Welcome to my stop on the Love Strung Blog Tour organised by Xpresso Book Tours
Country music hopeful, Kennedy Masters is a leap-before-you-look type of woman. Live in the moment, the here and now. That’s her policy – anything other than that is boring, and she’s never been particularly interested in boring. So, when she makes the irratic decision to join country music’s reigning star, Mick Callahan, on his tour bus after a show, she’s just living right up to her life’s motto.
The only problem? Her snap decision making lands her on the front page news and it’s for less than desireable reasons. Even worse is the fact that Mick decides she’s his next conquest, irratically announcing to the public that they’re engaged.
Her only option? Hiding out at the Callahan Ranch until the storm blows over – a decision that she’s not altogether pleased with, but one that she must follow considering the circumstances. When unexpected sparks fly upon meeting Mick’s mysterious older brother, Griff Callahan, Kennedy’s left sorting through matters of the heart – something that’s not exactly her forte.
And her career? Well, it’s been labeled TBD.
Kennedy must figure out a way to deal with her heart and her career, all while fighting her own feelings and fending off someone else’s.
I absolutely loved Love Aced, the GoodReads Review of which is already live. I fell in love with Kole Masters (yes more than Santiago!) and when Kennedy was introduced, it was clear that though the sisters were different as night and day, she clearly had issues of her own and that made me more than excited for her book!
“I wasn’t a weak-in-the-kneews type of girl. No, those reactions were saved for women of lesser species, a smaller subset of feminine individuals who didn’t know any better. I didn’t melt for smiles. I didn’t drool over mundane, certainly not for something as simple as forearms or the mere idea of a pe– on the other side of the denim. And, I had never, not in almost two and a half decade existence, gotten jealous of other women’s considerations towards someone who I found slightly attractive.”
Kennedy Masters is a strong willed independent musician who is trying to make big in Nashville, and has scored to be an opening act for Mick Callahan, the resident music star. Her impulsive decision to help a friend (while admirable) also leads her on roller coaster ride that will ultimately change her life.
Mick Callahan, sorry to say, is the male version of Kennedy. He is impulsive and absolutely has no thought over the consequences that others might have to bear due to his actions.
His impulsive actions lead Kennedy to hide out in the Callahan ranch with his sibling and niece. Now this is where everything goes up in smoke. Here, she goes extreme reception – a warm reception from Sutter and Hannah (sister and niece of Mick) and hostility from Griff (brother of Mick).
“I wasn’t sure which was worse, being referred to as a ‘stray’ or a ‘that’.”
Everything becomes complicated (well more complicated than it was before – yeah I am not lying). Kennedy becomes a “charity case” another of the consequences that Mick’s family has been taking care for Mick all his life. Griff and Mick have a contentious relationship, a love for hatred between them, a hatred that both of them are so comfortable that neither of them wants to change.
Kennedy becomes involved their family since despite her independent nature, she yearns for someone to love her (don’t we all?). She becomes friends with Sutter and Hannah and is irritated by the attraction she has for Griff who has made no secret for the fact that he hates her.
She goes from a girl who I actually like to someone who irritates me then back to someone I like throughout the book. She becomes spineless, scared of loosing her career, refuses to go on the defensive with all the crap that is happening in her life. She refuses to stand up to Mick, even when it’s Griff he really wants and that irritated me the most honestly! She is someone who knows she is making the wrong decisions yet continues to make them anyway. Her emotions became quite dramatic towards the end (though I really understood the reason for her overreaction!), when it was her handle on emotions, at least her recognition and acceptance of her feelings that endeared her to me.
All of this though, made her more real than fictional because lets face it, we have all been there and this is the best part of Kennedy Masters.
“I couldn’t function if I thought I’d never be kissed like that again – by you – and I’d hate you for it. And I’m so damned tired of hating you.”
Griff hated Kennedy from the moment he met her. Well, hated is the wrong word. He despised her. His disgust and hatred was so strong that even I could feel it jump out of the book to me (and the story wasn’t even in his POV!). I have to say that I did not like Griff at first (His more apt name is Gruff, trust me!). He projected his hate and disgust for his brother (and himself) to Kennedy because she was the available target. But of course, this wasn’t the real reason. He had become attracted to her from the get go, but believing that she had slept with Mick, made that attraction dirty.
Griff is supposed to be the Alpha male, but honestly his Alpha-ness (Is that even a word?) was a little over the top for me! I am more of the Silent Alpha type (like Santiago) who don’t say to the female in question but damn if they wouldn’t be protective when the need arises (note I say protective not possessive!).
Don’t think though that Griff wasn’t protective. He was both protective and possessive, and that is actually quite hot but he was more vocal than I actually like. But by the end of the book, damn if I wasn’t a little in love with him as well. He grew on me, like this bug that attacks you, but you don’t even realize how much of a hold it has on you till it takes over your body (I am really bad at analogies – the main reason why I am a reader not a writer!).
“Love was a myth that we as musicians wrote about, capitalized financially from. Not some grand thing that you fell into. There was no happily ever after as far as I was concerned. Period. End of Story. I thought my heart knew that. I thought my brain agreed. Clearly they were on different pages.”
This was actually a complicated book plot wise, and there were many times when I wasn’t even sure what I was actually feeling about it. And one the reason why I gave it the rating I did, because I didn’t get any sense of closure from this book. I actually felt a little dissatisfied. The humor was amazing, but the chemistry between Kennedy and Griff didn’t do it for me. But boy, do I love Jamie’s writing style. Her writing was one if the major reasons why I stuck to the book, and I am so glad I did. Because by the end, this book and it’s characters grew on me.
And my review would be incomplete without a mention of Hannah, Mick and Griff’s niece. She is precocious and an adorable little girl whose antics and energy was just the thing needed to diffuse an awkward sitiutaion and she delivered with aplomb. She is one character that I would love to revisit in the future and I really hope that she gets her own story soon.
“So, which Uncle do you like?” Hannah questioned from behind me, my feet gluing themselves to the marble tile beneath them. “Neither one of them has a woman who eats bacon.”
3.5 / 5 Stars
This book contains mature themes, so i would recommend this for 18+. I would also recommend this book for anyone who loves a humorous love story with a reluctant to fall in love hero and an independent heroine.
Don’t forget to enter in the awesome giveaway – A signed copy of Love Aced (book 1) & an Amazon gift card
Jamie W. Matlock is the author of The Love Series, which includes Love Aced & Love Strung. Bored with punching a clock and watching dust collect on the frame of her marketing degree, she decided to turn her lifelong hobby into a career and hasn’t looked back since.
Known for mixing both humor and drama into her novels, she likes for her readers to experience a gamut of emotions while enjoying one of her stories. She’s also a sucker for flawed protagonists, strong male characters and incredible sex scenes, so be on the lookout for all three in each of her novels.
Outside of writing, you can find her spending time with her family, yelling at a television screen during sporting events, nursing her coffee addiction and coupling a good book with a glass of wine.