book review

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata


It definitely has Mariana Zapata’s signature slow burn, but this one falls a little low on the bar.

Goodreads description:

Twenty-six-year-old Gaby Barreto might be a lot of things (loyal, sarcastic, one of the guys and a pain in the butt depending on which family member you ask), but dumb isn’t one of them. When her twin brother invites her to go on tour as his band’s merch girl, she isn’t exactly screaming at the top of her lungs with joy.

With no job opportunities pounding on her door, an ex-boyfriend she would still like to castrate, and no end in sight to moving out of her parents’ house in Dallas… it would be dumb to say no to the chance of a lifetime. Two bands, three continents, one tour. Spending the next ninety-plus days with three beloved idiots and eight complete strangers shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

If only the singer of the headlining band didn’t have tattoos… a great personality… a fantastic body… and if he wasn’t so funny….

Let’s be real: Gaby never had a chance against Sacha Malykhin.

While the chemistry between Gaby and Sacha are completely off the charts, it doesn’t have the usual wholeness of a Mariana Zapata story. It fell a little flat, and did not leave me all warm and fuzzy the way her books usually do. The slow burn is definitely there, but the big sigh of relief and feeling of utter contentment at the end that I usually get with her other books was lacking that it was almost anti-climactic.

Maybe it’s because this isn’t really a genre I normally read. I have such high expectations of Rock Star Romances (any music-related romances really) that I typically avoid them to not be disappointed. But having enjoyed The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Kulti and Lingus, I had high hopes for this story. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. I just didn’t love it like all the other Mariana Zapata stories.

Maybe it’s because Gaby was just tad bit too insecure to do anything for herself. Like, say, I don’t know — maybe just ask Sacha what the deal is? Sure, she had her heart broken by a different rock star. But it seemed like a lazy way of setting up her inner conflict.

Maybe it’s because Sacha’s character was a little too perfect. In fact, he’s almost boring. No flaws and no complexities. He’s basically a sensitive pretty boy whose depth solely rests on an ex who constantly demands so much from him. He’s a rock star for Pete’s sake. It sort of comes with the territory. Find a different conflict.

Maybe I wanted a little more rhythm and music. As a music junkie at heart, I might have expected song lyrics, even though it didn’t need it. I like my Rock Star Romances a certain way, and this aspect hasn’t been fleshed out the way I expected it.

Despite the seemingly negative review, it was still an enjoyable story. It doesn’t make my must-read list, but if you’re looking for a fairly decent slow burn romance about rock stars, you might like this as well.

Rating: 3 stars


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