By: Cait Marie
*I received a free advanced copy of this book from the authors for my honest opinion.*
Dating Nashville can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading the Redefining Me series first.
GIVEAWAY information at the end of the review!
Becks is living out his dreams. He’s living in Nashville with his best friends, recording music, and growing as a country music star. When he stops mid-concert to jump off stage and kiss his best friend’s younger brother, his whole world is flipped. Now, his record label wants him to pretend to be dating Nicky, or else they’ll pull him from an upcoming tour of a lifetime.
Nicky knows exactly who he is, and he’s tired of being with someone (Kenny) who keeps breaking his heart because he’s afraid of coming out. Becks was a close friend in high school, but when he moved to Nashville, he never looked back and stopped talking to Nicky. It hurt Nicky almost as much, if not more. He’s had a crush on Becks forever but knew he could never be with his older brother’s straight best friend. But now Becks needs him to pretend they’re dating, and it’s too hard to act like it means nothing to him.
Becks just wanted to save a friend who was getting his heart broken, but it brought to surface feelings he’s afraid to admit to anyone. Especially himself.
If you read the first series, Redefining Me, you got a glimpse at these characters and probably love them just from those small appearances. I know I did, and I was beyond excited when I heard they were getting their own book.
It did not disappoint.
This book is everything. I absolutely love it and already know it’s going to make the top ten list of 2019. It was funny and made me laugh because, let’s face it, Becks’s sarcasm and attitude is just the best, BUT it also had a lot of serious plot points. It gets pretty emotional, and I definitely cried a couple times.
You all know how important characters are to me in a book. You also probably know how much I love the funny side characters. They always end up being my favorite, and Becks was no exception. In the other books, he’s the friend of everyone. He was a jock who didn’t care about labels. He was always joking and meddling, and I knew instantly that he was my new favorite. Dating Nashville shows a more in-depth look, and, because half is written in his perspective, you get to see what’s underneath the charm and smiles. For so long, I lived my life behind a fake smile. So to see this side of my beloved Becks was a little heartbreaking. It made me love him even more, as I could appreciate his struggles with trying to please people while figuring out who he is.
Nicky is just… Nicky. He’s precious and I just want to hug him. I loved him before as Avery’s younger brother and Nari’s best friend, but he became his own character in this book. He grows so much, from thinking he can’t do better than Kenny to being able to stand up for himself and turn away from the cycle he was constantly being sucked into.
“He needed to stop letting other people dictate his happiness.”— Ann Maree Craven & Michelle MacQueen, Dating Nashville
This book was amazing. It exceeded expectations and made me happy on so many levels. I laughed, I cried… I highly recommend it. If you like YA contemporary, definitely give it a try!