by Tara Leigh
Series: Nothing But Trouble #2
Also in this series: Rock King
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Fans of Kristen Callihan, L.J. Shen, and Kylie Scott will scream for this sizzling bad boy rock star romance!
I'm no Prince Charming.
Most people know me as the drummer for Nothing but Trouble. Depending who you ask, I'm also a playboy, a loner, the life of the party, a screw-up, or according to my fans, "The Sexiest Rock Star on the Planet." Apparently, I'm a legend.
Am I surprised? Hell, no. It's a reputation I've earned behind my drum kit and behind closed doors. No one thought foster kid Landon Cox would become famous. Infamous, maybe. Notorious, probably. But successful? Never. No one except Piper Hastings. But I had to make a choice: my woman or my career. I picked fame and fortune... and spent every damn day since pretending I don't regret it.
Now fate's dropped Piper back into my life. I want to believe it's a second chance for me - for us. But while I can give her a few great nights, I can't give Piper a future.
Because there's a difference between a legend and a fairy tale...Only one of them ends happily ever after.
I enjoyed the first book in the Nothing But Trouble series, so I was looking forward to reading this one, especially since I love second-chance romances. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work as well for me.
“Until the day I had to make a choice.
My girl or my career.
I chose music. Fame and fortune. Hollywood Hills and chemically induced thrills.
Of course, I’d spent every day since then trying to convince myself I didn’t regret it.
Want to know the difference between a legend and a fairy tale?
Only one of them ends happily ever after.”
Landon had a troubled childhood, and his main coping skills as an adult, and the drummer of the famous band Nothing But Trouble, are drinking and drugs. Piper, who he dated for two months before the bad got big, was the one shining light in his life, but when made to choose between the band and her, he chose the band. There were extenuating circumstances, yes, and it takes a good portion of the book before he finally tells her, but the end result of him leaving without so much as a good-bye is that Piper thinks she wasn’t “enough” for him, and that’s affected all her relationships every since. Piper’s got her own childhood demons, and she’s driven to perfection and organization. Though she’s been working with the band’s agent for years, she’s so far managed to avoid Landon, but when they finally meet, both realize that six years apart hasn’t changed the chemistry between them. Forced together by another one of Landon’s screw-ups, Piper eventually decides there’s no harm in having a fling with Landon, but as Landon’s past catches up with him, things get more emotional than she bargained for. Do people only get second chances in fairytales, or can Piper and Landon write their own ending?
I had a lot of trouble drumming up sympathy for Landon, and honestly, for most of the book, I just wanted Piper to wash her hands of him. I had a hard time believing that two months of a college relationship over six years ago was enough to keep her coming back, even if the sex was hot. The same pattern repeats throughout the book – Piper decides to give Landon a second chance, Landon messes it up. Landon decides to apologize, then Piper messes it up. Landon blames himself for a lot of things – weirdly enough, things that were out of his control – but he blames Piper for his need to numb himself with drinking and drugs. Additionally, without going into spoilers, from the first chapter, the book was practically banging me over the head that one of my least-favorite tropes was going to make an appearance, so I spent the entire first half of the book dreading it. I have read and very much enjoyed books that subvert that trope, but unfortunately, this was not one of those cases, and it was very predictable. One of the things I love about angsty romance novels is that – even though I know it’s going to end in an HEA – in the midst of it, I like to worry about how the couple is going to reach their HEA, and a predicable plot line takes a lot of the fun out of that.
“Some of us have work to do,” she said, not falling for my ploy.
I couldn’t help reaching out to pull at a lock of her blonde hair, wrapping it around my finger and closing the distance between us. “There was a time that wouldn’t have stopped you.”
For a second, Piper’s eyelids blinked closed, those bright blue beams shuttered. But they opened again quickly, blazing with anger. “There was a time you would have been worth it.”
Some of the turns of phrase and plot devices left a bad taste in my mouth. She calls off the engagement with her fiance when she walks in on him in bed with another man. At one point, when making out with Piper, Landon is described as “a fat kid in a candy shop.” My least favorite was the handling of the View Spoiler »pregnancy. Even though she’s been intimate with two men, she assumes it’s the one man’s baby, going so far as to pick out freaking crib mobiles with him and his new partner. It’s by chance that she realizes that she used a condom incorrectly and that Landon could be the father. Does she tell the other guy her suspicions right away? No, instead, they both find out in a ridiculous scene out of Jerry Springer with them all getting the results at the same time. And after that? The book’s only concerned with her and Landon repairing their relationship, and the poor guy and his partner show up at the baby shower at the end, supposedly forgiving all. « Hide Spoiler The writing style was a bit over-the-top for me, too. At one point Landon refers to her clitoris as the “plump berry in the orchard that was Piper Hastings” and I nearly DNF’d the book from that alone.
Overall, this book just didn’t work for me for a variety of reasons. If you’re a big fan of rock stars and second chance romances, you may have better luck, but I doubt I’ll pick up the rest of this series.