Sydney Peters can’t wait to finally drop the cymbals in marching band and devote time to her true love: drums. With the semester coming to a close, she’s blocking out the cacophony during practice, especially sax serenades from Hunter Reed. But when Hunter offers her a paid gig as a drummer in his band, Sydney quickly changes her tune. The two favor different styles, but they make beautiful music together…in more ways than one.
Hunter is fascinated by Sydney’s distant allure. He might be a ladies’ man on campus, but the sarcastic cymbalist is impervious to his advances. When Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn’t anticipate, however, is falling so hard. But will the repercussions of his past crash down on his chance at something real?
I received this ARC from NetGalley & the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 3 Stars
Having read the other two Hot & Nerdy books from this "trilogy", I wanted to jump right in to this one. It is Hunter's story, a character that has been mentioned in His Work of Art and His Dream Role. Having read those two books first, I fully expected Hunter to be some sort of playboy character that wouldn't be sympathetic at all. It turns out he was the best part of the book.
I didn't agree with a lot of what Sydney seemed to feel and act upon. She was incredibly negative about a lot of things, least of which was the marching band that she was in due to a scholarship. Being there gave her this incredible opportunity to get an education, but she looked down her nose at it the entire time.
I thought that her character also went a bit back and forth. One minute she's a fairly confident young woman who loves to drum, the next she's reduced to a bit of a whiner. I understand that she has a history of bad decisions, mostly centering around her high school sweetheart, but she never lets herself move on. It seems like she's about to multiple times, but then she runs away emotionally and sinks back into this version of herself that is much weaker than the face she puts on the rest of the time.
Also, she is admittedly extremely jealous, even though Hunter has proven that he can be trusted multiple times. I'm not sure whether this stems from her experience in high school, but it felt unrealistic to me. I think that, had the story continued, Hunter might have gotten sick of her jealously, assuming she doesn't figure out a way to deal with her insecurities.
The story moved along as a good pace and the characters, despite their flaws, were amusing and engaging. I wanted very much to find out how things would end for them, again despite the problems I had with their personalities.
I've noticed something about this series, though. With the exception of Adam from His Work of Art, neither Hunter nor Free (His Dream Role) want to make careers out of what we are introduced to as their main passion. I can't decide how I feel about that. In most novels, if a guy wants to be an actor or a musician despite his wealthy family's wishes, he is going to do it. In these novels, the passions are more hobbies than true loves. It's a different perspective that, while refreshing, is a bit confusing and disheartening. This is what would happen in the real world and when I'm reading a book, I don't always want reality to show itself in this way.
The funny thing about this book is that the song Let Her Go by Passenger, which I recommended for His Work of Art, makes an appearance in this book as played by Hunter. Since I couldn't recommend the same song twice, I had to think about this for a bit and finally decided on Waiting for Love by Avicii. I heard this song before I watched the videos, so perhaps the story in the music video doesn't quite sync with what you'd see happening in His New Jam, but from the lyrics alone I heard a bit of Hunter and a bit of Sydney.
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