Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: 16th July 2013
Edition: e-book, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: The Ex Games, Endless Summer, Going Too Far, Major Crush, Forget You, Love Story, The One That I Want, Such a Rush, Levitating Las Vegas, Star Crossed
Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfil her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to her granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again...
I’m a big fan of Jennifer Echols’ romantic dramas and though Dirty Little Secret didn't quite knock Such a Rush off the top spot, it delivered exactly what I wanted: a sexy, dramatic and utterly addictive summer read.
I have to admit that I feel in love with Sam immediately. Blond, sings and plays guitar: I’m sold. Then came the shy moments and the confident, seductive ones and knew exactly what Bailey saw in him. As with all of Jennifer Echols’ love interests, there was much more to Sam than initially meets the eye. I loved that it was touched on, but it wasn’t fully investigated; it was Bailey’s story and we learnt from him what he and others told Bailey. He also wasn’t anywhere near perfect which I loved. He had faults, said hurtful things and was a bit of a jerk on occasion: he was real.
The same went for Bailey. She was insecure about a lot of things, apart from her music, and those imperfections make a character so much more real for me. her unwavering passion for music and the fiddle leapt out of the book and I was transported to Nashville and the grimy clubs and bars she played in with Sam, Charlotte and Ace. With the love of the TV show Nashville not looking like it’ll diminish anytime soon, there’s no question that Dirty Little Secret will fill the gap between seasons for a lot of people. Country and bluegrass really isn’t something you hear much, or really anything at all, about over here so it was like discovering a whole new world! Jennifer Echols never fails to introduce me to something new in her novels!
As far as YA goes, I thought that Sam and Bailey had a rather atypical relationship and it was completely refreshing. I don't want to mention why as it would spoil some of the book, but it made me sit up and pay attention as I hadn’t really seen that before. The way that bailey’s song-writing played along with this and the illusions to country music, which were sadly lost on me knowing as little as I do about it, made it all the more poignant and realistic. Saying that, I’m a sucker for a happy ever after and Echols delivered with a solid and satisfying conclusion.
There’s something innately sexy, seductive and gripping about Jennifer Echols’ books and Dirty Little Secret was no exception to the rule. Next one please!
Thanks to MTV Books and NetGalley for the review copy.