Mayhem (Mayhem #1), by Jamie ShawSome of the best books I've read have been because of friends' recommendations. I hadn't even heard of new author Jamie Shaw until she showed up on the list of Apollycon authors. Then, my bestie Jen read her debut book Mayhem, and started talking to me about how much she loved it. Honestly, all I needed to hear was three words, and I was sold - rockers and new adult. Jen's endorsement just made it a sure thing.
Published January 20, 2015
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Format: paperback, purchased
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5 STARS
(From Goodreads) When college freshman Rowan Michaels meets gorgeous, up-and-coming rock star Adam Everest, she knows a player like him is the last thing she needs after her ex-boyfriend shattered her heart. But she can't stop thinking about the kiss they shared on his tour bus.
On the first day of school, Rowan is stunned when Adam saunters into her French class. He's soon failing miserably, and, on a whim, she offers to tutor him. But Adam doesn't recognize her as a makeup-free, glasses-clad college student—a far cry from the beautiful, mysterious "Peach" he met at his concert.
During a wild weekend on tour with the band, Rowan can't help falling for the sweet guy buried beneath Adam's rocker persona. Yet she knows she could never compete with the girls constantly throwing themselves at his feet. She'd just end up hurt … again.
Peach is all Adam thinks about, though, and when Rowan realizes this, she has a decision to make: stay just friends to protect her fragile heart … or reveal the truth about the night they met and admit she's fallen completely, hopelessly in love with him.
Rowan thought she was doing everything right. She was getting ready to start her freshman year at college. She was living in an apartment with her long-time boyfriend who had promised her the world. Then one night her crazy BFF Dee talks her into going to a local concert where everything gets turned upside down. Or, maybe everything goes right for once - it all depends on how Rowan chooses to look at things.
Rowan is a unique character. She's only 18 and just starting college. She's been with the same guy for three years and barely gotten to second base with him (his choice, not hers). She seems to have led a pretty sheltered life, not entirely of her own choosing. She thought she was making the choices she needed to in order to be happy and obtain her life goals and all that stuff. Then, one night, absolutely everything changes for her. And, rather than try anything she could to get that vision back, as I initially thought she might, Rowan moves forward trying to make a new plan for her life.
Rowan has this pretty cool connection with rocker and quasi-celebrity Adam Everest. And, she just so happens to meet him the night she finds out her douchebag boyfriend has been cheating on her. Adam doesn't learn her name that night. He only knows that she wasn't just another groupie. And she's the only girl to ever turn him down. That makes her... real. And so much more interesting than all those brainless twits that only want Adam for his money and power.
Rowan and Adam have such a sweet relationship. They are genuinely friends, and I don't think that's something that Adam has any of with females. Their times together the weekend that she has to tutor Adam on his tour bus were some of my favorite parts of the book. They were goofy and snarky and real with each other. Rowan seems to fit in so well with all the band members. She becomes kind of like an honorary little sister to all of them (except Adam, of course), and they step up to protect her and have her back more than once. Every time they all did that, I fell completely in love with each one of them.
Eventually, Rowan and Adam have to return to the real world and deal with the fall-out of all their decisions. Adam has to go back to French class. Rowan has to deal with her ex once and for all. And Rowan and Adam have to come to a place that they can live with, whether that's keeping things in the friend zone, or going outside of it, where we all know they'd be great.
Through all of it, Rowan's two friends Dee and Leti are her sounding board, just like Shawn, one of Adam's bandmates, is his. Things are set up nicely for Riot, book two in the series, which will focus on Dee and another band member, Joel. I look forward to reading about them, not only because their relationship intrigues me, but because I know it means we'll see a lot more of Rowan and Adam.
The only thing I think Mayhem was lacking was Adam's POV. He was sort of hard to figure out for awhile, and I would've loved to have known what was happening in his head and in his world when Rowan wasn't around. When Adam was surrounded by groupies, there were times I thought he loved it and times I thought he hated it. Getting his take on his life, such as it is, and especially on Rowan and what he thought about her when he first met her and gave her the nickname "Peach," would've been so fun. Maybe we readers can talk Jamie into a few bonus scenes sometime, hm?
For sure, Jamie Shaw is on my radar now. Mayhem was a quick and fun read, with not a lot of drama or angst or sweaty sex. It was light and just what I needed after a string of pretty heavy books. I can't wait to get my hands on Riot!