By: Heather Dowell
*Originally posted on Heather’s blog.
Bad Boys & Band Geeks don’t go together, or do they?
Self-proclaimed band geek, Layne Hall is used to being overlooked and that’s fine, as long as her music makes a mark. She’s waited a long time to showcase her talents at the elite songwriters’ competition and she has her eyes set on the prize. Winning the scholarship is her ticket out of small-town obscurity.
Too bad a kissing virus is about to blow up her plans . . .
When Layne’s best friend gets mono and can’t compete, she needs to find a new singer for her music, and fast! Luckily her coach has a solution—her son.
But Wyatt Nash is no hero . . .
With his too-cool-for-school attitude, popular jock friends, and heartbreaker reputation, Wyatt seems like the last guy to ever volunteer to help out, especially for a lame singing competition. But is this bad boy really as bad as he wants everyone to think or is there a reason for his smoldering attitude?
Wyatt isn’t Layne’s ideal partner. More like sworn enemy. But what’s a girl to do? Winning this scholarship is the only way Layne can afford college. She won’t get another chance like this.
But working with Wyatt means breaking her rules . . . and possibly falling for the most unlikely high school hero on the planet.
I loved the characters in Kissing The Hero the girl was shy but an awesome songwriter. The guy was an enemy of her best friend though he had no idea why, and he had to replace her when she got mono. Layne didn’t want to work with him because she thought her best friend would be mad about her working with the enemy, and it became even more difficult when she started to notice maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy after all.
I thought it was pretty funny that the guy had a British accent though he was born in the US. He was also super rich and didn’t tell anyone because he didn’t want them using him like friends did at his old school. Laney is on the poor side. She lives with her mom, and she babysits the next door neighbor in the mornings. She didn’t want him coming over to her house to pick her up or to practice because she was embarrassed. But he didn’t treat her any differently than he would have if she was rich.
He is an athlete who is recovering from an injury and feels out of place with nowhere to have as an outlet. His mom pretty much demands that he be Layne’s partner for the competition. She happens to be one of the advisors for it. Layne could sing her own songs, but she’s way too shy. She can’t even sing them in front of him, which makes it really hard for him to know how he needs to sing the songs. I really loved how he got her to be comfortable around him and sing the song so that he’d know what to do and then how their talents blended together so naturally once she opened up.
This is honestly one of my favorite books by Christina Benjamin. I just really loved these characters and thought that they were a perfect match. I also loved the sort of dark night of the soul moment where he catches her talking to his dad and thinks that she is trying to take advantage but really she flat out told off his dad for not paying much attention to what his son was doing or taking an interest in him. Because Layne really cared.
This book had my emotions on a whirlwind. I laughed and cried and swooned. and I loved that he called her Penny Lane and that she didn’t have money to get Starbucks all the time but pretty much became addicted once he started buying it for her, and you got to love pastries. Also liked that Layne was really responsible and how it was funny with the whole frozen waffles stuff in the mornings. Book had a lot of references to food, so definitely read on a full stomach or have food on hand.
Prepare for a really satisfying ending.
Q – Were you ever a band geek?
A – No, but I wanted to be. I LOVE music but don’t possess any musical talent. I tried to play the saxophone in 6th grade but I couldn’t read music. I totally channeled that when I was writing Wyatt’s character. He loves music but can’t read it. That’s why Layne is forced to come out of her shell and sing him her songs if she has any hope of them sounding right.
Q – What’s the most unexpected date you’ve been on?
A – Oh, wow! That’s a hard question. I have to think about this. I might need to phone a friend! I’ve been married for 15 years. There’s been so many amazing dates. We love to travel together so much that we started a travel channel called the Epic Wanderers. So, I’d say it would have to be a date on one of those adventures. Probably our picnic in Regents Park in London. Or our picnic in Jackson’s Square in New Orleans. Oh, or the one in Venice! I guess I really like picnics! Haha. But honestly, I love anything that turns into a date that wasn’t planned. Like picking up a bottle of wine and a baguette and finding a nice spot under a shady tree to watch the world go by. It forces me to stop and enjoy the moment and just be instead of thinking what’s next. It kind of feels like dreaming with your eyes open and I cherish those moments.
Q – What was your dream college? Why?
A – I think it was always to be a writer it just took me a while to figure that out. I went to three different colleges and changed my major three times before I found one that fit. (It was English). I joke that it was my Goldilocks moment. I tried Art and Criminal Justice and though I liked them, they just didn’t feel right. Then I switched to English at UCF and instantly felt like I was home. It was a surreal feeling to be surrounded by like-minded creative people who dream on paper. That’s when I knew I wanted to write.