Worse than a one-hit wonder, Tassia Hogan is a one-line wonder. Infamous for a memorable, extremely provocative verse, her music career is going nowhere. Finding a decent man to date has also proven fruitless . . . they all think she’s as wanton as those lyrics. But now her label is offering Tassia the chance to shine–with a catch. The album is duets. Her partner is a Country Western singer. And he’s just as reluctant to agree as she is.
Hyde Love has been in the music business since he was eleven, and he’s becoming more and more disenchanted with it. Collaborating on an album seems great in theory, but Tassia is an R&B singer. Melding their sounds and personalities will be difficult–though not as tough as keeping things strictly business. Getting involved with his partner could prove career-wrecking, yet discovering the real Tassia could be earth-shattering.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Tassia Hogan will forever live in infamy after rising through the music charts with a hook that makes her sound like she’s a maneater. Except she’s hustled a lot to get where she is but hasn’t received her dues. She’s gone from child actor in a Barney-esque show, to college, to background singer and songwriter, and has ended up touring with a famous R&B singer for her catchy, sensual hook. As tour finishes, though, she’s forced to face her reality: her label hasn’t approached her about a solo album, her roadie hook-up breaks off their relationship, and she hasn’t written any new songs while on tour. Tassia decides she needs a break to recharge and rethink what she wants to do in her life when she’s called into a meeting with label execs exactly as the media starts to spread false rumors about her. Expecting the worst, she’s surprised when they approach her to be a part of a duets album with the person she least expects: Hyde Love.
Hyde Love has left his child actor image many millions of dollars ago. He’s blown up as the hottest and most popular country singer around, surpassing the likes of Taylor Swift. His fame and fortune have amounted, but so has the grip his dadager has on his life. On the verge of burnout, he’s seeking for a way out from his responsibilities and just… chill. When he’s tapped to do a duets project, he thinks maybe this could be his time to slack off and let another do the work for him while he rests. The tables turn when he finds out that his collaborator is Tassia, the girl he had a crush on when they worked together as children. But Tassia won’t allow him to slack off; she’s laser-focused on getting this project off the ground and clear her name in order to gain traction as a serious artist.
After that, things go off the rails as Hyde convinces her to run away with him to his private estate in Nashville, where they could work on the album without the distractions of their lives. Cut off from the general population, Tassia is expecting Hyde’s team to arrive, only to find out they’re gonna be spending their entire time together. Alone. With nowhere to go. (Yes, it sounds as creepy as it is.) Tassia gets appropriately angry and requests he take her home or at least to the airport. Before he does, she meets Hyde’s cousin, a peppy young woman named Pepper, who also chastises him for his actions. All of the righteous anger aid in bringing down Hyde from his egocentric trip, and he begins being genuine towards himself and Tassia. As songs and emotions start flowing openly, sparks fly between them, and in no time they come together to create the perfect harmony.
Of course, there is trouble in paradise, but it only happens 90% in the book. The resolution is quite quick and the way the characters resolve their problems seemed too proposal-ex-machina. They’re not shown actually talking over the problems that were brought in at the end, so the fact that he proposes to her and all their problems seem to vanish is just. ridiculous. However, because they’re a celebrity couple, and celebrities do weird stuff, I guess it’s on theme. Also on theme: the name of their baby. Wow. Such a cringeworthy celebrity baby name. The “songs” they were writing weren’t Grammy material, I don’t know who the voters were.
However, I did think the first 90% of the book is quite good. I appreciated the fact that they’re able to get past their differences and actually talk about why they did things certain ways and call each other out. Also, their love scenes are incredible and well-written, even the most ridiculous ones don’t come off as awkward in the grand scheme of things.
By far, the best scenes occur when they’re being private and opening up to each other, showing their development from when they were antagonizing each other at the beginning of the book. It’s incredible in character development, which is one of my favorite things in books. I also enjoyed the family dynamics in Hyde’s family, and I even thought the dynamics between Tassia and her dad as well as Hyde and his abusive dad were interesting (in that, the psychology between show dads and their children is fascinating, not the abuse).
In the end, it was an enjoyable book, and I would be interested to read the author’s other offerings.
An eARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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