Blog Tour and Giveaway: Brooklyn & Beale: Olivia Evans

BBFCKINGcoverBABYeBookBrooklyn & Beale
Olivia Evans
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Expected December 1, 2015

The life of a session musician is rarely easy. After consecutive tour cancellations and a stack of unpaid bills, Chloe Bennett fears her dream has come to an end.

Then everything changes.

Indie rocker Reid Ryder needs a replacement violinist for his tour. For Chloe, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. For Reid, it’s a checkmark off his list. Already battling addiction, guilt, and his inability to write new music, Reid's hopeful that things are finally falling into place.

But life is never predictable.

When the tour begins, he finds himself drawn to Chloe. She challenges and inspires him. Their onstage chemistry is electric. To the outside world, they’re the perfect match. To those involved, however, it’s not so simple. When Reid’s no longer sure that the future he planned is the one he wants, a choice must be made.

Love...or loyalty.

Reid Ryder is a musical superstar who has lost some of his inspiration and enthusiasm. But he is still a perfectionist and serious about his tour. After an unexpected audition, Chloe Bennett becomes his new fill in violinist. She is a breath of fresh air both musically and personally. She has that wide eyed enthusiasm and motivation, and is thrilled with her new career break.

Reid is fighting demons and previous unhealthy coping mechanisms. He is vulnerable and grasping onto pieces of his previous life to anchor him against his recent poor choices and fears of failure. He is lost and floundering  and fighting to keep control. And then Chloes blast into his life. She is supporting, yet challenging...inspiring and enlightening...sassy and sweet...a new muse...a new reason to smile. But with their increasing connection, banter, and understanding also comes anxiety, guilt, temptation, and distraction.

He is needy and truly needs someone to keep him straight and calm him. She is becoming his friend, his new anchor and more to him than he is prepared to admit,

They are friends tempted by a burning attraction in close quarters and caught up in a love triangle where no one wants to see anyone hurt.

It is intense, slow burning, angsty, complicated and frustrating. Others could see the big picture more clearly than Reid and Chloe. I did not mind the sexual tension, slow burn, and that the book did not rely on sex scenes. But I have to admit that I struggled from the middle to close to the end of the book since Reid's denial and choices (although at times he was trying to do right by those concerned), just totally frustrated me. I felt  like this chunk of the book was a painful limbo and the situation was dragged out too long,  and I seriously just wanted to smack him. But part of it was due to his guilt, fear, insecurities, and the demons that haunted him. His need to have someone to ground him also made him have a fear of being left alone and more vulnerable to his past choices. And again the characters were not bad people and there was no winner in the situation.

But I honestly loved Reid and Chloe together. They had a fun rapport, chemistry and were so compatible. I liked the music and tour background. I enjoyed the camaraderie and taunting of the other band and crew members: Greer, Drew, Tom, and Inky. They added humor and sometimes acted as Reid or Chloe's consciences. 

And it was fun having Josie, Anders, Maggie, and Holden from Hollywood & Vine back. They are all still as intrusive, unfiltered, outspoken, and fun.

From New York, Europe, LA and places in between, this is a story about a rock star and all the trappings. This is a journey of self discovery for Reid and an eye-opening experience for Chloe. It shows sometimes the right path isn't the one you are supposed to be on and one change in direction can lead you to where you really needed to be.

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Chloe Bennett has the opportunity she has been working for: a spot on Reid Ryder’s upcoming tour while his regular violinist recovers from a broken arm. As they prepare for the tour with long practices and single-minded focus on the music, Chloe finds herself falling for the charismatic rocker but holding herself back knowing her career depends on this tour going well.

I loved the musical aspects. Both Chloe and Reid are talented musicians and love their music. Chloe’s dedication to playing the music she loves despite her mother’s disapproval shows just how strong she is. While Reid was in a writing slump, I loved watching him struggle to find his inspiration once again, and loved the way Chloe played a role in his rediscovery.

Because this was such a slow burn type of book, with huge amounts of building sexual tension between Chloe and Reid, I spent a majority of the book thinking about how Chloe was turning into the other woman, despite the fact that nothing physical had happened. I could appreciate that Reid and Chloe did everything they could to prevent the building feelings (short of Chloe leaving the tour), but there was just so much to overlook when the majority of the book left them in this love triangle limbo.

The side characters were a lot of fun. Between Anders and Josie’s appearances, and Reid’s bandmates -- Greer, and Drew, there were plenty of humorous moments and great supportive friends. If Greer was in a scene I could guarantee it would be a fun one with his off the wall, no holds barred humor.

This one had far less drama than Hollywood & Vine, and in that respect it was nice, but that one aspect of the story led me to lose confidence with Reid, and I had a hard time getting past it in order to fall in love with him or the story itself. Parts were cute and without my one pretty big hangup, this would have easily been a 4 star read easily. But with how long it took to resolve that hangup and then the speed at which the rest of the book fell into place, I couldn’t forget my hesitation.

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

Hollywood & Vine
Olivia Author Pic
Olivia Evans

Olivia Evans is a dreamer by day, writer by night. She's obsessed with music and loves discovering new bands. Traveling the world and watching the sun set in every time zone sounds like heaven to her. A true Gemini, she follows her heart blindly and lives life to the fullest with her husband, son, and friends. Her other loves are: Chuck Taylors, Doc Martens, concert tees, gangster movies, sports, wine, craft beer and her shih tzu's.

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