Lord. Have. Mercy.
Jimmy, you kill me.
I can say without a doubt Lead is my absolute favorite of the series. I love Jimmy even more than Mal, which I didn’t know was possible. *Sigh* Jimmy is hotness incarnate and completely owns my heart! I loooooved reading his story so very much. I wish it never ended–I finished this book in a day. I never thought I’d be loving Jimmy this much (he’s not exactly an easy character to like in the previous books) but it took me less than a day to fall in love with him. God I love this man so freaking hard!
If you’ve read the previous book, Play, then you already know who the heroine of Lead is. Lena is Jimmy’s live-in assistant, the one who’s paid to keep an eye on him at all times to make sure he doesn’t relapse since coming out of rehab. I adore Lena. She’s absolutely perfect–she’s fiesty, sassy, a total smartass, and the perfect match for Jimmy. She’s the one who can stand up to him, but also support him in every possible way. She’s absolutely hilarious too!
Dark hair fell over his face and collar, framing the cheekbones of an angel but the jaw of a stubborn child. Every other discernible inch of him appeared to be fully grown male. The way he held his jaw, however … well.
And the man might be pretty, but he sure as hell wasn’t nice. I’d met enough not-nice men to know. Trust me to find him attractive.
So I frowned straight back at him.
His glare went up a notch.
I matched it.
Lena is tough-as-nails, and I loved every single interaction she had with Jimmy. They first and foremost become friends, which is honestly the best way for these two to start their relationship, because Jimmy definitely isn’t ready for something more–yet.
The two of them are together constantly, so it’s only inevitable that they’ll get on each other’s nerves. I love the banter between them, and how it only makes their friendship stronger. They make the best couple ever, even when they aren’t boyfriend/girlfriend. But the absolute best part about their relationship, what made me fall so hard for Jimmy and Lena’s story, is the slow burn romance between them. If you’re looking for something fast and hard, Lead isn’t the book for you. But I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way for Lena and Jimmy’s romance to develop. The romance took a while to develop, but I felt it was the perfect pace for this couple–and just because it’s slow doesn’t mean it lacks in heat or intensity. Because HOLY HELL Jimmy and Lena set the pages on fire! There is so much chemistry between them that I was totally fanning myself while reading.
“Lie back,” he said. The look in his eyes, the tension, it was hunger for me. Amazing. Tightly leashed by there just the same. I’d never seen such a beautiful sight in all my life.
Oh, Jimmy. Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy. I love this man so much. I think the fact that I didn’t expect to love him made me love him even more. Jimmy is kind of an unlikeable character–mainly, he’s an ass. But he’s an ass you can’t help but love. He’s a tortured soul who thinks he’s unworthy of anything good. He had to protect himself and his younger brother from their deadbeat mother, and he had to recover from his alcoholism and substance abuse. Lena is his only friend–she’s the only one who can get him to open up, to see that does deserve good things in his life.
“It’s like you’re his new drug of choice. Only you’re actually good for him.”
Being in such close proximity with Jimmy, of course Lena starts to develop romantic feelings for him.
I wanted to know him, every last little thing about him. And I wanted him to know me. I wanted to be a real part of his life, not just his employee. To be the person he confided even his darkest thoughts in, the person he trusted.
Lena knows that Jimmy won’t reciprocate her feeling so she tries to ignore them, but they only grow stronger as each day passes. So she tries to quit her job, but Jimmy doesn’t want her to go. Jimmy tries to do whatever it takes to keep Lena in his life, even knowing that she deserves a something better.
The lead-up to a real relationship between these two was so incredible to read because I love the fact that Lena and Jimmy have a solid friendship to back it up with. Their friendship is the solid foundation that makes a relationship between them work. This is what I love most about friends-to-lovers romances, and Kylie Scott wrote the perfect friends-to-lovers romance with Lead–I just couldn’t get enough of Jimmy and Lena!
Fans of the series won’t be disappointed with Lead. It certainly has a different feel than Lick or Play–it’s more serious, and there’s that slow romance–but it still has that angst, humor, and tension that makes a Stage Dive book so perfect. And if you haven’t started reading the Stage Dive series yet, what the heck are you waiting for? It’s one of the best rocker series out there!
5 hearts! Jimmy and Lena are P E R F E C T!!
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Oh, and by the way, Jimmy is mine!!! Kylie even gave him to me 😉