Title: Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper
Love & Steel Series Book One
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 349 pdf pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.
It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.
Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.
Jessica Topper’s debut novel, Louder Than Love is an emotional and powerful story of healing. It is also a beautiful romance between two wounded individuals who unexpectedly find love. But before they can reach their happily ever after, Katina “Kat” Lewis and Adrian “Digger” Graves must move on from their heartbreaking pasts.
Needing a musician for a children’s show she is heading up at the library, Kat Lewis tracks down the singer who sings the opening song for her four year old daughter Abbey’s favorite show. When Adrian shows up for the performance, Kat has no idea who the tattooed artist is but she does know that he is a little older and a whole lot sexier than she anticipated. An instant and mutual attraction between them leads to an unexpected romance but will the ghosts of their pasts stand in the way of their future?
Three years after her husband Pete’s tragic death, Kat is still grieving his loss. She is not only mourning Pete’s death, she is also mourning the loss of their dreams for themselves and Abbey. A bittersweet portrait of their marriage is revealed through flashbacks and Kat’s memories of the love they shared are positively heartrending. She is surrounded by a group of loving and supportive friends and Kat has created an insulated, safe world for herself and Abbey. While she is quick to explore her attraction to the mischievous and fun loving musician, Kat finds it nearly impossible to open up about her past.
What’s not to love about Adrian? He is charming, sexy and soo wonderful with Abbey that he pretty much steals your heart right from the start. Of course, he has many hidden depths to explore and once his rock star past is revealed, Adrian is pretty open and honest with Kat. He does not make excuses or sugarcoat his excesses and mistakes. Adrian owns his past and he takes responsibility for his missteps, failures and shortcomings. Kat’s inability to confide in him leaves Adrian unsure and vulnerable and it is no surprise when he jumps to a conclusion that derails their relationship.
And speaking of their relationship, wow, it is incredibly sweet, sensual and romantic. The chemistry between them is scorching hot and their lovemaking is full of strong emotion right from their very first encounter. The intimacy they share is so intense that there is an almost voyeuristic feel to their love scenes. Their conversations are so personal it feels like eavesdropping when they finally reveal their deepest, darkest secrets.
Jessica Topper has an uncanny ability to draw the reader into the story so that they experience firsthand the agony and the ecstasy of the characters. The hustle and bustle of New York springs vividly to life whereas the serenity of Kat’s hometown Lauder Lake is calming and quite soothing. The end result is an emotional investment in the final outcome of this enthralling story.
Louder Than Love is an amazing journey that is full of raw emotion, deep sorrow and incredible joy. I found impossible it to put down and I hated that it had to end. A truly incredible novel that I highly recommend.