Still reeling from the aftermath of his accident, Asher Acen, resident bad boy guitarist for Gone by Autumn wants to get back to his place and share his bed with a woman who can handle just having fun. When he hears the screams of a woman in danger, little does he know his life is about to be completely changed... forever.
Nothing in Jocelyn's life is in her own control. From her successful company to her personal finances, it's all controlled by someone else... and she has no idea how she got in this position. Afraid to speak out of line Jocelyn keeps telling herself it will be the last time she's hurt. What she doesn't expect is to be saved by Asher - especially with his troubled tabloid history.
What begins as a fun love affair soon turns serious. The press is on Asher's back and Jocelyn knows her entire world is about to crumble around her. Once their secret is exposed, they're both left with a tough choice in this steamy rockstar romance novel - can love truly fix all that is broken?
Playing Autumn was my first Mina V. Esguerra book. I'll be honest: I first ran into Mina on Twitter, and I liked her so much, I asked her to do a Q&A. (You can read that here.) Once I learned more about her books, I had to give one of them a try, so I bought Playing Autumn for iBooks on my iPhone (the only way I can read ebooks, until I get a Kindle or some other fancy e-reader). ;)
Right away, I could tell that I was going to like Playing Autumn. The book is centered around a musicians' mentoring festival, which interested me right away. Music is the soundtrack to my life, getting me through the hard times. The characters all had great chemistry and, despite their differences, were fun to observe in their interactions. And the chemistry between Haley and Oliver! I rooted for them the entire time.
Esguerra's characters aren't perfect, which is what I love most about them. They all came from different backgrounds, with their own faults and insecurities. I related to Haley quite a bit, having skirted my own calling for years.
The ending itself was one of the sweetest I've ever read. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from Mina.
I liked it!
I really liked the character of Ryan. He was conflicted and had a secret that he was hesitant to share with anyone, until Raine came along.
The first part of the story eluded to a mystery surrounding Ryan's father, and I was eagerly turning the pages to see exactly what the ambiguous "mystery" was. When I first read what it was, I was shocked! It is definitely something I haven't read in a romance novel before!
The inevitable conflict that would occur between Raine and Ryan, inasmuch as her job conflicting with his trust, was one I was eager to read and see how it got resolved.
The resulting conflicts in the story were low-stress, which made for a nice read. The hot love scenes made for a nice read too!
***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
I could not resist using the line, yes I make myself giggle, but this week has been one of the most difficult of my life in a long time. I think perhaps I will write about it later but today I want to share Lakebridge: Autumn, a book which is part of the series which is near and dear to my heart.
I am always leery when reviewing books by authors I end up becoming close friends with. I was one of the lucky ones who got spoon fed the chapters before the final draft and in the end I let the last few just sit in my inbox because I did not want to ruin the full book experience. After my reviews of Lakebridge: Spring and Lakebridge: Summer, I am hard pressed to top the complex deconstruction of that with this new installment of the horror series from Natasha. To simply say it will scare your pants off is doing Autumn an injustice. To say go read it, is just strong-arming those who trust me (but GO READ IT). What I will say is this is the best in the series and has secured itself in what hopefully will become a cult classic in the area of horror.
As I have mentioned in the past, horror for me is not just a genre. However in our reading world today everything needs to be in it’s own special box and it is a specific genre which is one of the most popular across most forms of media/entertainment. We as a society need more and more to get our heart racing, unfortunately some writers and film makers feel the need to just shock us instead of challenge us on a deeper level, as the masters in the past have. Horror books would be more about the psychological aspects of fear instead of being lazy and showing us gore. If you have noticed the only books within horror I have been reviewing lately are zombie books because let’s face it, those at least are not really about the gore, and the zombies are not the monsters in the book but part of the landscape. The real monsters are within the people. Troop does the same thing, except…. but I don’t want to compare her to zombie reads, her books are literary fiction, as is “complex, literate, multilayered novels that wrestle with universal dilemmas”.[Sarrick 2005, page 32]. Lakebridge: Autumn is not a book you can breeze through and skim in areas. Jump into the book and discover the other monsters some with form and some with no form. It is up to you to discern and separate them and at times let them take over.
There is a movie I have watched over and over again, FOUR ROOMS unlike many people what I find intriguing about this movie is that though each “episode” within each room is setting us up for the finale. You can read each of them by themselves, but you will miss the thread that holds the books together (yes there is another book coming… and I will apologize to you ahead of time for what I will be posting…). Lakebridge: Spring is setting it up, giving us just a tiny taste of the kind of writer she is. Lakebridge: Summer allows us to feel almost safe but still tasting a bit of grit … Lakebridge: Autumn? Oh holy crap make sure you are not on anything because otherwise you will be questioning a few things and have one of those bizarre conversations with the cat because everyone is thrown on one of those carnival rides which spin you around and around and around..and darkness falls because.. well
Perhaps one of Troop’s strongest talents going for her is character development. By now readers of the other two in the series are majorly invested in some of the main characters, especially Gil. Who would have thought this one-armed man who was building toy trebuchets to take out his tiny covered bridges while selling Birch Beer to extremely tall women who are passing through on their way to Vermont, that is if they can resist the pull of the bridge and not heed the warnings of a lone moose… Oh the Moose…( hmmm maybe the moose is the MacGuffin..)
Her characters, even the ones which are at the beginning of each book (see excerpt) all solid. We are completely entranced by even the mention of some weird lady living in a cabin in the woods with some obsession about bacon (who the hell inspired this I have no clue.. hmm). The funny thing is, well the humour! It is chuck full of it. Talk about a story device (and there are a plenty within the book). She builds up all these characters, some as simple as the hermit in the woods, some as complex as Gil. No matter what we are heavily invested in each and every one so when Troop does what she does to a few of them, well let’s face it we are shocked, we feel and we weep or we go… WTF now what??? We all want to have certain folks make it… but this is a horror story, and when I saw this is going to go boom I thought I understood it… then it ended and things started to crumble and a door opened in my mind (not just in the end of the book but several times throughout) I went …
But what about the sandwich? I mean if a bridge is not just a bridge, and a sandwich is… or is it? Or is the sandwich not a sandwich but a bridge or… help! Seriously, perhaps the bologna sandwich is the MacGuffin! Hmmmmm… well, you never know till you read it!