Title: “Play” (Stage Dive #2)
Author: Kylie Scott
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 25th March, 2014
Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller Lick.Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl. Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?
Complimentary copy given by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
One of my favourite romance sub-genres – if that is the correct term? – is the one revolving around rock stars. I do not entirely know why, except I suppose it could be that I love how you get the chance at seeing past the fame and fortune these men and women posses, instead finding out about their successes as well as their sorrows.
In the first book of the Stage Dive series, I fell head-over-heels in love with David Ferris, but the small glimpses I had of the drummer in the band, Malcolm Ericson, made me really excited about getting his story – I remember thinking to myself that there really had to be more to Mal than this carefree persona he presented to his friends. And I was right. But I will get to that later.
First, let me introduce you to Anne: when we first meet her, she is struggling to make ends meet, trying to get her younger sister through college while working at the local book shop. She does have a roommate – or rather: had – but comes home to an empty flat one evening. She has, plain and simple, been played by who she thought was a close friend, and she cannot fathom how she let herself being trampled on. Her hard heart hardens further, making her resolved to steer clear of new attachments of any kind.
To cheer her up, her friends, Lauren and Nate, convince her to go to a party with them. But this is not just any party: no, it is a party at David Ferris’ and his wife, Eve. This is where she meets Mal – and this is where I giggled (yes, giggled!) for the first time while reading this book. To say that their meeting is bizarre would be an understatement – and Anne is left feeling rather confused and star-struck as well. And, to tell the truth, rather turned on…*wink*
Imagine, then, Anne’s surprise when she finds Mal in her flat the next evening. He has decided that he needs a “fake girlfriend” and that Anne will be perfect for the role; and when he offers financial stability, fun and companionship, Anne finds herself unable to refuse. And let us be honest here: if you suddenly found a practically perfect male specimen in your home, promising to make your troubles go away while at the same time that said male being one you have had a rather significant crush on for years…Would you refuse? I know what my answer to that question is: probably not.
I really like Anne – she is hardworking, smart and very protective of the people she loves. You have to admire her ability to put herself second to her younger sister even though you also feel a bit sad for her. Anne had to grow up way too quickly for her age, but she has come out on top. In all honesty, there is not a single thing about her that I do not like – her circumstances and her will to succeed despite the odds make her feel very real to me.
If I could only use one word to describe Mal, I believe it would be “charismatic”. He is incredibly fun, yet as you get to know him better, you get a better understanding as to why he dons his mask, acting as if all is right with his world all the time. In reality, life for Mal is hard, and it is about to get even more so – obviously, I will not tell you why that it is. Suffice it to say, my heart broke for Mal when I learned of his hardships.
Anne and Mal are actually quite perfect for each other. Anne is the more realistic, down-to-earth type of girl whereas Mal is the kind of guy who makes rather impulsive decisions from time to time, and he needs a woman who can ground him. I really believe that Miss Scott excels at showing us a couple that truly complement each other – they know when to stand strong and support each other, as all couples should in times of need, but they also know when to let go and play for a bit.
And as for this author’s writing? It is, to me, pretty close to perfect. She has a great gift with words, making the reader forget about the real world while getting lost in the pages of her stories. All her characters become alive, and you feel sad when you turn the last page, realizing that the book is close to ending.
The only reason I do not give “Play” five stars is because I would have liked to really get inside Mal’s head. The story is told solely from Anne’s point of view – and please do not misunderstand me, I love Anne’s voice – but I cannot help but feel that having Mal’s thoughts would have made the book even better. As ever, however, this is solely my opinion, and I have no doubt that many readers will disagree with me. That is the beauty of books and people: no person feels entirely the same way about the same story. And that is to be respected.
Nevertheless, I truly loved this book: there is drama, a bit of angst, heartache and plenty of hilarious moments which made me laugh and cry at the same time. I love when stories touch me so much that they evoke many emotions in me, and I can hardly wait until the next part of the Stage Dive series, “Lead”, is released later this year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
USA Today Best Selling Author – KYLIE SCOTT is a long time fan of erotic love stories, rock n roll, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.