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"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

ARC review: Rustic Melody by Nic Starr

Rustic Melody - Nic Starr, Book Cover by Design

Very sweet and sexy comfort read! 



Adam Chambers is a young man on a journey without destination. After a big falling-out with his father about business and their private life, Adam leaves his home, family and job in order to find his own way in life. The problem is, he still has no idea what to do with himself.


Joey is 21 and owns his own bar/hotel/bistro. Not that this ever was his dream choice, but after his father's death and his mother falling ill, he was slightly out of options. Now all he wants is for the pub to pay for itself on the market, set up his mom comfortably with his aunt, and finally start his own life for real.


These two lost boys meet each other at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and immediately feel the Zing! But after Joey's vacation is cut short abruptly, these two have a lot of decisions to make - alone and together. Good thing they can help each other figuring things out. 


This book is a sweet, low-angst comfort read for rainy days or dark moments. Adam and Joey are cute together, but Joey especially stole my heart. He's not perfect, he's not a gym rat, his hair is red, his skin too pale, he has practically no business skills other than interacting with his patrons, but his pride is still alive and kicking. I loved him! And I enjoyed the journey of these two boys very much, especially because there were no fabricated misunderstandings, no artificial shouting matches or silly games. These men talk and listen. Granted, they might be a little slow on the uptake here and there, but they're adorable and sweet doing it, so who cares, really? 


In the beginning I was a little afraid this would be an insta-love kind of story with a very predictable main plot. I'm happy to say that while there is some insta-lust going on here, the development, the sexy and sweet moments and the personal journey of both MCs was well thouhgt out - nothing insta about it. The pace was good, and the writing drew me in right until the end. Was it flawless? By all means, no. There were some "Well, duh?!"-moments, some situations where I wanted to shake both MCs and make their teeth rattle. But it never reduced my enjoyment of the story at any point in time. 


The only niggle I had was the showing vs. the telling. When it came to the side characters, some of them remained a little rough around the edges and pale in comparison to the MCs. Same goes for the main conflict between Adam and his father. It's not that I didn't get the drift, or that there weren't interactions between the two that made it clear how big the rift between the two really is. But I really wished for more on-page action showing it to me. Joey's struggle keeping the bar afloat was handled similarly, although we got more glimpses of how hard he really works in order to survive. In both cases though, while we did get some hints and clues, a lot of it was only told and explained. I just wished for a little more showing here and there. 


But overall, this was a very enjoyable book, perfect for curling up under a warm blanket with some hot coffee and cookies. It certainly got me out of my little reading funk, after some of my other books started to weigh me down with the angst. Definitely recommended! 



*copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Nic Starr!