Thursday, June 2, 2016

Book Spotlight on Queen of My Heart & Offbeat by Nikki Lynn Barrett (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Today I'm bringing you double the pleasure with two books set in the music world.  Keep reading to get a tempting glimpse of Queen of My Heart (the first installment in the Life Won't Wait series) and Offbeat (the fifth installment in the Love and Music in Texas series) by Nikki Lynn Barrett and then add them to your bookshelf.  You'll also get my impressions of Offbeat and its disabled heroine trying to re-claim her life on the road as a drummer and the man who feels lost but sees infinite possibilities when he looks at her.  In honor of these books make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $15 bookstore GC and an e-copy of one of Ms. Barrett's books too!

When the next King of country music offers to take you under his wing, what's a girl to do?
Pinch herself, of course. Repeatedly. Then take the offer!
Quinn Winters is tired of being the actress known for most killed off characters. After discovering her love of music when her last role portrayed a country singer on a daytime soap opera, she's making a much needed change in life. Quinn is unprepared for the demands and expectations needed to succeed in Music City. One pleading call from her sister puts her in an all too familiar, but unwanted position.
Five years ago, Tucker McGinnis auditioned for a reality singing show, never expecting to win. His sudden fame and popularity comes as a major surprise. After a multi platinum debut, his second album is suffering the dreaded sophomore jinx. His musical muse becomes elusive when guilt plagues him over an accident which affects his family. He is blown away by Quinn when he overhears her audition at his record label, singing his most personal song.
An attraction builds, and a connection through music is formed. But when life gets in the way, Tucker makes another offer - A temporary marriage which will benefit both of them, until things become too real.
Two souls destined for the stage, two hearts blending together to create beautiful music as individuals, but even better as country music's next power couple- if they can shed the images of who they used to be.



Life is full of choices....
Right before she turned sixteen, Taryn McAllister made several rebellious choices, one which led her to become the drummer for a major teen sensation country star. After a deadly accident, she made another choice - to get back on the wagon and play drums again, no matter that it took adapting because she's confined to a wheelchair.
Now another set of choices is thrust upon her. After reconnecting with her estranged best friend, Taryn is offered a chance to play drums for a local Texas band ready for the Nashville move. Her once strong confidence is shaken, and she's torn between her love of music and the reality that it might not work out.
Chris Roland made a string of bad choices, and it's left him feeling numb. Now he's playing the drums temporarily for his sister's band, but he knows this isn't the life for him. Problem is, he doesn't know what direction to go. He knows what he doesn't want, but can't decide on what he does want.
And then he meets Taryn, the feisty drummer who could be his replacement. He's relieved for a chance to break away....that is until he gets to know her. And while he's getting to know her, she's helping to open up a part of his soul that was long dead and buried.
It's high time to make the right choices. It's just a matter of deciding what choice is right.




As a quadriplegic I was immediately drawn to the premise of this story and was impressed, for the most part, by Ms. Barrett's depiction of disability.  The feelings displayed by the heroine were realistic with a hero who was supportive as he encouraged her to live her life to the fullest.  Even as he was dealing with his own personal issues he still made many Grand Gestures to show his burgeoning love for her.  From the first page to the last readers are taken on a journey of empowerment and self-acceptance that charmed me and put a smile on my face.

Taryn was once a carefree drummer with love and a flourishing career before another's rage led to tragedy which left her a paraplegic.  She's closed herself off since then, become a bit of a recluse, before the truth regarding that night reunites her with her friend and gives her a chance to do what she loves best. Drumming brings her fulfillment but with it comes worries about what her body will be able to do when opportunity puts her on tour.  The harsh realities of living life with a disability leave her concerned over what others take for granted.  As much as she wants to be like any other woman, her body will always betray her.  To get her HEA she'll have to find humor in those moments of embarrassment, accept herself as much as Chris does.  Ms. Barrett realistically, and heartbreakingly, depicted the highs and lows of daily living as a paraplegic.  Taryn's reactions were spot-on too as she allowed her frustrations to show but never gave up.  She brushed herself off and rolled with the punches and these reactions were more empowering than if she never had her mini-breakdowns.  She wasn't perfect and it's the imperfections that had me liking her all the more and rooting for her to let Chris into her life.

Chris comes from a past of pain when his mother walked away without a backward glance when he was a child.  It left him doubtful of love, and carrying the genes of her depression, which has culminated in a life that's out of control and teeming with uncertainty.  One-night stands and playing drums in his sister's band have left him unfulfilled and have him reaching out to the one bright spot to enter his life...Taryn.  When his mother finally reaches out to him it leads him to make big changes to his life and plan a future with the one woman who truly understands him.  With danger coming ever closer to them from a hidden enemy their HEA is put in doubt and had me on the edge of my seat.  Chris is a truly wonderful hero who saw beyond Taryn's wheelchair and who made her see that her life has just begun.  Together they made magic through many romantic moments of dancing, swimming, and heartfelt talks. Even as he dealt with his own problems he always put her first which endeared him to me even more.

This was an emotionally intense read that brilliantly depicted the world of a paraplegic.  The highs and lows were sensitively handled and fully immersed you in the everyday events.  Readers could easily relate to Taryn's frustrations and cheered with her triumphs in a story that developed in a slow and steady (almost too slow at times) pace.  The romance between Chris and Taryn started out as friends and slowly morphed into a deeper connection with their talks about sexuality dealt with in a mature and realistic way.  The secondary characters were seen in previous books and rounded out this cast of immensely likable characters who all supported one another wholeheartedly.  The only aspect of the story that marred my overall enjoyment was the psycho who went after the women in Chris's life.  It felt out of place with what the overall storyline was trying to convey and became a distraction as it felt overly melodramatic.  On a whole though I applaud what Ms. Barrett has done here in showing a disabled woman embracing life and love.  Even though life sometimes gets her down Taryn still felt worthy of a HEA and I couldn't agree more!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


I'm an avid lover of books. I've been writing as far back as I can remember, completing my first "book" by fifth grade in one of those one subject spiral notebooks. I have a passion for music, photography, jewelry and all things creative. I live in Arizona with my husband and son, but dream of being somewhere much colder and stormier. For now, I'll have to live that life through my characters and stick it out with the summer heat.


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  1. You've got me a little speechless here, lol. Wow! Thank you for taking the time to read and review Offbeat!

    1. TY for stopping by and for your comment! As a quadriplegic I'm thrilled to see disability portrayed in such a powerful and meaningful way that doesn't dwell on the negatives. With so many movies/books over the last ten years (I'm focused on Me Before You right now) pairing disability with assisted suicide I applaud those stories that depict our lives more positively.

      I look forward to reading more of your books and engaging in more talk about this issue!

      The Scarf Princess

    2. I live with a slight disability myself. I'm visually impaired, so I've spent a lot of time around other people who have different disabilities. One of my best friends is completely blind and some of her personality traits inspired Taryn's character. I also have a seven year old son that while we don't have an actual diagnosis, they are thinking autism. So my world is centered around inspiring people who *defy the odds* so to speak. I don't see enough stories with characters with various disabilities in a more positive light, so I felt the strong urge to create my own.

      If it is all right with you, I would love to pull a quote from your review for Offbeat's print cover. I would credit your blog name along with the quote.

    3. I LOVE learning about author's backgrounds as it lends, in your case, authenticity to what they write. I appreciate you sharing it. With your son we have another thing in common as my youngest brother has Aspergers (a lesser form of autism) which carries its own battles in his war for independence.

      Thank you again for what you accomplished with this story and any quote you'd like to use from my review you're more than welcome to.

      The Scarf Princess