Publisher: St Martins
Where did you get the book: e-ARC widget from publisher
Release date: July 29th
Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.
As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it’s booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.
Lena’s not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.
*blurb taken from goodreads*
Thoughts on the heroine
Lou: I’m officially calling it. I’m firmly and passionately having a book affair with the Stage Dive series. I promise to never divorce you or cheat on you. You shall forever be my favourite rock star romance series and I’ll never ever betray you. Lead is the third installment in Stage Dive series and it surprised the heck out of me. I adored Lena and her adorable self. Kylie Scott does amazing characters and I think she does first person narration so incredibly well. Lena introduction is quite easy in how she slips into Jimmy’s life after getting fired as a secretary of rat-bastard manager, but Mal–my adorable and loveable Mal–notices Lena and hires he, along with the rest of the band, to watch over Jimmy. Jimmy reluctantly and rudely agrees. Lena doesn’t take any shit from Jimmy and goes toe to toe with him, and did I mention how I loved her? She was so funny, and the way in which Jimmy noticed her perving on him was hilarious and how she stole one of his t-shirts to sleep in.
Has: We need to start a fan club methinks for this series because I totally agree!
I really loved Lena as a heroine, who stood her own against Jimmy’s stubbornness and I loved the circumstances which led to how she got the job of his assistant. I found this was a much darker toned book compared to the previous installments because it focuses on the aftermath of Mal’s mother’s death and Jimmy’s addiction. Lena’s scenes in facing down Jimmy were a highlight and added some lightness and humour into the story. I also loved that Jimmy brought out some aspects in Lena that she kept hidden and it brought out an interesting dynamic to their romance which was much more slow burn with the build up.
I also loved how Kylie Scott used the unrequited love trope into the story, which was very realistic and authentic in the way Lena handles and deals with her feelings towards Jimmy and it was a great way to see it play out with establishing the romance.
MinnChica: I adore this series, just like the other girls. I thought Lena was such a wonderful heroine. She was strong and determined, and she didn’t take any crap from Jimmy. She was able to stick her guns, and although she was a little starstruck at times, she didn’t let it get in the way of doing a job that she found herself loving more than she expected. I really liked the way she was able to see past the lead singer of a rock band to the man Jimmy was underneath. It spoke volumes about her character, and the fact that she was readily willing to admit her feelings, and do something about it, made me love her all the more.
Thoughts on the hero
Lou: I was not expecting the Jimmy we got, and I mean that in a good way. Jimmy in the previous books was moody, cutting and very unlikeable. Jimmy in Lead is still those things but I understood why he acts like he does, and we see an alcohol-free and drug-free Jimmy. Jimmy is not an easy character to like but he is different and he has become very vulnerable and it shows in how he struggles when he starts craving a release after Mal’s mother’s funeral. Jimmy and Lena totally compliment one another, and they really are friends before anything happens between them. In fact, this book is a very slow romance and nothing sexual occurs until later on in the book.
Has: I totally agree! He was much somber compared to his bandmates but I liked how he interacted with Lena who helped to draw out a more fun side to his character and that he really needed that stability and touchstone that she provided. I have to add that even though this has a slow build up towards the romance, the sexual tension between him and Lena is really tangible. But I loved that the brunt of the focus of the romance is with their friendship and how much support and stability that Lena gives Jimmy who also gives her an opportunity to break out from her shell.
MinnChica: I was a little worried about Jimmy as a hero, but I ended up loving him. He was desperate to stay clean, and determined not to let his friends down again. His dedication to his career and sobriety was so wonderful to see, and even though he struggled, I loved watching his journey. I liked the way that Jimmy tried desperately to ignore his growing feelings for Lena, especially because he wasn’t sure how it would impact his desire to stay clean. It added a dimension to their romance that I loved watching unfold.
Favourite scene of the book
Lou: Smexy scenes were my favourite. There’s some passionate eating going on if you get my drift. But I did enjoy the scenes where Lena and Jimmy are together, being themselves and just enjoying each other’s company.
Has: Ditto! Heh. I also loved the scene when they were tackling each other in the bathroom and arguing because that was a bit of a turning point in their relationship when Lena’s feelings for Jimmy takes a more heated tone.
MinnChica: Oh man… I don’t know that I can pick just one. For me, I think the scene that had the biggest emotional impact on me was during Mal’s mother’s funeral, when Lena really helped Jimmy. She was calm and cool and collected and did her level best to make sure that Jimmy got through it clean, but also stronger than before.
Lou: Again, I don’t dislike anything about this book. I suppose my only critique would be that I thought at times there was a lack of tension in the build-up with Jimmy and Lena, and I wanted a tad more romance. But then again I think Jimmy was so raw that I don’t think he knew how to romance Lena.
Has: I think for me I would have liked more development with Jimmy’s mother because that subplot kind of dissipated towards the end. I also found the ending abrupt and would have liked to see more of Lena and Jimmy as a committed couple towards the end because they both went through the wringer and I really wanted to see them settled.
MinnChica: My only complaint about this book was that I would have liked a bit more in the romance department. I would have loved to see their romance unfold just a little bit more, because so much of the book was spent dealing with their friendship and growing attraction to each other.
Misc. thoughts and final grade
Lou: Lead was another great installment in the Stage Dive Series. Lena and Jimmy’s romance is very slow to build up but more realistic because of Jimmy and the stage of recovery he was in. I loved that we saw past characters, and like Has, I would have liked to have seen more of Jimmy’s mother because she was such a big part of their lives and the issues Jimmy had. I can’t wait for Ben’s book and I’m really hoping Lizzy is his heroine. I’m such a sucker for unrequited love.
I give Lead a B+
Has: This series gets better and better and Lead was a fabulous entry to the series. I loved the slow burn romance between Lena and Jimmy and how authentic it developed between the two of them. I also found this installment was more poignant with issues of grief and addiction being explored. But Kylie Scott still delivers on her trademark humour, and the sizzling tension filled romance makes this one of the of the best contemporary romance series out right now!
I also give Lead a B+
MinnChica: All in all, I really enjoyed the third book in the Stage Drive series. I thought Jimmy was a really strong hero, and I was glad that we got the chance to see him in a different light than we ever have before. I loved Lena as well, and the sexual tension between them was off the charts. Add in the tension between them in terms of their growing friendship and romance and it was such a wonderful read.
I give Lead a B+