Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Music Notes by Lacey Black

Rating: Two stars
Date published: March 22, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:
That’s what I came to do. 
I was prepared to do just that until I walked into my audition and saw him. Tall, mysterious, and gorgeous to boot, he was sitting at the coaches’ table with three others, ready to judge my performance, and decide my future. Yet, since I’d walked onto the stage, he continued to look at anything but me. So, I did the one thing I was there to do: sing. When I opened my mouth and let those words spill from my lips, he finally looked up. Those startling, dark eyes collided with mine with such intensity that I knew one thing for certain: I would never be the same. 
I am Layne Carter, newest contestant on Rising Star, the biggest singing competition on reality television. Nothing can stop me from giving this show my all. Not my horrible diva roommate. Not the fact that I'm terribly homesick and miss my family. And certainly not my uncontrollable growing attraction to my coach, Beau Tanner, award winning country superstar. Nothing will stand in my way. 
And I’m wrong.

I wanted so badly to love Music Notes. Not only am I a huge fan of contemporary romance, but I love novels about music. When I read the description, I was immediately drawn in and excited to read it. Unfortunately, there was just too much of this book that bothered me, so I couldn't really enjoy it.

Before I start the ranting, I just want to say that while, this book was enjoyable for the most part. I liked the competition and I liked the chemistry between Layne and Beau. It was fun watching them fight their desire because they couldn't be together. If you like that sort of thing, then this could very well be the book for you. While I am a fan of that myself, certain aspects of Music Notes really got to me and made it impossible for me to like it.

The beginning of this novel wasn't the least bit enjoyable. I had a really hard time getting into it because I just couldn't generate an ounce of liking of Layne. It felt like things were handed to her too easily. Yes, it's nice that her mother got her an audition for Rising Star, but I would have liked to see her take her future into her own hands. She didn't even seem all that excited about the great opportunity she was handed. She was humble to the point of annoyance. It was all to obvious she wasn't taking Rising Star seriously when she chose Beau as her coach right after going on and on about how much she hates country music and how terrible of a fit he'd be for her. I would have liked to see her think about her son and what would be best for them at that stage in the book. Instead that doesn't come until much later, when Layne and Beau are close to breaching their contract. It's almost as if this was just added as a plot device and not well thought out.

Then there's Beau. He's sweet but certain aspects of his character made him feel cheap. I get that he's a Southern country singer, but his accent was too much for me at times, and the fact that he continued using it even through texting drove me nuts. It made me wonder if it's just part of his image, which is described as cowboy, with his cowboy boots and the hat he never took off. What I really want to know is if being a cowboy is a part of his history or if he's just a poser. I wouldn't really know, because Layne never really got to know him, or if she did those scenes remain unwritten.

Oh, and another reason not to like Layne? She was a mumbler. Every other one of her lines was ended with "I mumbled." It drove me absolutely nuts. I wish I had an ecopy so I could count just how many times the word 'mumbled' was present in Music Notes. The number would be staggering. To give you an idea, I got so frustrated that I started yelling at the book every time Layne mumbled. And I am sad to say that was not the only reason I yelled at the book. The pick your own ending was the other reason.

I feel cheated by Music Notes and utterly unsatisfied in general. The ending is a cop out. The author lets you choose an ending, which pisses me off so incredibly much. You get to choose between The Safe Door, in which Layne does the smart thing and finishes her two weeks of the competition before jumping Beau's bones, or the Dangerous Door, where they bang and then deal with the fallout. The Safe Door ends abruptly after the bone jumping, the Dangerous Door gets an epilogue where Layne and Beau actually get a happily ever after and it's not implied. It's nice that Black wanted everyone to be happy, but this just feels so cheap. She is the author. She should pick one definitive ending. Hell, if she couldn't have decided, she could've combined her two ideas for endings into one to make a much better ending. Neither ending made me happy.

I wish I could garner some more pleasant feels for Music Notes, but sadly I can't. It just wasn't a fit for me. I couldn't connect to the characters, nor did I like them. The only saving graces of this novel were Eli, Layne's son, and the competition. I can't see myself picking up another book by this author, I'm sad to say.

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