Review: Lead by Kylie Scott


Author: Kylie Scott
Published: 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Stage Dive #3
Rating: B+

Lead is the third book in Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series, which focuses on the members of a famous rock band. After all the hype around this series, I was surprised to feel rather “meh” about the first two books (Lick and Play). This one, however, made me glad that I kept going with the series.

Lead picks-up on the coattails of Play with Jimmy, the lead singer of Stage Dive, throwing a diva-esque tantrum in a hotel room. Lena, his assistant and sobriety partner, is getting real tired of his shit. So she takes it upon herself to calm him down, all the while thinking about how she plans to quit soon. She knows she was never qualified to be anyone’s sobriety partner and she can only hide from the brewing family drama, back home, for so long. When Jimmy finds out that the one assistant he actually likes is planning to quit, he does everything in his power to convince her stay.

I really loved Lead. It’s angstier than the previous books, but I think that’s what made it work. Play didn’t have enough conflict to keep me engaged the whole time and Lick came across as a purely wish-fulfillment story. In Lead, Scott found a good balance between the two and did a great job of balancing out the angst with some humorous moments that had me chuckling.

I have to give Scott huge kudos for how she writes her heroes. All of three of them in the series, so far, have been extremely distinct, which can be rare in romances. I’ve read too many series where (when a side-character is given their own book) the hero turns into a carbon copy of his predecessor. Scott’s heroes are very different from each other. David, the hero in Lick, was sensitive and quick to jump to conclusions and Mal, the hero in Play, was a spontaneous jokester. While Jimmy is aloof and uses his sharp tongue as a defense mechanism, when he feels uncomfortable.

Jimmy really made this book for me. The highlight of the story was watching him struggle through a corny step-by-step plan to help convince Lena to stick around. I loved watching him go out of his way to follow the plan, only to do something unintentionally to negate it in the next breath.

While Scott excels with her heroes, she kind of lacks in the heroine department. While the heroines’ backstories are different, they all pretty much act the same. I would be hard-pressed to tell them all apart in a scene without names or them making moon eyes at their hero. Lena was slightly better than the previous two, but not by much. Also, how her conflict with her sister was brought into the open and resolved was pretty juvenile.

The ending was also a little of a let down. This was mostly because, compared with the pacing in the rest of the story, it felt rushed. I liked where it was going, but the fallout that happened between Jimmy and Lena felt too big to have such a quick and easy resolution. I also cringed at the corny-ness of inserting a Maroon 5 song into the book. It would’ve been better to have left what song was being sung to the readers imagination.

While I’m glad that I continued on with this series to get to Lead and would recommend giving this one a try, I don’t think I’ll be reading the last book, Deep. Mostly because it relies on a trope I despise. The dreaded “heroine gets pregnant after one bout of sex” trope.

Reviews for other books in the series 

8 thoughts on “Review: Lead by Kylie Scott

  1. I liked this one most out of the four books. I actually started with the second (as it was priced the lowest!), and then backtracked to LICK. I don’t think you’re missing much by skipping the fourth – I did like it a lot (lots of humour and some good grovel at the end), but yeah, there’s the accidental pregnancy trope.

    This series got me looking for more rock star romances (which is apparently a subgenre thing?) – I tried Nalini Singh’s books but couldn’t make it through the first one. Her writing just doesn’t work for me in contemp romance.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who liked this one the most! I’m also glad to hear that I’m not missing much by skipping the fourth book. This series is making me want to hunt down more rock star romances as well.

      I read Nalini Singh’s contemp books too and couldn’t get into any of them, either. Her PNR stuff works really well for me but her contemporaries I find kind of boring.


      • Oh, speaking of rock star romances, I liked Karina Bliss’s RISE – not sure if you’ve read it? It’s self-pubbed and linked to one of her trad-pubbed Harlequins, IIRC, but works as a standalone. Can’t think of any others that have worked for me at the moment…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Awesome! Thanks, Li! I haven’t read that one yet. I’ll have to give it a shot. Thanks recommending it. 🙂

        Reforming the Rock Star by Christine Bell was pretty good, if you haven’t read that one.

        If you’re interested in about a famous actor Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James was fantastic.

        Liked by 1 person

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