I wanted more. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it, and I wanted to love it. When I read book four in the Stage Dive Series (Deep), one of my favorite characters was Vaughan Hewson. I had issues with Deep itself in that I didn’t care much for the hero (Ben) at all. Deep was the only book in the Stage Dive series that I did not read more than once. This past week I finally picked Deep up and re-read it.
I re-read Deep because I knew Kylie Scott’s new Dive Bar series starred Vaughan as the hero in the first book, Dirty. I pre-ordered Dirty, and I couldn’t wait to read it. Maybe I looked forward to it too much because I just finished Dirty, and I thought it fell short. I wanted more for Vaughan.
When Deep ended, Vaughan had just helped the main characters in the story find true love. He was a bad boy, but he was a good guy at heart. He was the guitarist in a rock band, and his band had broken up. He’d decided that he was going home, and he was going to try life outside of music for a bit.
Dirty starts out okay. We meet Lydia, and Lydia is about to be married. The only trouble is that Lydia’s husband to-be isn’t all he seems to be. Lydia has just received a video on her phone of her fiancé and his lover. Lydia decides to bolt. She climbs a fence and goes in through the window of the house next door to hide, Vaughan’s house. Vaughan has just arrived home, and he’s tired. He wants nothing more than to take a shower and go to bed. He doesn’t expect to find a sobbing runaway bride in his bathtub.
What did I like about this book? I liked the two main characters, but I felt they needed more fleshing out. I liked the surrounding cast. Parts of it were funny. Parts of it were romantic.
What did I dislike about this book?
1) Everything happened way too fast. I would rather have seen some time spent building the characters and having more time for them to get to know one another and get together. The timing just didn’t make a lot of sense.
2) The romance wasn’t that great. I’ve read so much better from this author. It was almost as if she used some of the outtakes from her other books. There was no slow romance. It was frantic and chaotic. I’m sorry, but it wasn’t all that hot, and there really wasn’t much romance there at all.
3) Tossing a character in from the Stage Dive series didn’t do anything to help the story line along. He shows up one night at the bar and he makes a couple of silly remarks to lead the hero into making a disparaging comment about relationships. It didn’t really add anything to the plot.
I was disappointed that the author took a great character and gave him a lukewarm story. I would rather have seen him spend time missing the road, his music and have trouble adjusting to a life outside the band. Maybe Lydia could have helped him adjust. Instead he was mostly just upset over living in his deceased parents’ house. Lydia was right – he did need to talk to someone to get past his grief. The secondary characters were good, but they do kind-of high-jack the story during the second half. There needed to be more of Lydia and Vaughan and less of everyone else.
I ordered this book last October and then waited six months for its release date. I had hoped for more. Maybe I had my hopes up too high. I liked the book. I really wanted to love it.
Images courtesy of Goodreads, Author’s Facebook page