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Kylie Scott

REVIEW:  Play by Kylie Scott

REVIEW: Play by Kylie Scott

Play Kylie Scott

Dear Ms. Scott:

Play is the second book in the Stage Dive series, books that center around a band called Stage Dive. I enjoyed the first book Lick which featured a broody singer and a regular girl who marry under the influence in Las Vegas. Play is a completely different type of book in tone primarily because of the male lead, Mal.

Mal is the drummer of Stage Dive and he provided the comic relief in Lick. He’s full of effortless boyish charm. Mal reminded me of a puppy–manic, super friendly, and not good with boundaries.

“Ben slung an arm over Mal’s shoulders, ruffled his hair. “Come find another toy.”
“I am not a child.” Mal pouted.
“How about her?” Ben pointed to a sleek blonde who smiled and preened in response. “I bet she’d like to meet you.”
“Ooh, she’s shiny.”
“Why don’t you go ask her what her name is?” suggested Ben, patting him on the back.
“Do I need to know her name?”
“I’ve heard it helps.”

“Maybe for you,” Mal scoffed. “I just call out my own name during sex.”

There are hints that Mal suffers from a mental disorder like manic depression or something. His highs are very high and his infrequent lows are full of liquor and sullenness. I wondered if he was supposed to be portrayed as just manic due to emotional turmoil or if he was suffering from something more chronic. The reaction of his bandmates to his behavior suggests it was more chronic.

Anne begins the book as somewhat of a doormat. She lent money she couldn’t spare to a friend who takes off, leaving Anne without funds to pay for rent. She doesn’t have a boyfriend but she doesn’t appear to mind being the back up booty call for a friend who just happens to be her boss at a bookstore.  Anne doesn’t exactly learn to have more boundaries as the book goes on but she does stand up for herself, realizing that she’s better than being a back up and she deserves a guy who won’t hurt her, including Mal.

Anne meets Mal at a party held at his bandmate’s new apartment. Mal is looking for a distraction and finds it in Anne. He moves into her apartment before she can say another word and declares to the world that they are a couple. At first, their couplehood is faked. Mal tells her that she can use him as a buffer and Mal uses Anne for entertainment. Their fake couplehood is carried out to truly hilarious lengths.

In one scene, her neighbor–and friend–is having very loud sex and Mal decides that they should have a loud sex competition which involves yelling out and the two of them jumping on the bed until it breaks.

“You’re such a nice girl, Anne,” Mal projected for the sake of our neighbors. “I really like you a lot.”
“Seriously? That’s your version of sex talk?”
“Let’s hear you talk dirty, then. C’mon.”

“Coward.” Mal turned his face to the wall we shared with Nate and Lauren. “You taste so fucking good.”
“Like what?” I asked breathlessly, thigh muscles tightening. The man was lucky I didn’t just attack him with my vagina. “What do I taste like?”
“Well, like honey and cream and…I dunno, bread?”
I scrunched up my nose. “Bread?”
“Yes. Sexy bread that I could eat all the time because you are so delicious and full of wholegrain goodness.”

The story moves into more serious territory toward the end and I was surprised by how both the humor and the sadness came off equally strong. It was funny, sexy, and had a nice touch of poignancy at the end. Whether I completely bought Mal as a stable enough guy to have a long lasting relationship is up in the air. His mania seemed almost too frenetic at times not to be the function of a more serious and underlying problem but it was well hidden under charm and funny lines. B

Best regards,

Jane

PS. If you are interested in the audio, here is a sample.

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REVIEW:  Lick by Kylie Scott

REVIEW: Lick by Kylie Scott

Dear Ms. Scott:

I started reading you on the recommendation of another reader when I was looking into post-apocalyptic romance fiction. I really liked your erotic romances although I felt that the heroines could’ve been a lot stronger. In the meantime, you have published a book that could be categorized as a new adult based on the characters, but for me it read more like a standard romance with very erotic sex scenes.

Evelyn Thomas  wakes up in a hotel bathroom in Vegas with very little memory of the events that  took place the night before. In the bathroom with her is a very attractive tattooed guy whose name she figures out must be David because that is the name that is now tattooed on her ass.  All Evelyn wants to do is get away from the strange guy, take a shower, and get back to her life.

When she gets home, she finds out the press is camped outside her home. The attractive guy with the tattoos and guitar picks in her hotel bathroom happens to be heavy metal guitarist, David Ferris, of the band Stage Dive.  David arranges for Evelyn to come to his home in Laurel Canyon and figure out how they will manage the press and the divorce that Ev claims she wants.

The story is told in the first person so we don’t know all that is going on in David’s head, but we do know he is hurt and angry by Evelyn’s failure to remember anything that happened.  When they are thrown together in his home, Evelyn decides that she’d like to have a chance to get to know her husband and maybe, just maybe, stay married to him.

It wasn’t until the book hit the halfway mark that the story came alive for me.  As Evelyn and David explore that one night that brought them together, we get to know both of them on a deeper level.  Ev begins questioning her plan to become an architect, like her father.  Just being with David is out of character for her and as foreign as his world is to her.

Daivd was believably portrayed as the sensitive musician type. He had fallen for a girl before who had cheated on him and he was devastated.  During the evening in Vegas with Ev, David was seduced by her defense of a waitress, her lack of fawning, and her general good hearted demeanor.  The recording sessions, the talk about the creation of the music, and the tour scenes all contributed to the authentic feel of the story which is always a big thing for me.

The drummer in the band, Malcolm, provides the comic relief. He refers to Evelyn as “child bride” and pushes David’s buttons constantly.

“Child bride.” Mal smacked a noisy kiss on my cheek. “I’m heading to a club. You guys coming or taking off back to your love nest?”

“I don’t know. Just let me find David. That was amazing by the way. You guys were brilliant.”

“Glad you liked it. Don’t tell David I carried the show, though. He’s so precious about that sort of thing.”

“My lips are sealed.”

There were a few things at the end that bothered me.  The two have issues with each other stemming from David’s inability to trust but also his refusal to reveal important information to Ev. Other characters make excuses for David’s behavior and I felt that the explanations should have come from him.  For readers who like a good grovel, David provides it through his actions versus words, but I needed some words as well. Still, Lick, the first in the novels pertaining to the band Stage Dive, was an engrossing, sexy, and emotional read.  Bring on the rest of the band. B

Best regards,

Jane

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