Title: More Than Music (Chasing the Dream #1)
Author: Elizabeth Briggs
Date of Publication: June 17, 2014
Genre: Contemporary NA Romance
Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation – and that he’s just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they’re forced to keep their relationship secret.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
The crowd’s cheering took on more of a screaming sound, and one girl even yelled, “Jared, I
love you!” I rolled my eyes. Not that I blamed the girl. With dark hair that always stuck up like
he’d just gotten out of bed, a perpetual five o’clock shadow, and blue eyes that could charm any
girl into giving him his phone number, Jared was impossible to resist. I wanted to, believe me,
but every time he opened his mouth and sang it was all over.
Jared gave the audience a wicked grin while he grabbed his guitar, a black Fender Stratocaster
almost identical to my own except for the color. Like Kyle, he had tattoos running up and down
his toned arms, and I couldn’t help but wonder if they continued under his shirt.
The entire club buzzed with excitement, every one of us poised on the edge, holding our breaths
and waiting for the plunge. In this moment, right before the music started, it felt like anything could happen—and I was ready.
Hector yelled out, “One, two, three, four,” and the band launched into their first song. Jared’s
hard guitar riffs filled the small club, matched with the deep pulse of the bass, the fierce beat of
the drums, and the eerie moan from Kyle’s keyboard. The music ripped through me, touching
the wild, dark part of my soul I kept locked away. My fingers itched to form the chords myself
and play along, but I kept my hands in fists at my sides. Instead I nodded my head to the music,
picking out each note Jared played and feeling it in a way only another musician could.
When Jared leaned into the mic and sang, his smooth voice washed over me like a soft caress. It
was like the last, decadent bite of a chocolate-covered strawberry. The smoky burn of whiskey as
it slipped down your throat. The final night of passion before your lover left forever. I sang along
to the words, feeling each line strike me deep inside. I understood exactly what he was saying, like he’d written every word just for me, like somehow he understood me in a way no one else
did. Of course, every other girl in the club probably felt the same way I did. And a few guys, too.
Elizabeth Briggs is a Young Adult and New Adult author who lives in Los Angeles with her British husband and a bunch of fluffy white rescue dogs. She's a guitar-playing geek who loves books, rock music, and video games, goes to Comic Con every year, and is still hoping to be a Jedi when she grows up.
Elizabeth currently works with WriteGirl to mentor at-risk or pregnant teen girls in writing, to help them get through high school and into college. She also volunteers with Bichon FurKids to help rescued dogs find a new, loving home. She previously worked as an intern for literary agent Jill Corcoran of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, an intern for Entangled Publishing, and an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.
Elizabeth is represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of KT Literary and is a member of SCBWI and RWA.
Connect with Elizabeth here:
Review By Allison
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Synopsis: Maddie is a “nerd” girl who is about to starts in internship but gets a once in a lifetime opportunity. One night while at her friend Kyles house, she gets caught by his older brother Jared, (who she happens to have a crush on) playing his guitar AND one of his songs. Jared is a well known guy who loves woman and is in a local band Villain Complex. Villain complex gets the chance to be on a T.V. show called The Sound, but after a member of Jared’s band leaves, they have no other option but to find a replacement for the auditions. Jared seeks Maddie out and ultimately agrees to do the audition, not for him, but for his brother Kyle, and for her to live out her secret dream. Sparks fly for the two of them but Jared’s other band members have told him Maddie is off limits. They have to keep their relationship low key, but when the producers of The Sound want to play off of Jared’s playboy image, hearts can get broken.
Likes: I love that Maddie and Jared were both “nerds”. The T-shirts, a song quoting was cool, and really made the characters seem real. I also really enjoyed the behind the scenes of The Sound. I can imagine that this is what it may be like for other music contestants on similar shows (American Idol, The Voice etc.) with the strict rehearsals, and media portrayals. I liked getting to see the real Jared and not who he was on stage. My heart broke for Maddie when Jared made a decision that would affect the band and his and Maddie’s relationship. The story was fast paced and get my attention throughout.
Overall I liked this book. It was different than any other “Rocker” book out there. I would read more from Elizabeth Briggs in the future.