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Stephanie Parent, Reader and Writer

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.

Girl with Guitar: 1 (Kylie Ryans)

Girl with Guitar - Caisey Quinn Move over, rock-star hotties…there’s a new book boyfriend in town, and it’s country-music heartthrob Trace Corbin!Trace is, of course, the love interest in Caisey Quinn’s Girl with Guitar, the story of a talented young country singer-songwriter, Kylie Ryans, trying to make it in the music business. Kylie finds herself performing as the opening act on Trace’s latest tour, and as you might expect, things get very complicated very quickly. Kylie and Trace share both smoking-hot sexual chemistry and a soul-deep love for music…but another thing they have in common is the major skeletons that won’t stay in their closets.I think this book is going to be BIG. Obviously I can’t see the future, but I wouldn’t make that prediction if I didn’t believe it. Girl with Guitar sucks you right in with smooth writing, an endearing heroine, and a just-can’t-stop-reading storyline. It’s a perfect beach read, but at the same time, it manages to express some very dark and painful emotions. Quinn’s character development is very thorough and convincing, and the pacing and plot progression is pretty close to perfect. My only small complaint would be that the drama felt a little too drawn out at the very end, and there was one stupid decision I really, really wish Trace hadn’t made. (It’s not that I want him to be perfect—he’d already done plenty of stupid things by that point.) But the drama is pretty standard for this kind of book, and I don’t think most readers will really mind.I also have to mention that a lot of the writing is really strong on the sentence level. There are these incredibly apt, witty one-liners like this description of a VIP room full of scantily-clad girls: “It was like the seventh circle of hell, if the devil was a porn director.” And then there are beautiful descriptive passages like this one, which I’ll leave you with:She should’ve just thanked the audience, hopped down off the stage, and resumed her regularly scheduled life. But she didn’t. Instead she made the colossal mistake of looking over into hazel eyes that darkened to the color of the sky just before a deadly twister touched down, destroying everything in its path. She was from Oklahoma, and knew a thing or two about storm warnings. Trace Corbin was setting off all the sirens inside of her. Kylie was standing directly in the path of something wild and dangerous and a hell of a lot more powerful than she. Look away, her subconscious screamed at her. But she couldn’t because for the first time since her daddy died, she was alive.