July 30, 2013

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley. 

Description: 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…

My Review: First of all, let me just say that I adored the Nashville setting. I'm always on the lookout for books set in the Midwest (especially Indianapolis, Chicago, Louisville, and Nashville). Echols does a great job of bringing the setting to life, and I really felt like I was there with Bailey as she played gigs in Nashville. The setting alone was the main reason I chose to read this book, and it did not disappoint. 

I identified with Bailey's love of song-writing and her weakness for country boys who sing and play guitar. :) Sam was very frustrating though, and this kind of sums up how I felt about him: 

The characters were authentic, and their dialogue felt real. I found myself wrapped up in the story and burning through the pages. I liked the way it ended, but I think everything was tied up a little too quickly and neatly and I wish the book was longer! I really would have liked to see more of Bailey and Julie's interactions, too. 

I recommend this book if you're looking for a countrified love story with a protagonist who struggles to balance the pursuit of her dream career with her complicated family relationships. This is my first Jennifer Echols novel, and I plan to read more in the future. 


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