October 14, 2013

REVIEW: Crash Into Me (Shaken Dirty #1)

Crash Into Me (Shaken Dirty #1), by Tracy Wolff
Published October 14, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Format: e-book, obtained from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Genre:  adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Jamison Matthews has lusted after Ryder Montgomery since she was a preteen. But now that Ryder and her brother's band, Shaken Dirty, has made it huge, she's just one of many pining for the brooding lead singer. Too bad Ryder still sees her as a little sister. Not that it matters. Her brother would never allow it, and the last thing Jamison wants is to be another notch on a rock star's bed post. Even if it's Ryder's.

Ryder doesn't deserve happiness. After his fame destroyed his last girlfriend, he swore he'd never fall in love again. So when Jamison, the girl he's been in danger of loving for years, joins the band on the road, he'll do anything to deny the sparks between them--even after one hot night together. But Jamison is determined to show Ryder that he's worthy of love--her love--and that she's all grown up and ready to play.

I've made no secret about the fact that I have a total obsession with rock stars. They are, hands-down, my favorite type of bad boy. So, when Entangled Brazen offered to let me read and review Crash Into Me a few weeks ago, I said, "Why yes, I would very much like to read Tracy Wolff's new book about the hot lead singer of a famous rock band who falls in love with his lead guitarists' (and best friend's) sister, thankyouverymuch." (Seriously - thank you, Entangled Brazen!) 

Jamison is having a really bad week - she lost her job, her car and her boyfriend, and then to top it all off, she is almost raped backstage at a concert in which her brother's band is playing. Luckily, she's saved by Ryder, the lead singer of her brother's band, Shaken Dirty, and the object of her lust for the past 10 years or so. After finding out her situation, Jared convinces his sister to come on the road with the band for seven weeks. With no other options, Jamison agrees, even though it puts her in VERY close proximity to the one guy she wants but can't have. 

Like most rock band series, Crash Into Me focuses on one member of the band - the lead singer Ryan - but it introduces the other members of the band because I'm assuming we'll see books on each of them in the series. The groundwork is being laid, so a certain amount of time is spent on the back stories of all the band members. Wolff still gives us plenty of time with Ryder and Jamison, though.

I loved Ryan's and Jamison's relationship. I really love the romances where the two involved started out as friends first. These two have known each other since they were kids. That adds an extra layer of complexity to the situation. Neither wants to mess up the friendship, yet they're now having a really hard time denying what more they could have. It's great because they know each other well enough to engage in some really fun banter and to tell each other off when they feel the need. Yet, the feelings are new, so there's a certain amount of awkwardness between them too.

Jamison is a cool character. She's got a strong work ethic and doesn't easily let circumstances get her down. She's been pining after the same guy for a decade for crying out loud. She's a fighter, for sure. And, Ryder is totally swoony. He's a lead singer in a rock band... hellooo?? But, beyond that, I just LOVE how he loves his friends. He looks after them and only wants the best for them - Jamison included. This guy is a total class-act. 

There were several side stories going on at the same time as Ryder's and Jamison's. They focused mostly on Jared, the lead guitarist and Wyatt, the drummer. They didn't detract from the main story, though. 

The ending did feel a little rushed - I wish the author had taken another 50 pages or so to expound on some of the stuff that happened. A lot of stuff happened toward the end, and it all was crammed into not a lot of pages. I would've liked a bit more time and words to process it all. 

I can say for sure that I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment of Shaken Dirty. I want to know who those characters were that were introduced in the epilogue. I want to see Jared and Wyatt happy (I hope Wyatt's story is next!). I want to learn more about the other two members of the band. This series is definitely on my watch list. 

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