Lovin' los libros

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Blog Tour: In the Lyrics by Nacole Stayton {Review, Excerpt, + Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the In the Lyrics blog tour hosted by InkSlingerPR!
Today I am excited to share my review, an excerpt, as well as a giveaway with you all!

In the Lyrics
  by: Nacole Stayton

Publication Date: Feb. 7, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received from InkSlingerPR and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count:
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Hensley Bradley is the definition of the girl-next-door. She’s kindhearted, beautiful, and talented. Bored with her mundane life, thoughts of fleeing her small town begin to consume her. With aspiring dreams to use her voice as a one-way ticket, she suddenly discovers that music might not be her only passion.

After a fallout back home, Colby Grant decides to leave his family’s farm, determined to show his father he’s more than just a wanna-be country singer. With his All-American good looks, it doesn’t take long for girls in his new town to focus their eyes on him. But things aren’t what they appear from the outside, and it isn’t long until Colby feels he doesn't fit into the perfect world that so quickly embraced him.

A chance encounter places Hensley in Colby’s path, but it isn’t her natural beauty that first captures his attention – it’s her voice.

When love and music mix, will the combination blossom into a beautiful melody or wither into a heart-wrenching tune?

Warning: This book is intended for readers 18+ due to explicit language and sexual encounters.


“Do you know the first thing that I noticed about you?”

She shakes her head no.

“It was your confidence. I had just gotten to town and was going to grab a bite to eat and then call Dusty, but I saw this girl sitting on the street corner.”

“I felt like you were staring holes in my head,” she says softly.

“Truthfully, I was. Anyway, once you started to sing…it was like…ya know when your favorite song comes on the radio and you’re jammin’, listening to every word, your heads bobbin’, and you’re just feeling the music, but then your phone rings and you know it’s a call you can’t miss? There’s a split second where you debate on pressing forward to voicemail so you can finish the song, but you’ve been waiting for this call, so you turn down the radio knowing you’ll miss your favorite part just to answer it. It was like you were my favorite song, and I was forwarding my calls to voicemail. In that moment, I didn’t care who was standing around me. All I was worried about was tuning in to you, listening to your voice.”

“I love you.” Those three simple words are spoken, and much to my amazement it’s Hensley that says them first.

