I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Musical Games by Evie Alexander
Series: Kinloch #4
Published by Emlin Press on January 27, 2023
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Romantic Comedy
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble
He’s never been kissed, and she’s about to rock his world…
Bubbly actress Sam is on the brink of the bigtime — all she needs is one lucky break. But when she drops everything for the chance to meet Hollywood’s biggest star, she blows it by blurting out a lie.
Now, she’s got ten days to write an album with a man who wants nothing to do with her.
Shy electrician Jamie has never set foot outside Scotland — or his comfort zone. Then beautiful and vivacious Sam gatecrashes his world, and he’s unwillingly swept up in her grand plan. But though Jamie has the voice of an angel and the body of a god, he’s never even kissed a girl… and fame is the last thing on his mind.
As the songs emerge, so do feelings — but Sam’s determination to reach the top is matched only by how fast her lies are catching her up.
When the duo are offered the opportunity of a lifetime, the spotlight illuminates their glaring differences. Can Sam and Jamie face the music, or will fame tear them apart?
Musical Games is a steamy, slow-burn, grumpy/sunshine, laugh-out-loud, dual POV romantic comedy. Featuring an extremely hot virgin hero and a big-hearted heroine with a runaway mouth — there’s no cheating, no cliff-hanger, and you’re guaranteed a happy ever after (HEA).
What inspired you to start writing?
I was always making up stories as a child, and when I was about eight, my primary school teacher bought me an exercise book so I could start writing them down. I am still in touch with her decades later, although I am a little apprehensive of her reading my work! I carried on writing through school and beyond, but never had the confidence to get anything published until a life changing event and the support of a friend helped me finally finish a novel.
What’s a typical writing day like for you?
Wake between half four and half five. Fail to get back to sleep. Get up around six. Go to the Smut Hut. Write until seven thirty when the rest of the family stagger downstairs. Do morning chores then back to writing. Write until midmorning when I stop for breakfast. Write some more then take a break around three to sort my daughter out and whatever is happening around tea time. Eat dinner, then write until my eyes start bleeding. Go to bed.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I have to write first thing in the morning without any distractions. That means getting up before the rest of the family and definitely not checking social media or emails! I usually write in my garden office (The Smut Hut), but if I need a change of scene, I bring my chromebook to bed and work from there, although not the best thing for my posture…
Do you have a certain ritual?
My writing ritual is more about what I don’t do than what I do. I have to have silence and nothing around me that is distracting. I like to get up and then immediately start to write.
Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Only water. If I have any food then it totally distracts me! I tried to give myself a reward system with chocolate but that totally backfired as I just ate the lot within ten minutes… When I write I need to get in the zone so food and drink gets in the way of that.
From idea to finished book, what’s your writing process like and how long did it take to write your first novel?
This is an interesting question as my writing process and timeline to finishing a book has changed so much as my craft has improved. Highland Games took years to write and two years to edit (part of the issue was that the first draft was two hundred thousand words and needed splitting into Highland Games and Hollywood Games). Now, with better planning, I can write the first draft of a novel in eight weeks, although the editing process can take several months.
In your opinion, what are the common mistakes aspiring authors make?
- Writing directly about their own life.
- Info dumping – telling us the entire character’s backstory and world in the first few chapters.
- Telling the story rather than showing.
- Not jumping straight into the action.
- Thinking that comedy has to involve the female lead character pratfalling all the time
- Letting the story happen to the characters rather than letting the characters drive the story.
- Trying to write like someone else, or how they ‘think’ they should write.
- Being unable to cut what does’t work
- Believing the first book they ever write is a work of unparalleled genius, rather than something that should never see the light of day.
- Spending ten years crafting their first book and hoping to get picked up by an agent or publisher rather than just keep on writing and honing your craft.
Any other advice for aspiring writers?
- Read as much as you can in the genre you are interested in and work out what you like, what you don’t, what works and what doesn’t
- Read outside of your genre for inspiration
- Write the book you would want to read, not what you think you should write
- Don’t hang around waiting for an agent or a publisher. Just keep writing.
- Get beta readers who you don’t know to read and critique your work
- Read craft books and make sure your book follows a basic structure, although you don’t need to follow it slavishly.
- Be prepared to throw things you have been working on for years into the bin and start afresh.
I had to take a bit to get into this one as the author has interwoven all the side characters stories throughout Rory and Zoe’s story instead of them having completely separate timelines. That’s okay though, because it is fun to see the events and things happening from another viewpoint! I really liked Sam and Jamie though.
Sam had some interesting issues with her career, as well as her health and family. I was happy at how things turned out once she had more time with her family and found out just why/how they actually felt the way they did about her. Jamie was interesting as well. He always came off a bit interesting in the other stories, but learning more about him and why he was the way he was in this one was definitely an eye-opener to a lot from those stories.
And then the side characters, like the crazy actor Brad. And Jamie’s mom Morag, as well as other members of the town. All of that is what makes these stories so well rounded over all.
I did have a bit of an issue with Jamie and his insta-love to Sam without having even met her. I mean while Sam had the recording of Jamie playing his songs to kind of fall in love with, and I guess he had her acting on the soap opera, it almost seemed a little too out there at first and way to abrupt for me in that aspect. At times their reasons for not getting together, his especially, and the way he treated her, made me a bit unhappy and not feeling the connection either.
In the end though, as I said, all of it came together and all was fixed up with the end storyline and the characters they were surrounded with.
About the Author
Evie Alexander is an award-winning author of sexy romantic comedies with a very British sense of humour. A self-confessed ‘method writer’, Evie has taken it upon herself to live a full and messy life, from which romantic and personal failures become fodder for her laugh-out-loud plotlines.
Imaginative, passionate and frequently called ‘bonkers’ by her friends, Evie’s interests include reading, eating, saving the world, and fantasising about people who only exist between the pages of her books.
Her novel Highland Games won Best in Category in the The CHATELAINE Book Awards for Romantic Fiction and Women’s Fiction 2021.
Evie lives in the West country with her family, where she pens her steamy stories from the Smut Hut.
Follow her blog for musings about the writing process, book reviews, and details about her stories, and follow her across social media for even more.
Sounds cute, and maybe best to start with the first book in the series. Thanks!
I did love the first one, so I’d definitely say start with that!
I’m glad you liked this one. It sounds good!
The whole series is really pretty good!
It does sound like a fun story and I love the setting! The insta-love would turn me off as well., but it sounds like it wasn’t a bad read overall. 😉
Yeah, it was a little too-insta for me, but the story and setting and characters kept me reading.
this sounds like a potentially fun read!
It was cute!
sounds like a fun book!
It is! Thanks for visiting!