was an engrossing read.

3.5 out of 5

 

three-half-stars


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Review: Play by Kylie Scott

Posted September 19, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Play by Kylie ScottReviewer: Holly
Play by Kylie Scott
Series: Stage Dive #2
Also in this series: Lick: Stage Dive 1, Lead: Stage Dive 3, Lick (Stage Dive #1), Deep
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: March 25th 2014
Genres: Erotica, New Adult
Pages: 304
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four-stars

Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller Lick.
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. Mal doesn't plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn't count on finding the one right girl.
Anne Rollins never thought she'd ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls-especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn't end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

Anne’s roommate bailed on her without paying back the money she owed for back rent and she’s pretty much going to be evicted any day. Since she’s trying to help her sister through college, there isn’t a lot of extra for her anyway, but she’s never been this bad off. Especially since her roomie took most of the furniture when she left.

When she meets Mal at a party, she’s stunned..and a little starstruck. The Malcolm Ericson? The man she’s fantasized about pretty much forever? It’s a dream come true. Except the part where he overhears her sharing all her woes with her boss and friend. Reece. She wants to die of mortification, especially when Mal calls her out on being a pushover and decides he’s going to fix things for her by moving in.

“You’re moving in with me?” I asked, interrupting all the male bravado and talk of money. I wasn’t even touching upon my supposed friend issues.
“Yes, pumpkin,” said Mal, his face deadly serious. “I am moving in with you.”
I cringed at the horrid nickname but chose to focus on the real concern for now. “When did we talk about this exactly?”
“Actually, you might have left by then.”

She thinks he’s joking until she comes home from work the next day to find he’s actually moved in.

What the hell was happening here?
“You moved in with me somehow.” There could be no other reason for an entire drum kit appearing in the corner, let alone all the other stuff. The Twilight Zone had officially been entered. “You … huh. How about that.”

The plan is simple. In exchange for playing his girlfriend for a short period of time – for reasons he refuses to specify – he’s paid her rent and bought her a couch. Since she needed the money – and the couch-  and sees no harm in the charade, she agrees. What neither expected was how close they would become. Or how hard it would be to keep pretending to be together when they both wanted it to be real.

I think this was my favorite book of the series, but I’m not sure. It might tie with Lead. I’ll have to think about it.

I loved Mal in the first book and couldn’t wait to get to his story. He’s manic, quirky, and surprisingly sensitive.  I loved how funny he was, but more, I loved how insightful.

“You know, you can be kind of intense sometimes, Malcolm Ericson.”
His watched me in silence.
“You come across as this happy-go-lucky-type dude most of the time, but you are in fact a man of many layers. You’re kind of complicated.”
“Surprised?”
“Yes. And no.”

He made jokes a lot, but he paid close attention to those around him.  He wasn’t afraid to call things as he saw them, though the loud, often embarrassing way he did it left something to be desired. Still, I can’t deny his antics cracked me up.

“Your cheeks have gone all rosy. Are you thinking rude thoughts about me, Anne?”
“No.”
“Liar,” he taunted in a soft voice. “You’re totally thinking of me with no pants on.”
I totally was.
“That’s just gross, dude. A massive invasion of my privacy.” He leaned in closer, his breath warming my ear. “Whatever you’re imagining, it’s bigger.”
“I’m not imagining anything.”
“I’m serious. It’s basically a monster. I cannot control it.”
“Malcolm–”
“You’re pretty much going to need a whip and chair to tame it, Anne.”
“Stop it.”
“That okay with you?”

Anne frustrated me in the beginning. She seemed like such a pushover.  She let her friends walk all over her and loved her manwhore boss from afar. Then Mal called her on it and she started to come into her own. Just when I’d think she was a total doormat she’d open her mouth and I’d gain new respect for her. Some of her zingers toward Mal were hilarious. I love that she gave as good as she got with him.

