I didn’t think it was possible for me to love this series more, but then Scott goes and writes one of the best heroines since Bridget Jones. Seriously, folks, just buy this book right now and then come back and we’ll gab about its awesomeness.
Jimmy Ferris, the lead singer of Stage Dive, has finally pulled himself out of the dark hole of alcohol and drug addiction. To give everyone some peace of mind, he employs a “sober companion” to help keep him on the straight and narrow. The problem is, Jimmy is so surly and difficult that he has a hard time getting anyone to stay. Then… along comes Lena.
Lena Morrissey is in the process of getting fired from her PA job when Mal Ericson (MAL!!), the drummer for Stage Dive, proclaims that she will be the perfect fit as Jimmy’s new babysitter. Lena is not impressed by Jimmy’s fame or lavish lifestyle. Whatever crap he throws at her, she throws right back with an impressive amount of snark. They fight about every little thing and the banter is fantastic.
“I think I’m going to start charging you extra for lies. Someone needs to pay for the stain on my soul.”
Of course, because Jimmy is an attractive jerk, Lena is smitten. She’s had a long colorful history of falling for his type and is steadfastly committed to keeping things professional but after working for him for a while, Lena begins to see his pain just beneath the surface.
“It was feeding this ridiculous notion that Jimmy and I were close, like we were friends or something. We weren’t, I needed to shake it off. History dictated once foolish enough to grow feelings for a guy, my heart stayed stuck till the bitter end. My collection of idiot exes was epic. When it came to mixing penises with emotions, I couldn’t be trusted.”
Jimmy has mommy issues galore. He’s spent most of his life bearing the brunt of his mother’s addiction and cruelty to shield his brother, David. Now that they’re big rock stars, their mom swings by every so often to hit Jimmy up for money for booze and drugs. Jimmy trusts people very little, and women barely at all.
Lena might not be a professional counselor, but she’s the steadying force that begins to tear down Jimmy’s walls. As much as they throw barbs back and forth, Lena is not without compassion. When Jimmy breaks down, Lena is there to remind him of his strength. Of course, Jimmy revealing his vulnerability makes for a mess for Lena.
“Any ridiculous longing after anything resembling a softer emotion from Jimmy was a big mistake. He either hadn’t been made that way to begin with, or any softer parts had been ground out long ago by that epic bitch of a mother of his.”
Lena knows she’s up a river. No good deed goes unpunished, because after his breakdown with her Jimmy begins to rely on Lena more and more. She readily accepts that she’s gone and gotten feelings for the grumpy rocker and attempts to do damage control to no avail.
“I was so not trying to talk to him. But now, we very much needed to discuss his back scrubbing needs and how I, as employee of the month, could meet them.”
Lena acknowledges that her feelings aren’t going to go away, and the responsible thing is to quit the job. However, when Jimmy finds out the reason why she wants to leave he becomes determined to help Lena get over her crush because he can’t let her go. Jimmy tries to help Lena “get a life” while unconsciously pulling her closer to him.
Scott continues to deftly weave former characters into the story solidifying the growing Stage Dive family. Readers may rejoice that Mal is here in all his glory during a discussion the gang has regarding whether or not Jimmy and Lena should get physical.
“Whatever happens, you two must not bump uglies. I want your word on this.’ Cue more finger pointing from Mal, this time with the added benefit of waggling. “It would make life impossible for us all.”
“Quiet, Jimmy,” ordered Mal. “The adults are talking.”
“I’m judging her,” called out Mal. “Ouch, don’t hit me, pumpkin. I’m just being honest. She shouldn’t want to leave us – we’re the best.”
Jimmy can’t figure out why but he doesn’t like seeing Lena out dating. Naturally, he concludes that they should just do it to work it out of their systems. Poor bastard wasn’t expecting it to be everything.
“Anyway, I’d just like to take this opportunity to say how awful I personally feel that you enjoyed having sex with me. No really, Jimmy. I’m sincerely apologizing on behalf of my vagina, here.”
Jimmy’s cluelessness is adorable at the same time tugs on the heart. He’s so emotionally immature that has no idea that he actually has feelings attached to his actions. Lena is his perfect foil in every possible way. She calls Jimmy out on his crap at the same time instructing him on the proper behavior. Lena loves him completely and demands what she knows he is capable of (even if he doesn’t realize it).
“She said no one would ever love me.”
She being his bitch mother of course. I shook my head sadly. “She was wrong.”
GAH! If everything I’ve said so far hasn’t convinced you, then I apologize for sounding like a nutty fangirl. Go buy and read immediately. It’s easily one of my favorites of the year.
*ARC courtesy of St. Martin’s Press
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Kylie Scott
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin