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Jonte Williamson has always dreamed of being a country star, and she knows she has the talent to make her dream a reality. Her big break comes in the form of a singing competition in Nashville, so once she’s saved up enough money, she flies there from her native Australia. Everything is set to be perfect… until her housing falls through at the last minute.
Alone and suddenly homeless, Jonte wanders into a bar in hopes of figuring things out. The bar belongs to Cash Bellini, a young guy with a big heart. Cash and his twin sister Dolly take Jonte under their wing, helping her find a job and a place to stay. It’s not long before Jonte and Cash start falling for each other.
I assumed based on the description that I would like this book, and I was right. In some ways, it’s your typical New Adult story. In other ways, it’s completely not.
It follows the usual progression of the hero and heroine meeting under less-than-ideal circumstances. The hero helps the heroine overcome some obstacle and then they have an intense and explosive relationship. Hurt feelings. Misunderstandings. Inevitable break up. So on and so forth.
This is the plot of about 97%* of New Adult books.
(*Not a scientific measurement or mathematically correct figure.)
But here we have some twists. Because while, yes, Cash did help Jonte out of a bind, it turns out that Cash has all the issues to overcome. Jonte is happy in the relationship. She’s fine with commitment. There’s no abuse or trauma in her past preventing her from getting close to someone. Their relationship isn’t going to get anywhere until Cash gets over his baggage, but Jonte isn’t going to sit idly by waiting for him.
No, Jonte has her career to worry about. Not only does she have a one-year visa to worry about, but she also promised her family that if things don’t work out within a certain timeframe, she’s coming back to Australia. She doesn’t have time to wait around while her sometimes-boyfriend tries to decide whether he wants to be with her. And more power to her!
Jonte also doesn’t fall at Cash’s feet when he realizes how much he likes her. He’s actually a pretty huge jerk to her, and she calls him out on it. She’s not going to pretend that everything’s okay just because he apologizes. This is also great because so often in these types of books, the hero sweeps the heroine off her feet and all of his mistakes are forgotten. Real life doesn’t work like that, and neither does Jonte.
There were a couple things keeping me from giving this book a full five stars. My main complaint would be that everything seemed so convenient. We have Dolly, whose sole purpose is basically to push Cash and Jonte together. We have Cash’s Nannie, whose psychic inklings are the catalyst for all the drama between Cash and Jonte. We have Seb, Jonte’s coworker who is actually (I think) a much better fit for her, who basically exists only so that Jonte will realize that she has feelings for Cash. But these complaints are relatively minor and this didn’t bother me too much.
Let me just finish this review by saying that I really appreciated the inclusion of Dean’s character in the book. Dean is Jonte’s friend. He’s always there for her when she needs him. He listens when she needs to complain. He offers her suggestions when she asks. He’s a good-looking, straight guy who is not attracted to Jonte in the slightest. And Jonte isn’t attracted to him, either. How refreshing! A platonic friendship between a guy and a girl in a New Adult book! One that doesn’t exist just to develop into a romantic relationship in later chapters! Imagine that!
If New Adult is your thing, definitely check this book out. You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
This book’s release date is September 14, 2016.
Final rating: ★★★★☆