In the beginning, I had to double check that this was in fact a K.A. Linde novel. It didn't feel like her usual writing style and it takes you a while to warm up to the characters, if at all. I'm still not the biggest Vin fan. He just doesn't know when to quit!
As usual, there were a few spin to the usual college/rockstar romance drama. Thing is though, this story wasn't riddled with music as much as I expected. As popular and present music goes, there was none and all the musicians outside of Contraband, with the exception of Vin, were tools. I don't know much about the music industry but this was the most unwelcome representation.
Grant is an interesting character because his first impression leaves everything to be desired. He was cheesy, trying too hard and I didn't buy into his "playboy" persona. He was just annoying. As the novel progressed, I started to warm to his character and like him a little more. He balanced the line between fiction and reality, with his 360 upon meeting Ari, but his continued appreciation of the female anatomy. After all, he isn't blind or impotent.
Ari was a banshee from beginning to end but I love her. She took her time, stayed focus and never lost sight of who she is and wanted to be. She never backs down and made for the perfect balance to Grant's character. Her dry humour and sarcasm helped also. Even though she was on the wealthier side, she held a more relateable and realistic tone in comparison to the other characters.
We really only got Grant's background but it was so out of left field and that ending did nothing to reassure or help me understand his past anymore. I was left even more confused and unsure of why we needed a happy, anxiety filled cliffhanger o.O
Overall, I feel like this story is an easy read, that keeps you interested enough to finish. However, there is hardly any substance and playing out all the cliches of a rockstar romance can only take it so far. I wish there was more music and less groupie focus but K.A. Linde has always taken her novel from the opposite POVs and this time was no different. The friends were questionable and God bless the few people who possessed any morals.
Minus the lack of musical influences, shock value and overall point, I would read book 2 mostly to see what's next for Grant, Ari and Contraband. Maybe it will get better as it progress and I would like to be apart of that when if it does, plus I have few questions that only K.A. Linde can answer :)