Clutching her face hard in my hands, I kiss her. I kiss her for being so darn dumb and insecure, for acting like a jealous girl, and more importantly, for loving me through it all.
I love books that revolve around music, so naturally when I saw this one I instantly wanted to read it! I really enjoyed In the Lyrics. I felt Stayton did a good job with her pacing, and I really enjoyed the storyline. I liked Colby and Hensley, the main characters, for the most part, but I did feel they fell for each other rather quickly and let it consume them instead of nurture them.
Colby and Hensley both want out of their hometowns for different reasons. After Colby lost his brother, his family has never been the same. His father has turned into an alcoholic and his mother lets him, as she refuses to leave him. Colby and his father are constantly going head to head until finally, Colby knows he has to go. He promised his brother he'd make a name for himself and heads off to Music City, USA (Nashville). Hensley has dreamed of performing and making music, but she needs to get out of Nashville. She also has some family issues- her father is sick and her mother gave up her own dreams in order to raise her. She's always told Hensley never to fall in love or let anything get in the way of her dreams.
When Colby and Hensley first lay eyes on one another, there is this instant connection between the two. Colby is captivated by the beautiful girl with the beautiful voice and Hensley is also taken aback by Colby. However, she quickly reminds herself that she isn't that girl and that nothing will sway her from getting out of town. I had some trouble liking Hensley at first because of how cold she is to Colby. He gets under her skin and sees past the walls she's constructed. His intensity scares her and vows to not let thoughts of him interrupt her life. She does eventually loosen up and act better towards him, as he is going to be her best friend Dusty's new roommate and she essentially lives there as well.
I really enjoyed Dusty's character. He is not only a great friend to Hensley, but ends up being a great one to Colby as well. Dusty is the one person that both confide in and I love that he encourages their relationship from the beginning.
We do have some side characters that I did not particularly care for in this novel: Brittani and Logan. Both went to high school with Hensley and Dusty. Brittani hates Hensley for something that happened with their parents a long time ago and has always taunted her and made her feel like crap. When she first sees Colby, she zones in on him and proceeds to throw herself at him at every turn. She is manipulative and just all around trashy. Logan, on the other hand, while being the QB and popular, is friends with Hensley (or at least during the summer when they're working together on his farm). He has feelings for her that she does not reciprocate and doesn't like taking no for an answer. I do admit I was a bit irritated with Hensley for acting as childish as she did after seeing Brittani once again throw herself at Colby and kiss him. Hensley of course gets the wrong idea and instantly decides to get drunk and then let Logan kiss her. Colby of course, is pissed as things are really starting to escalate between the two of them.
I do like how patient Colby was with Hensley. She is a virgin and he does not rush her or force into more, even when she wants it. Instead, he waits for her to ask for it before engaging in sexual activity. The two have been intimate long before they first had sex, but still it's a big deal for the two, as Colby knows this is it for him. He wants no one else but Hensley and sex will change everything between them. Hensley was also good for Colby- she is there for him as he goes back home to Texas to confront his father again and introduces her to his brother and instead of running away from his less than desirable home situation, she remains steadfast and polite.
I knew as I was reading that it was all too easy. Hensley and Colby get together and fall in love with no major issues. I was reading just waiting for the bottom to fall out. And oh, it did. Music is a big part of both of their lives and where Colby would give it all up to be with her, she is easily influenced by what she has dreamed of forever. This creates a big problem for them- as Hensley starts to lose sight of who she really is and what she had. Both Colby and Hensley could be very stubborn when it came to telling the other how they really feel and own up to the fact that they have both made mistakes.
The music industry is a tricky one- labels often don't provide new artists the freedom to do what they want and I think its a pretty big wake up call for our main characters in the novel. However, if you don't fight hard enough for your dreams and what you want- you definitely won't succeed.
Colby and Hensley had to learn some hard lessons in this book and had to decide what direction they wanted their lives to go and if they would even be together in the end. Aside from a few issues, I really did enjoy this one.
Nacole Stayton is twenty-something years young and currently resides in the Bluegrass State. She spends her days working at a local hospital in the billing department and nights writing vigorously on her current novel. She has a passion for helping others and wears her University of Kentucky gear proudly. While her husband loves all things outdoors, Nacole enjoys the finer things in life, like getting pedicures while reading on her Kindle Fire. She is passionate about her faith, family, and The Bachelor.

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  1. I'm liking the sound of this one. I always enjoy when music is incorporated in the story. Also that was a great excerpt. Great review

    1. Thanks Teresa! It was a cute one. I definitely enjoyed reading it.

  2. This is the first I've heard of N. Stayton BUT I'm totally crushing on this cover!! Thanks for the awesome review!!

    1. Thanks Ria! When I first heard of this, I knew I had to have it! I love the cover too!

  3. I haven't read one of Nacole's books yet but I own a few. :) I was attracted to In the Lyrics for the same reason you were, Jessica...I love books revolving around music. And lyrics are kinda my favorite. :) I'm glad you liked this one despite the insta-love. The story sounds pretty great otherwise. Fantastic review!!

    1. It was a nice story! I wouldn't say it was one of my favorites, but I did enjoy it nonetheless. Music is my passion, so when books have it it's just an added bonus for me!

  4. Hmm, this one sounds pretty interesting and I haven't heard of it at all, haha. I haven't heard of the author either, but based on what you're saying, I'm intrigued. Hensley and Colby sound like characters I would like to get to know. Great review!

    1. :D I can't even remember how I heard of Nacole, but I did like this one- I wouldn't say it was a favorite, but I definitely would recommend it to NA lovers.


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