Published by: MTV Books on July 16, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Music, Romance, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon • Goodreads
From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.
Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
There is one big, massive problem with Dirty Little Secret, and it comes in the form of a seriously big douchebag named Sam—the love interest. Before I talk about what a massive asshat he is, let me give you a bit of essential background information.
Bailey always played the fiddle and sang with her sister, Julie. They were a duet for years and years and years. Then, Julie got a music contract, but Bailey didn’t. And on top of that, the company who picked up Julie insisted that Bailey be hidden away. She’s not allowed to play music, have social media accounts, or make it known that she’s Julie’s sister. The reason is that the music company doesn’t want the public to pick up on the fact that they separated Julie from her “duet partner”/sister because it would give them bad press. And Julie’s parents are 100% compliant in this.
So, Bailey meets Sam and at first he seems like an okay guy and a brilliant musician. He’s seems nice, funny, and obviously hot. The first red flag to me was when they had ZERO romantic development, and then they kissed. Totally out of nowhere. He was just like, “I’m going to kiss you.” Totally randomly. Then later that day they’re practically having sex in his car (not quite that far, but lots of groping, clothes coming off, making out).
Then the second red flag came up when Sam’s bandmate informed Bailey that he’s had 50 girlfriends and uses the same lines on them all (the exact same ones he used on Bailey). He uses the lines to hook girls in, then dates them until he gets bored, then breaks up with them. But more on that later.
So, from there, huge horrible things exploded. Bailey told Sam all about her situation. She didn’t say who her sister was (didn’t give him a name), but she gave him the whole story about her parents, the record company, being forced to stay hidden, etc. And Sam was 100% on her side. He basically said, “Screw your parents! You don’t need them anyway!” But then, a few days later, he found out exactly who her sister was and how incredibly big and successful Julie was going to be. Then, he flipped a bitch at Bailey. He was SO mad at her for not telling him. And he DEMANDED that she go crawling back to her parents, kiss their asses, and try to get an “in” with the record company for their band. But he KNEW that Bailey was supposed to stay invisible, so why would the record company give her the time of day? He just wanted to use Bailey and her “connections” to promote his band; he literally did a complete 180 because he realized that he could profit from Bailey’s horrible situation.
Obviously this upset Bailey, but not as much as I would have thought. She was mad at him for a while, then went crawling back to him and had sex with him… WHAT THE HELL?!?!? And after sex, this exact conversation happened, starting with Bailey:
“I started the night thinking that way, Sam, but now… don’t you want to try to work this out?” [their relationship]
“Are you going to ask your family to try to get an in for our band?”
“Then we can’t be together.”
ARE YOU READING THIS???
Sam uses his “lines” on Bailey (the ones he uses on all the girls) to gain her trust and get her to like him. He toys with her for a while and seems like he might still be an okay guy… then he completely turns on her when he realizes that she has a connection to a record company and didn’t tell him. Now that she is refusing to help him “profit”, he totally bails on her. For some reason Bailey isn’t that phased and goes running to him for sex, stupidly thinking that she might get a relationship out of it too. Sam is totally fine with the sex, but when she inquires about a relationship afterwards, he makes it clear that he can only be with her if she helps him get a record deal.
But in the end he apologizes, so it’s okay that he was an asshole. O_O (not)
Overall, Bailey’s whole relationship with Sam was terrible. It was gross, manipulative, one-sided, and they were completely wrong for each other. I can’t believe she gave Sam the time of day after he turned on her like that.
At first, I did really enjoy the music in Dirty Little Secret. It was a really interesting part of the book, and as a result, I started out reading Dirty Little Secret on a positive note. But soon, it just downward spiralled. On top of everything I’ve already said, Sam’s band was a nightmare. In fact, the whole band reminded me of Sam and Bailey’s relationship. It was an unhealthy relationship and they were all totally wrong for each other and should not be in a band together. They fought all the time and it gave me whiplash and a headache like you wouldn’t believe. Charlotte was a complete bitch in particular. So maybe, in that sense, they did all deserve each other, because they were all pretty horrible.
Now, so we can end on a positive note, here’s a really awesome violin video.