Monday, August 7, 2023

The Duet by Hailey Gardiner: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Connor Cane is strictly off-limits.

Which is terribly unfortunate, because I've had a crush on him for years. What’s a girl supposed to do when her brother’s best friend also happens to be an insanely handsome country music artist?

When we cross paths again at a friend's wedding, I jump at the chance to write a song with him. Purely for professional reasons that have nothing to do with his good looks and charisma. Getting a cut on a Connor Cane album is just the leg up I’m needing in my songwriting career.

As our song gains traction leading up to the release of his record, so does the undeniable chemistry between us. But there’s a dark side to fame, and I become a target by association.

Flirting? Fine. Singing together? Necessary.

Falling in love with Connor Cane?

A very bad idea.

A laugh-out-loud, brother’s best friend, sweet romance with wild chemistry and heart-stopping kisses. Books in the Falling for Franklin series are full length stand-alone novels and can be read in any order.

Hailey Gardiner writes cheeky, sweet romantic comedies inspired by the hilarious and awkward moments that make up her real life. Hailey is a master at quoting movies, a dark chocolate fanatic, and loves raising two boys with her husband.

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The Duet is the third full length novel in the Falling for Franklin series. I had personally only read the series prequel and found that I was able to enjoy this one as a standalone just fine. That said, I've enjoyed both of these so much that I look forward to going back and reading what I missed in between. 

While I've enjoyed the occasional celebrity and/or musician romance, I can't say that it's ever been my particular favorite trope either... but this one certainly has me rethinking that because... oh my goodness, this was just SO good! The author was a songwriter before writing fiction and I definitely feel like that knowledge and passion added so much to the story and made it feel so much more authentic. And I absolutely loved every minute of being drawn into that world, both the good and the bad. And the chemistry between Ella Mae and Connor? Oh. My. Goodness. Seriously, LOVED them together. It certainly didn't hurt that brother's best friend also happens to be one of my favorite tropes too! 

All of that alone would have made this a great story anyway... but can we talk about the Jesse McCartney love in this story!? He was actually one of my own celebrity crushes as a teenager, and I actually got to meet him (and the rest of Dream Street) at a meet and greet back in junior high so... yeah, that definitely elevated the story for me personally too. I loved it! 

The Duet is a closed-door romance with amazing chemistry filled kisses, but nothing beyond that and no language. I would say this probably falls into C&W level 2

If you're looking for a great music-centered romance, this is one absolutely not to be missed. 


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