It has now become my turn on the blog tour of this very emotional book.
Besides my review, you will find an excerpt, the dream cast and you will be able to enter a great giveaway as well.
You might think you know Brad’s story, but think again. There’s so much more to his story than what Valerie told. See Brad before Valerie came into his life and, when he was playing back burner to Ethan, see what Brad was up to when no one else in the band was looking.
Valerie might have thought she and Brad were inevitable and maybe, in the back of his mind, Brad might have felt that way too, but he didn’t just sit around waiting for her. See the secret side of Brad that you had no idea existed. What kept the driving force behind Fully Automatic focused even while his heart was breaking?
ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review
I want to start this review by saying that I fully believe that “Fully Automatic” can be read as a standalone novel even though it is the fourth book in Jade C. Jamison’s Bullet Series. And if you, like me, is new to the series, you will most definitely want to read all the other books, because this author’s writing is absolutely amazing!
The story is told from the sole viewpoint of Brad, the rock and true foundation of the band, “Fully Automatic”. He is not what I would call the “typical rock star” we see in many books these days. Yes, they are all driven, focused and willing to do just about anything to make their dreams of becoming a rock star a reality. But what makes Brad stand out is the fact that we get to really see how much of a businessman he is and how he, practically from day one, becomes the manager of the band. His skills at befriending other band members, to really network and learn as much as he can about the world he wants to be a part of, are very admirable, and you really feel that he wants this more than anything.
“He wanted to be heard; he wanted people to love his music.” (Brad)
Besides the fact that Brad is a very ambitious man, he is actually also very sweet, sensitive and with a heart that, once it set its sights on Valerie (Val), never sees another woman in the same light. He loses his heart completely. So this is, in some ways, also a bit of an atypical story, in my opinion: usually, it is the girl pining away for the wrong guy, but here, the roles are reversed, and my own heart was aching for Brad while reading his story.
This does not mean, however, that Brad simply bides his time waiting for Val to wake up and really see him. No, we are shown how hard he works at forgetting his deep feelings for her, and he really tries his best at letting them go. Unrequited love is probably one of the worst feelings we can experience, and it is no different for Brad. You have to admire him, though, for trying his best.
“…he had to let her go. He wasn’t going to be able to find his own happiness if he continued mourning the fact that he’d never had her enough to consider her lost to him.” (Brad)
This is also a story that really shows the reader how the dynamics of a rock band work, and how even the truest of friendships can be difficult to maintain when it seems that it is mostly one-sided. We get to experience how Brad battles with Ethan’s demons, his faithless behavior towards Val, and especially Ethan’s inability to stay clean. I can only imagine how hard it must be seeing your oldest friend sink deeper and deeper into a pattern of self-destruction, and I honestly feel that Miss Jamison shows us Brad’s struggles in a way that seems real: unless a person truly wants to break free of addiction, it will never happen, however much you want it to.
It did take me a little while to get fully invested in the story, but I think that has mostly to do with the fact that I am not used to reading a book written in the third person; and after having read about five chapters, I could not put the book down because the story captivated me so much, and I actually felt a bit sad when I reached the last page. That is one of the highest praises I can give an author: making me forget the real world for many hours at a time, completely losing myself in a book, and becoming truly invested in the lives of the characters I read about.
Now, although I really connected with Brad, I cannot say exactly the same thing about Val, but I am inclined to believe that that is just because I have not read “Bullet” yet so I am reserving my judgment here. Like I said in the beginning of my review, I will definitely read the whole series now and any book this author writes in the future.
That was when it was time to make his move. He let the confident feeling surge through his veins, and he stepped closer to her, close enough to touch her. “That’s not the main reason why I came back here, though.” He waited a few seconds to let his words register with her and then he said, “We have a little unfinished business.”
She seemed so innocent in that moment. “We do?”
Yes, innocent maybe, but not unwilling. He leaned over and took her face in his hands, lifting her lips to his. He kissed her, as gently as he could allow himself to, but, goddamn, it was difficult. He’d been imagining this moment for months now, and he wanted her badly. Way too badly. Fuck. He should have jerked off in the shower, because controlling himself was going to be harder than usual. Would losing his load have helped? He didn’t know, but he had to stop thinking about that right now.