“You, Miss Rollins, are a doormat.”
“I am not a doormat,” I growled, everything in me rebelling at the idea. Either that or running in fear of it. I was so worked up it was hard to tell.
He rolled his eyes. “C’mon, you know you are. It’s right there on your face.”
I shook my head, beyond words.
“So, I’ve given this absolutely no thought and decided that you need boundaries, Anne. Boundaries. Are. Your. Friends.” Each word was punctuated with his finger tapping the tip of my nose. “Do you hear me? Is this getting through?”
Which is about when I snapped and started screaming. “You want boundaries? How about getting the hell out of my face! How’s that for a boundary, huh? None of this is any of your damn business, you obnoxious dickhead.”

Because Anne institutes a no-touch rule early on, they come to be good friends without sex getting in the way.  Anne sees past Mal’s bright exterior to the man beneath and he helps shore up her self-confidence. They had problems, like Anne’s unrequited crush on her boss and Mal’s refusal to share his secrets with her, but underneath it all I thought they had a solid friendship.

There were some emotional scenes. The reason Mal needed a pretend girlfriend was pretty heavy, and so was Anne’s past with her mother. Though the overall tone was light, there was a surprising amount of depth.

I laughed. I cried. I got angry. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. This was definitely a great way to spend a few hours.

“Life’s a song, Anne. Let’s play.”

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Griffin. You can buy it here or here in e-format. Or in audiobook from Macmillan Audio here. Listen to an excerpt:

four-stars


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Review: Lick by Kylie Scott

Posted September 18, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lick by Kylie ScottReviewer: Holly
Lick (Stage Dive #1) by Kylie Scott
Series: Stage Dive #1
Also in this series: Lick: Stage Dive 1, Lead: Stage Dive 3, Play, Deep
Published by Macmillan, St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 284
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Evelyn Thomas's plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure as hell never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is for certain, being married to rock and roll's favorite son is sure to be a wild ride.

I love rock stars. I can’t tell you why,  because I’m not even sure. I see ‘rock star’ and, oops, autobuy. It’s a weakness.  That doesn’t mean I love every rock star I read, though. More often than not I’m disappointed. Despite the unrealistic nature of the circumstances (rock stars are almost always a bad bet), I need the story to be believable.

I thought the romance here moved pretty fast. Ev didn’t remember their only night together, so it made sense she’d be freaked to find out she married a stranger. It also made sense that she’d want to take things slow. What frustrated me is how quickly she fell in love. They were only alone a few days and she felt sure she knew him and loved him. It seemed more like infatuation than love. Her concerns over his past and how reticent he was with the details made sense. I just wish she’d pushed a little harder before falling into him.

I did like that David took time deciding about their relationship before plunging in (the second time). What I loved was their connection. David clearly felt something for Ev. He was a sensitive musician who felt things deeply. Having the story told from Ev’s POV meant seeing David through her eyes, which highlighted how wonderful he was. If the romance had been stretched longer than  a few days, I could have easily believed they were in it for the long haul.

Having said that, I started this at 1a.m., thinking I’d read a chapter before going to sleep. I finished at 5a.m. I couldn’t put it down.

This was an angst filled story. The drama really worked. The problems with the band,  the uncertainty of their relationship,  their insecurities, it all made for a darker read. I enjoyed that. Though it isn’t my favorite of the series and I had some problems with it, I can’t deny I enjoyed the story.

3.25 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Griffin. You can buy it here or here in e-format. Buy the audiobook from Macmillan Audio here. Listen to an excerpt:

three-half-stars


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Review: Lead by Kylie Scott

Posted September 10, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lead by Kylie ScottReviewer: Holly
Lead: Stage Dive 3 by Kylie Scott
Series: Stage Dive #3
Also in this series: Lick: Stage Dive 1, Lick (Stage Dive #1), Play, Deep

Publication Date: July 29th 2014
Pages: 255
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic rock star romance series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.
Lena is the only thing holding Jimmy back from total annihilation. But who will save her from him?
Lena Morrissey has had some lousy jobs in her time, but none of them compare to being the personal assistant to one of the rock world's biggest - and most egotistical - stars. As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to having whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. But after a PR disaster landed him in rehab, it's Lena's job to keep him on the straight and narrow.
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 in the end, Jimmy always gets his way...

