Review: Fractured Beat by RB Hilliard (Meltdown #1)


Note: This ARC was provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Music, mystery, and mayhem meet in this rock star romance series starter and my first read from author RB Hilliard. Fractured Beat is the first in the Meltdown series and with a look through the authors past books listed on Goodreads along with names mentioned in this book, I'm assuming this is the spin-off to her MMG series. However, this first book, and I'm guessing the rest of the books to follow, can be read separately from the original series, at least that's how it felt on my end. I did become a bit curious about all those other side characters but I never felt as if I had to know anything or everything about them in order to enjoy Fractured Beat. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't read the first series because the five books--four full-length novels and one novella--landed on my to-be-read list as soon as I finished reading.

Meltdown lead singer and guitarist Grant Hardy feels nauseous and loses consciousness in the middle of a concert and wakes up to accusations of having overdosed on Oxycodone, with evidence of his drug use found in his hotel room. Grant, however, insists he never used the drug and has no idea why it and all those other drugs were in his room. He's forced to go into rehab in order to save the band, their record label, and management any legal issues, but he isn't a happy camper. Once he's out, he's still kept on a leash, with the leash being held by Mallory Scott, a drug counselor brought in by the label. Grant wants nothing more than to make and play music and to clear his name, but he's getting very little help from those he thought had his back, and he isn't sure if he can trust Mallory, no matter how attracted he may be.

RB Hillard's writing style took a bit of getting used to, with the bit of overlapping when the points of view between Grant and Mallory would switch, but her storytelling sucked me in from the start and there was no putting my e-reader down for the nearly three hours it took me to read the book. I liked the combination of rock romance and mystery suspense, with me switching from one suspect to another, having three possibles for most of the book until my suspicious nature got to me and I stuck to a fourth one for the remainder and was proven right at the end, albeit a bit brokenhearted by the revelation. A curious part of me wonders if a novella will ever get written about the one who did it and the person they were involved with because, well, I would certainly read it. Yep, I admit it. I'm quite hooked on Meltdown.

Both Grant and Mallory were such strong main characters and I loved that while there may have been an attraction from the beginning, they were both wary of the other, unsure of what to make of this person who was thrust upon them for the foreseeable future. Mallory's back story perfectly explained why she entered the field of drug counselling but it also tied in to the main story line of Grant's being drugged. When I had that final suspect in my sights, the motive for everything that happened was rather gut-wrenching, and I wasn't expecting the way that loose end was resolved, but I totally appreciate why it went about the way it did. I actually thought this was a standalone, but being the book junkie that I am, I look forward to more of Meltdown and seeing where the author takes them next. Fractured Beat gets five stars. ♥

Date Read: 28 September 2016

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