Lick is the perfect title for this New Adult novel since the hero not only lives to create guitar licks but is also so sinfully sexy that groupies line up to lick his body—particularly his hot tattoos.
The rock music scene is the perfect erogenous playground for romance, filled as it is with stadium-sized egos, well-inked renegades, and brutish, leather clad royalty, and Scott takes full advantage of the possibilities offered, just as she milks the drunken Vegas wedding/amnesia/Cinderella tropes for all they’re worth.
I also love the way the novel is structured. Instead of front-loading the story with the Vegas wedding, Scott slowly reveals in delicious, teasing little bites what happened that night. Actually, one of my favourite scenes in the book is the ‘therapeutic kissing’ designed to jog the heroine’s memory of their alcohol-blurred wedding. And that’s another great thing about this book, it’s full of Kylie’s brilliant trademark humour.
With that humour, Scott writes (and I hope she always does) the best dialogue. My very favourite bit of dialogue in the book, possibly in any book I’ve ever read is, “with great breasts come great responsibility”. Love. It.
While the characters are a good twenty years younger than me, I had no trouble empathizing. The heroine is naive, but not too sweet (thank goodness) and the initially jerk-ish David, once he lowers his defences, is sweet, charming and funny, with just enough rough edges to keep him interesting. Neither character is a cardboard cut-out, and readers will definitely enjoy the very ‘real’ characters. I can also see why readers are clamouring for more of band member Mel. He gets some great lines (calling the heroine a ‘child bride’) and it’s hard not to fall for his outrageous behaviour.
Also outstanding is the way Kylie hits the emotional highs and lows of a burgeoning relationship, with all its insecurities, joys, discoveries and not-so-fun moments. It takes a deft touch to write emotion without things turning schmaltzy or overwrought, and she’s done a fine job here.
Finally, as usual, Kylie’s narrative style is faultless. No clichés, no awkward sentences, fresh metaphors and language, nice pacing. Gold. Although for me the section of the novel that followed the resolution of the central conflict was too drawn out, I’m probably the only person in the world that feels that way because this book is much beloved by fans.
Kylie Scott: Her powers are growing with each book. Watch out readers.
Ninja Rating: 5 Stars