ARC Review: Drumline by Stacy Kestwick

Release Date: September 3, 2017
Rating: 4.5/5
Source: ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
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Traditions are important. Especially in the South.
College football. Rivalries. Tailgating. Halftime shows.
Some things just don’t change.
Until Reese Holland shows up with her long legs and no-bullsh*t attitude to audition for the prestigious all-male Rodner University snare line.
It doesn’t matter how much hazing she has to endure from Laird Bronson, with his narrowed green eyes and arrogant smirk. She wants that damn spot, and she’s more than good enough to earn it.
She expects there to be tension. Even friction.
But not sparks hot enough to burn the entire campus down.

***Drumline is a standalone college romance.

College Romance is one of my favorite genres. One becomes an escape most especially when it is done right. Stacy Kestwick did it right and nailed her new sexy standalone Drumline – it was fresh and a fusion of varying elements that made me smile, swoon and snivel.

This dude Laird Bronson, no let me correct myself, this fine young man was right off the bat oozing with self-confidence. He says the most thoughtful things at the right time, a gentleman, and downright dirty in bed. I pined for the captain as I discovered more about him with every flip of the page. Unexpectedly and more than the hot drumline captain, he’s intelligent, mature and has a giving heart.

“When I touch you – and make no mistake, it’s a when, not an if – you’re going to remember every fucking second of it. And it’ll be because you want it as badly as I do.”

Aside from the good laugh I had with Reese Hollands’ inner musings and cussing, I was in awe of the lady balls underneath her feminine façade. She despises going the easy way and even with a tough childhood, no chauvinist bully can bring her down. Can be overly tenacious sometimes, but I loved that she let her guard down with Laird. I also relished her easy bond with Smith who was also an interesting and hilarious character in this love story.

I got to know the MCs on a deeper level because of this adorable secondary character named Eli. What he brings in the plot? I will not tell. Laird and Reese’s personalities and pasts fit so perfectly, but I think they became even more of a unit and remarkable individuals because of Eli.

Stacy Kestwick is now on my radar. I am a sucker for fantastically written sexual tension and this woman delivered! She was detailed with the foreplay and precise with the movements and shot up lyrical, sexy yet flowing dialogues that fit perfectly with both the intimate and intense moments.

“Nothing in my past compared. I shivered from the intensity of it, from the innate authority of this mouth as he consumed me. Like I was made to bend to him, as inevitable as the moon ceding to the sun.”

She can write light but I think she’d be amazing with heavy as well. I also loved how she incorporated music in the depiction of some scenes.

“My pulse skipped and settled into a new pattern, one with her name embedded in it, a rhythm that was more than just her and more than just me. It flowed through every blood vessel, strong and sure, a harmony more resonant than any symphony ever composed.”

If there’s one thing that I would have wanted from the story, it’d be Laird and Reese’s motivation for joining drumline. Was it because of their love of music? A thing of the past that kind of pushed their passion for it? I don’t know much about playing the instrument so I think a little bit of scoop would have gotten me more hooked with that element and perfectly tie up the story.

The conflicts surrounding the romance weren’t anything intricate, in fact, they were relatable and just apt for the genre and the pacing of the story. I got the feels from the heavy themes that were admirably there not only for drama’s sake but drove values such friendship, acceptance and paying it forward.

If you enjoy the likes of Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus then I think you will love this one too. Aside from the college fun, it was packed with sexual tension, fated romance, unexpected angst and heartwarming revelations that will make you forget all things encompassing time. Drumline made me fall in love with college romance all over again!

And who said band kids are awkward?

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