About The Book:
Her name’s Antonia “Toni” Bennette (yeah, she’s heard all the jokes before) and she’s not a rock star. Neither are the Lillys—not yet. But the difference between being famous and being almost famous can be a single wrong note…or the start of something that’ll change your life forever.
Growing up in dive bars up and down the East Coast, Toni Bennette’s guitar was her only companion…until she met Sebastian Quick. Seb was a little older, a lot wiser, and before long he was Toni’s way out, promising they’d escape their stifling small town together. Then Seb turned eighteen and split without looking back.
Now, Toni’s all grown up and making a name for herself in Philadelphia’s indie scene. When a friend suggests she try out for a hot new up-and-coming band, Toni decides to take a chance. Strong, feminist, and fierce as fire, Toni B. and the Lillys are the perfect match…except Seb’s now moonlighting as their manager. Whatever. Toni can handle it. No problem. Or it wouldn’t be if Seb didn’t still hold a piece of her heart…not to mention the key to her future.
I usually review ARCs of mysteries and thrillers, and only rarely review Women’s Fiction/Romance, since I’m also published in that genre, but I had to know what lay behind the fabulous cover of The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod. The cover art of her novel is breathtaking. One of the best I’ve seen. It calls to you like a Siren Song to open the book.
Fortunately, for this reviewer, the story behind the cover is a stellar read that kept me turning the pages until its satisfying conclusion. Toni Bennette takes a journey from shy but talented musician to self-actualized music insider who finds love on her path to success.
Sometimes gritty, sometimes tender, but always well-written, The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes has a young, fresh Philly vibe. I’m a Philadelphia native, and enjoyed the many references to the City of Brotherly Love. I could see, hear and feel the fictional venues described in the book, reminiscent of the days I lived on Pine Street and listened to music at the Theatre of Living Arts or the Electric Factory.
Those who have an aversion to F-Bombs might be sensitive to some of the language in this book, but the vernacular is realistic. I needed a cigarette after reading Toni and Seb’s first kiss, and a cigarette and a glass of wine after they finally make love, the writing is that good.
The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes is an enjoyable read, and first in a series, although the book can be read as a standalone. Many thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing an ARC for an honest review.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3847668607