Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Page Count: 320
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
This book may be unsuitable for reader's under 17 years of age due to sexual content, and/or mature themes.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.
Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.
I was very reluctant to read Lead because of my severe dislike of the protagonist, Jimmy. He was introduced in the first book in this series, Lick, and he was a HUGE a-hole. So I decided to wait until I felt a little more neutral about him before reading Lead. Well, I'll tell you straight up that didn't do me any good because I could still remember the terrible things he did and the horrible way he behaved previously.
Maybe it would have helped if I had seen Jimmy's struggle to stay clean from the beginning, but that part of his story took place in the background during book 2. I feel like I missed out on some really important character redeeming moments. When Lead started, Jimmy was already clean for 6 months or so. He hired Lena to be his sobriety companion after his a-hole behavior had run off his previous employees. He continued on with his boorish behavior, and Lena seemed to thrive on being mistreated. Things sort of went downhill for me after Lena developed a stupid crush on Jimmy, and he came up with a list of ways for her to get over her crush.
After reading Lead, I'm more convinced than ever that Jimmy is still an asshole. I don't feel that he was redeemed at all. I wanted to see more of a transformation into a worthy character. Having Jimmy's POV would have really helped me to feel some connection to him, so I wish the author had given me that. I wanted to know what was going on in that selfish, self centered mind of his! I think it would have went a long way towards making his motivations clear and helping me understand him.
I didn't like how the author just sort of randomly blamed Jimmy's lifelong problems on his mother, but glossed over the details. His drug and alcohol addictions were swept under the rug and poo-pood away just because he's been clean for 6 months. He's going to have a lifelong battle, and it would have made more sense to portray it more realistically than 'Oh, yay you've beat your addiction...' because it's just not that easy.
For a series that is supposed to be about a rock band, not much rock band stuff ever goes down. Lead was even more removed from the music scene than the 2 previous books because the only setting was Jimmy's house. Boring.
In the end, there just wasn't enough depth to the story or to Jimmy's character for me to care about. I read Lead against my better judgement simply because I wanted to know Jimmy's story, and so I could complete the series without missing one member of the band. I can't say it was worth the time I spent reading, but at least I finished it. So there.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars