Series: Kylie Ryans #3
Published by Independent on Feb 4th 2014
She's living her dream...
Kylie Ryans is the biggest thing to come out of Nashville since, well, since Trace Corbin. With a hit album and a powerful label behind her, she appears to be the girl who has it all.
But appearances can be deceiving.
Fresh out of rehab, Trace Corbin is ready to take on the world. Just not the girl he walked away from. Because if there's one thing he knows for certain, it's that the people you love are the ones who have the power to destroy you.
As their worlds collide, they'll have to make the ultimate choice. Follow their dreams, or give it all up for love.
They say love conquers all, but for Kylie and Trace, it just might wreck everything they've worked for.
BTW: This is a review of the last book in a trilogy so there be mild spoilers ahead!
It’s been a long, emotion-packed road but Kylie and Trace’s story is finally over! *Sob* When I picked up GIRL WITH GUITAR last summer as part of a group read along I had zero clue that I would grow to love these characters and become so invested in their search for happiness. GIRL ON TOUR left us in a state of panic as to how Trace would recover from his stint in rehab and how Kylie would grow and finally realise how to use her words! It’s months later when the story picks up and from the get-go my heart was pounding and I knew the evil genius that is Caisey Quinn was going to destroy me!
Her writing is simply packed with emotion and my breath seemed permanently caught in my throat.
Our heroine Kylie is living the dream…or should that be “existing”? She’s at the pinnacle of a whirlwind of success as a breakout star. On the surface it appears she has everything and one thing I adore about this girl is how her heart is so grateful for the opportunity despite the downsides she has experienced. She’s young but not blasé; she doesn’t expect success and is so willing to work hard. She appreciates her fans and her opportunities because she knows loss. She knows it with every fibre of her being.
While her career is flying high and speeding along, her emotional state is paralysis. She’s been in a holding pattern since Trace went away and now that he’s reappeared clean and sober that vacuum is about to be broken and the tornado will be unleashed. Every emotion she has poured into her songs over the previous months is now captured in her heart, her head and her soul and Trace holds the key to unlock it.
Trace too is caught in a state of uncertainty. Having left for rehab to protect Kylie from his self-destructive nature and heal himself so that he can finally get a handle on life and utilise his talents, he’s now left to try and pick up the pieces to not just repair his relationship with Kylie but his career and his family life which have both taken a turn for the worst in his absence. When a tour with both Kylie and Trace is mooted as a valuable career move for both singers, the couple must face up to their fears and desires if they want to have any chance at happiness. Is a happy ending in the stars or is this love story going the way of every sad country song?
There are so many things I loved about this book that I’m going to take a beat from flailing to talk about the one thing I didn’t really enjoy…the drama. Now over the past two books I adored the dramatic arguments, the “holy crap” moments, the searing heat of those intimate moments and of course Caisey Quinn’s unbelievable talent to make the emotions stir deep inside me as I read and GIRL IN LOVE had all these wonderful moments in boatloads. However I found myself growing tired of the constant back and forth as Trace and Kylie were determined to never communicate with each other, to always ask the stupid questions rather than ask what they really wanted to know, to listen to rumours and then run away and feel sorry for themselves and snipe and behave like children (more in Kylie’s case). I understand the need to create dramatic tension but for me it ended cheapening how their journey progressed because I felt like rolling my eyes at yet another misunderstanding leading to another almost truthful conversation turning into another misunderstanding and…You get the picture. I adored this book and these characters so much that it simply frustrated that I was left feeling this way about this aspect of the book. Okay, vent over!
One of Caisey Quinn’s strongest talents is her ability to create secondary characters that are just as unbelievably wonderful and lovable as the main characters and GIRL IN LOVE was chock full of them. Steven was a wonderful addition to this book, always lurking in the background in the previous two outings, Quinn puts him front and centre and boy is he a leading man! As I said I do really love the drama Quinn creates aside from my peeve above and I loved how Steven brought his own brand of scintillating drama to the mix!
Kylie’s youth and her inability to truly work through her heartbreak on her own throughout the book meant she needed the support of someone who truly has her back and I loved how Steven stepped into that role. He gave her the perspective she needed at a time when she couldn’t see the wood for the trees. He encouraged her to look outside of Trace and not to let him be her basis for being. She tried that before and it didn’t work. While her impulsiveness led to the drama that drove me crazy I loved how Kylie did grow throughout this book and I appreciated how much she has been through at such a young age and how willing she was to work on herself when she took a breath and used her words.
Trace is a character I have always had a soft spot for and in this book that love didn’t abate and I was forever rooting for him to succeed. I loved how willing he was to put himself in a difficult position if it meant the girl he loved would be protected and there were many heart-melting moments courtesy of the smooth talking singer.
Together Kylie and Trace are a force to be reckoned with and their journey through emotional hell and search for peace and happiness both together and apart was one I thoroughly enjoyed and will remember. A definite highlight in the sometimes murky world of NA, the Kylie Ryans series is one I will book push on people for many years to come and I can’t wait to read more from Caisey Quinn.
Is it really over? Really? *whimpers*