Title: Dirty Little Secret [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: July 16, 2013
In My Opinion: Don’t even touch it!
One Line: The plot dragged and the characters were annoying and I really had to push myself to finish this one.
About the Book: 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 fulfill 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 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 some what of a fan of Jennifer Echols. She can write a pretty detailed and informative story, I like how she writes a bit out of the norm, and she definitely does her research on whatever topic her book is about, but I think it’s a bit of an overkill sometimes. I thought getting into the world of country music would be fun and interesting, but with characters like Bailey and Sam, I was seriously turned off by it all and I was seriously shouting “ENOUGH” like halfway through. Also, there was so much buildup regarding Bailey’s resentment towards her parents and her sister, I really didn’t like how easily things resolved. The ending was so rushed and we’re just supposed to believe everything’s okay and it all works out, just like that?! No thanks.
Bailey isn’t what I would call a “great female protagonist”. Sure she’s had a lot of crap done to her, being pushed under the rug by her family and treated like a screwup, but I just didn’t like the way she handled everything and her thought process. She supposedly had such a passion for music, yet was so quick to drop it all and pursue something different in college, of which she had no interest in. And she was trying to keep a low profile so her parents could pay for her tuition, for that?! Seriously?! Thank goodness she grows a backbone and sticks up for herself in the end, but it came so abruptly and the ending was too “cookie-cutter perfection”.
Oh, boy. I really don’t know what Echols was thinking creating someone like Sam. That boy annoyed the crap out of me to no end and he was seriously a selfish jerk. Arguably, he comes from a messed up family and he’s so passionate about his music and his band that it blinds him from everything else in the world, but it was too much. He barely redeemed himself at the end, which made him passable, but in all honesty, he’s probably one of the worse love interests I’ve ever come across. The way he kept pushing Bailey to play for his band, always disregarding everything she said, being hot and cold so many damn times, and getting all pouty just because she wouldn’t help him out since she was connected to a recording company through her sister. I swear, when he got all pissy because she refused to mention the band to the company, I wanted to punch him in the face, he was so irritating.
With an annoying female protagonist and a sad excuse for a love interest, I really couldn’t get into this one. I will say that I enjoyed the beginning, with the local “dress up” gigs that Bailey was playing in, but after that initial one-third of the book, everything fell to pieces and I seriously had to push myself to finish this one. I felt like there was too much focus on all the minute details and not enough development in the main plot. This one was definitely a miss for me.