Good times didn’t last forever. While Beth Hart had enjoyed being the sometimes girlfriend of Max Reynolds—the hot bass player for Black Addiction—she knew it would never be more than a casual fling. He was destined for greatness, and she cared too much to hold him back. So, before she lost her heart and her sanity, she said goodbye to the Bronx, moved to Manhattan and left her party-girl days in the past—along with Max.
Nothing made Max happier than being a success in his own right. And in the last few years, he and his band had well and truly earned it. Moving to the city and enjoying the spoils of his new lifestyle made perfect sense, and he loved his new address. It wasn’t his new huge penthouse apartment that got him excited; it was his new neighbour. The one girl he regretted letting go—Beth.
He wanted her back and would do anything to make it happen. Hopefully it wasn’t too late. (Goodreads)
Stand is a very bitter sweet read, for although it once again showcases Gepharts brilliant skill at creating a very grounding and realistic romance, it is also the last (at least for now) book set in Gepharts rock and roll world. Regardless, the romance between Max and Beth is one which is different from the others I have read in this and its predecessor series. (Right now I have read all three in the Power Station series and Sticks and Stand in this one).
Max and Beth have had a very on and off relationship, which ended just before Max and his band hit the big time with Beth walking out for the last time. Years have gone by and through a twist of fate (and a little push from Max’s friend and band mate Joey’s sister, who is also a real estate agent), Max ends up living in the same apartment block as Beth. Quickly, the flames of passion are reignited, but unlike the last time, Max doesn’t want to let her walk out of his life. Yes, Beth has reservations, but both realise that they have something that goes much deeper than the physical.
This is what really works within the book; the fact that really there are no big external obstacles for Max and Beth to overcome. Instead we have this inner conflict both characters are trying to deal with. It is clear that they love each other, but Max is now this well-known rock god, while Beth lives a pretty normal life as a teacher. Somehow, they both make it work and you see the two of them grow closer and closer. That is not to say that Max’s fame puts extra pressure on Beth’s lives and at one point her career is in jeopardy. I do get why this was added to the story, but it came rather out the blue and the person who threatens Beth had motives that just didn’t ring true to me. This was the only real negative I had to the book, but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story that much.
Apart from Max and Beth, who I rooted to get together from the very beginning, the other new character to this series who I really loved was Beth’s roommate, friend and colleague, Jules. She roots for Beth and Max getting together and more than a few times, she helps nudge Beth onto the right path. She provides much needed comic relief, but at the same time she has a real heart of gold. If there was one character who I hope Tina will write a novella or incorporate into another series, it would have to be Jules. She just has so much potential.
Gephart always knows how to finish a book with an ending that leaves me with a big smile on my face and Stand is no exception. It is the perfect summer beach read.
As I said Stand is rather a bitter sweet read, for this is the last book set in this world… At least for now. Gephart has fast become one of my favourite authors, for she knows how to create characters that are relatable and you instantly root for. In this case we have a woman with a regular job who is thrust into a world that many only dream of. As for Max, we have an alpha male who has a heart that is as big as.. *ahem* another part of his anatomy.
As I said above it’s the perfect summer read and I would highly recommend this book. Whatever Gephart has planned next, I know it will go onto my must buy list.
BLACK ADDICTION SERIES IN ORDER