Michelle Reviews You Really Got Me by Erika Kelly

Posted: May 28, 2016 in Reviews
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In a rock fiction book, I love it when the music lives and breathes, when the rock star character transcends cliché, and I give lots of bonus points for a take-charge, professional-woman heroine. You Really Got Me checked all my boxes, and for that, I award it 4.25 stars.

You Really Got Me

The book starts out with Emmie working as an A&R manager’s personal assistant (that’s the guy within a record label who discovers and works with bands). She’s hyper-competent, and from the first page, I loved the detail-oriented peek at exactly what machinations go on behind the curtain of managing bands. However, her boss won’t promote her to finding her own bands, so she says promote me or quit. He says, find me The Next Big Thing and we’ll talk. She moves in with her brother in his rock band’s shared house to cut her expenses while she searches Austin, Texas for a new band to sign.

While there, she becomes friends with the whole band, especially their soulful, manwhore-with-a-heart lead singer, Slater. She overhauls the band’s image, again giving us a cool look at what it takes (beyond the music) to make or break a band. The sexual tension between Emmie and Slater SCREAMS off the page, but she’s been hurt before and she’s not about to be the dumb girl who loses her heart to a rocker right before he goes off on tour and cheats on her.

Nothing new there, right? But like any good trope, it’s all about the execution, and Emmie and Slater breathe life and humanity into the setup, reminding us that this is a familiar story because it’s TRUE. It happens all the time in the musical world. I adored the friendship between Emmie and Slater, and I was dying for the consummation of their relationship almost as much as they were. Plus, once Slater falls for Emmie, he falls hard, and it’s so vicariously delicious to watch such an incredible specimen of a man be totally devoted to his woman. Plus, he doesn’t just play music and write songs, he fixes stuff and helps Emmie run errands and sue me, but that’s just hot. Give me a man with a tool box and a guitar and I need nothing else in life.

Drawbacks? Toward the end, Emmie’s reluctance started to feel a little contrived, like I’d seen too many exchanges of her distrust while Slater laid it all on the line for her. But just as I was thinking that, it wrapped up into a hilarious scene where she realized what she was screwing up. I also would have given it a few more fractions of a star if the rest of the band were filled out more on the page. There were five of them, and that’s a lot, but we didn’t get to know them and their friendship with Emmie as deeply as I would have liked. However, Emmie’s brother and his insecurities and backstory were very nicely filled out, so I’m excited for his book (up next in the series!) What I did love about this book? The realism of the conflict and characters, the mouthwatering sexual tension, the songwriting and performing scenes and oooh la la! The musical details of what it’s like to manage a band. Very cool. This author just won herself a place on my top 10 Rock Fic authors, and I’ll be checking out the rest of her books directly.

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