Dirty Little Secret

Jennifer Echols. S&S/Gallery, $16.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4516-5803-3
An award-winning writer of romances for young adults (Going Too Far), Echols proffers an engaging though occasionally hackneyed tale about the sister who gets left behind when her younger sibling is plucked from their country-music duo and set on a path to stardom. After her sister Julie’s record company bans Bailey Mayfield from doing anything that might interfere with Julie’s career, talented Bailey is forced to give up playing music publicly. Though her parents have threatened to withhold her college tuition should she disobey this order, Bailey scratches her itch by taking a job as a backup musician for an Elvis impersonator at a Nashville mall. There, Bailey meets lady-killer Sam Hardiman, who both acknowledges Bailey’s talents and seems to have the hots for her, though Bailey later learns that this may be ambitious Sam’s way of drawing her into his band. Some story points seem a touch contrived, and Sam often seems too much like a saint, but Echols manages to keep the occasionally tiresome will-they-or-won’t-they seesaw interesting by peppering energetic music scenes with girly jealousy, self-doubt, and revelations from a likable, relatable protagonist. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/10/2013
Release date: 07/16/2013
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Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-5806-4
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