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playI’ve become addicted to the Stage Dive series of books by Kylie Scott. I think I’ve found a new type of hero; the tattooed, drinking, swearing, bad boy might not appeal to everyone, but I’m enjoying reading this series.

Ms. Scott’s first book in this series (Lick) introduced us to the four band members in the fictional band, Stage Dive. The guitarist, David, was featured in book #1. The lead singer is David’s brother, Jimmy. The drummer is David’s best friend, Mal, and the bass player is Ben.

In Play (Stage Dive book #2) Ms. Scott tells Mal’s story. I found Mal to be one of the nicer characters in the first book. Sure, he’s the typical drummer – a little wound-up and wild, but he was also the first band member to approach and befriend David’s surprise bride, Evelyn when David first brought her home. He was real, he was funny, and he was likable.

In Play, Mal has a secret. He’s even more wired than normal, and he’s not even telling his best friends and band mates what is really bothering him. In this installment, we also meet Anne Rollins. Anne lives in the apartment next door to Evelyn’s best friend and former roommate, Lauren. Anne comes home from work to find that her own roommate (someone who owed her a great deal of money) has moved out. Anne is in a desperate situation and unable to pay her rent. To cheer Anne up, Lauren invites her to a party at Evelyn and David’s condo. Anne has been a fan of the band for years and decides to go. At the party Anne meets Mal, and he overhears her talking on the phone, explaining what has happened with her roommate. Anne crushed on Mal for years, but their first conversation is nothing but bizarre and the party ends up being one of the strangest nights of her life. When she comes home from work the next day, she discovers she has a new roommate.

I enjoyed this book, and I enjoyed both lead characters. Mal is deeply troubled, and his acting out and antics hide his pain. Anne is a bit of a doormat, and she lets her friends take advantage of her. She has a history and a sad story of her own. Together these two characters find love and a way to help each other grow past the pain. I loved the interplay between Mal and Anne. Mal is hysterical, and Anne gives as good as she gets. I recommend this one.

Image courtesy of Goodreads