It was hard, though, because she tasted so sweet, and her response was just as he’d imagined. She parted her lips and took him in. Yeah, she was willing and eager, and all that did was fuel his fire. She was feeling it too, that weird attraction between them igniting into something bigger than he’d expected, something he knew he’d be lucky to control. Still…he kept his breathing (and his cock) under control for the meantime and ended the kiss. Oh, fuck. And she placed her hands on his pecs as though to steady herself. It took her a few seconds to open her eyes, as though she’d been transported. When he had her full attention, he said, “Unfinished, right?”
She gave him a tiny smile, sweet and naïve, and seemed to give the tiniest of nods. Well, she wasn’t pushing him away. In fact, she seemed breathless and expectant. He wasn’t going to disappoint her, so he kissed her again, and he would have sworn it was magic. Okay, so he never would have said something like that to one of his friends. Ethan would have called him a pussy if he’d even known Brad had been thinking something like that. But it was, though—it was more than just a kiss. It felt like they deepened their connection in that moment, like he could see inside her soul and, yes, she was pure and light and everything he could ever want.
He knew her response was a sign to move forward, so he wrapped his hands around her waist and pulled her close. Fuckin’ A. She smelled so goddamn good and felt so right up next to him. She moved her hands onto his neck and then slid them up into his hair, driving him insane. Jesus…he wanted to fuck her right there, but he knew a girl like Val would need finesse. And he wanted to give that to her. He wanted her to know she wasn’t just a cheap lay for him. Still, he wanted to move the proceedings forward, so he slid his hands down to her ass, using it as an excuse to press her harder into his body.
And her fingers in his hair. Shit. She was driving him fucking crazy.
Her breathing got deeper, so he knew he was on the right track. He couldn’t hold it back anymore and just let the blood flow straight to his cock…like he’d be able to stop it anyway. He moved his lips to her neck and not only did she let out a sigh, he could have sworn he heard a moan. Fuck, yeah. He didn’t know that a girl had ever done that before they’d actually engaged in the real deal. He moved a hand up underneath her shirt, feeling the bare skin above her jeans, and he heard her breathing quicken again.
It was then, though, that she took a hand out of his hair and placed it firmly on his chest. No. Fuck, no. If he was reading her right, she was putting on the brakes.
He opened his eyes and looked in hers. “Stop?”
Why was she changing her mind? Was that really what she wanted? He had to try one more time. He kissed her again. Yeah, there were those sparks. Could she deny them? “Stop that?”
She blinked. “Yes.”
“You don’t seem so sure…” He pressed his forehead on hers and bore into her eyes with his. He wanted to understand. “What’s wrong?”
She moved both hands to his chest. She wasn’t pressing against him as if to push him away, but they seemed to ground her. “I…It’s not you, Brad. Oh, God, it’s not you. I swear. I want you bad.”
That’s what he’d thought. “So why not? If you’re worried about birth control…” He wasn’t going to be irresponsible. She had to know that.
She hesitated. “No. I’m…um… I’m a…”
“Virgin?” He knew it even before she nodded her head. “Oh.” He nodded too as if to process the information. “Oh. Yeah. Uh…your first time should be…special, right? At least, for girls. I didn’t give much of a shit.” He didn’t know how to do that for her, not right now, anyway. He was nearly out of his mind with desire, and she was pulling the plug. He needed a bathtub of ice water to jump in. She giggled and, in spite of his feelings of desperation, he found it endearing. But then it dawned on him. Fuck. He had to know. As much as it was gonna hurt, he needed to know. Her eyes all but said it, but he needed to confirm it. “That’s not it, though. It’s Ethan, isn’t it? You still care about him.” She didn’t say a word. She didn’t need to. It was written all over her face…
Jade C. Jamison was born and raised in Colorado, moved from one city/town to the next, and she’s decided she likes it so much she wants to stay…although travel is not out of the question. She lives in a big town in Colorado (not unlike Winchester!) with her husband and four children. She is working on becoming a crazy cat lady. Okay, so maybe not.
Still want more? Jade has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Theater, a master’s degree in English, and a master of fine arts in Creative Writing. Obviously, she loves school and the student loan folks love her. She works in human services by day, teaches English and creative writing at night, and—in between playing soccer mom and community leader—writes like a friend. Someday soon, she’ll narrow it down to just writing, but let’s get all those kids off to college first.
Here is the giveaway!