Title: Loud Is How I Love You
Author: Mercy Brown
Series: Hub City #1
Release Date: January 19th
Pre-Order Links: Amazon | iBooks
Twenty-one-year-old front girl Emmylou knows that getting her band noticed in the ‘90s indie rock scene will be no easy task. She definitely knows better than to break the number one rule of the band: Don’t sleep with your bandmates! But after she ends up having the best sex of her life with her guitarist, Travis, she finds following that rule is a lot harder than it sounds.
When the band gets the gig of their dreams, making it big seems just within reach. But Emmy’s inability to keep her hands off Travis threatens everything they’ve worked for. Can Emmy find a way to break the rules and not blow the chance of a lifetime?
I could count with a single hand the books that I ended up liking despite struggling with the heroine or the hero. Loud is How I Love is among those books. Despite the fact that Emmylou drove me batty sometimes, Mercy Brown managed to capture my attention from page one until the end. It really helped that this book reminded me so much of three of my fave films: Singles, Reality Bites and Almost Famous. Plus, it’s set during my second fave decade music-wise: the ’90s.
Emmylou is the feisty singer of an upcoming band, Stars on the Floor, inexplicably called Soft, out of New Brunswick, New Jersey. For Emmylou music is in her blood. Her own father was himself part of a rock band who had one hit in ’70s, and there’s nothing or no one that can get in the way of making it big. And that means not giving in to her sizzling attraction towards her enigmatic lead guitarist, Travis. Besides, Emmylou won’t dare break the number one rule of the band: Don’t sleep with band mates!
Easier said than done because the more she resisted, the more she felt drawn to Travis. So what does she do? Slept with him of course. Not surprisingly, things got complicated very fast.
But Loud is How I Love You is more than just about a girl breaking her band’s number one rule. It’s also about the family, friendship and the sacrifices you make to keep your dream alive. Most of all, it’s all about music. The Hub City indie rock scene in the mid ’90s was front and center in this novel. Aside from Emmylou’s own band, Soft, we also get a glimpse of the many indie rock bands that was part of the New Brunswick music scene. Loved reading about their stories, their struggles and the camaraderie that they have with Emmylou and Soft.
The story is told entirely in Emmylou’s POV. It felt like reading snippets of a journal entry interspersed with hilarious anecdotes about the travails and triumphs of being an indie rock band during this time. I got to say that I loved those anecdotes because they almost mirror a few of my experiences in this decade as well. There were times though when my eyes sort of glazed over especially when she started about her gear. I didn’t mind it though because it adds a layer of authenticity to the story.
Emmylou is a bit of a mess. Okay. That’s clearly understatement because the girl just couldn’t make up her mind about Travis. It should have annoyed me but I actually understood why she acted that way. For most of her life, everything was about the music for her. She had a goal and she wanted to achieve it. It was the thing that I admired most about her character. She not only have the talent but also the drive and the passion to succeed. Unfortunately, her one-track mind when it comes to her dreams made her blind to other people’s needs. She acted selfishly and irrationally especially when it came to Travis. She had to learn some very hard lessons throughout the book, and as the reader, I was along for the ride. I felt every bad and selfish decisions she made. Which is why I could not not like this book despite everything. It made me feel things. Plus, I really like coming of age romance stories where the main character is brought low by her own selfish actions only to find redemption and HEA at the end.
Overall, LiHILY was a satisfying albeit sometimes frustrating read. It was poignant, funny, with plenty of unforgettable characters. I’m so looking forward to Cole and Sonia’s story. I’m so intrigued by Cole and Sonia was amazing in this book. So yeah, having more books in the series is definitely a good thing for me.
ARC provided by the publisher