PLAY (Stage Dive #2) By Kylie Scott

Anne’s world feels beset by difficulties; she has a nice job at a book store, a lovely younger sister at university (or whatever they call it over there) and a nice apartment on a town she loves. Those are the good bits.

Unfortunately she has an unrequited fondness for her boss at the book shop, the wage does not go far when your roommate (who is also your best friend) can’t pay their share and Anne is also doing her best to support her sister’s study.

Then, as a final straw, Anne comes home to find her roommate ex-friend has done a moonlight flit, with all the money owed to Anne for rent and, as an aside along with all Anne’s furniture.

Standing in the midst of all this, there is a cute defiance about the way Anne’s response is to go to a party with her neghbour. The party is being thrown by the members of Stage Dive, a rock band we, the readers last encountered in Lick. At the party Anne meets the drummer Mal Ericson her favourite member of the band and it seems that Mal is rather taken with Anne also.

This was another really enjoyable contemporary romance from Kylie Scott, who has never disappointed me so far. I enjoyed Mal as a side character in the first Stage Dive book but I was doubtful as to how the author would manage to maintain the permanent frenetic crazy that characterised him. Surprisingly, this works extremely well in Play as Mal keeps his crazy, throughout, his wisecracking nonsense, throughout. However he also develops as a character with his own internal landscape, insecurities and fears. Anne at the same time reveals her own vulnerabilities and ghosts and the fact that both characters both coming from such different places connect so well is extremely impressive. This is a solid basis for a enjoyable, believable romance which has some smoking hot lust scenes as well.

I actually read this #2 after #3, because of reasons and I feel like reading them the wrong way around causes no problems. While the events are concurrent, the perspectives and events are different enough that there is no real sense of overlapping plots. In fact I enjoyed seeing a couple of the events that I read about in #3 from Anne’s perspective. They were not all what I thought.

I do recommend this book to lovers of the genera of contemporary romance, though I am going to try and hold myself back a bit before going on to #4, I will definitely be going there sooner rather than later.

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