Well, you guys. The amazingly fantastical Elizabeth Briggs
has done it again! Book 4 in her Chasing the Dream series, More Than Once
, has just been released, and let me tell you: she accomplished what I thought would be impossible. Curious? Read on for my review!
More Than Once is the story of Becca–the alcoholic former Villain Complex bassist who seems to have a knack for screwing things up–and Andy. Now, I’ll be completely honest and say that I absolutely loathed Becca in the other books in this series. I found her to be quite spiteful and not a little skanky, and I truly wouldn’t have even considered her as a redeemable character who could be set forth as the heroine of her own novel. Of course, that’s what I get for underestimating Elizabeth Briggs. Clearly.
“God, this girl was dangerous. I’d spent the last few months completely dead inside, yet somehow she’d jolted me back to life in a matter of minutes.”
Wait. What? Is Andy describing Becca here? Alcoholic, nasty Becca? How did she manage to bring part of Andy back to life?
“And my god, Andy was incredible. I’d never been with someone who was both so tender and caring, yet so rough and demanding.”
Ok. This can’t be right either, because Andy is boring and vanilla and…rough and demanding? No way.
As I began this book. I thought of Becca and Andy as they’d been described in other books–by their exes and the other members of Villain Complex. What I came to realize, though, as I read, was that it’s all about perspective. When a person is portrayed to us from a critical perspective, as is the case with Becca and Andy, it’s true that there may not be much good to see. But when we view those same people from their own point of view, or that of someone who cares for them? Well, then they become something else entirely. Indeed, Becca transforms before our eyes into a beautifully misunderstood, down on her luck young woman who has made mistakes (and haven’t we all?) out of loneliness, hurt, and desperation. We realize that Andy isn’t boring–he just hasn’t had anyone who made him feel comfortable enough in his own skin to discover the things he’s hidden away.
And now I feel like a giant asshole for calling Becca skanky…
“I wanted to succumb to this man in every way, shape, or form. I was going to give him everything he wanted…And I knew he would give me everything I needed in return.”
THIS. Right here? This is a thing of beauty that I think most of us want in a romantic relationship. That desire to give of yourself–to leave your vulnerabilities exposed–and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the other person will both return the favor and give you what you need. A beautiful reciprocity that can create an unimaginable bond.
“I couldn’t fall for her. I couldn’t. There was too big of a chance she would rip my heart out, just like Tara had done. Becca made me feel more than I’d felt in months. Maybe ever. But falling for Becca would only give her the power to hurt me. If I felt this strongly about her after only a few days, what about in a few months? Or a year? When she walked away, as all my other girlfriends had done, how would I recover?”
How, though, do you achieve that reciprocity when one person (or both people) is afraid to open themselves to more hurt. They may want desperately to have that bond, but the fear of being crushed beyond repair, especially when you have been down that path before, can be debilitating.
But, oh. When a person can look past that fear, even for a second, and see the possibility? The greatness that could be? Well. That can be an amazing incentive to jump the hurdle of past hurts and forge a new path toward earth-shattering love and self-discovery.
“The music was still in me, even though I’d buried it deep and locked my bass guitars out here in the dark. Releasing it was so powerful, so intense, and so damn right, I found myself in tears as I finished the song.”
Sometimes, when we feel our “music”–whatever it may be–has left us or been buried too deep to ever rise to the surface again, the reality is that we just need the right person to come along and help us dig it out again.
Alright, Elizabeth. We won’t give up on our music. We’ll see ourselves and other through new eyes, and we’ll push forward to finish our songs.
Seriously. Go buy your copy of this book now. And if you haven’t read the previous books in the series? Yeah, read those too. Trust me. It’s worth it.
You can also read my review of the previous book, More Than Fashion.
Wait, what’s that? You guys think it would be really cool if I gave away an e-book copy of Book 1 in the series, More Than Music, in which we first meet Becca? Hmm…ok. If you’re going to be all demanding about it. I can do that.
Comment below with your answer to this question, and I’ll draw a winner on December 16: Naughty or Nice? (You can simply type the word, or you can enter an explanation. Whatever you choose. Have fun with it!)
AND…since we’re doing giveaways, I guess I should let you guys know that Elizabeth Briggs has set up a huge giveaway for you? Where she’ll be giving away TWO $50 GIFT CARDS. I know, right? She’s the best. Enter on her page, here!