REVIEW by Lorna: Louder Than Love (Love and Steel #1) by Jessica Topper (@jesstopper , @Mollykatie112)

Louder Than LoveIn this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

Louder Than Love
by Jessica Topper

Love and Steel #1

Contemporary Romance


Publication Date
September 17, 2013

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Emotional and heartbreaking rock star book? Yes, please!

Katrina Lewis, known as Tree to her friends, is a widow with a four year old daughter, Abbey. She’s still grieving the loss of her husband from three years before, but is almost ready for something else now. When she manages to find the singer of her daughter’s favorite song from a British tv show for children, she asks him to entertain the children with a concert at the library where she volunteers. Adrian Graves has been retired from performing for years and years, but he likes the idea of children hearing his old songs that he sang for his child, so he decides to take Tree up on her offer. When the two meet, there’s pretty much chemistry immediately.

Kat, as Adrian calls her, was an interesting character. She’s a wonderful mother, but she has tried to bury the pain of losing her husband deep. Regrettably she doesn’t talk to Adrian about him when she really should. Adrian has his own secrets. He’s lived the major rock star life, been extremely famous in his time, is a recovered drug addict, and decides not to tell Kat the truth. She only knows that he is rich, and a musician. I found it a bit hard to understand how the two could have a relationship without her asking what he does for a living. It made for some angst in the book on the part of Kat at one time so maybe that’s why the author chose to write it that way. One of my favorite characters has to Abbey. She’s pretty precocious and a really sweet child. It’s no wonder that Adrian loves her as much as he loves her mother. There’s plenty of good peripheral characters, Kat’s best friends Marissa, Karen, Liz and Leanna all are pretty fully realized as well as the main characters, to the point that I could tell you things about each one of them-but I won’t.

This is not only a romance, It’s also the story of a woman finding herself again after a great tragedy. Her husband was her life, and along with their baby, they were the perfect little family. When it’s ripped away from her, she has to figure out how to live again as a single mom. Moving back home from New York City was her first step. Surrounded by her parents and lifelong friends, she begins to kind of live again. Meeting Adrian is the icing on the cake. Adrian has his own problems, the loss of his best friend and bandmate after being fired from the band due his drug use, the loss of his career, his divorce, his grown child that doesn’t really know him because he was never home-it all makes for him being a very complex character. Even after all he’s gone through, he’s an extremely likable character, as is Kat.

I thoroughly enjoyed this whole story. It’s for adult romance readers due to sexual situations, but it’s not erotica. Will I read the next book? You betcha! Highly Recommended!


Lorna Finished


About Jessica Topper

jessica topperJessica Topper is an ex-librarian turned rock n’ roll number cruncher. She can trace her love for the written word back to age three, when she memorized Maurice Sendak’s “Chicken Soup with Rice” in its entirety.

After her daughter was born, Jessica left the Manhattan library world and began working for her husband’s music management company. He offered her a part-time bookkeeping job so she could “stay home for the baby’s first year” and pursue her dream of writing.

The baby is now thirteen, and Jessica has been working her full-time, sold-her-soul-for-rock-n-roll job as Office Manager for veteran jam band moe. ever since. She may have traded in books for bookkeeping, but the written word is never far from her mind, or her heart.

Jessica lives in upstate New York with her husband, daughter and one ancient cat.

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