From the publisher:
Since the death of his twin brother, Oliver’s caught between pleasing his fans and finding himself. Emery finds him first.
Emery has never felt more alone. Raising her daughter is both her pleasure and her pain as she struggles to hold on to her job as a bartender and keep a roof over their heads. With no one to help them―no support system―any unexpected expense or late bill could turn their whole world upside down.
Reeling from the death of his twin brother and bandmate, rock star Oliver Smith is trying to drink his problems away. Apparently he isn’t very good at it; they follow him wherever he goes. Also in hot pursuit are the paparazzi, who catch Oliver at his lowest low.
He could have walked into any bar in California, but he walked into hers. Emery helps Oliver lose the crowd, and they find themselves alone: two people whose paths are marked with loss and pain. However, they hold an unshakable hope for healing. They find solace together, but can their love withstand the world?
I haven’t heard about mixtapes for decades, so I was intrigued. It is used as almost a device for communicating by these characters.
Oliver is drowning in guilt about his twin brother’s death and after six months of mourning, he is convinced it is time to get up on stage and perform again. Except he has a panic attack, takes off and ends up in a nearby dive bar. But once the crowd realizes who he is, things get ugly and the bartender, Emery, hustles everyone out and sneaks him out the back door. The only problem is that Oliver is completely wasted, but Emery gets him into her car, figuring she’ll just take him home. But after he pukes, he passes out and she has no idea where he lives. She brings him home with her, and when he wakes up in the morning with a mother of a hangover, she takes him home. That’s the meet-cute and while it wasn’t super cute, it was super effective.
Emery has a young daughter and her life revolves around her. Money is super tight, and even more so when the bar owner fires her for closing early and not collecting on all the tabs. Oliver finds out and offers her a job as his personal chef for an obscene amount of money, and things start looking up.
Emery has an interesting back story. Her family is super religious, but they are intolerant people, to say the least. Her sister is her best friend, but she’s been off “finding herself.” Emery struggles without that support, but Oliver quickly steps in to become that person for her.
Oliver has a girlfriend, but she is beyond awful. He is too depressed to do anything about it for a while. Meanwhile, Oliver and Emery become friends – and then more.
This was a really good romance with lots of angst and drama, which really makes the pages fly. It is not your typical romance novel, but has a lot more depth to it. I loved it.
8/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE MIXTAPE by Brittainy Cherry. Montlake (July 1, 2021). ISBN: 978-1542018364. 335 pages.