BXTCHES Gotta Warn: Lead is the third book in the Stage Dive Series by Kylie Scott, which should tell you that there are 2 books prior to this one and even though each book focuses on a different couple, you are definitely going to want to read these in order, it is certainly a journey. I’ve said it before, but these books are getting better and better as this series goes on, so if you have yet to become addicted to the bad boys of Stage Dive, you need to jump on the train ASAP.
This book will focus on the relationship between Jimmy and Lena and will be told through Lena’s POV. We got a brief glimpse of Jimmy in the previous two books and even was somewhat introduced to Lena in the Play (book #2). When we first met Jimmy in book #1, he was really an asshole, but he was also fighting addiction and when faced with an ultimatum, decided to enter rehab. A rock star coming out of rehab is usually tinkering on the edge of their sobriety, so enter a sobriety companion in the form of Lena. Once Lena’s sister betrays her, she sets herself on a path of discovery, which is how she finds herself employed by Jimmy. This book still works with the formula from the two previous books. What I mean is, it has humor, it flows very well, but the one thing that this book has that the other two lack is a sort of seriousness.
This book starts two months into Lena’s employment and the funeral of Lori, Mal’s mom, which has hit the Stage Dive family hard. Being asked to speak at the services, Jimmy finds himself in need of some chemical assistance. After destroying the hotel room, it seems that Lena is the only one that can talk him down. He makes it through the funeral only to find himself being verbally and physically attacked by his and David’s drug addicted mother, that once again, Lena rescues him from. This is the point that Lena begins to see Jimmy in a more positive light and her attraction to him begins to fester.
Prior to hiring Lena, Jimmy had gone through five other companions, so Lena didn’t put too much stock into long term employment. But after the funeral and mishaps that occurred there, you can sense that the dynamics of their relationship is about to change. At first it’s little things, they begin to hang out more, watch TV at night together, even their back and forth banter is a little friendlier. Then Lena drops a bomb on him: she is going to need to resign. Jimmy does not take this news well at all and when he presses her for the reason for her resignation, she confesses that she is starting to fall for him.
This news hits him pretty hard, but in true rock star fashion, he comes up with a plan. Taking a page from a magazine, literally, he comes up with steps to get over him. This is where, for me, the story really picks up. Their relationship, platonic as it may be, really comes to life. This author is really talented at writing the back and forth that occurs between these characters. The dialogue is so smooth, that when reading it, it is almost like you are watching it live in front of you. Lena’s tongue is really sharp and what I loved about her, is regardless of who she is working for, she is not going to let him walk all over her and is very quick to put him in his place. It’s another two thumbs up, for a very strong female lead.
I know that the HEA is a foregone conclusion in these books, and I’ve said it over and over again, but for me, it’s about the journey the H/h take to get their ever after. Usually, it’s the female that needs some self discovery to try and figure herself out, and Lena did to some degree in this book. But it was Jimmy who really needed to find himself in this one. There is more drama in this book, than the previous. I think it’s just all in the discovery of one another and the fact that Jimmy is really focusing on his sobriety, add the mother issues to the equation and drama is bound to unfold, but it was fun to read.
I’ve read a lot of series and there are some that will have one or two books that will blow me away, while the rest leaves something to be desired. As I read each book in this series, I am more and more pleased. I really though Mal and Anne’s story would be my favorite, and I think that because of Mal’s sense of humor, he is my favorite band member. But each couple in this series brings something totally different to the table, to where it is almost impossible to pick “the couple” of the series.
I guess we need to talk about the sex. It’s good. Jimmy has a gift for oral, which as a female, I certainly appreciate. The sex in these books is not what makes up the story here though. I think that she is talented in writing the scenes, but what I appreciate is her realistic approach to not have the characters ripping each others clothes off constantly and not having their sex drive make it to where these people are fucking dusk to dawn. No one’s vagina is that durable.
I CANNOT wait for Deep (book #4) which will focus on Lizzy and Ben. And if you have read these 3 books, you already know that there is tension between those two. I for one, will be terribly sad when this series comes to an end. Kudos to Kylie Scott for writing such wonderfully funny and complex characters and being the cause of my losing sleep at night because I have no self control and don’t know how to put a book down.