More Than Music (Chasing The Dream #1) by Elizabeth Briggs
Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars.
Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
*** New Adult romance suitable for 17+ due to mature content. ***
“Sexy, fun, and heartfelt, More Than Music will bring out the rockstar in anyone. A truly passionate love story–both in music and romance. Jared and Maddie’s story is a great example of how important it is to be true to yourself and step out onto your own stage.” – Julie Cross, author of the TEMPEST series and THIRD DEGREE
“Last night wasn’t a mistake. I want it to happen again. And I don’t want to be friends.” His head bowed, and his lips hovered near mine, tempting me with how close they were. “Do you?”
“No, I don’t want to be friends.” Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” popped into my head as I said it. That’s what happened when you thought in music. “But what about the show? And…your reputation?”
“We’ll figure something out. But Maddie, I swear, you’re the only one I want.”
I’d been dying to hear those words for weeks. Our mouths met, forced together by the unstoppable release of pent-up desire. He pressed me back against a pillar, using one arm to shade us from anyone who might see. With his other hand, he gripped my hip, digging his fingers into the fabric of my dress while he kissed me long and hard until I was practically moaning for more. I slid my hands down his chest and under his shirt, running my fingers across his bare stomach like I’d fantasized about for weeks. He tugged at my bottom lip with his teeth, driving me crazy, making me forget all the reasons we couldn’t be together. I didn’t know what we were doing or where this would lead, but I didn’t want to stop.
“We should go to the hotel,” I said, breathing heavily.
“I like the sound of that.”
We walked side-by-side, stealing glances and smiles whenever we could. I still found it hard to believe that, out of all the girls he’d flirted with, he’d chosen me. He was just so different from the normal guys I went out with. I usually dated guys like Sean—friendly and nice, safe but not particularly exciting. But I was done with safe.
Suddenly, Jared belted out the chorus to “Bad Romance,” which was still playing on a loop in my head, too. I laughed, and when he continued with the next line, I sang along with him, right there in the middle of the street while cars drove past and people in suits walked by. They probably thought we were crazy or drunk, but whatever. Jared was the first guy who truly got me, who understood that music coursed through my blood and crept into every single thought—because he was exactly the same way.
“Singing Lady Gaga might be the sexiest thing you’ve ever done,” I said.
“Is that so?” He pulled me close, singing the next line of the song against my lips.
I pushed him back with a smile. “Stop or we won’t make it back to the hotel.”
“Is that a promise?” he asked, his arms circling my waist.
We turned the corner and froze when we saw Kyle and Alexis walking out of the hotel, on their way to dinner. We ducked out of sight and broke apart, returning to a friends-only distance. The magic vanished, leaving us with only questions and doubts.
I leaned against the wall and combed my fingers through my hair until my heart slowed down. “What are we going to do? We have to stay single for the show, and the guys will kill us if they find out.”
Jared frowned in the direction of the hotel, rubbing the stubble on his neck. Finally, he sighed. “We’ll have to be careful. Keep this under wraps until the show is over.”
I bit my lip, considering. I didn’t want to lie to the others, but I had to be realistic, too. Staying away from Jared for the next few weeks would be impossible. We couldn’t ignore our attraction while spending almost every waking moment together. If we tried, eventually we’d combust from the sparks. Even now, with the threat of discovery so close, I wanted to touch him. But if anyone found out about us, it could ruin everything for the band.
Q: Romance readers have a lot of choices these days. What makes More Than Music (Chasing The Dream #1) stand out in the crowd?
A: MORE THAN MUSIC is a stand-alone New Adult romance featuring rock music, lots of geeky references, and a TV show loosely based on The Voice. There is no cliffhanger ending, and it’s more of a light and fun summer read than many other New Adult romances.
Q: We like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from More Than Music (Chasing The Dream #1)?
A: My favorite quote from More Than Music (Chasing The Dream #1) is:
We only had a few stolen minutes before we had to perform again, and our kisses had a frenzied, reckless edge, two addicts desperate for their next hit after going through days of withdrawal.
About Elizabeth Briggs
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.