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I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter 

Adrian is to die for!

Louder Than Love - Jessica Topper

5 I-want-an-Adrian-of-my-own stars.*****Review completed January 14, 2014

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"If we hurry, you can make the 6:35." I was suddenly very aware of the intimate quarters once again and had trouble finding the ignition with my key.
"I'd rather kiss you and take the 6:55."
His lips had barely pushed out the words before mine sprang into action. The moment was beautifully surreal, as I had been imagining it vividly during the last twenty minutes at dinner.

Katrina lost her husband in a tragic train wreck when she was thirty. Trying to escape her demons, she leaves New York with her little daughter Abbey and goes back to her childhood home in Lauder Lake. Now four years later, her friends can't wait for her to date again. When Katrina hires (unknowingly) recluse rock star Adrian Graves to play at Lauder Lake Public Library in front of a bunch of kids, she feels attracted to a man for the first time since Pete's death. For fun, Adrian wrote a song for a kids' TV serial years ago, and Kat's daughter Abbey is a huge fan of Maxwell MacGillikitty. The story takes it from there.

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The third photo is absolute rapture. The realization of her eleven-month-old world spinning, with its methodical ups and downs and Daddy safe next to her, has brought a gleeful, gummy smile to her face. Cheeks wide, eyes shining, and the hint of two bottom front teeth at her gum line about to break through. Pete is absolved, vindicated, rewarded. Grinning point-blank at me as I manage to capture, unknowingly, our little unit's final experience of jumping into the great unknown together. The photos speak volumes, yet they say nothing. The moment, like the ride, was too short.

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"Yeah…" I watched as he took my hand in his. "Hey, no funny business," I lamely joked, my heart hammering.
He slowly knelt down in front of me, still clutching my hand. "No, I consider this very serious business. What are you thinking right now?"
"I'm thinking I want to kiss you again, but I'm scared to. Maybe I could kiss you on a safe spot, like your elbow."

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"Somewhere a queen is weeping…"
"Somewhere a king…has no wife," I quietly finished, stirring my coffee and raising my eyes to finally meet his again. People talk in clichés about sparks flying, but damned if we didn't have our own little pyrotechnic show happening right in my dining room.

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Our breath and movements flowed evenly, measured, in unison. He brought his torso up to meet mine as he heaved, hands grasping at my bra straps, my curls, anything tangible to keep him from floating into the ether. I witnessed his face speak a thousand words as his lips just uttered one: my name again. He was all at once demonic, blissful, tortured, humble, and at peace.

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Wow! This story took me by surprise and I never thought I'd say this but I loved Louder Than Words! Very much so. Yes, Adrian is a smoker and he did make mistakes, yet I fell head over heels in love with him. I gotta tell you that man is to die for and every positive feeling built up inside me deserves to burst out, and I really, really want to spread some love for this amazing book! In my eyes, this story had so many fascinating ingredients to qualify for a five-star read. Easily. I could even overlook my minor quibbles (scroll down to check them out). If you can get past the slow beginning then you might end up enjoying this book.

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Louder Than Love is all kinds of amazingly beautiful, romantic, endearing and sweet. And I really mean the very good kind of sweet. No cheese, no sugar. The kind of beauty and romance that goes straight to your heart where you want to lock it away for a long time, so you can get lost in fond memories whenever you go back to that special spot for a visit.

Easy Tiger…
Make it last
Arms wide, incantation, the spell's been cast

Let me reminisce how everything began. I remember that the cover peaked my interest. However, when I saw that several readers shelved this book as new adult, my interest shriveled like a balloon. Another one of those? Really? I took notice of Karia's comment who told me it's not NA at all. Well, and then I just put it on my TBR pile and thought it would gather some dust till I was ready to remove it again. But then my friend Kelly picked it up recently, loved it and encouraged me to give it a try. After reading Louder Than Love I can tell you that anyone who's going to shelf it as NA couldn't be more wrong. Louder Than Love is a beautiful and moving story about love, loss, pain and a thoughtful and deep second chance at love between two mature adults. It is also about chasing ghosts, keeping them at bay and ultimately dealing and conquering them; making peace with your past, remembering good and bad times and be ready and willing to let your life be flooded by new ones. Hopefully only the good ones... 

