Series: Bluegrass #2
Published by Pocket Star on October 7, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Owned Audible Book, Read in 2014
Bonnie Turkle, multimedia historian for the Kentucky Commission of Tourism, is dispatched to Mud Creek, a tiny eastern Kentucky town, with few prospects but many oddballs, to rescue important artifacts from McBride’s Music Hall. Now fallen beyond disrepair, McBride’s was once a jewel of the early American music scene, an intersection of the country-western and rhythm and blues circuits. The former owner’s grandson, Will McBride, who also happens to be Mud Creek’s esteemed mayor, would like nothing more than to see the place bull-dozed in favor of a factory that will provide much-needed jobs to his citizens. But Bonnie finds evidence of a legendary musical event at the music hall and her plans to turn it into a museum put Mud Creek’s economic future at risk – not to mention the growing flirtation between the two of them. If Will and Bonnie can’t find common ground, the town’s past and future will be lost.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
I loved Bonnie so much! I found her easy to relate to, because like most of Harper’s leading ladies, she’s funny, endearing and tries her best even when everything goes to crap around her. The characters in a Molly Harper book make mistakes- verbal, physical, and judgement wise. They have both strengths and weaknesses, although they probably are a hell of a lot more witty than the wittiest person you know in real life.
Love interest, Will? Him I didn’t like so much. I went from really, really liking him to being so infuriated with him that I wasn’t sure I wanted him as Bonnie’s HEA. Hell, I’m still not sure (although, I read book 3 recently, in which he and Bonnie pop up and I no longer wanted to make a shiv out of my toothbrush and stab him, so maybe my opinion of him has mellowed some).
So while Will underwhelmed me (or just whelmed me as they say in France- okay, not really, that’s a tiny 10 Things I Hate About You reference), I still loved the storyline and all the residents of Mud Creek, Kentucky, which more than made up for the anger Will inspired. I loved uncovering the history behind the music hall that Bonnie was trying so hard to preserve. Plus, one of the characters makes corsets for show girls, and she’s the best.
The conflict between Will and Bonnie is that he is happy to bulldozer over the town’s music hall, the music hall his father devoted more time and affection to than his own son. Will’s also desperate to bring in a new business that will help employ many Mud Creek residents in desperate need of jobs and benefits. Bonnie makes a tactical error in trying to save the music hall, and infuriates half the town, and makes an enemy of Will.
Only instead of a cute battle of the sexes over the music hall, Will pretty much sets out to destroy Bonnie’s career. I felt some of his actions and attacks against Bonnie were off putting. I don’t care how hot a man is, if the Hubs had done any of the things Will did to Bonnie during their skirmish, he wouldn’t have become the Hubs.
Will and Bonnie have great chemistry, but I wasn’t super attached to them as a couple. Still, I loved the way Bonnie fixed the problems she has created (and the ones Will only added to). While Harper’s books are romance, the heroine’s always have jobs or other shiz to concern themselves with- they aren’t just pining for asshats who try to besmirch their characters. I wish Will had been a bit more swoon-worthy, he definitely started out with that potential, but in the end, Bonnie and Mud Creek residents are well worth the read.
Amanda Ronconi does it again, and by “it” I mean narration magic! Honestly, I’m beginning to suspect that Ronconi and Harper are twins separated at birth, or Ronconi is Harper in another dimension and was brought here by some time warp, because she does the narrations so spot on, it’s hard to believe she didn’t write them herself. I honestly don’t know why I bother writing about Ronconi’s narration, she’s always the best.