Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oakes book 6)

SERIES ALERT! This is the sixth installment in the Hundred Oaks series. Some characters from previous books do appear but they in no way spoil the story.

Maya Henry needs to complete her job shadowing assignment before she can graduate from Hundred Oaks High School. Her principal, Dr. Salter, has arranged for her to shadow his nephew. A budding musician, her principal’s nephew turns out to be hot country music star, Jesse Scott. When her principal takes Maya backstage at one of Jesse’s concerts, the two don’t initially hit it off. Maya doesn’t fawn all over Jesse because he is a star. In fact, she stands up for herself and leaves. Jesse chases after her and apologizes. She returns with him. The two decide with Dr. Salter to get together the following Friday. Maya and Dr. Slater have front row center seats for the concert. He tells Maya that he thinks the two of them will be good for each other; Jesse doesn’t have many friends his age. As the concert winds down, Jesse makes a startling announcement. At the end of the year, he will be leaving the music industry.

The following week, the bottom drops out of Maya’s world. Maya loves music but feels better performing as a part of a group rather than as a solo act. She dropped out of her school’s show choir to start a band, The Fringe. Wanting to branch out music wise and get away from their heavy metal playlist, Maya finds that her band mates decide to kick her out of the band she started. Even worse, Nate, her sometimes boyfriend on the side, decides he wants to date their synthesizer player. The two of them hooked up in secret so as not to affect the band. Heartbroken, she holds it in even as she wonders how she can make her dreams of a career in music a reality.

The day of her job shadowing experience, Dr. Salter drives Maya over to Jesse’s house. Jesse opens the door wearing only his boxers. Dr. Salter chastises his nephew. The two have a schedule for the day and Jesse’s manager will be their chaperone. He will be at the house in a few minutes so Dr. Salter leaves the two of them alone for the brief time. Jesse sees Maya noticing his guitars on the wall. Their conversation turns towards Maya’s music and if she plays. He hands her a guitar and asks her to sing. Maya doesn’t like to be singled out because her voice cracks when she sings alone. Jesse encourages her and Maya sings, even though her voice does crack. Jesse gives her praise. He offers to cook her breakfast since his manager still isn’t there. As they talk, Jesse decides that they should ditch their planned schedule and see in the real world of music, not take a tour of the Grand Ole Opry. They leave and Jesse takes Maya to his recording studio. She is awed by the facility and is nervous when Jesse has his private voice coach meet with them. Jesse has asked Holly to come and work with Maya. He believes she has talent but just hasn’t had the opportunity to be properly trained. Jesse’s manager finally catches up with them along with a couple of publicists. Jesse wants to blow them off and be left alone. They go off to lunch and the afternoon soon turns into Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Jesse and Maya both learn that the other one isn’t what they seem to be based on first impressions.

What does Maya learn from her job shadowing experience? Why is Jesse Scott leaving the music business? Will Maya’s band take her back or will she find the courage to strike out on her own? What occurs when Dr. Salter discovers that the two of them didn’t follow the schedule he outlined for them? Can Maya find a way to make her dream of a music career come true? Will knowing Jesse open some doors for her? What happens when sparks fly between Maya and Jesse? Will Dr. Salter and the Henry family approve?

Maya is Sam Henry’s little sister. Fans of the Hundred Oaks series will be thrilled to see glimpses into the lives of both Sam Henry and Jordan Woods from the first book in the series, Catching Jordan.

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