Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on June 13, 2017
Source: Kindle Unlimited
A love that started while still in elementary school grows, but doesn’t necessarily roll into the greatest of loves. Communication isn’t a strong suit between these two and hardship abounds. Choices are made, some good, some bad and the story takes on some dark edges. Passion isn’t the problem, but the only glue that seems to draw them together.
The story starts with Jessa being saved by Brody from bullies. A sweet kind of hero worship love. They meet again when she is trying on a bra for the first time. The age difference her is enough, that Brody may be falling for her, but he won’t act on it. The story moves on and we find out Brody was often the one sent to take care of her at the most embarrassing and sometimes vital times in a girls life. And I thought this was going to be a sweet romance with a bad incident that pushed Jessa away, only to really be flabbergasted on what truly happened.
We learn from Dirty Like Me, that Jessa ran away when something happened we don’t become aware of until close to the end of the story. She co-wrote some of he best songs on Dirty’s debut album only to up and leave it all behind, with no one in the band, not even her brother knowing why. She goes on to build a modeling career, but as soon as we get into her mind, I find her to be a cold, dead personality. Her brother’s wedding is pulling her back into the fold and especially putting her in contact with Brody.
Brody loved Jessa beyond measure. Sure they were dumb and young, but it was always going to be Jessa he ended up with even if he did date and bang other girls. The night before Jessa leaves, he begs her to stay, to tour with the band, to be with him. He mentions one name, Seth, and she freezes and leaves him for years.
Their back in contact and it isn’t all roses and hearts. Brody loved her beyond measure and she stomped on his heart. He called her. He texted her. He did everything to stay in contact with her and she never returned any of it. So why should he feel bad he has a date with a wonderful woman to the wedding of his best friend?
Jessa is burning out as a model. The wedding is showing her she misses her life with the band. She misses the town she grew up in, but Brody isn’t welcoming her back with open arms. One night of phone sex and suddenly things turn around. Brody’s cautious, but his love never really went away. He still manages the band, Dirty, and makes decisions with them. Everyone wants Jessa back, but no one but Jesse has the deep connection to Jessa that Brody had.
This story is full of pitfalls. Jessa got into a bad situation. You could say it was of her own making. You could say she just lived in poverty and didn’t know better. You could say she just was a dumb teenager. Or even the guys who make up Dirty tried to protect her too much. She got into drugs and into a relationship with Seth, a guitarist and song co-writer for Dirty. I understand why she does what she does, but I also don’t know why she doesn’t let Brody help. Or even her brother Jesse. She goes it alone and it wasn’t always smooth, but it also hurt those who loved her. It felt selfish in some ways and necessary in others. Mostly selfish.
Brody struck me as a guy who loved Jessa, but because of the age difference, needed to experience dating, sex, and romance. He never was the manwhore, only dating one woman at a time and showing her respect. Begging Jessa to choose him, to stay with him and humble himself to keep her with him. I just really had wished she shared why she had to leave, taken his help and her brother’s and made a better life.
The passion explodes, old wounds interfere, deep talks are needed. It all felt almost like it was to intense to last. While I enjoyed the story there was one big problem when Brody accuses Seth of raping Jessa. Seth was the guitarist in the band and also co-wrote many of the songs on the first album. Jessa and Seth were a couple in a weird sort of way. Later when Seth overdoses, the band cuts him out, and without a great contract, he is left with no royalties or claim to the band. Seth is back after recovering and being clean. He just wants back in the band, but when Brody claims he raped Jessa, Seth is out the door one more time. But don’t worry, he gets his own story and I can’t wait to find out more.
Jessa and Brody are soulmates, but not the kinds that live happily ever after. Love conquers all they say, and they need love to survive all of the drama surrounding them. They have grown up and are all in a better place financially and mentally. I found the reason for Jessa leaving to be a weak reason (note she never says Seth rapes her so that isn’t the reason). Brody has to forgive. Jessa has to admit her failings. They all have to learn to love again.
It’s a lot for one book, but we will see them again in future books I am guessing!
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