Author: J.L. White
Series: Fireworks Girls Series (Book Three)
Publisher: Velvet Pen Books
Format: ebook via KindleUnlimited
Synopsis: Play with me.
They call us the Firework Girls.
I’m Ashley. My music is like a lover, surrounding me. Filling me. Transporting me with its power.
Much like he did … before he broke my heart.
Now he’s back, wanting another duet. Can I play the same old song? Do I even want to?
Well, that was a nice surprise!
From the synopsis, I was expecting an entirely different sort of story. More of the guy-was-a-jerk-and-wants-a-second-chance trope. But this was a refreshingly heartwarming book. There isn't as much naughty-time in this one, but I was only slightly disappointed in that.
First up, we have Ashley, whom we've gotten to know a little bit in the previous books of the series. She is a pianist, working on her master's degree in music. She is also more reserved than the other girls in her group, and until now, we didn't really understand why. But in her story, we learn about her painful past in the romance department and why she tends to err on the side of caution when it comes to men.
In the center of Ashley's heartbroken past is Erik. Also a pianist, they met as teenagers and formed a bond over piano keys and sheet music. But when their relationship takes a terrible turn, Ashley is left feeling abandoned and devastated. Reading that part, I felt pretty lousy, too.
Fast forward several years and the two cross paths, once again. Their reunion is haunting and I found myself holding my breath, waiting for the train to derail. In fact, I was on edge for the last half of the book, both rooting for them and afraid for them, at the same time.
In the end, this book was a great read. I would have preferred to see the book switch back to present day, more often, in order to see more of how Ashley was managing her day-to-day. It seemed like half of the book was flashbacks to the teenage years and I wasn't expecting that. But, ultimately, the story was a roller coaster of emotions with a sweet ending.
If I didn't have other books already committed to, I would love to dive straight into the fourth book of the series. But it will have to wait until I get a few others out of the way, first. For this book, 4.5 suns!