Review: Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper


Title: Louder Than Love
Author: Jessica Topper
Date of publication: 17 Sept 2013
Genre/themes: Contemporary Romance, Musicians

Author's links:

My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb

In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband...and discovers a love that defies classification.

It's been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth...the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian "Digger" Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids' TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it's unclear whose past looms larger: the widow's or the rocker's. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

My Review

I was drawn to this book because it was a story of second chance at love and the hero is just my favourite type - a jaded former rock star. What I got while reading the book was so much more. It is a painfully beautiful story of love and loss, lightened by the innocence and wisdom of a four-year old girl. 

Some books start slow for me, but this one was exactly the opposite - it was too quick. I was given too much information in the beginning - on Kat's past, on her present, on all her friends - and I felt rushed to process it all. All the comparisons between her past in city and her present in the suburbs were a little confusing for me as a foreigner, but as I went on reading I began to appreciate them more as something that set Kat and Adrain apart and at the same time, brought them together. 

I liked Kat a lot and her daughter, even more, but my favourite character in the book was definitely Adrian. He was such a complex character, a tortured soul with heavy British accent, not really looking for a second chance, but ultimately finding it and totally deserving it. I loved everything about him - his rock music past (and future), his love for Kat and Abbey. 

I liked how the relationship between Kat (and Abbey) and Adrian progressed gradually. It felt natural and logical. There was great chemistry between them and find he sex scenes hot and very tastefully done without being explicit. 

A plot line which I didn't particularly like in the story was the lives of Kat's friends. They reminded me too much of the Desperate housewives TV series. They provided a background to Kat's present life in the suburbs but their own family dramas were superfluous to the main story. I really didn't like how Liz's behaviour in a certain situation was handled. It felt like the author condoned cheating or something close to it and I strongly disagree with that. 

On the surface, the cause for their break-up between Kat and Adrian was just a misunderstanding, but in reality, it was the fact that she had not opened up to him at all. I understood Adrian's doubts and frustration with Kat's unwillingness to share her fears and her pain. I liked how they eventually came to terms with the each other's past and were able to see a future for themselves together. 

On this note, I would have loved an epilogue showing us Kat, Abbey and Adrian as a family in the future.

A special mention should be given to all the musical references in this book. I really feel that the fans of rock and metal music will be very happy with this novel. From The Beatles to the bands of the 1990s, music was a main focal point both to the characters and to the story.

The sum it up: This books rocks :))) I strongly recommend it to everybody who loves emotional stories set against the background of the rock music scene.

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  1. You did enjoy this too, Ellie! I agree, I would've loved to have an epilogue showing Adrian, Kat and Abbey in the future as a family. That was the only thing missing to me. Wonderful review! :)


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