Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3 years ago, a train accident changed Katrina’s life in the worst way possible.
Now she’s back in the suburbs living in her childhood home and trying to make a happy life for her and her daughter Abbey.
Her daughter’s obsession with a certain kids TV show gives her an idea – working at the local library she’s organizing a kids event and she goes on the hunt for the man who wrote the jingle for the same show that honestly drives her a little nuts.
The guy who shows up is one Adrian Graves.
”You are drunk.”
“And you” – he popped two of the curiously strong mints into his mouth – “are beautiful.”
Adrian seems to be a washed up British rocker, covered in tattoos and not exactly who she was expecting, but he’s a hit with the kids.
From there, a relationship of sorts grows between Adrian and Kat. They bond over music and food and while they both have some things they’re not sharing, they’re slowly falling for each other.
The evolution of their relationship is definitely not an easy one.
I have to say that I really enjoyed that the characters were more mature… and by mature, I mean older. LOL Adrian was in his 40’s and Kat was in her 30’s and it’s nice to finally get some characters in that age range. For the most part I really liked both Kat and Adrian. I thought they were really well developed and fleshed out. The addition of Abbey allowed for some lighter moments as well.
I also really liked the glimpses of the friendships that Kat had with her girlfriends.
And Adrian, despite some of his flaws was actually pretty sexy and swoony.
I know. It’s been another lifetime,” he agreed. “Don’t try and retrace steps. We’ll find new ones.”
Adrian has his own issues going on. When you find out about his past it really makes things fall into place and makes some of his actions make a bit more sense.
For as much as I really enjoyed the story and liked the characters there were a few things that I didn’t get/like. Abbey. I found I had to remind myself that she was only 4.5, I think at times Topper portrayed her a bit too old for her actual age. Also, Kat’s ‘moving on.’ As a single parent, I struggle with the idea that she just jumped right into bed with Adrian. We really didn’t see her struggle with her need to move on. It was almost too quick from the point she decided she wanted to start dating to the point where she and Adrian were a couple.
Additionally, and this is totally my hangup I’m sure, mostly because I would never, ever invite a person into our house and let him bond with my child after only a meeting or two. I get that that was part of the plot, but the way she was portrayed as worrying about Abbey and not wanting her to forget her father, I just felt like she would have been a bit more careful about presenting him as a love interest with her child around. Again, that might be my hangup, and it honestly didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book, and it only really hit me when I was sitting here thinking about what I wanted to say.
Also Grant. I didn’t really understand his being a part of the story. I get it… there needed to be a bad guy I guess, but I just felt like he landed a bit flat for me.
Overall, I think this was a wonderful story filled with wonderful characters and a captivating plot. The story was well-written and I really look forward to more from Ms. Topper in the future.
Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley/Intermix for the advance copy for review!
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