Age: Young Adult
Interest: Awesome Author/Pretty Cover/ Country Girl
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…(Summary from goodreads.com)
I recieved this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This has not biased my opinions in any way.
I became a fan of Jennifer Echols last year while reading Such a Rush (so good!) When picking up Dirty Little Secret I was hoping for the same spark. Such a Rush remains my favorite but, Dirty Little Secret managed to sweep me off my feet and into a pair of red cowboy boots.
As someone who loves country music, but is constanly surrounded by people who 1) don't know it very well or 2) flat out hate it, I was happy the book referenced so much of the older and more current music and stars. I loved the background details given for some of country's artists. I had no idea "Remember When" (supposedly) reflects so much of Alan Jackson's life. I adored the Nashville setting because I have been there and gone near Broadway many times. I would have liked a little more history of the city, but the book didn't suffer without it. Also, I appreciated Echols' shout out to Chattanooga for one of the band's gigs. I was born there and lived there for about a year!
A few parts of the book were overshadowed with a terrible amount of manipulation and I disliked that. I am not a fan of people who omit or flat out lie or whatever to get to their endgame. I was also a little disapointed by the ending. One person had been so outrageously driven and motivated to get what they want (with manipulation), but after delivering a line-crossing ultimatum "suddenly realized their mistake" and ignored all their past behavior. But, what I really couldn't get was that after all that drama and the ultimatum, Bailey just ran back into their arms like it had never happened. And, said manipulator had serious issues which they needed to get help for, but weren't adressed. They didn't need to be perfectly resolved but I would have liked a little "they're better about asking instead of manipulating" or so and so is "now in counseling for a few things."
Other than those small problems, I loved the novel. Bailey was tough, but not so much that she didn't realize she was still young and vulnerable in all of her emotions. Sam was scarily charming, but a bit tempermental. I wanted more interaction between Julie and Bailey because they once had such a close bond. It seemed almost out of character for Julie to drop Bailey in her pursuit of stardom. Then again, some of Julie's later behavior (ahem, a little manipulation, ahem) didn't exactly denote her as an awesome sister either.
As always, there may have been some steamy makeouts in the book... behind a club, in a truck, on a bed, etc. If there is one thing you need not worry about in this book, it is the great chemistry between characters and the intense pleasure (or heartbreak) they cause each other.
Overall, the music selection for the novel was absolutely top notch. I was so disappointed though when the band didn't play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". That is a fantastic country song. It has mind blowing fiddle. Charlie Daniels is awesome. Plus, you could totally change the beats to make the song even more amazing. Plus, can you imagine Sam singing that song? Total magic.
I'd recommend Dirty Little Secret to anyone who loves the country music scene or likes a messy love story. The writing is good, the characters are fun and work well together, plus the steamy, steamy makeouts. Be sure to grab Dirty Little Secret today!
Teaser Lines: "And I was bitter. Bitterness and I were old friends by now, but at the moment bitterness was trying to go down my bra in public."