Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
July 16, 2013
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
Jennifer Echols is one of my absolute favorite YA contemporary authors. She’s been on my auto-buy list ever since I read GOING TOO FAR and FORGET YOU. When I heard about her newest novel, DIRTY LITTLE SECRET, I was beyond excited. First of all, the heroine’s name is Bailey. One of my favorite authors has a heroine with my name. How amazing is that?! And Bailey wears the name well. She’s as fierce and head strong as the name demands she be. The romance in this book is not at all easy or super sweet, which made me appreciate it all the more. You have to go through the toughest of situations to appreciate the good in life.
Bailey is just as awesome as I would expect someone with our name to be. While her heart is hurting from the blatant brush off from her family, she makes due with what she’s got. Her acts of rebellion cause her more pain than she deserves, but she needs some way to vent her anger. Her introduction to Sam couldn’t have come at a better time. Sam may have selfish motives, but he gives Bailey what she needs to open up and start to heal her open wounds.
Sam is an absolute tool at times, yet readers won’t be able to stop swooning over him. He has this way hypnotic about him with the ladies. Even Bailey with her hardened heart is putty in his hands. He can be a total sweetie when he needs to be, but he also has a tendency to put his needs and wants above those of others. He’s your typical guy in that way, which is why I appreciated him so much. He was exactly what Bailey needed and they fit each other well. Readers will want to shake him at times, but don’t worry. He eventually comes to his senses. It is a romantic YA contemporary after all.
The music elements in DIRTY LITTLE SECRET were very well done. While I have basically zero knowledge of certain terms that someone who plays an instrument might know, Echols does a great job of explaining it. Bailey’s fiddle playing drew me in just as much as the romance aspect. I could see how much her heart is in her music. She pours her soul into it and loves it so much. I connected with Bailey just seeing how important that part of her life was to her. I definitely liked how she and Sam connected with their shared love of music. Sam is just as passionate, if not more so (which says a lot), than Bailey about playing. It’s everything to them.
DIRTY LITTLE SECRET is a wonderful addition to Echols growing list of novels. While it is no match for my absolute favorite, GOING TOO FAR, there is still something special about it that makes it such a phenomenal read. Fans of contemporary are going to adore Bailey and Sam’s story!