Friday, May 16, 2014

REVIEW ~Strings of the Heart by Katie Ashley~

Title: Strings of the Heart
Author: Katie Ashley
Series: Runaway Train #3
Release Date: May 12, 2014

My Rating: 5 Stars
Twenty year old, Allison Slater has been in love with her brother’s bandmate, Rhys McGowan, since she was fifteen years old. But to him, she’ll always be Jake’s little sister and off limits. Now a college sophomore and licking her wounds from a bad breakup, she sets her sights on making Rhys see her as someone he could date…maybe even love. Her opportunity comes when Rhys visits his parents in Savannah where she is attending college. But the night she’s dreamed of turns to heart-break, and she realizes she’ll never be the one for Rhys.

For Rhys McGowan, his nightmare began when he woke up, naked and hung-over, next to his bandmate’s little sister. Unable to remember a thing from the previous night, he only makes matters worse by lying to Allison about not being interested in her. The truth is he’s spent the last year to ignore his body’s reaction whenever Allison is around. His resolve is tested when Allison comes on tour with Runaway Train, as both Jake and Abby’s nanny and to fulfill her fashion design internship. The more time he spends with her in the close quarters of the bus, the harder it is for him to resist.

Will Rhys realize that having a relationship with Allison is worth fighting for even if it means that he has to fight his best friend for a chance?

This book is swoon central. Let's touch on the fact that this is my all time favorite trope. The best friend and the little sister. Gets me every time. However, Katie Ashley does it in a way that made my heart palpitate just from the emotions of her characters. Allison and Rhys were so obviously meant to be, that when they weren't it truly made me sad. Their story is incredibly awesome though. A lot of love, lust, and infuriating moments passed between these two and I loved every second of it. I will say the one thing that sets Strings of the Heart aside from the other books is its structure. Ms. Ashley shares the story of Rhys and Allison starting in the present, dropping in a few flashbacks, then fully submerging the reader into a time 3 months ago where everything changed for the couple. I liked actually going back and experiencing the whole ordeal instead of just touching on parts throughout the book. It was also unique in that, that chunk of the book you really get to know the characters separate of the band and their main connection, Jake, Allison's brother. It was refreshing to see that they had built a relationship all on their own. That, if you took away the band and her brother, they still had two legs to firmly stand on and could make this thing work.

Allison may have been in love with Rhys since she was 13, but he has been oblivious to every ounce of her affection until now. During a 3 week trip home everything changes for them. They are both virtually alone in Savannah, GA- him visiting his cold-hearted family, her going to school- and their loneliness consumes them. Until, Rhys decides to drop in and say hello. They find solace with one another and begin to have a relationship beyond what theirs was originally built on- the band and her brother. Suffice it to say, Rhys is still not ready to confront his feelings. Be it, he's scared, or he truly can't face the music, he's not ready to give himself fully to Allison. Fast forward three months and the pair will be in close quarters while Allison is helping with the outfits for their tour, and helping watch over her niece and nephew. Rhys' resolve is waning and when Allison starts slipping away he has to make a fast decision that will change a lot of people's lives. Is their relationship worth the risk? Can he learn to love?

There were equal times when I wanted to pummel and hug Allison and Rhys. In the end, this couple touched my heart. I loved their tug-o-war story. It hooked me from chapter one until the very end. They evolve as a couple, and inherently know what the other is thinking and needing. It's all very captivating and heart-melting. Let's not forget their scorching scenes because those worth fan-worthy as well. Although, I would have loved to see more of the pool house side to their sex life. Things got a little heated up in there! Anyways, in short- this story is lovely. It's a push and pull, "all the feels" type story. You get to revisit old friends from previous books and develop an all new love and appreciation for Rhys and Allison. Really couldn't ask for more from this sexy, rocker story! Can't wait to get a glimpse of Brayden and Lily's story coming soon :)

Happy Reading!
*ARC provded by the author in exchange for an honest review*

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