In a fast paced and twisting plot, Music City Madness by Jason Melby is a story about two singers in Nashville; one whose career hasn’t taken off and one whose career has seemingly flown the coop. The two meet and seem to find love together until their lives fill up with endless problems that threaten their way of life and the things they hold dear. You won’t find out until the very end if they can find a way to be together.
This book was almost a thriller novel to me instead of a romance because it is absolutely jammed pack full of action! There is a natural disaster that reeks havoc on Nashville during the course of the book with lasting effects. Both Leland and Melissa, the main characters, deal with an onslaught of personal issues that would leave anyone in the throws of depression, and finally there are major events with both characters’ recording contracts. And of course there is the romance that develops between Leland and Melissa that is fragile as both characters begin to deal with ex husbands, wives, and girlfriends. The main characters’ children also add some excitement to the equation with antics at school that keep them in detention the entire school year. The plot was full of twists and turns that you will never see coming which serves to keep the pages turning for this novel!
The characters were also well developed and easy to fall in love with. I’m not sure I could pick a favorite but Abby was definitely one of them. She is Leland’s daughter and a perfect snapshot of a 13 year old girl. She has her own style and flare. She has lost her arm due to a childhood incident when her mother tried to kill her. Her first act of misconduct involves smacking a girl with her prosthetic arm at school, and I knew I was going to enjoy her from that moment on. I also really enjoyed the character of Sid who is the agent for both Melissa and Leland. Without being able to relate my favorite scene without spoiling the end of the book, I absolutely loved how he solved Leland and Melissa’s problems with their ex’s. It was almost hilarious to envision him orchestrating the scene. I also really liked Leland and his connection with his daughter and identified a lot with the personality of Melissa.
The one part I didn’t care for were the songs throughout the book. They were sweet but they read more as poetry to me instead of a marketable song that you would hear on the radio. There weren’t chorus’ for most of them and some were even written in couplets which read a lot more like poetry to me. They were really beautiful poetry for the most part but it just didn’t seem to fit the bill for me.
I think anyone who likes adventure, romance, and an unique plot would really enjoy this book. It is not a typical romance book in that there is a lot of adventure and multifaceted problems that the characters have to solve but still has those feel good romance moments that romance readers will love.