Review: Love Struck

cover-love struckTitle: Love Struck
Author: Laurelin McGee
Series: Miss Match #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Available: Feb 2nd


Welcome to a seductive world where two solo artists combine their talents-and their hearts-to make beautiful music together…

Lacy Dawson is a young singer-songwriter with a record deal, a studio gig, and a serious case of writer’s block. After looking for love songs in all the wrong places, she finds inspiration at an online support group called Song Writers Anonymous. Thanks to one mysterious member who motivates her and inspires her, Lacy’s career is back on track. But is she ready to meet her sexy musical muse…face to face?

Eli is definitely interested in hooking up with Lacy, aka “LoveCoda.” But between writing her new album and his band’s success, they can’t find the time to face the music-or each other-about their burgeoning online romance. All that changes when Eli and Lucy get booked on tour together. In person, the attraction is all too real and explosive. They both should walk away, but once they are in each other’s arms, there is no turning back…

You are Now Entering
the Spoiler Zone.
Read At Own Risk.

Source: ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley

I had such high hopes for this book after enjoying Miss Match, and although I didn’t like the tie-in novella, MisTaken, Lacy was so great there that I couldn’t wait to read her story. Everything started so well. Lacy is instantly sympathetic in that she’s had a very tough year, is a promising young singer-songwriter suffering from writer’s block and, despite having lost her own fiancé the year before, she’s also helping her sister plan her wedding. There’s a lot going on in Lacy’s life, all of which are adding more pressures onto her shoulders.

Her one bright spot is her online friendship with a fellow songwriter. It’s an anonymous thing, but the guy Folx, really seems to get her. Which is quite something, considering Lacy is independent, quiet and doesn’t open up easily. This part of the book was easily, not least because Lacy is likeable, and I loved the creativity of the songwriting and the way she thought about her music.

Then she goes on tour and all the good stuff ends. Considering Lacy is supposed to be twenty six and Eli is thirty one, this reads like a New Adult book on the immature end of the spectrum with dumb misunderstanding, plenty of jumping to wild conclusions and an underhand relationship that feels like cheating when it mostly isn’t. All because two people won’t talk to each other like the adults they’re supposed to be!

Here’s where the spoilers start. When Lacy meets Eli she thinks he’s hot, she also thinks the lead singer of the band, Jax, is pretty hot too. However, Eli is the one she connects to when he helps her work on her songs. He’s sweet, thoughtful and kind, whereas Jax is an egotistical dickweasel. So when she realises her beloved Folx is actually in the band she’s on tour with, who does she think Folx is? Yup, Jax.

Which is, like, totally understandable since Eli hasn’t been behaving identically to Folx or anything. I mean it’s not like he listened to her problems or helped her out with her songs, or showed how creative and talented he was himself or anything, right? And of course, she saw Jared working on his music all the time, right? She’s not just making assumptions based on him being the lead singer and all sexy on stage, right? Because surely as a songwriter herself she’s interested enough to have actually read the sleeve notes for their album, right? (Or am I the only person who does this?)

This is where the book lost me. It made zero sense for Lacy to think Jax was Folx. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in his behaviour leads to that conclusion – especially when Eli is right there, doing everything obvious – except tattooing I am Folx! on his forehead (and even then I have my doubts as to whether or not she would have noticed). But being smart and drawing logical conclusions would have essentially ended the plot before halfway. So instead Lacy decides to use Eli for muse orgasms, while cosying up to her one-true-love Jax, and generally acting like a selfish, childish bitch.

As for Eli… well, he just lets her. Even when he realises that she thinks Jax is Folx, he doesn’t talk to her about it. He just stands aside. Because talking is totally overrated. Far better to write a sappy song about it, because ARTIST! And we mustn’t hurt Jax’s fragile feelings because he’s just such an important and delicate flower. Actually, the way he facilitates Jax’s bad behaviour throughout this book was appalling. Grow a spine, Eli! You are helping no one by bowing down all the damn time.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Lacy finally figures it out and demands that he fight for her, because love is worth fighting for, and she loves him, so he’d better fight. Then she walks off and hides, proving herself to be a hypocrite on top of everything else. Nice.

I did, however, like what happened to Jared. That felt gloriously justified.

Everything else, though, was a mess. The simple plot was tortured into ridiculously convoluted proportions, making a potentially cute if short tale into something overlong and irritating. The characters turned from a likeable, sympathetic heroine and a sweet, talented hero into a selfish teenager and a whiny doormat.

I tried to like it, I really did. I wanted to like it so badly. But sadly, I couldn’t. This one didn’t just miss the mark, I think it set it on fire, buried the ashes and salted the ground on top. Perhaps it’s time for me to admit that this series and I no longer get along.

Love Struck is out on February 2nd.
Visit Laurelin McGee for more details.


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