Stage Dive, Book #1
Heat Factor: The title refers to music, not a bedroom activity, but the bedroom activity is sexy
Character Chemistry: Great
Plot: 21-year-old celebrating her birthday in Vegas wakes up married to a rock star
Overall: This book is exceptional
I’m trying to think…Usually even with books I like there’s something that didn’t click or frustrated me, but in this book there was…nothing. It was all perfectly executed.
This book happens to be on a list I’m reading for fun, but I picked it up because I was reading a review for another book in the series by Jen Prokop in which she got all excited about this book. I’d just read 4 books in a row that were…fine, and I wanted something that would be gripping.
So I read this book in one sitting. Which I regret now because I went to bed at probably 2 a.m. And also now the book is, like, over. WTF.
I think the premise that I read is that Evelyn wakes up in Vegas and finds out she’s married to David and they have to figure it out. Presumably because of Reasons. This isn’t quite how it goes, though, and I think the way it goes is much more interesting than “they’re forced to figure out their marriage because Reasons”.
Here’s how it goes: Evelyn does wake up on the bathroom floor with a strange man taking care of her. She finds out they’re married, he finds out that everything he thought was meaningful and important she was actually too drunk to remember, and he slams out, promising to take care of ending the marriage. She goes home thinking she can just quietly brush it all under the rug, only to discover that her husband is a famous rock star and she’s part of the paparazzi news cycle. So, when everything hits the fan for Evelyn, David offers to let her crash with him for a couple of days, she’ll have his security team, they can wrap up the paperwork, and everything will calm down. She arrives in L.A. to discover that “crashing with him” includes staying at a giant party mansion because the whole band is supposed to be living together and working on a project, so it’s not even really his house and he can avoid her as much as he wants.
Things are not going well. They are not trying to work out anything. The only thing that prevents the marriage being dissolved within 48 hours of its occurrence is that David siccs his judgey lawyers on Evelyn, making her so angry that she storms out without signing anything.
And so he finds her and they run away together. Clear their heads and all that. And suddenly Evelyn discovers that it wasn’t just the booze working on David the night they got married, and she rediscovers the feelings that probably led her to marry him so spontaneously in the first place.
And then all the real drama happens.
People often say they don’t like a single 1st person POV, which, fine, people are entitled to opinions, but this is one example of that style really working. David is opaque. We are with Evelyn, processing everything along with her, but David is really a mystery. Either by word or action, David is up front about many things, so it’s easy to be swept along with Evelyn when she falls in love with him. But they’ve known each other for four days. There are things David just doesn’t want to talk about (yet?) (← and that question mark is what creates the drama!). But if we’d been in a dual 1st POV or a 3rd POV, the result would probably have been an unreliable narrator in the first case and not enough dramatic tension in both cases. The fact that Evelyn and the reader don’t know David’s secrets is what is driving all the tension.
It’s really great. 10/10 would recommend.
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