Jimmy spent most of his career as the lead singer of Stage Dive either drunk or high. Hell, he started long before the band did. After a meltdown that landed him in rehab, he’s determined to stay clean. To that end, the record label hired a “sobriety companion” for him. Someone who stays with him 24/7 to make sure he isn’t tempted to use again. 6 months and 4 companions later, he hasn’t managed to scare off Lena. Lena took the job with Jimmy because the money was good and it seemed like a challenge.

Things are fine until Mal’s (the band’s drummer) mother passes away and Jimmy is asked to speak at the funeral. He doesnt’ think he can do it and Lena ends up lending him emotional support in a way she never has before. They often bicker, but they never touch or open up to each other on a personal level. Jimmy’s breakdown before the funeral, the way he clings to her during and his upset when his mother shows up after break down barriers she didn’t even realize had been erected. Once those barriers come down, Lena finds herself becoming more and more attached to Jimmy.

When she realizes her professional feelings for him are long gone, she knows she needs to find new employment. There’s no way she can continue to work for him. Too bad Jimmy won’t let Lena leave. She’s gutsy, determined and refuses to take any of his crap. She’s also surprisingly supportive and easy to spend time with.  If Jimmy wasn’t so sure he was a complete loser who doesn’t deserve happiness, he just might want to keep her as his own. As it is, he’s determined to keep her as his companion. When she says she plans to quit, he has to pull out all the stops to get her stay.

He may not want to admit it, but he can’t let her go. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jimmy. He wasn’t shown in the most flattering light (cough understatement cough) in the previous books. He’s jaded, angry and has no scruples. He slept with his brother’s girlfriend, trashed hotel rooms and compromised the band. I didn’t think he could come back from that. He ended up surprising me. He wasn’t a different or changed man in this book. He didn’t touch, talk or open up. He’s bitter and often makes snide remarks, but aside from that he’ keeps his emotions fully contained. Seeing him open up to Lena changed my perspective of him and softened him for me. I wanted to wrap him in bubble wrap and carry him around in my pocket.

“I lied. I cheated. I stole. I destroyed everything that meant anything to me and hurt everyone around me. I blacked out constantly, ODed twice, nearly died. What do you think that did to them … to the guys? Visiting me in the hospital, seeing me like that?” He looked everywhere but at me. A cold wind blew between us. “That’s the truth, that’s who I am. Don’t make excuses for me. I’m still the same moody selfish fuck I ever was, sober or not.”

It was good Scott didn’t gloss over his addiction or make it something that was magically better. It was a large part of the story because it was a large part of his life, but it didn’t consume the story. It was just something that had to be dealt with. I was surprised Lena admitted right out how she felt about Jimmy and her reasons for wanting to quit. It was kind of refreshing that it wasn’t a big secret. It was also frustrating at times, since I felt like she was humiliated on occasion. I really loved her. She supported and championed Jimmy, but didn’t take any crap from him while doing it. She saw him for what he was and called him out when he needed it.

“Throw one more thing, Jimmy, and I’ll shove my three-inch heel so far up your ass you’ll need a surgical team to extract it.” I glared up at him from behind my dark bangs. “Is that understood?” He scowled.

Jimmy’s determination to make her date so she’d fall in love with someone else was hilarious. Especially since he just ended up going with her to make sure everything went well.

“Where you taking her, Ben?” Mouth open, the bass player gave it some thought. “Ah, how about the sport’s bar? Allen’s?” “She doesn’t like sports and don’t be cheap. This is Lena, you gotta take her somewhere good. Relaxed, but good. Mood’s important.” Sweet baby Jesus. I sank lower in my seat. “Thank you for your concern, Jimmy. But Ben and I can discuss this later. In private.” “It’s all right. Let me think.” Ben scratched at his short beard. “How about the Japanese place we go to sometimes?” “No,” said Jimmy. “Not quite right.” “Well, where would you suggest?” asked Ben, amusement lighting his eyes. “Why don’t I book you a table at a place I know downtown?” “Done,” said Ben. “Thanks, Jim. Lena, I’m looking forward to our date on Saturday. Pick you up at eight.”