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For a debut I must say I'm incredibly impressed because the writing is very compelling, thoughtful, defined and mature. The characters are complex and yet they astonished me in their modesty. I will admit that the plot itself is nothing I hadn't seen before. However, what made everything so intriguing is the author's voice, her candid writing and the loving as well as realistic way she portrayed her main protagonists. Adrian is so far away from the clichéd, conceited rocker caveman alpha-hole that I fell for him instantly. I even forgave him in a heartbeat for coming to the library gig half-drunk. In fact, he sobered up quickly and delivered a wonderful performance and captured the kids' attention straightaway. Besides, we should cut him some slack because poor Adrian was so scared. It was his first live gig since forever and he needed to get his nerves under control. Coming out of hiding and performing live again after such a long time was a huge step for him. Talk about making peace with your past. Don't let his faux-pas put you off because Adrian is not a drunk at all and smoking was a rather light vice considering his ugly past. I will happily admit that I love  mature heroes. Adrian is 41, not very tall, heavily tattooed with longish, shaggy dark blond hair interspersed with gray and a sexy goatee. Oh my, count me in! If I had to describe him in two words then I'd choose humble and sexy.

I’m by no stretch of the imagination an expert when it comes to English accents. Yet I could hear Adrian when he was talking in his British accent. And I could see him sitting on the steps waiting for Kat, smiling at her when she arrived. Whatever he did and felt I was right there with him. I just know what engages my heart and the author did a fine job bringing the characters to life, especially Adrian. He was real to me.

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I'm not sure what I expected but I assure you it wasn't that at all. I'm still reeling in the aftermath of what I just read and I can't decide what label I should pin on Adrian's chest. He's not a straight alpha and while there are beta qualities in him, I'd say he's probably a gamma hero. He's a wonderful character and all his skills, pros and cons blend in a perfect and very attractive mix that I appreciated tremendously. Adrian was perfect in his perfectly flawed personality which made him very human and interesting, even endearing. The interaction between him and Kat's almost five-year-old daughter was beyond fantastic and let me end up in a puddle of sugary goo at his feet. As a matter of fact, Adrian did a marvelous job at firing up his adult metal fans as well as capturing the hearts of his very young audience in public libraries. He transformed easily from tattooed badass rocker to a demure and unobtrusive performer who sang songs for kiddies and could wow them in an instant with his sincere and endearing personality. Perfect. Kudos to the author for making the clever loophole possible. I totally dug that! How smart and apt was that!?! In spite of the missing epilogue, the final 10 % were magical. And don't get me started on the more than perfect title. There were so many, many amazing and emotional moments to discover and treasure throughout the entire story. 

The sex scenes are not overtly explicit. Still, they are very sexy in a understated way that appealed very much to me and complemented the beauty of the story. 

Louder Than Love provided a rather eclectic cast of secondary characters. Unfortunately, there's one asshole to be found as well. Grant, please take a hike! Oh, and this gif is for you...

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Everyone should raise their hands in the air who loved Jim. I sure as heck are among those readers. *high five*

Minor quibbles
I'm allergic to giggling. Yet I'll admit Kat didn't do it all the time. Thanks for small favors. Also, I would have preferred for Kat to talk about her ghosts with Adrian so much sooner. On the other hand, I get where the author took the story and I can see why she waited so long. As aforementioned, the beginning was slow. Also, I had to wait until the 15 % mark to meet Adrian for the first time. It was a rather long wait. In the end, however, it was so well worth it.
While the ending was lovely I missed an epilogue. Honestly, I'd love to read a novella showing us the three of them happily together six or twelve months down the road. Will Abbey get a little brother or sister one day? Come on, let a girl dream, will you? Imagine, this would be the icing on the rocker cake. Future headbanger included.

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I LOVED the musical stroll down memory lane when the author interspersed more than a couple of popular bands of the 80s in the plot, and I couldn't put the book down when Adrian talked about his past. Oh my, and what great vibes flew right off the pages when Adrian showed his expertise as a musician, composer but also as a flawed human being?! All in all a fabulous debut about a recluse rock star who redeemed himself completely and was so worthy of a second chance at life and love, and a likable heroine who overcame the loss of the love of her life to find a new one. And then let's not forget the sweet and endearing Abbey who went to Mad Hatter (Manhattan) to brighten Adrian's life. Sometimes jumping into the great unknown can be very rewarding. It made me yearn for more.

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…also the ugly.

Recommended read.
Every reader who enjoyed How to Kill a Rock Star should give this book a try. I know I can't compare these two stories because there's no doubt about it they are different. Louder Than Love, however, is much more romantic than HtKaRS and so worth a shot! 

"You are the best thing to happen to me, bar none. You, Abbey…all of this. You both walked into my life and…I never knew what I wanted until you did."


Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/692734966