Dirty Little Secret
By: Jennifer Echols
Available July 2013
Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
This Blonde’s Review:
This story is about what happens to Bailey after her dreams are swept under a rug while her sister is given a chance to shine. Bailey then changes from good girl to depressed rebel who just wants to feel again. She acts tough, dyes her hair, and refuses to let people’s opinions matter. The only person she feels is on her side is her grandfather.
When her parents say she isn’t allowed to play music while her family acts like she doesn’t exist he lets her get a job with tribute groups at the mall. It’s the kind of work where you could end up with a different type of group every day. She gets to go have Elvis, Dolly Parton, and others. The people she meets run from creepy to sweet and high to serious. One of those groups includes Sam.
Sam recognizes the brilliance in Bailey’s fiddle playing and knows that she could be an asset to their band. As a guy who won’t take no for an answer he keeps trying to get her to join the band, even as she says no. Soon she’s playing and making money with the band, even though she hadn’t committed to it.
Obviously there is the romance angle, but can Bailey trust that Sam wants her and not her in the band? Sam comes across as a total charmer and we see the ways he’ll say and do what is needed to get his way. What will happen when he finds out who her sister is?
When her sister needs her Bailey can be with the band or go back to the family who abandoned her. And the choice could change everything.
I really loved Bailey. She didn’t handle things well but the things that happened were really screwed up. She reacted badly but her family let her down and used her reaction as justification.
I really hope there is a spinoff book because I hated that this one ended. I’d love to see Bailey again.
If you enjoy reading about teens whose family lets them down, they act out, then have to find their way to the life they really want then you’ll love Bailey’s story.