Saturday, September 24, 2022

Book Review for Controlled Chaos by Nikki Ash……

I’ve been in love with my best friend since high school.
My biggest regret? Walking away without telling her.
I planned to. But then catastrophe struck, making us part ways without a word.
She left for Boston with her fiancé, while I left for L.A. with my band–Raging Chaos.
For the next five years, I lived and breathed music, trying to forget the beautiful girl who shattered my heart without even knowing it.
Until I see her again…
I walked away once, and I've learned my lesson.
Layla is my forever, not another item in my pile of regrets.
And she's about to find that out.
The moment I saw Camden on stage, something inside me came to life.
His tragic song of unrequited love was a confession that had me questioning everything.
Five years might’ve changed who we are—he’s a rock star and I’m a single mom—but my feelings for him are as strong as ever.
His lyrics make falling in love seem easy. For him—maybe it is.
Only I’ve learned the hard way that real life isn’t as simple as writing a love song.



Wow!  What an emotionally draining read this was...but in a good way!  My love of rockstar romances continues with this first installment in the Love & Lyrics series and with each turn of the page I look forward to what comes next while gobbling this one up as an unrequited love finds its HEA.

Camden and Layla met as teens, becoming neighbors and best friends, but for Camden there was more as he fell completely in love with Layla.  Her having a boyfriend, and fear over ruining a beautiful friendship, kept him from admitting the truth though.  Add in another tragedy and before long these two went their separate ways towards their next stages of life...all without the truth of his feelings coming out.  Camden went on to fame and fortune as a rockstar while she went to college, got married, and became mom to the adorable Felix.  While Camden seemed to be living his best life there was always something missing, words and lyrics that constantly poured out of him declaring his unrequited love for Layla.  When fate brings them back together he makes the most of their second chance but it's a bumpy journey as Layla's been bruised and battered by the life she chose.  This leads to a slow and steady reunion that had me fall more and more in love with Camden because of his patience, his sweet and sexy nature, and his endearing interactions with Felix (a definite bright spot in the story) that made this such a richly rewarding romance.

Camden's a delicious hero, a rockstar who (surprisingly) hasn't let fame go to his head. He's been patiently waiting for Layla and once they're reunited he continues to be patient with her, protective and loving, and everything you want your book boyfriend to be!  Layla's life definitely didn't go as she hoped it would, married to an abusive man who becomes increasingly violent before one final act has her finally starting over without him.  Through it all Layla's a strong-willed heroine whose abusive marriage was depicted realistically and reading of her hurts hurt me too.  The scenes depicted were gritty and heartbreaking and it had me rooting for her to start anew.  There was a feeling of joy once Layla and Camden found their way back to each other, a feeling of rightness, that warmed my heart and brought a tear to my eye.  Surrounding this newfound family in the making are the rest of the members of Raging Chaos, young men with lots of baggage weighing them down as they've let fame consume them.  The time spent with Braxton, Declan, and Gage has left me dying for more from these perfectly imperfect rockstars and it's with breathless anticipation that I'm counting down the days until the next installment in Ms. Ash's angsty series!

My rating for this is an A.

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

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