A MelanieM Review: Burning Tracks (Spotlight #2) by Lilah Suzanne


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Gwen Pasternak’s got it all. Or so it seems…

In the sequel to RT Book Reviews’ Top Pick Broken Records, Gwen’s life looks perfect: She has a job she loves as stylist to the stars, a beautiful wife, Flora, and a house in the heart of Nashville. But the more she works alongside country music’s dynamic princess Clementine Campbell, the less Gwen is certain of her commitment to a life of domestic bliss.

Meanwhile, her business partner Nico Takahashi is happily settled down with reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson. But when Nico questions the permanence of their relationship, Grady retreats into some dangerous old habits. Will Gwen ruin the life she’s built with Flora for something new and exhilarating? Can Grady be convinced of Nico’s devotion before it’s too late? Burning Tracks is a story of tough choices, taking risks, and the pressures of living life in the spotlight.

Burning Tracks, the second installment in the Spotlight Trilogy, sees Gwen Pasternak take center stage in this saga of intertwined relationships.   Gwen and her wife Flora have always been an integral part of Nico Takahashi’s life.  She’s his partner, sometime life support, best friend and even foundation when things have gone wrong.  And Nico has been hers, even if that put Flora on the outside.  So bringing Gwen out here and letting us see more of her life makes total sense.  She and Nico switch places for a book, with Nico and Grady switching places, their relationship drama swirling as a secondary although still greatly important element here in Burning Tracks.  Neither Gwen or Nico can be separated from each other.

We have been leading up to crisis in relationships, small, large and everything in between and the cause of them.  Here the push has been for a child from Flora, something that Gwen doesn’t really think she wants or is capable of being a good parent to.  Adding to that pressure is a new client, Clementine Campbell, who  wants all of Gwen all of the time.

Lilah Suzanne expertly threads us through the confusion that Gwen feels about all the complications in her life, the pressure she feels, the knowledge that she’s on the precipice of her relationship with her wife who she loves….we feel it all and love Gwen all the more.  She’s so human and vulnerable yet trying to do her best.

Clementine Campbell, the powerful charismatic country star on the rise is just as amazing.  She’s so brilliant a character, she shines off the page, even at her most irritating.  Only Flora comes off as a grey figure here in comparison which is a shame.

Nico and Grady, and the others are all here too, fighting for their relationship, making mistakes still due primarily to communication, something that seems to plague them all.

I love the aspect of the country music business and style here.  That never fails to entertain and inform.

Now to the sex.  Yes, there’s a lot of F/F sex here.  If you don’t care for that, then you can fly over it and still stay at the heart of this story, the relationship dynamics, the mistakes people make, and the paths back to the people who are really their HEA.  I really enjoyed this story, loved it place in the trilogy and highly recommend it.

Cover art again is perfect.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published August 11th 2016 by Interlude Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Spotlight Trilogy:

A MelanieM Review: Broken Records (Spotlight #1) by Lilah Suzanne


Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Los Angeles-based stylist Nico Takahashi loves his job—or at least, he used to. Feeling fed up and exhausted from the cutthroat, gossip-fueled business of Hollywood, Nico daydreams about packing it all in and leaving for good. So when Grady Dawson—sexy country music star and rumored playboy—asks Nico to style him, Nico is reluctant. But after styling a career-changing photo-shoot, Nico follows Grady to Nashville where he finds it increasingly difficult to resist Grady’s charms. Can Nico make peace with show business and all its trappings, or will Grady’s public persona get in the way of their private attraction to each other?

Book One in Lilah Suzanne’s “Spotlight” series.

Broken Records (Spotlight #1) by Lilah Suzanne is one of those books and series I ended up backing into by mistakenly starting at the end of the series.  Without realizing it was part of a trilogy, I picked up and read (and reviewed) Suzanne’s  Blended Notes, the story the concludes the Spotlight trilogy.  It’s a wonderful story but as I mentioned in my review, I absolutely felt of lack of backhistory that reading the previous stories might have provided.  And I was going to rectify that.

Wow,  am I glad I did!

I love, love Broken Records.  Yes, it absolutely gave me the missing foundation and history I needed to give heft and depth to Nico and Grady’s relationship in Blended Notes.  Here I get to watch it all begin.  I have the joy of watching the characters, meet, mesh, love, laugh, have hot sex (fans self) and decide, that they are it for each other, no matter what.

Lilah Suzanne introduces both characters, supplies them with their history, supporting cast of characters and businesses so each remains fiercely independent financially of each other for better or worse.  Nico Takahashi has a little bit more in his support section. ( I don’t consider people with a financial hook in you a support system, plus I read book three.) There’s Nico’s partner Gwen Pasternak and her wife, as well as Nico’s family.  On Grady’s side?  Well, it’s much smaller and sadder.  How each other navigates the perils and trust issues between them is a realistic element here along with the whole music/style side of the business.  All of this was hinted at in Blended Notes but to read/experience here?  Amazing!

Yes, there are moments I laughed out loud.  And some I sniffled.  Suzanne takes the believable approach that love isn’t just romance, that a relationship is communication and sometimes hard work.  Between Nico and Grady, fear of the spotlight and fear of being left behind, the work is constant even if the love is always present.

I loved all the characters here, including Gwen, her wife, and others  that keep popping up throughout the story to add in wisdom, levity, strength and support.

Yes, I wish I had read this story first.

But  coming at it backwards somehow works too.  I have an appreciation for the timeline, I can get a real free for the character growth and the relationship dynamics that play out over the course of three stories (yes I’ve read the second as well).  I’ve fallen in love with the entire trilogy and every single character in it.  You really need to put Spotlight the trilogy on your must read series list.  But read them in order!  I highly recommend them all…second book review coming up.

Cover art brands the series and works for the storyline as well.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published December 17th 2015 by Interlude Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Spotlight: