Friday, February 19, 2016

review || FADE INTO YOU { blog tour } by Tracy Wolff

Entangled: Brazen | February 15, 2016 | Genre
Shaken Dirty, book 3


She’s one addiction he can’t resist.

Wyatt Jennings has been called a lot of things by the media. Bad-boy rocker. Intense drummer. Addict.

Finally out of rehab and desperate for a fresh start, Wyatt rejoins his mega-platinum rock band Shaken Dirty as they prepare for their world tour. But Wyatt’s demons are never far behind, always nipping at his heels for one. More. Fix.

Enter Poppy Germaine, the band’s new social media consultant. A beautiful bombshell who somehow manages to get underneath Wyatt’s skin, Poppy’s an addiction Wyatt can get behind. And even though she’s with the label—and therefore off-limits—he craves her. Needs her.

Except Poppy isn’t actually a social media consultant. She’s the daughter of the label’s CEO, sent undercover to babysit Wyatt and keep him from falling off the wagon again. Proving herself to her father is Poppy’s only goal—until she finds herself in Wyatt’s bed. But if Wyatt discovers the truth, it could send him spiraling all over again…
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{ about tracy wolff } .

New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff lives in Texas and teaches writing at her local community college. She is married and the mother of three young sons.

{ excerpt } .

For a man who’d spent years, decades, running from his emotions, it was a strange place to find himself. It scared him.

She scared him.

Eyes still closed, he laid down the first of the drum fills, adding a few extra flourishes because that’s how he was hearing it in his head. Played through the whole song from memory, then did it again and again, embellishing it a little more each time through.

It didn’t take long for his arms and pecs to start aching—it had been too long since he’d played the drums on a daily basis—but he played through it, pounding away at the skins with everything he had in him.

Fourth time through the song, he switched to “Closer,” then to “In the A.M.,” then to “Deified.” By the time he’d run through those a couple of times, his biceps were burning, his hands throbbing. And still he didn’t stop.

Instead, he switched on the recorder he always kept next to his drum kit and started wailing away, playing the beat that had been in his head since he’d seen Poppy waiting for him in her doorway last night, arms open and face welcoming. The melody had started then, in the back of his head, and by the time he’d had her up against the wall it had been a towering crescendo of drumbeats that he couldn’t ignore even if he’d wanted to.

Which he hadn’t. It had been too long since music had burned inside him like that.

He played the song through the way he heard it, keeping a fast thirty-two-beat rhythm on the hi-hat while he worked the snare, the bass, and the floor tom in alternating rhythms. It sounded good, really good, and as he banged out a long, elaborate fill on the toms and crash cymbals, he knew he was onto something.

Though all he was doing was laying down the beat, he could hear the song in his head so clearly. Jared coming in with a quiet but pure guitar presence while Quinn took front and center with his keyboards. Bass—whoever the fuck that turned out to be—would hang back with Wyatt, playing low to underscore. And Ryder…fuck, Ryder’s voice would own this song. He would destroy it. Just the thought sent excitement rioting through him.

Usually, Wyatt and Quinn were the music guys, while Ryder and Jared did most of the lyrics. Every once in a while, though, a song would come to him fully formed, like “Seventeen Again” had, an early version of the lyrics tearing through his head even as he pounded away at the drums.

This song was like that, the words running through his brain like a rain-swollen river, pouring out of him as fast and powerfully as the music had. Even knowing they weren’t perfect, he sang them aloud, let the recorder get every syllable.

When it was over, he ran through the song over and over again while everything was still fresh in his mind. Playing and singing, singing and playing, until his shirt was drenched in sweat and his arms felt like they were going to fall off.

And still he played. Still he wailed away at the drums like the demons of hell were after him. Or worse, like the sins of his past had finally caught up to him after all the years he’d run and all the drugs he’d used to keep them at bay.

And maybe they had. Maybe they had.

Since he couldn’t do anything about it, he played instead.

Long after sweat rolled into his eyes and poured down his face.

Long after his shoulders and biceps and pecs cramped up.

Long, long after blisters formed between his fingers.

He played and played and played, like these drums were the only thing standing between him and hell. And like getting this one song right was his only chance at salvation.

At one point, the blister on his right index finger cracked open and started to bleed. He grabbed one of the clean towels he always kept next to the kit, tore a strip off it, and kept playing. When his left index finger followed suit a couple of minutes later, he did the same thing. And then he played through that, too.

The pain was there, his nerve endings sending agonized alerts to his brain, but he ignored them. Compartmentalized them. Put them in a part of his brain he didn’t need to access to play, and then concentrated on the music. On the beat. Right now, it was the only thing that mattered.

{ review } .

This book tackles the problem of addiction  -- be it drugs or alcohol, Wyatt is battling it. Right from the beginning, the reader is thrust into his self-loathing and depreciation. He's frustrated because he fears rehab did nothing for him; he's frustrated because he knows the therapist told him to talk but the last thing he wants to do is bring this to his friends' doorsteps; he's frustrated because he's terrified he's going to lose the one thing that has kept him sane, music.

But while we watch him battle his inner demons, we also witness the great friendships he has, and the fact that while Wyatt takes certain actions as his buddies belittling him, it's really an act of caring and trying to help him get over his hurdles.

So beyond the romance that occurs in this book, it was the deeply seeded friendship that truly did it for me. Even the new friendship of the new band member made me happy!

When Poppy enters the picture, it's under a white lie. Never did she imagine she'd fall for this seemingly broken man. The one trope, if you will, that continually drives me crazy is the one where someone pretends to be someone they're not. I think it's the control freak in me, the person who needs everything to come out to light sooner than later. The longer the ruse goes on, the more anxiety I feel. The irony of the situation -- the reader knowing that it's going to all blow up in the characters' faces at some point -- leaves me anxious and fearful of the outcome. Sure, I know the eventual outcome, this is the romance genre after all, but the longer the falsities go on, the more anxious I get, and therefore, the further away from the story I get pulled.

But that's just me.

Wyatt and Poppy as a whole though... They were lovely. Poppy's feelings were genuine, and Wyatt's growth through the story was phenomenal. I appreciated that Ms. Wolff did not make Wyatt's problems simply 'go away' -- that's not the truth when it comes to any sort of addiction. His character was more real to me, and therefore much more likeable.

This group of men though... My goodness, I enjoyed their friendship. I will definitely go back to read the previous two books (I really, really loved Wyatt's friendship with Jamison), and am excited to see what the next two books will entail.

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