BXTCHES Gotta Warn: If you have not yet begun this journey with Kylie Scott and Stage Dive, well then what the hell is the problem. But, you do need to read David and Ev’s story in the first book of this series, Lick, before you tackle this book. Now, it’s time to dive into Mal and Anne.
Stage Dive drummer, Malcolm Ericson (Mal) and Anne Rollins is the focus of this book and will be told through Anne’s POV. Anne is the neighbor to Lauren (Evelyn BFF) and Nate (Evelyn’s brother). Luck has never been on her side and that proves true once again when she arrives home from work to find that her roommate has completely moved out of their apartment. Leaving Anne with no furniture, no hope in retrieving the money this roommate owed her and worse, no rent. In the hope of forgetting things for a couple of hours, Anne decides to take Lauren up on her invite to Evelyn’s and David’s party in their new condo, and once there it seems that her luck may be changing for the better.
Anne has always been a fan of Stage Dive, but her favorite member, the face that graced her bedroom walls as a teenager was, Mal Ericson. While on the phone, explaining her current woes to her BFF/crush, Reece, Anne has no idea that the one and only Mal is on the balcony with her, overhearing her entire conversation. After hearing Anne on the phone, he offers her a bit of advice, stop letting people use you and set up some boundaries.
We met Mal in the first book and if you loved him there, you are going to fall head over heels for him in this book. Once the party is in full swing and Mal is good and liquored up, he begins to declare Anne “his girl”. Anne, like any normal person, doesn’t take any of him serious and leaves the party in the wee hours of the morning, just to arrive home from work the following day to find that Mal has moved into her apartment.
Some very life altering moments are happening in Mal’s life and for the sake of those moments and other reasons (which will be revealed) he needs himself a fake girlfriend and since Anne is in a housing predicament, he makes her an offer she can’t really refuse. Plus he got himself thrown out of David and Evelyn’s house, after he saw Evelyn a little naked. So, he’ll move in, pay rent, and buy furniture, all Anne needs to do is pretend to be his girlfriend. Anne does take him up on this offer, just hoping that she can keep her head and heart intact in the process.
Anne’s background is not a very rosy one. Once her dad left, her mother couldn’t come out of her depression, putting Anne in charge of the house and the raising of her younger sister. Because of this, Anne defines love with how she witnessed it as a child, not at all hearts and candy. Before Mal came storming into her life, Anne was content just waiting for her boss/BFF, Reece, to stop sleeping his way through the female population of Portland and realize what a catch she was. While Mal is using her as girlfriend, they decide maybe she can use Mal to make Reece a little jealous.
The storyline here is fantastic. The chemistry between Anne and Mal is so spot on, that they have become one of my favorite couples. The banter between Mal and really anyone he encounters will have you laughing out loud. He is so awesomely (not sure that is even a word) written, this is one of those times when you wish you could see this play out in a movie. His personality is a bit manic, but he has his artistic release, so everything really balances out and I think that if he were written any other way, he would not be so endearing.
The author here wrote a very strong, capable female lead with Anne. She easily could have gone all fangirl on Mal, but she holds her own with him and doesn’t really take any of his crap. She does go a little fangirl, with her crazy eyes, but Mal happens to love that about her. I really love reading when a character can go on somewhat of a self discovery journey and really learn what life and love is supposed to be and not what their preconceived idea has dictated to them, and this is what Anne does. Yes the book is very light hearted and FUNNY, but there is an underlying story with both Anne and Mal, that is serious, and they learn quickly that they are the others “person”.
I LOVE the fact that so far in this series there hasn’t been any “other women” drama, and I include the first book in that, because I don’t think that Martha really registered on David’s radar. So many groupies are involved in rock star romances, but I appreciate that the author, so far anyway, hasn’t allowed her leading men give in to temptation. There is drama in this book, that is necessary, but very short lived.
So, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the sex scenes in book #1. This book kicks it up a bit more. The scenes are hotter, but I would assume that they could have been more jaw dropping if Mal wasn’t so funny, but because of his humor, it takes away just a little from the intensity that could have been. I’m not saying this in any negative manner, the scenes were very well written, just stating an opinion.
Kylie Scott is doing a fabulous job with the formula for these books. She knows exactly how to keep the reader so engrossed in the story and saying to themselves, “just one more chapter”, and we all know how that turns out. For me, this is how you write a balanced book. One that can mix the drama with the funny and the sex with the angst and really bring it all together to make one hell of a book. The end of this series will most certainly bring a book hangover with it. If you have not yet started this series, do it now. Book #4 comes out in March 2015 and that one promises to be very interesting.