Series: Mayhem #1
Published by Avon on January 20th 2015
Genres: College, Contemporary, Friends to Lovers, Musicians, New Adult, Romance, Road Trip
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When college freshman Rowan Michaels meets gorgeous, up-and-coming rock star Adam Everest, she knows a player like him is the last thing she needs after her ex-boyfriend shattered her heart. But she can't stop thinking about the kiss they shared on his tour bus.
On the first day of school, Rowan is stunned when Adam saunters into her French class. He's soon failing miserably, and, on a whim, she offers to tutor him. But Adam doesn't recognize her as a makeup-free, glasses-clad college student—a far cry from the beautiful, mysterious "Peach" he met at his concert.
During a wild weekend on tour with the band, Rowan can't help falling for the sweet guy buried beneath Adam's rocker persona. Yet she knows she could never compete with the girls constantly throwing themselves at his feet. She'd just end up hurt … again.
Peach is all Adam thinks about, though, and when Rowan realizes this, she has a decision to make: stay just friends to protect her fragile heart … or reveal the truth about the night they met and admit she's fallen completely, hopelessly in love with him.
As happy as can be, Rowan goes off to college while living with her boyfriend of three years, and her best friend attending the same school. She’s excited about school, in love, and ready to start living her life. Before school starts, Dee and Rowan go to a local night club to see an up and coming band with drop dead gorgeous Adam-freaking-Everest as the front man. While supposably on a business trip, Rowan catches her long term boyfriend cheating on her at the club and rushes out back before he could notice. Enter stage left – Adam goes out for a smoke break before the show, and sees a gorgeous girl all done up for the night crying on he curb. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a guy’s the problem. With the given nickname of Peach, Adam and Rowan head to the tour bus to get a drink before the show; but after the show, upon his return to the bus, Adam’s shocked to find that his Peach left before he could even get her name.
When classes start, it’s no surprise that fate brought these two together again in the form of French class; but low and behold, Adam doesn’t recognize his Peach. Without all the makeup, fancy clothes and heels, Rowan tries to blend in, never draw any attention to herself that could cause him to realize who she is. Of course he always has girls hanging off of him, and she’s too heartbroken by her ex to need any part of that drama. She’s thankful for his distraction on the worst night of her life but can’t deal with anymore heartache that’s surely to follow in his wake. So when he’s failing the class, why does she offer to be his tutor? And now the teacher is giving them less than a week to make it happen. Being a busy band with tours planned all over the place, Rowan has to board the tour bus once again and set off for the weekend. With the band, groupies, and of course Adam in tow, will no one recognize her as the infamous Peach? Let the fun begin!
“I gaze up at him, realizing that boys like him leave girls broken. He’s not the type of guy a girl has a fling with and gets over. He’s the type of guy who ruins all the rest that come after him.”
When reading a book from a debut author, you never know what you’re going to get. I was so happy and surprised by how much I genuinely enjoyed this book. I laughed, I swooned, I wanted Adam all for myself. Rowan was clever and real, Adam was caring and adventurous. Everything about this whirlwind trip was simply perfect.
Adam really exceeded the expectations I’d set when I first started this novel. Sure he has the rock star persona down pat, but there is so much more than that underneath. He’s compassionate, funny, and will do whatever he can to help a friend or to put a smile on their face when in need. He’s true to himself, and even says multiple times not to try and analyzes his actions; he does what he wants whether he has a reason to or not. He was always sure of what he wanted and was unapologetic when he made this voice heard – I love that. “Ask me why I want you.” With Rowan, the nerdy girl from his class, he always put her above the conquests that followed the band from show to show. He wanted to spend time with her, and treated her with the same respect and familiarity that he gave to his band mates. Oh and have I mentioned hot? Let me tell you this, Adam Everest can melt my panties any day! Seriously. He was such a perfect combination of confidence and sincerity, he was never going to hurt his Peach like her bastard ex did, granted he could ever find her again.
One of the first things I noticed about Rowan that I adored was her sense of humour. Her inner dialogues were on point, and I was cracking up over some of the thoughts she had. It honestly reminded me of my best friend and some of the things she would say.
“Hm,” Kayla continues, tapping on her lips in an obvious move to draw attention to them, “I neverrr . . .”
There are so many ways she could finish that sentence. I never: read a book whole way through, passed a class with an A, closed my legs for more than five minutes, had an intelligent thought.
“I never had a threesome,”
“Sure you haven’t,”
“If we weren’t sitting on the same side of the table—looking utterly couple-ish—I don’t doubt they would have come over to get his number, his home address, and his dick size for future convenience-store shopping purposes.”
Rowan also fit in with the band perfectly, and I think a big part of that was because she wasn’t intimidated by them. She could crack jokes with them, be sassy, her personality didn’t change because she was trying to impress them; that’s what made her so real. Not only was she helping out Adam, she could go toe to toe with Shawn, and hold her own against Mike in Call of Duty. The guys loved her, Adam adored her, and Rowan just wanted to say thank you. All she wanted was to anonymously return the favour and help out the guy who was nice enough to distract her from her problems one night before a concert.
These two had great chemistry and their passion was palpable. I was rooting for them the entire way through. Even before Adam found out about Peach, he was developing feelings for Rowan; the real one, not the idolized girl he’d only spent a few short minutes with. Adam had a case of ‘actions speak louder than words’ because even if he wouldn’t come out and say it, based solely on his actions and reactions, you could feel how he wanted Rowan, he just didn’t know how to go about getting a girl like that.
The pacing was well done and consistent. I didn’t find an area that dragged. I was entirely engaged, and whole heartedly rooting for these characters. I had a smile on my face for 90% of the story; it was cute and fun. In the end, this book finished very well. The resolution fit the story line incredibly and it was 100% believable in my opinion. Remember how I said Adam was swoony? Yeah, I still believe that.
“Before Peach, love was just a word that girls threw at me from the crowd, but now I know what it really means.
It’s mayhem. It’s forever.
On a side note, this band really reminded me of my favourite band from when I was a teenager. Nothing looks wise, but what I imagined their music to be like. A lyric from one of their songs I found to be fitting for Adam and Rowan. This is from Save Your Heart by Mayday Parade.
Save your heart
For someone who leaves you breathless
And I know that you’re scared
Seems like someone said you had it in you (are you scared?)
When describing Mayhem, Jay Crownover said it perfectly, “This book is exactly why ever girl has a rockstar fantasy. Love, lust and good times on the road make for a fun and sexy romance that will make you want to drop everything and run away on tour with the band.”
This story is exactly what the New Adult Romance genre is all about; the in between stage of a smooth transition from Young Adult to Contemporary Romance. Was is the steamiest book I’ve ever read? No. What it the most outlandish and shocking? No. Was that its intent? No. Did I love it just as much as some of those others? You can bet your next set of concert tickets I did! Stories like this remind me why I love to read. Hats off to Ms. Shaw, she did an excellent job.
Debut? Not anymore! Be sure to check out Joel and Dee’s story in Riot, Shawn’s story in Chaos, and stay tuned for Mike! Mayhem plain worked for me, and Jamie Shaw is now an auto-buy author in my world. Give Mayhem a try, and she might just become one for you too! I’m off to binge read Riot and Chaos, when’s the next band coming to town?