Title: “Louder Than Love”
Author: Jessica Topper
Publish Date: September 17, 2013
How I got the book: I got this book via Egalley from NetGalley – In Exchange for an honest review
Summary From GoodReads:
In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.
It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.
Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.
Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?
What initially drew me to this book was the title and the beautiful cover (see above), but what made me WANT it was the summary. The summary and the title and covered lived up to all of my expectations and more! Jessica Topper did an amazing job with this book. The characters, the plot, the voice – all great. For a debut novel, I think she just did a great job and I really enjoyed reading this amazing love story! The whole book is written from Kat (or Katrina’s or Tree’s) POV, and although I wish I could have seen into Adrien (or Digger’s) mind during some points, I enjoyed being inside her head for the most part. I can say, I am getting rather spoiled by all the male POV written stories though, and the tell tale sign was me reading this and in certain moments, thinking… WOW I wish I knew what HE was thinking right now – which is great because it tells me I’m invested in the story in my point of view. Anyway – it starts out with Kat and her story (which broke my heart!!) and then I met Abby and she was…adorable..even from a book page – great personality written for her. I have to stop here and tell you one of my favorite scenes of her is her little “child’s nightclub” on the porch where she dances and dj’s with other neighboorhood kids- the image of them dancing around with their juice boxes in the air – that had me really laughing.. When Kat first meets Adrien that is also an interesting moment and night. Really the story just had me from the first chapter, I was invested in finishing this from there.. The story while something that isn’t “brand spanking” new put an edge on the theme and I love rock and roll boys with good girls, so that absoutely left me wanting more – even at the end. I liked that the author wrote in friends for the main character, but didn’t let them take away from the most important part of the story, sometimes I feel like the back story characters take on more focus than they need to and it distracts from the main point. Topper did a great job keeping the supporting characters supporting without them being too flat or boring, it was just enough – and it has been awhile since I’ve felt that way about a story. I also didn’t feel like it was overwhelming, it was just the right amount of sad, happy, love, and heart break emotions – it encapsulated the best first parts of a relationship and put that under tight constraints with the character’s back-stories in mind, and just did a great job telling the story from start to finish. So, before I gloat anymore, we will just say it was great! Now on to the characters –
The Characters –
I’ll start with Kat – Katrina, or Tree depending what you like, but I’ll call her Kat. I thought she was really brave, after all she had been through, to keep moving for one, and to survive more importantly. She was solid. She wasn’t perfect, as none of us are and admitted her own weaknesses within the story, but at the same time she was ok with herself and forgiving – and just kept moving – no matter what. What happened to Kat, to me, would have broken more people, so to see her even out there trying again when Adrien came into the picture – was warming to my heart and a testament to the love that she could give even from the begining. One of my favorite parts in the end is where she talks about all the different types of love she has, and how she has room for all of them in her life, not just certain ones. I’m scared to say more because I feel like that will give away plot points, but once you read it, you will understand what that means…
Now let’s talk Adrien, or Digger Graves. Second name hilarious, first – intense. He is HOT. I can start with that, all his manliness was written to just jump off the page, I swear I could almost smell him in some scenes. He is also a trooper. He had been through so much, and you could tell when they first met, he ws still really going through heck and back – but the first meeting even, it’s like you saw a light go off inside of him – it changed him. His interactions with Abby – including the pancake breakfast – stole my heart – and made me ache for a man like that to be the father for my own child when that time comes – I mean..how sweet! I loved how deep his back story was, and how he had become a good guy just with that edge of bad boy. The development of his character was great – I’m a huge Digger fan – I can tell you that for sure!
My Take-Away From It All:
Loved, loved, loved it! 5/5 Stars on this one Jessica Topper — Great first book. She hit the romance and the feelings “spot on” as Adrienne might say in his brittish accent. You could feel the loss and grief and then in the end, the utter happpiness and contentment. It had a little bit of everything – tossed in with the most adorable 4 and a 1/2 year old I have EVER read about – Abbey. It also had those HOT, and very adult moments that I really enjoy without being cheesy or staged or… too adultish, and I really liked that too. Their entire romance felt real, not scripted, and not unrealistic. He wasn’t a prince charming, and she wasn’t a princess. They were both normal people with baggage, and yet they still found each other – but you will have to read to see how it all ends up – that’s my task to you!
When it comes down to it, I just really love a good LOVE story, and this my friends, is a great one. So, September 17th will be here before you know it – go out and check this one out! I’m going to put the link for Kindle to pre-order below and I hope you will at least check it out. It’s worth the cash and I would even verge to say worth a re-read and you know that is a big reccommendation in my book! I’m also going to give you a quote below – I think it sums up the whole book actually and yet doesn’t give anything away – so check it out and then check out the book!
“You’ve got this…this love-no, it’s louder than love. It’s passion and beauty built up inside you that deserves to burst out.”
Where You Can Buy NOW: