Posted on December 13, 2016
Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols. Their passion for music was contagious
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…
Bailey plays fiddle, her sister Julie sings and play guitar. Her entire life Bailey and her sister perform at bluegrass festivals and dream to make it big. One day everything changes. A record company signs a solo contract with Julie, and they want Bailey to keep low profile, with basically means Bailey is not allowed to perform.
Their parents take off with Julie on tour, and Bailey’s way of dealing with this situation is doing everything that can shock and anger her parents: she wears provocative clothes, drinks, parties, dates shady boys. I was angry at her parents. So very angry. But her connection with Julie lightened the mood somehow. Jennifer Echols added intrigue in this book. We don’t see the whole picture at first; the author reveals it little by little.
The romance was good. A lot of chemistry and wonderful dynamic. Sam was such a contradiction. Charming, self-confident, sometimes selfish, at the same time shy and romantic gentleman. He deals with his own family problems.
“I didn’t know what to do with this excitable guy with a lust for life and music, who might or might not have had a lust for me.”
Music is Bailey’s life. She plays fiddle, she sings, and she writes songs. She also has a perfect pitch.
I was fascinated how easy music came to Bailey. She has no problems jumping into a group of musicians with no rehearsal. As a kid I went to musical school (we call them musical schools in Russia). Actually it means I had piano lessons, choir, and history of music. I wasn’t a natural; I was just an ok learner. One of the things I never mastered was improvisation. It always amazed me how more talented students could play with such ease. Bailey, Sam and other band-members do it wonderfully. Their passion for music was contagious.
I also was heartened by Sam’s musical goals:
“The thing is, I don’t want to be this big head. I want to jam, like last night. I want to look behind me to see if Charlotte’s ready, and look over at Ace to see what he’s going to do, and point to you for a solo, and listen while you take off.”
Despite my musical background I was a little bit bored by this entire “major one, major four” being thrown my way. There were a lot of music references. Unfortunately I don’t know most of musicians and their songs, which were mentioned in this book. So this aspect of the story was lost on me. I think music fan would enjoy this book more than I did.
All in all another great romantic drama from Jennifer Echols. My favorites of her are Such a Rush and Going Too Far, but this book came very close. I especially recommend it to readers who love music themed books.
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