4.5 Jingle Stars

This is a love story. If you expect smut, look elsewhere. You won’t find it in this book. That said, it isn’t without its share of sparkles and steam.

Katrina is a librarian and widowed mother of a four year old. Her husband was taken from her in a freak train accident. The pain of losing her best friend and lover was excruciating so she left her beloved New York City to move back and find peace in her hometown. Katrina isn’t bitter and she doens’t do self pity, she also has a good and tight network of friends catching her whenever she stumbles.

“I guess I’m not a very spiritual person. I don’t think things always ‘happen for a reason,’ everything must be ‘God’s way,’ or (and this is one of Karen’s favorites) ‘He only gives you what you can handle.’ I simply believe, and I’m sorry to sound crude about it, that shit happens. Period.”

Kat’s daughter Abbey loves a cartoon character and the title song to go with it. Katrina has bought a box of CDs with tunes by the writer and performer of the jingle, Adrian Graves, so one day she goes about finding this artist and making him perform for kids at the local library. Research is her area of expertise so when she finds him he agrees to play for the children. 
This story is a slow burn so don’t expect a whirlwind romance and insta-love. It’s almost poetic, the words beautiful. It’s about love and loss, a former rockstar who has had his share of sex, drugs and rock’n roll. They get to know each other at their own pace. Adrian says it best:

“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
“Hmmm, no. I don’t. I believe love involves the commitment of many senses, as well as your head and your heart, so I wouldn’t just rely on my eyesight.”

As they get closer they discover that either of them is battling their own demons.
I loved how Katrina’s relationship with Pete wasn’t belittled and the one with Adrian made better. This made the experience of the story so much more relatable and realistic. The love for her late husband was always there, yet the way she fell for Adrian was plausible.
I had one WTH moment early on in the book, a mother might understand it better than I did. (highlight to see spoiler):
When Katrina found out who Adrian really was she went ballistic, ready to walk away. I thought that was an highly inappropriate reaction to somebody who hasn’t touched drugs in years and didn’t give her any indication to be anything but stable. 
Adrian is a super-sweet guy who has had his own tragedy in life. 

“You are the best thing to happen to me, bar none. You, Abbey…all of this. You both walked into my life and…I never knew what I wanted until you did.”

I loved his relationship with Katrina’s daughter Abbey. He treated her like a little person, not a child. And anyway, the way he treated his two girls and put them on a pedestal to cherish and spoil them was enchanting…for once I was happy not to have an alpha-hole in my book. 

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