The entire book was surprisingly funny, considering how dark Jimmy was. Lena really lightened him up.

So what have you been thinking about?” “Your feelings,” he deadpanned, looking up from the magazine. I took a breath. “Jimmy, I’m impressed. You almost managed to say it in a normal voice this time.” “I practiced downstairs for a while.”

The progression of their relationship from employee/employer to friends to more was well done. I also really liked how Jimmy’s relationship with his brother, David, the lead guitarist for the band, progressed as well. There was some anger and resentment between them, but they hashed it out over the course of the novel and repaired their relationship. Overall this was a great read. Despite my hesitation in the beginning, I fell right into the book and stayed up all night to finish it.

4 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Lick by Kylie Scott

Posted August 1, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Lick by Kylie ScottReviewer: Tracy
Lick: Stage Dive 1 by Kylie Scott
Series: Stage Dive #1
Also in this series: Lead: Stage Dive 3, Lick (Stage Dive #1), Play, Deep
Published by Momentum Books
Publication Date: July 1st 2013
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Evelyn Thomas's plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure as hell never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is for certain, being married to rock and roll's favourite son is sure to be a wild ride.

Evelyn Thomas has a plan. She’ll finish her architectural degree, work at a mid-level architectural firm – moving up to a more prestigious firm eventually and then start her own consultancy firm when she’s about 35. Then she would have time for a relationship and kids. Of course this plan gets shot to hell as Evelyn gets taken to Vegas for her 21st birthday and wakes up the next day married to a rock star. Oops.

The problem with getting really drunk is that sometimes you have a hard time remembering things. Unfortunately this happens to Ev and she’s can’t actually remember getting married to David, the lead guitarist in the band, Stage Dive, or even meeting the man. David does not take this information well and he storms off promising a quick divorce. Ev heads home to Portland thinking she can keep this info from her parents but the paparazzi take that decision right out of her hands as they hound her, having found out about the marriage already.

David comes to her rescue and flies her to LA to try and protect her. They end up in his home in Monterey getting to know each other and Ev decides that she actually really likes David, a lot. She makes a decision, along with David, to stay married but while they’ve also decided on complete honesty, David is keeping some serious secrets from Ev. When those come out – as secrets always do – Ev decides that she can’t trust David and leaves him. He doesn’t fit with her life plan anyway, right? Fortunately for Ev, David doesn’t give up that easily.

When I was perusing the Amazon sight and found this book I was thrilled. Woman wakes up after a drunken night in Vegas and is married with no memory of it? SOLD! I have no idea why that scenario appeals to me so much, but it does. (I try not to analyze these things too much, ya know? lol) This story hit the nail on the head for me right away. The initial scene with Ev and David, with her trying to figure out why this gorgeous guy is helping her when she feels vomitous is priceless – I loved it. The book went up and down from there but I couldn’t seem to put it down.

Ev is young and while she had her whole life planned out she was never that gung-ho on the plan. This detour with David makes her really look at her life and she finally decides that the plan was more her father’s than her own. I was quite happy when she figured it out and stood up to her parents. Her parents weren’t ones to take their little girl doing something on her own and I loved seeing her stand up to them about her plan as well as David. She was a good person who had a good head on her shoulders.

David was…gorgeous. The way he’s described in the book had me wiping a bit of drool off my chin, I must admit. He really was a good guy who was messed up for a bunch of different reasons. I think he had kept things to himself and private for so long that he thought keeping things from Ev was better for her. He got a swift kick when she gave him the what for. While he didn’t react like I hoped he would he certainly made it up to her at the end – at least imho.

The secondary characters in this story were almost as fascinating as the MC’s. I loved hearing about Ev’s roommate, brother and her friends at the coffee shop where she worked. Of course David’s family and bandmates had their own type of appeal and I appreciated that we didn’t get too in depth with them as I felt that it could have taken away from Ev and David’s story.

I’m looking forward to reading more in this series and I hope I like them just as much as I did this one.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Kylie Scott

four-stars


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