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Livia Chadwick is a photographer by day and a self-proclaimed rock slut by night.

Her dating life is a lackluster parade of evasive jerks and her boss is an unrelenting nightmare of a human being. What else can a girl do but rent a beach house with her girlfriends and blow off a little steam every weekend? But hey, she’s from Jersey. Barhopping down the shore all season is sort of mandatory. All is going according to plan… until she meets Jack.

Jack Tanner is a contractor-turned-musician in a small-town cover band suddenly thrust into the limelight. He’s already had enough of the rock-and-roll lifestyle, and groupies have never been his thing. Then again… there’s a gorgeous brunette in the audience tonight, checking him out with the most incredible green eyes he’s ever seen.

She’s looking for a fling.
He’s looking for forever.

It’s gonna be one helluva summer.

“She’s looking for a fling. He’s looking for forever. It’s gonna be one helluva summer.”

Unfortunately for me, Down the Shore went downhill really fast. It had some great positives though, which really stood out in the first portion of the book and made me think this rock and roll romantic comedy might just be a winner. I liked that the rockstar aspect was different from what’s usually been done: the hero isn’t a manwhore and doesn’t have an entourage of groupies nor an inflated ego. The heroine is strong-minded and together, they really made a great pair. Great banter, nostalgic, humorous references (the story takes place in the ‘90s), and palpable sexual tension. Everything else…not so hot, which is sad to say since I adored this author’s Remember When trilogy.

“I’ll save you a lot of trouble right now and let you in on a little secret: there’s no such thing as happily ever after.”

Can you tell Livia is a cynic? The story basically has reverse gender roles. Instead of the hero being a manwhore, you have a heroine who’s a complete and total rock slut. Right off the bat, I immediately disliked Livia, not because she slept around with practically every musician she’s attracted to, but her attitude that’s supposed to relay cool and emotionally calm just rubbed me the wrong way. She was the definition of unapproachable to me, and I felt sorry for the hero who fell hard and wanted to be ’the one’ for her.

On top of that, one of my biggest book peeves is when a heroine is clearly interested and is falling (or already fell) for the hero, only to continuously deny the attraction, send out hot and cold signals, and basically drag the entire story out. The hero Jack wasn’t totally innocent either; he kept refusing anything beyond kissing with Livia just to show he’s interested in more than just sex, but at sudden points throughout the book he drags Livia to the nearest wall/closet/room/etc…and proceeds to maul her. Between the two of them, I honestly don’t know who sent out more mixed signals. What I do know is that I’m sick of it. Sick, sick, SICK of their back and forth shit.

And now I get to the biggest problem of all I had with this book that knocked it down to 2 stars. In short, the last 25% of the book gets 0 stars from me. Aside from his random bursts of passion that frustrated both Livia and me, Jack is overall a really great hero. Thoughtful and attentive which is why when he makes such a DOUCHE move in the final quarter of the book it officially lands him on the DOUCHENUGGET list. It’s not cheating if you were wondering, but what he did was just asking for trouble. And then having this issue resolved through a weak time gap and even weaker explanations given made my blood boil. While the characters were rejoicing I was internally screaming in frustration.

I honestly would not recommend this book but I would never discourage anyone from reading it either, so if you were interested before, don’t let my one negative opinion deter you away from it. I just happen to have a bunch of odd, quirky things that’ll bug me if I read it in a book and unfortunately for this book, it had every one of those pet peeves so of course it didn’t work out for me. While I’m still a fan of this author, this book – in my opinion – is not her best.

Down the Shore is a rock and roll romantic comedy standalone.