Saturday, June 13, 2015

Review - CHASING THE DREAM SERIES by Elizabeth Briggs

More Than Exes (Book 0.5)

He wants to win. She wants to win him back.
Keyboardist Kyle Cross may look like a bad boy with his tattoos and piercings, but he's really the good guy who's always stuck fixing his band's problems and never gets the girl. His band is competing in a college Battle of the Bands, but when their bassist doesn't show, Kyle must track her down with the help of the person he least expects: his ex-girlfriend Alexis Monroe.

Kyle hasn't seen Alexis since she dumped him in high school, and she's dropped her preppy image for fiery red hair and a bold new attitude to match. With only hours before his band goes on stage, Kyle has to be a little bad if he wants to win both the Battle and the girl he's never gotten over. But when their old problems resurface, the good guy might just get his heart broken all over again.

A stand-alone novella that launches the Chasing The Dream series!


More Than Exes (Chasing The Dream, #0.5)More Than Exes by Elizabeth Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great intro to the series! I really wish Kyle would’ve had his own full length novel. I wanted way more time with him than the novella allowed for! But I’m happy just to have gotten this brief look into his past. I was instantly intrigued by his good guy persona with bad boy looks, and totally sided with him as far as the undeclared battle of the exes goes.

How could you not want to be with him?! I was convinced Alexis had to be crazy not to want him! But then the whole ugly truth regarding the breakup unfolds while they’re running around town together trying to locate the missing bassist of Villain Complex, so Kyle and his band can compete in the Battle of the Bands. Then you realize there’s more to the story than meets the eye and maybe there’s no need to pick a side ;)

In this awesomely fast paced novella you can expect equal parts of humor, romance, and angst (the good kind) with a totally unique New Adult feel.

I’m sold! Onto the next book in the series!

More Than Music (Book 1)

A band trying to win it big on reality TV. A secret romance that might ruin it all.
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.


More Than Music (Chasing The Dream, #1)More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book reminded me why I love reading so much. Ms. Briggs has brought back a style of writing and story telling that has almost turned into a lost art. It’s not overly angsty or sexual, the writing sells itself without the need of flashy gimmicks and over the top antics. This first full length novel in the Chasing the Dream series contains, dare I say it, good old fashioned writing that has become quit hard to find as of late. The morning after I finished reading More Than Music I actually woke up still thinking about it. Believe it or not I thought it was a show/movie I had watched and not a book I had just finished reading the night before. I was looking forward to catching the next episode! So needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get to the next book.

I loved that More Than Music picked up right where the novella left off. After winning the Battle of the Bands competition, Villain Complex is about to embark on a new journey competing in a reality show competition called The Sound, a show similar to The Voice. Reality TV is my weakness, my kryptonite if you will, so the fact that this book was based around this show totally made my day. The band’s only problem at the moment is trying to find a replacement for their bassist, since bad boy guitarist and lead singer, Jared decided to take a dip in those forbidden waters, and of course there was bad blood between them afterwards.

Enter Maddie Taylor, the shy, geeky heroine who happens to be a closet guitarist and the answer to Villain Complex’s prayers. Nobody would have ever assumed that the same Maddie who was about to start an internship with the LA Philharmonic could be as talented, and just plain awesome as she is on the guitar. It’s always been her way of relaxing, so naturally over the years she continued to improve and eventually morphed into the musical beast that she is today!

Both Jared and Maddie have been given strict orders not to hook up or fall for each other in any way, shape, or form. The band comes first always, no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Risking everything they’ve worked so hard for because of a fling gone wrong is just not going to happen…again. But don’t you find that what’s forbidden is always a million times more tempting?? It just so happens that Maddie and Jared actually have a lot in common and hit if off almost immediately, so would it really be that bad just to get a teeny, tiny taste of that forbidden fruit?? You’ll just have to read and find out for yourself!

I instantly felt a connection to this unique case of characters. Their love and passion for music just exuded from their fictional pores, and I couldn’t help but be just as excited as they were about the whole process (from beginning to end) of competing on this show. The drama, romance, and overall flawless writing provide a fun, fast paced and exciting thrill ride. This is a stellar addition to the New Adult genre that I would HIGHLY recommend for those in need of a breath of fresh air!

More Than Comics (Book 2)

They're friends online - but can they be more in real life?
Writer Tara McFadden has been friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.

Hector's secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever.

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.


More Than Comics (Chasing The Dream, #2)More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness. Where to start?! I have been super curious about Hector’s story since I started this series. He’s always been the strong silent type and never really offered much in terms of conversation about himself or what’s going on in his life. Basically he’s a mystery. A mysterious HOT drummer. And he’s an artist. Let the swooning commence!

The general feel of this book differs from the ones before it. It takes on a slightly darker feel in the sense that there’s more drama, angst and sex. None of which I am complaining about. Paired with Ms. Briggs flawless writing and story telling it all works together perfectly. So A+ from me!

While this could potentially be read as a standalone I wouldn’t recommend it. You would be doing yourself a HUGE disservice to skip the first two books. So with that being said, if you haven’t’ read the prequel and book one but want to…stop reading this review…now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

More Than Comics picks up right where More Than Music left off. Unfortunately, Villain Complex did not win The Sound due to some shady backstage business conducted by the show’s producers. They were clearly a crowd favorite though, and gained a much larger following from it, so it wasn’t all for nothing. Plus they’re about to go on tour with the other contestants and do what they love most…perform!

Before they can take off there’s one little matter to attend to…COMIC CON! I’ve never been but I’ve always been interested in what went on at one of these gatherings so getting to live vicariously through the characters was just awesome. Hector and his long time internet buddy Tara will be attending to host a panel on a project they’ve been working on together. Tara does the writing, and Hector does all the artwork. It works out perfectly! What neither expected was the instant attraction and connection they would feel when they finally met face to face. Their online friendship has grown so strong, but can they move out of the friend zone together and be more?? Read and find out!

One thing I’ve come to really love and appreciate in this series is the diversity. The characters are unique and refreshing, they feel like real people and for me that’s an important factor when you’re trying to connect with them and become a part of the story. As I’ve mentioned in my other reviews for this series, Ms. Briggs writing is a breath of fresh air. She incorporates everything you could possibly want in a New Adult novel into her work and doesn’t rely on sex or over the top antics as filler. You can always expect good QUALITY writing from her, and for that I HIGHLY recommend all the books in this series!

1 comment:

  1. I think I'd really like this series, great reviews! I love good quality NA.