- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 741 KB
- Print Length: 253 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Becky Wicks (24 Feb. 2015)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00U0N3JCI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #520,819 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Before He Was A Secret: Starstruck Book 3 Kindle Edition
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The main characters in book one are Noah Lockton and Chloe Campbell, and they have fast become one of my favourite couples in a book ever. I love how Becky creates relationships and characters that stay with you and have such an impact. She does exactly the same with her two leading characters in Before He Was A Secret, Stephanie Jackson and Conor Judge.
We are first introduced to the character of Stephanie in book 2 when she is one of the contestants on the reality tv show Deserted however Before He Was A Secret has a totally separate storyline and can easily be read as a standalone novel. Steph's life was turned totally upside down by the death of her parents when she was in her teens leaving her responsible for her 2 younger brothers. After being on Deserted and with the financial burden of having to support her brothers, Steph decides to follow her dream of having a music career and moves to Nashville.
A financial burden is not the only burden Steph carries. She blames herself for her parents' accident and has carried the guilt and hurt from that fateful day for a long time. So the last thing she is looking for when she reaches Nashville is a relationship. She just wants to keep her head down, write music, wait tables and make enough money to be able to keep the family home. With that in mind it is just as well that Conor has just come out of a serious relationship and isn't looking for romance either.
Conor Judge, part time musician who works in his family's music store. He's good looking, writes his own songs and at the start of the book he has just split up from his long term girlfriend. Although no one is supposed to know that they've split up as they both come from very religious backgrounds and it has always been expected that they would get married. This secret makes it very difficult when the inevitable attraction between Steph & Conor grows.
There is just so much to love about Before He Was A Secret - the setting, the characters, the writing. The Nashville setting was a big hit for me especially with my recent addiction to the TV show, Nashville & Becky Wicks does a fantastic job of making you feel as though you are right there, soaking up the country atmosphere. The initial friendship between Conor & Steph is so warm and real and you are totally on their side willing it to turn into something more.
Both Steph & Conor are haunted by their ghosts and their family issues but this just makes them fight that little bit harder for what they believe in. I loved that we got to see Noah & Chloe again in this book and how Becky manages to weave the whole Starstruck series together. This was another 5 star read for me which gives Becky Wicks full marks from me for the entire series. Each book is so different yet full of Becky's unique charm and warmth. Character driven storytelling at it's very best.
A word of warning though, Becky writes books that once you start them you just can't put them down and once again I was up way past my bedtime as I raced to finish Before He Was A Secret.
Before He Was A Secret, Starstruck 3, Becky Wicks
Genre: Romance, New Adult
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I love Becky’s writing style and the Starstruck series. Its great to have books like these where each is a stand alone, complete, no cliff-hangers!! Yet they are connected, so we meet characters from earlier books in the new ones. In this one we see Noah and Chloe from book one again, and there are phone calls with Alyssa from book two.
I had forgotten Stephanie was one of the competitors in the last book, and had to sneak back to it to recall her backstory. It’s covered in this book, but a bit later in and I wanted to know now! I’m always impatient – in fact sometimes I skip to end of book just to see what’s going to happen. It doesn’t spoil it for me, I still get upset, happy, angry at whatever happens. I re read favourite books so knowing the story or the end is fine for me.
Anyway here she is in Nashville, waiting tables while trying to find her way into the music world. Her and hundreds of others....When she meets Connor and hears him singing his own songs she’s inspired, but its not til after an unexpected encounter and they go to a jamming session with other song/music writers that they discover how well they write together. Thus starts a great partnership. They’re both holding back though, keeping secrets about their pasts and motives. Connor's keeping quiet about his split from long time girlfriend Grace, and though she’s on holiday everyone- including his very religious family and church group – still think they are together. Why doesn’t he say anything? Then there’s Stephanie, and she’s got her own past demons that affect her music. Secrets – they always get spilled sooner or later. Throw in Travis, a genial songwriter who’s hit a block and wants Stephanie to write with him, and the music company that want them as a duo – on and off stage – and the shiny new love Connor and Stephanie have is getting a trial by fire.
I love Connor and Stephanie. I got cross with him for not saying anything about Grace, and wanted to know what was going on – he didn’t seem like the sort to deceive lightly, and it was clear he wanted Stephanie but was holding back. Then Stephanie, she’s been working so hard to support her brothers, and still suffers from feelings of guilt about their parents deaths. I so wanted her and Connor to make it, but was worried Travis might want Stephanie for more than song writing and singing....he needed someone to keep him at the top, as since winning a best songwriter competition he’s done nothing, and the rumours about how he won it are getting stronger.
Its a great story, I loved seeing how the earlier characters have progressed and it made for a fun read. What I missed though was the sadness, the part where it all trips up. There was a glimpse of disaster but it never quite got to that point where I wondered if it would all fall apart, if all would come right after everything that had passed. There’s so much in the story though that this is really a minor glitch, and though I always love the sad parts, the drama that comes with them and the happiness when all works out, it almost made it to five stars without it.
Its a great read, full of people that feel genuine, and I absorbed that small town music atmosphere that Nashville ought to feel. It made for a well connected story, where what happened felt very realistic, and I could imagine it and feel myself there with the characters.
Stars: Four and a half. I just needed a little more of the sadness to balance all the good parts, the happiness for a five. That’s me though – I’m drawn to melancholy...so long as there’s a happy ending after it.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.
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