Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
First Sentence: On Tuesday I was in a band with Elvis.
With disappointment after disappointment, I was really hoping that Jennifer Echols’ latest book, Dirty Little Secret, would be as good as Going Too Far, or even better if possible. I was literally counting down the days until the book released in stores, until, to my surprise, I won an ARC of Dirty Little Secret on Goodreads. From then on, I was counting down the days until the ARC arrived on my doorstep. (It took two days for it to arrive for those of you who wants to know.) However, to my massive disappointment, again, Jennifer Echols’ latest book just wasn’t that good. Don’t get me wrong, Dirty Little Secret wasn’t as awful as Jennifer Echols’ latest adult novel or her latest new adult novel, but it wasn’t outstanding either. In the end, I have to give it a tired meh.
Like a majority of other people who had read Dirty Little Secret, the main problem I had with the book was Sam. Ugh, Sam. He was a smart manipulative asshole. I don’t like to write curse words on my book reviews, if “asshole” is even a curse word, but there’s no other way to describe him. He is simply an asshole.
At first, when I first met Sam, I actually liked him. He was cute and his actions were also cute. Sam was nice to Bailey and they just had this subtle chemistry upon their first meeting. This guy actually flinched when he realized he was accidentally giving Bailey innuendos he didn’t mean.
“You need to eat. I’ll be working you hard tonight.” He flinched as he heard his own words. “That didn’t come out quite right.” (ARC 64)
Then, as I read on, Sam’s personality took a downturn for the worse. Sam used Bailey for her talent and then tries to use her for her connections to her famous sister. He even went as far as going past third base with Bailey just to get her to stay in his band and to get her to get an “in” for their band. I felt sorry for all of Sam’s friends; they had to give up their pride because of Sam and was forced to help convince Bailey to join his band.
“How did you get my number?”
“Sam asked me to convince you to come back to the band.”
“I was never in your band,” I said. (ARC 138)
Even worse of all, Bailey actually liked Sam while he did all that to her. To make matters even worse, Bailey even knew what Sam was doing the whole time, while being clueless at the same time. What do I mean by that? Well, in the beginning, Bailey is wide aware of the fact that Sam was just using her for her fiddle skills. However, Bailey is also in denial. For example, Sam tells Bailey not to act like they liked each other in front of his band (hello girls, this is a huge warning sign! If a guy doesn’t want to show what you mean to him in front of his friends, dump him!) without giving Bailey any explanation why and Bailey just agrees, even though, in the back of her mind, readers know that she knows why he was doing that. However, Bailey doesn’t even bother to acknowledge why Sam didn’t want them to act normal around his band mates; she just blindly follows his orders.
Well, that’s because Sam is so hot. Like, dark black hair in waves with a 5 o’clock shadow hot. It doesn’t matter that Sam is a jerk because he’s hot, right Bailey? (I’m trying to emphasize how many times Bailey says that Sam is hot, like that was a valid reason for his actions. No Bailey, no. That is not how it works.) I do not know how many times Bailey keeps on saying that Sam is hot.
But even with the smug look on his face, he was so handsome with the dim glow of the parking deck lights shining in his dark waves and glinting in his friendly eyes. (ARC 121)
Another downfall of Dirty Little Secret was that the book failed to catch – and keep – my attention. It took awhile, around twenty-two long pages, for me to be interested in the book to read even further. Dirty Little Secret then picked up a bit, only to slow down dramatically again. Half the time I was reading, I was mentally debating whether to continue on with the book or drop it altogether. Only the fact that I won the ARC from goodreads, so I should read the entire book, kept me reading on. Reading Dirty Little Secret was definitely a bumpy ride.
Will I recommend Dirty Little Secret to anyone? Sure, if you can stand douche love interests. If you can’t do that, like me, avoid this book like the plague.