4.5⭐️ – This is the sweetest story I’ve read in a while and there aren’t even any puppies.
At twenty-five, Lochlan Paige is a country music mega star. She’s also mega closeted. One evening after a concert, she finds herself in need of quiet to write the song that’s been playing in her head. To the library she goes since, while on tour, libraries are her safe place. That evening, med student Vanessa is working on a paper and all that humming is distracting her. This first encounter lasts less than an hour but that’s more than enough time for a connection to surface. Despite her manager and best friend Jamie incessantly reminding her that she’s putting her career in jeopardy, Loc can’t help wanting some kind of relationship with Vanessa.
I think this is B.D. Grayson’s debut but it really doesn’t feel like a debut. According to the author’s profile on the publisher’s website, Grayson has written a lot of fanfiction so it may be a debut as a professionally published author but not as a writer.
Loc and Vanessa are just lovely. They are so obviously meant for each other, despite how antipodal their lives are. Chemistry like this isn’t something you can ignore. My heart broke for them over and over. For Lochlan and her fear of what coming out could mean for her career and the people who depend on her, for Vanessa who is incredibly patient and understanding and still at the same time true to herself. Grayson does a wonderful job at lacing joy and pain together, at breaking and rebuilding. I know it’s a romance and I knew these two were getting their happy end but damn, I felt for them.
While I’m not overly impressed with the sex scenes themselves (they’re good but not as good as the rest of the book), I love everything that leads to them. From the first words Vanessa speaks to Loc in the library, the chemistry is obvious. I wanted them to kiss already even as I enjoyed the budding romance, the slowish burn, the fact that neither woman was really aware of the instalust they were both obviously feeling. Theirs is the kind of relationship where you realise at some point that it was actually love at first sight, that feeling that colors are brighter, sounds are clearer, the weight of life is lighter.
The dialogue is smart, each character has their own voice, and the balance between dialogue and narrative is excellent. There’s also an interesting cast around Vanessa and Loc. I hated Jamie as much as I understood her intentions. I know she meant well even as she messed up. I like both families a lot and I love Vanessa’s best friends Mia and Ty and Loc’s assistant Spencer.
But an out actress called MacKenzie Daveys? Seriously? There were also times when I didn’t know how much time had passed between scenes or chapters, and there are other minor flaws that I hope Grayson will get rid of in future works, but they didn’t stop me from enjoying this story tremendously.