By: Erin Hahn
Published Year: 2019
Pages: Wednesday Books
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.
But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
This cover for sure caught my eye. I love the neon yellow print and the light heartedness of the girl twirling in the field. The summary also gave me some Emery Lord vibes with the country singer and I remember loving Open Road Summer, so I hoped that this book would give me the same feels.
What I thought
I don’t know if it was the way in which I read this book or the book itself, but I was left feeling kind of meh.
Clay Coolidge is a young country music star with a drinking problem. His label tells him he needs to get Annie Mathers, daughter of country star legends, to open for his summer tour in order to help his reputation. Of course, Clay is gorgeous, so Annie, against her best intentions, ends up falling for Clay.
Starting with what I liked about this story is that it is more than what it seems. In addition to being a country star and rising country star, they have pretty serious backstories. And while they were serious, I feel like Hahn did a really great job with them. I never felt like “OMG even more terrible things happened to these people?” It was realistic and well fleshed out. I also felt like their story/character building was very well done because I truly felt like I got to know Annie and Clay. It could’ve been irritating, but it wasn’t.
On the other hand, some of the secondary characters fell by the wayside. Felix, Clay’s best friend and bandmate was pretty well built, but I still feel like I barely know Annie’s bandmates Kacey and Jason.
Just for a bit of explanation, I started reading this book on the Kindle app on my phone a while before I marked it as read on Goodreads. It was one of those books that I was reading simultaneously without ever really committing to fully focusing on it until more recently. I liked having a book on my phone that if I was out without a book I had something to read. So, I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t give this book my full attention from the beginning or what, but I just felt like even though I knew the characters, I didn’t connect with them.
I never felt like I wanted this book to be my main focus and I almost felt like I could’ve left this book without finishing it. I didn’t feel the connection between Annie and Clay so I never got behind their romance. Again, I wasn’t quite sure if this was me or the writing, but after reading a Christina Lauren book in which I immediately got sucked into and involved in the characters’ relationship, I’m thinking it’s the writing.