Review: Shattered Rhythm by RB Hilliard (Meltdown #3)
Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
“When I’m with you, I feel settled. My fingers, the need to move, to jump out of my own skin, settles,” he confessed, and my heart flip-flopped in my chest. He was answering my question from last night, and I knew how huge this moment was. “You make me forget,” he whispered.
Shattered Rhythm is the third novel in author RB Hilliard's Meltdown series, and in my opinion, it's the best one of the lot, which is saying a lot since I loved the first two books, Fractured Beat and Broken Lyric, which I recommend you read prior to jumping into this latest release because there are events that occurred back then that play a part in what happens here. That's not to say that this one doesn't do well as a possible standalone. It does, but there's a story arc that plays out through the three books. Reading them in order will make for a better reading experience.
Book three is about Meltdown's drummer, Chaz Jones, who replaced original member Dale Nelson after he died from a drug overdose. Chaz has always felt like an outsider of sorts, the one who stepped in when needed but not necessarily wanted given a choice between him and Dale. He's also closed off, choosing to keep his past a secret from even his closest friend in the band. When his involvement with a bandmate's ex leads to the poisoning of the wife and girlfriend of two bandmates, he decides to take a step back from Meltdown. But now, it's time to return...
With their manager away due to family responsibilities, a new road manager is brought in. Olivia Marshall has the experience, but what many don't know is what happened behind the scenes--what led her to walk away from a job she loved. Working with Meltdown is meant to be a temporary fix, one that'll help her keep her from drowning in unpaid bills. She'll keep things professional She didn't count, however, on Chaz. He gets on her nerves and he's under her skin. She wants him, but she's learned the hard way that having what you want isn't always a good thing.
Chaz and Olivia don't exactly have the kind of first meeting that inspires warm and fuzzy feelings. She's been warned about his being difficult and he's immediately ticked off by her snubbing him repeatedly. But goodness, that underlying tension between them was palpable, and I knew that once they finally got around to dealing with their attraction, it would surpass expectations. These two were experts in pushing each other's buttons, but I thought off all that as foreplay because the sex was definitely hot and heavy and they couldn't seem to get enough.
Now, if you're familiar with the series, you'll know that there are elements of mystery and suspense throughout. Here, both Chaz's and Olivia's pasts have been less than stellar, though hers more recent than his. Something is clearly afoot while Meltdown goes on tour, and my guess as to who was behind it all was right...sort of. Let's just say that this one had more twists than I was anticipating, and I was left gobsmacked when everything came to light. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, RB Hilliard would then throw out one doozy of a curve ball!
Allow me to mention that there may be possible triggers in Shattered Rhythm, particularly involving sexual and physical abuse on a minor. I won't say who, but best you go on forewarned. Hilliard's writing, as always, has left me quite impressed. Suffice it to say that I'll be eagerly anticipating the stories of those the author mentioned at the end of the story. If you thought her MMG series was good, she's raised the bar with Meltdown. Romantic suspense seems to be Hilliard's niche, and I, for one, will be along for the ride regardless of where she goes. Five-plus stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Meltdown series:
Fractured Beat (book one) - five stars - My Review
Broken Lyric (book two) - five stars - My Review
Shattered Rhythm (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Date Read: 04 December 2017
Learn more about RB Hilliard.
Purchase Shattered Rhythm on Amazon.