Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again.
Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a backseat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him.
For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late.
Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them.
Maybe finding love is worth the risk.
Puddle Jumping was one of my top reads of 2014, and I was so excited to read another book from its author. The book begins in one my favorite cities, Austin, Texas. Having grown up only a few hours from there, I love seeing books that cover the unique place and it’s inhabitants. I appreciated seeing a book told from the “other side” of the music industry, as Emily works for a magazine finding rock bands of the brink of stardom.
“Some dreams are just dreams, though. Not all of them come true.”
The majority of the book is told from Emily’s POV. She is emotionally closed off after suffering heartbreak and roams all over the country for her magazine. While working on an article about a local band, she feels an immediate connection to one of the members, Tyler. Despite her better judgement, she and Tyler begin a quasi relationship during her brief stay in Austin. I really enjoyed their moments together. They have an intense connection and their love scenes are quite steamy. Both have emotional baggage and are not willing to risk their hearts again. Or are they?
“I can’t….need you. I can’t keep you here because I don’t want to have to need someone again.”
Tyler’s POV is told via brief journal entries. While they are short, they are powerful. He is such a complex character, and I felt vital pieces of his past are not fully developed. Being a musician and song writer, he could have told much more than he did. I loved his musical talents and his unique way of writing music. After reading, I loved the cover even more.
Overall, I liked this story and would recommend it to any NA fan, especially music lovers. Sadly, it lacked the emotional connection Johnson’s previous two books held for me. There is a significant lapse in time during the book. I wanted desperately to know more about the missing time period. Also, once reunited again for “work purposes”, the book moved too quickly. I appreciate the storyline didn’t drag on needlessly, but it was too fast for my taste. Despite my few complaints, I won’t hesitate to read whatever Johnson writes in the future. ~ Rebecca
Walking toward him is like trudging through the deepest mud, but I hold my head high, my hands in my pockets and strides long. When I’m less than a foot away, his head turns toward me without lifting his chin, and he looks up from under his brows. The white smoke from his cigarette causes his eyes to nearly close before he pulls it from his lips and exhales upward into the air.
I’m struck by how incredibly handsome he is in black wool and new jeans. I want to know if his skin feels hot under his clothes and if his back feels the same when I scratch fingernails across his spine. My fists clench in my coat pockets at the thought. This is going to be so much harder than I’d been prepared for.
A true child of music, Amber’s parents surrounded her with the loudest beats they could find, molding her into a girl who found inspiration and meaning in lyrics and chords. Raised on John Hughes movies, Luck Dragons, and pirate ships, she dreamed of love and adventure. When Amber began to create her own world, she envisioned a place where Happy Ever Afters do exist. Since then, she has authored several romance novels, all of which focus on songs and the way they can touch people’s lives. Music may not be able to fix a broken heart, but it can provide one hell of a soundtrack for healing.
A full-time wife and mother with a full-time job, Amber finds her muse in everyday life and the people who bring her inspiration.