April 6, 2015

REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Deep (Stage Dive #4)

It's no secret that the rockers are my favorite type of character to read about. And the four members of Stage Dive are my favorite rockers. We finally get to Ben's story - Ben the brooding, quiet bass player in the group. And, what a story. Read on for my review and an excerpt from DEEP. Then enter to win an entire set of the Stage Dive books, signed by Kylie Scott!

Deep (Stage Dive #4), by Kylie Scott
Published March 31, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: e-ARC, obtained from the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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 honestly didn't think I could love lead singer David more. Ever since reading book one in the Stage Dive series, Lick, I've been president of the David fan club. But, I've always sensed there was something about strong, silent Ben, the bass player who is also the brother to toxic Martha. 

Lizzy, younger sister to drummer Mal's wife Anne, has had a massive crush on Ben ever since she laid eyes on him. One night together results in an unplanned pregnancy and some major life changes for both of them. Ben seems ready to step up and be a father, but being a father AND in a committed relationship might just be too much change to Ben's lifestyle. But, he also doesn't want to lose Lizzy as a friend. Ben can't have it all, so he needs to make some big decisions, and he has less than nine months to do it. 

I think the biggest reason why I loved Ben was because he was so flawed. Ben made some big mistakes in Deep. He didn't always do the right thing or say the right thing. He didn't always have the right attitude, and he succeeded in alienating Lizzy without trying too hard. I think all his missteps made him more human, though - more real. I mean, think about it. You have a guy who's in a big rock band. He loves his fast and loose lifestyle and has no plans to change it. And then he gets a friend pregnant. Honestly, if he would've fallen in line right away and accepted all the responsibility without question, it would've been totally unbelievable. Sweet, but unbelievable. 

That's not to say that Ben was a total douche nozzle - he wasn't. He tried really hard to do what he thought was the right thing. He didn't want to be with Lizzy just because of the baby. That wouldn't be good for any of them. He knew he could provide financial support pretty easily. Although he didn't go about offering that type of support in the most tactful way, his heart was in the right place. It's the emotional support that he doesn't think he can do. He obviously likes Lizzy very much. He just doesn't think he can offer her what she wants, and if they make a go at a relationship and it fails, it could affect their child and the band in very bad ways. Those odds are just too steep for him to take a chance on love.

My heart broke for Lizzy. She never stopped wanting forever with Ben. But, she also doesn't want him to be with her just for the baby. She doesn't want him resenting her later down the road. So, she cuts him loose, and it kills her to do that. She loves him and wants him to love her too, but she tells him that he can keep his lifestyle as long as she can keep their baby. It's the perfect situation for Ben, except... it isn't. 

The thing I had to keep in mind the whole way through this book is that Ben really did love Lizzy. Their relationship started out as friendship. Lizzy never hid her feelings from Ben, so there were no games. Ben just had to rearrange his priorities in his mind to make room for Lizzy and their baby. He had to be reminded of what is really important. Several times in the book I thought he had done that, and then he turned tail and ran, which sucked for Lizzy, because she would get her hopes up, and then have them crushed quickly. 

It was a lot for Ben to work though, but luckily, he had his very attached band mates to help. All three of them had already found love and had some experience in that area that Ben didn't have. Since Lizzy is Mal's sister-in-law, there were some really bad feelings between he and Ben for awhile. It seemed like the band and their significant others were firmly in Lizzy's corner, which made my heart happy. 

Deep is the last Stage Dive book, and I'm so sad to see it go. But, in my opinion, Kylie Scott left the best for last. Ben and Lizzy's story is not smooth sailing. They're not a couple for much of the book, but they have this huge thing still binding them together. It's emotional and sad in parts. But, I just knew that when Ben got his head on straight, it would be epic. And, it was. 

His laughter, it didn’t really sound the smallest bit amused. “Christ. You’re done here.”

“Ah, no. I’m actually not. Now see, this is where we have a problem.” I folded my arms. Then unfolded them because like fuck I’d look defensive. He was the one in the wrong, not me. “You’re not prepared to take me, or my feelings, seriously. What you want is to hide away in Mr. Too Cool for Commitment land and just play with my affections when it suits you. Okay, I’ve accepted that. But none of that means it’s okay for you to come in here and act like you’re the boss of me. None of it.”

“That so?” he asked, leaning down so that we were almost nose to nose.

“That’s so, baby.” I play-punched him in the shoulder, which it should be noted, I barely came up to. Okay, so maybe the alcohol on a mostly empty stomach had made me slightly/lots braver/sillier. “So why don’t you take your little caveman jealous tantrum bullshit somewhere else. See, I do this funny thing I like to refer to as whatever the fuck I want. Understand?”

He just stared.

“And as pretty as you are with your beard and your muscles, you are too damn tricky and . . . complicated and shit for me.”

“I am?”

“Yes, you are. Are you finally seeing my point here?”

“You bet.”

“Excellent. So take your hotness elsewhere, kind sir. I want no part of it!” Huh. I had so told him. Drunken bravado was the best.

Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

Stalk Kylie Scott: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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