Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper

“You've got this...this love-no, it's louder than love. It's passion and beauty built up inside you that deserves to burst out.”

Widow with child and a washed up, recovering addict rock star of the 80’s is the heart of Louder Than Love. Set with New York as the pulse, this book has won me over heart and soul. Or heart and metal as the case may be.  

There is just so much to say and I want to do it justice in highlighting every phase of this book and yet give nothing away. There are many lives lived within the pages of this book and what comes together in the end is nothing short of a passion for life that is Louder Than Love!

Tree, or Katrina, is a grieving widow just trying to make a life. It’s been three years since the death of her husband and the pain is still fresh. The reader is taken through the tragedy of the loss told through Katrina’s memories. It really is painful to process. As a wife and mother you can empathize with her. I was in tears and was only 10% into the book. That really says a lot about this author. How do you go on after the love of your life dies and he only experienced the first year of your child’s life? How do you keep his memory alive for your child so that they know what a wonderful and loving person he was? How do you do this and still move on with your life?

Abbey, Katrina’s daughter, has a serious addiction to a cat named Maxwell MacGillikitty a PBS cartoon character. The theme song of this show is catchy and Abbey does her best to sing loud and proud in her four year old voice. Katrina stumbles across a CD of the song along with other songs performed by the artist and sets about finding and enlisting him to play at her library as part of a childrens program. Little did she know the artist performing on the cd was a washed up recovering addict with a litany of unresolved problems.

I know what you are thinking….. As a mom I thought it too. Are you really going to bring this mess into your life especially with a young daughter? But what happens next is so real, so real life, so therapeutic for both these people. One of the things I love best about this writer is that there is no “insta” anything but attraction. Everything else plays out like it should. One day at a time. Katrina puts her child’s needs first, her desires second and along the way discovers how to rebuild her life.

Adrian "Digger" Graves, was a 80’s rock star living the life of 80’s excess. Burned out and trying for anonymity he reluctantly responds to an invitation to play acoustic guitar under his real name. A sound track he originally made for his now grown and estranged daughter has garnered some attention from a librarian. Originally from the UK Adrian’s funny and sexy British slang and accent made me grin. But his back story that is revealed throughout Louder Than Love gives you an insight into the 80’s world of rocker excess and the money making executives that would do anything to keep the cash cow moving. Living a life after the thrill is gone is a lot harder. Regret, embarrassment, threat of poverty, wasted opportunity and alienation of friends and family. It’s a heavy story and one told by the art tattooed on Adrian’s body.

Louder Than Love is a story of two people, three really as Abbey is very much a main character as well. And I gotta say she is written so real. Not as a fluffy side note. This is an amazing story and I loved being along for the ride. It’s not sex with a side story either so if you are looking for this to be in the realm of “new adult angst” you are not gonna get it here. These are older more mature people reflecting on, moving on and rebuilding their lives. Having said that when there is sex….. It’s gooooood! (winky face)

5 Tear-filled, Metal head, heartwarming stars!

*Given via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
– Coming September 17, 2013

From the cover…….

In 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 Excerpt! 

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Jessica 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 in 2001, 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 eleven years old, and Jessica has been working her “full-time, sold-her-soul-for-rock-n-roll job” as Office Manager for veteran jam band moe. in their Buffalo, NY headquarters. She may have traded in books for bookkeeping, but the printed word is never far from her mind, or her heart.LOUDER THAN LOVE, her debut women’s fiction effort, is set to release September 17, 2013 through Berkley/Intermix (Penguin).
Jessica is a member of the Western New York Romance Writers and a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America.

 Information about the author as well as some art work was taken from her website.

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