Can a sweetheart Country songstress and a bad boy of Rock N Roll actually have a future together?
MUSIC OF THE HEART (RUNAWAY TRAIN SERIES #1)
BY KATIE ASHLEY
Summary: For Abby Renard, the plan was supposed to be simple—join her brothers’ band on the last leg of their summer tour and decide if she’s finally ready for the limelight by becoming its fourth member. Of course, she never imagined stumbling onto the wrong tour bus at Rock Nation would accidentally land her in the bed of Jake Slater, the notorious womanizing lead singer of Runaway Train. When he mistakes her for one of his groupie’s, Abby quickly lets him know she sure as hell isn’t in his bed on purpose.
Jake Slater never imagined the angel who fell into his bed would resist his charms by promptly kneeing him in the balls. Of course, the fact she seems like a prissy choir girl makes her anything but his type. So he is more than surprised when after betting Abby she wouldn’t last a week on their tour bus, she is more than willing to prove him wrong. But as Jake’s personal life begins to implode around him, he finds an unlikely ally in Abby. He’s never met a woman he can talk to, joke with, or most importantly make music with.
As the week starts comes to a close, neither Abby nor Jake is ready to let go.
Music of the Heart, by Katie Ashley, is the first of four books in her New York Times bestselling Runaway Train series. Featuring Ashley’s trademark bad-boy womanizers, Music of the Heart doesn’t disappoint with Jake Slater. Like his predecessors in books including Don’t Hate the Player…Hate the Game and The Proposition series, Jake is a sexy alpha male masking past heartbreak with his charm and good looks.
As the book title implies, Music of the Heart is a rock and roll story complete with bad-ass rockers, groupies, great music, and Runaway Train’s lead singer, Jake, whose charming façade crumbles as the sassy, virginal, and rising Country music star Abby Renard literally falls into his bed thanks to a distracted roadie and cosmic fate.
If you pick up your (hopefully well-worn) Webster’s dictionary, you’ll find Jake Slater’s picture right next to the definition for disrespectful womanizer. Abby, however, is the daughter of Christian missionaries who has saved her virginity for the man she falls in love with. The two couldn’t be more different than a tart orange and a sweet, red apple, but during an unexpected week together on the band’s tour bus Jake recognizes something in Abby that makes him want to be a better person. Dubbing her his “Angel”, she more than lives up to the moniker, putting up with his whiplash-inducing emotions as he’s loving one moment and crushing her heart the next. Through a series of events, Jake finally finds himself having to choose whether to love Abby, and more importantly, love himself.
There were definitely some stand-out moments in Music of the Heart, but Ashley seemed to lean too often on well-worn clichés. Besides the typical bad boy/virginal heroine, Jake’s bandmates fill textbook roles: the married one, the best friend who loves Abby like a sister, and the smart one. And while the book moves along at a nice pace, the dialogue is just shy of corny at times. Ashley does write hot sex scenes and doesn’t disappoint here, but the constant sexual innuendos and Abby’s reaction to them get old quickly. The overuse of the innuendos and Jake’s flip-flopping result in a lack of character development in Abby’s case as she spends a good portion of the book reactionary rather than moving forward. Jake, faced with past hurts to overcome, does move forward, showing great character growth while becoming the man he’s meant to be.
If you’re a Katie Ashley fan, I’ve no doubt you’ll buy this one (if you haven’t already) and enjoy it despite some flaws. Plus, at the end of the day, who doesn’t love a series featuring the bad boys of rock and roll?