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 received a physical ARC in exchange of an honest review.
A story drenched in the country music scene, outlining one girl's inner issues as well as her personal growth in starting a new. Dirty Little Secret is musically captivating but consists of mildly intriguing characters.
I started reading this book a few days before its release and would've finished had it not been for the opening chapters. I don't know why-scratch that, I do. Bailey just came off as a miserable teenager overly bitter about her sister getting a recording contract and her family (mother in particular) throwing her under the bus. I get why she's upset, her family is despicable for coming up with such terms and blocking Bailey from pursuing music. But come on, I feel like if she really was passionate about it and wasn't so busy feeling self-pity, Bailey would've chased after her dreams, shitting on what her parents said.
Her character didn't pull me in that much. Meaning, I felt no connection, but that doesn't mean I disliked her. And truth be told, I developed no connection with any of the characters in the book but I still read on being that the story was interesting.
Sam turned me off completely. His comments at time were amusing, but I just couldn't feel the attraction between him and Bailey when he was such a prick and she seemed too naive with him. However, the one thing I liked was that he got her into playing with the band and actually made her open up about her problems. Though, he was far too ambitious (like her mother, maybe that justifies the attraction on her part, like a cycle), and he wanted badly for his band to make it in music no matter what, not a bad thing but he should fall back a bit and breathe.
In terms of all that happened between Sam and Bailey, I felt it a bit rushed but its a novel and things move along faster, which is fine. Their ending was pleasant however predictable, and I was happy when Bailey and Charlotte warmed up to each other. Though, their situation was a bit hmm...
I also would've loved to have Bailey's parents more in the story as well her sister, Julie. I know they were pretty much busy touring and such but it would have been interesting with the mother especially because I'd like to hear some of the things she'd say about Bailey pursuing music against her threats. Towards the end, they warmed up about the whole thing and that to me was kind of fast as well. But I guess Jennifer wanted to give us a nice ending with everyone getting along.
The biggest highlight for me was the element the plot surrounded. I absolutely love music so it's always great to read stories where music is infused in the story and the author did just that. From the musical notes to ranges described, it sounded like everybody knew what they were talking about and I was impressed with that aspect in particular.
Overall, Dirty Little Secret was a good read with a few minor issues here and there. This is my first time reading a Jennifer Echols novel and I'm pleased with the writing. Details were substantial and not overbearing, and the plot itself was fresh and far away from what I've been reading lately in New Adult. So, yes. I will be reading much more by the author.