I kind of bump into this book after reading How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie Debartolo. That book is amazing by the way. There are some similarities between these two as both the heroes are rockers and the writing is rather soulful, but the overall tone of the book is much different. Louder Than Love is a sweet and tender love story between a widow and a recluse ex-rocker.
Katrina, a widow with a four year old daughter, Abbey had moved back to her hometown Lauder Lake since her husband, Pete passing. She often miss her husband presence despite three years he had already been gone. Fortunately, she had a bunch of old time friends to keep her company and act as her moral support. I love Marrissa and Rob, Leanne, Karen and Liz's bagels. They seems like bunch of characters out from an episode of Desperate Housewives. Each have a story of their own in regards to their domestic life."I guess I'm not a very spiritual person. I don't think things always 'happen for a reason', everything must be 'God's way', or 'He only gives you what you can handle'. I simply believe, and I am sorry to sound crude about it, that shit happens. Period."
Adrian Graves is a washed up rocker who had been living a recluse life on his own for the past fifteen years. When a suburb librarian happen to email him to invite him to play for a children's program, he think she's off her rocker. Little did he know that Kat's daughter is a big fan of his Maxwell MacGillikitty’s theme song, a little gig he did years ago.
So that's how they happen to meet for the first time, at the library when he showed up a little drunk. Their subsequent dinner date was hilarious, but I don't want to give away the funny bits. All I can say is although sometimes Kat still mourns for her husband and that kinda breaks my heart, but her relationship with Adrian is fun to read. Is a rare chance for me to actually read about mature couples.
Abbey is a such a bundle of joy to read. She is obsess with Maxwell MacGillikitty cartoon and subsequent strike up a close relationship with Adrian as well. Adrian has his own estrange daughter all grown up in London (oh, did I mention he is British?), so we can see that he is natural when comes to interacting with Abbey. I think his love for Abbey kinda seal the deal in Kat's heart. You just can't help but fall for a man that loves your daughter.
Adrian had been hiding from his ugly past and didn't dare face his demons. When Kat and Abbey came into his life, he finally found his motivation and want to be a better person. Slowly, he started to open up himself to Kat and told a mesmerizing tale of his past. Some might think he sounds whiny, well most rocker does when they talk about the fame, drug, sex and the subsequent downfall. But I find myself wanting to hear his story and know about the real Adrian Graves. "And I have never loved like I love you. You've got to know this. My silly drunk girl."
The progression of their romance feels very realistic and not those with off the charts hotness overblown. They even work around on the logistic issue, with him being in Manhattan. It did have a little of 'Going the Distance' feel to it. It was not mentioned how long it took him to commute by train, but Kat did mentioned the drive was about an hour. I actually did a little Google on the distance between Lauder Lake and Manhattan. According to Googlemap, there isn't a Lauder Lake per se but a Lauderdale Lake instead, which is all the way in Florida. I'm confused. Anyway, Kat and Adrian spent most of their time commuting to and fro, which sounds totally exhausting to me, but they are so in love, so obviously they didn't find it taxing.
For most part of the book, is all about Kat wanting to discover about Adrian and to know about the man behind his rocker's image. But in the end, is Kat willing to finally put her husband's shadow behind and fully accept Adrian into her heart. Adrian seems so down to earth, tender, caring and overall so carefree, I had no idea that he was feeling overshadow by her late husband. When he finally confess his feeling in regards of Pete, it broke my heart. I kind of cried a little."I tried to make peace with the fact I was competing with a ghost. I tried to be there for you, but you refused to be pried open."
This is a heart warming romance about second chance at love about two people who had lost so much in their life, but finally found peace within each other. I often like to emphasize this, there is no angst or unnecessary drama. This is a standalone with a HEA. I would have kill for an epilogue, though. "You were like a sun kink. Blinding and bright, hot. Threw me right off course, but it was right where I needed and wanted to be."