Series: Heartbreak Brothers #1
on April 7, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A grammy-winning rock star falls for a small-town girl in this all-new standalone romance from author Carrie Elks.
Gray Hartson is coming home. After years of playing to sold-out stadiums around the world, the tattooed singer is determined to build bridges with his sick father and reconnect with the family he left behind.
But then he meets her . . . the beautiful waitress with the smart mouth who makes him laugh more than he has in years.
One small problem. She’s his ex-girlfriend’s sister. The only woman he can’t have.
Maddie Clark was an awkward teenager when Gray left. Now she slings hash in a backwater diner, her dreams of being a famous concert pianist left in tatters.
Don’t ask her why. She’ll never tell. Strong women do what it takes to keep a roof over their heads.
Until he walks through the door and complicates everything.
Their attraction is wrong.
But foolish hearts never listen to reason.
Maybe he should write a song about that.
Take Me Home is the first book in the Heartbreak Brothers series of emotional standalone romances, set in the small town of Hartson’s Creek.
Inspired by the Lady Gaga/Bradley Coopers’ film “A Star is Born”, I’d say Carrie hit the mark with Take Me Home. She left me absolutely GAGA over Gray Hartson and Maddie Clark. This story left me feeling so utterly happy. I inhaled this book and finished it over the course of an evening. I simply could not put it down and I didn’t even pretend I wouldn’t be staying up into the night to finish. If you’ve ever read a book where you found a certain activity ( such as a first date, etc) that stuck out to you as a favorite in your reading history, it really propels you to stay with the story until the final word. When I recognized this moment, “A goldilocks kiss that sent her soaring”, I felt sheer joy.
We are first introduced to Gray as he’s finishing show before heading to his small home town, Hartson’s Creek in Virginia, for the first time in ten years. He’s immediately likable. He’s thoughtful, a little more mature, and taking this visit seriously. One of his first non-family run-ins is with a girl he doesn’t immediately recognize, but one he feels a pull toward that can’t be helped. The connection between Gray and Maddie left me beaming and Carrie Elks’s dialogue writing shines strong. The slow-burn, banter between them made me giggle, left me anticipating whatever would come next, and led them to their first kiss qualifying one of my literary favorite first kisses:
“Is your mouth always this smart?” he asked her.
“Pretty much.” She batted her eyelashes at him. “But I think you know what to do about it.”
I’m GAGA for them, I tell you! The way they make each other feel, how they see each other, is magical and fosters hope for a long term relationship, but there are a few obstacles that they must navigate in order to get to the other side.
The nature of Gray’s career and his visit would indicate there’s an expiration on their relationship. One of the other key blocks is the fact her sister Ashleigh is his ex-girlfriend and he broke her heart. While Maddie is loyal, she’s done so much to reconcile what she’s received with what she has given back, but she seems to feel she owes her family at the expense of her happiness. She’s made herself believe that she is content, but being content does not equal being happy. Fortunately Gray is oh so romantic and very persuasive!
Maddie also has a good friend that calls it as she sees it, helping to enlighten Maddie’s view. I had conflicted feelings with Ashleigh but she eventually made things right, helping Maddie deal with past trauma and leads her to see just how much she trusts Gray with her heart. Both characters grew so much throughout the story, and while their first kiss is a favorite of mine, these two have so many other great firsts. They share a sensibility, a passion and a newfound friendship in each other. I just love how they made each laugh and see that as reason enough to fight for each other and their HEA. I can’t get these two out of my head or heart, and for that, I am happy! 5++ Stars and Recommendation
~Review by Cyndi