Wednesday 15 October 2014

Review ~ Made in Nashville by Mandy Baggot

Title: Made in Nashville.
Author: Mandy Baggot.
Publisher: Harper Impulse.
Genre: Contemporary Romance.
Publication Date: February 6, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | B&N

An on-stage attack left Honor Blackwood with more scars than just the one on her face. It’s been ten years since she left her spot as Nashville’s brightest country music star. Is now the time to return? And is she brave enough to do it?

Country rebel and rock star, Jared ‘Jed’ Marshall is hot property on the Tennessee music scene in more ways than one. He’s wild, he’s sexy and everybody wants a piece of him. But when he sets his sights on Honor, is it pure attraction or just distraction on his mind?

Honor’s record label sign the ex-boyfriend that dumped her and suddenly going back to her old life is harder than she thought. Can she get a new contract? Will she get to perform at the Marlon Festival? Or will Dan Steele destroy everything?

When a secret from the past becomes public knowledge it’s no longer just about the music. Are all the people in her life lying to her to get what they want? And who is really behind the anonymous gifts she keeps getting sent?

Join the country scene to find out!

I’ll be honest and say I had no idea what to expect from Made in Nashville other than I’ve heard great things about the author and if Harper Impulse published it, I’m probably going to love it. It took me until around halfway through chapter one when I realised that I was going to love this book. I reached 44% of the way through (I checked) and came to the conclusion that I’d taken this book boyfriend thing way too far. I was slightly unhealthily attached to Jared but seriously, I want my own Jared. He was perfect. I think I had to remind myself that he was fictional on more than one occasion. Once I got about two thirds of the way through, I realised that I was going to be at a bit of a loss once the book finished and it’s taken me much longer than it took me to read this book to actually come up with a coherent review, because all I really want to say and shout is how much I LOVED Made in Nashville.

It was such a brilliant read, full of drama and yet some of the most touching scenes and a beautiful, seriously stunning romance that had me marvelling at Mandy Baggot’s fabulous writing and how she built this story to the level that I was so invested in these characters and concerned with how things would work out, I felt like I was reading a book about the two most important people in my life or something. I wasn’t surprised that I liked this book but I wasn’t expecting to be genuinely gutted that it came to an end. But I really was.

Honor Blackwood was a top country music singer until an attack on stage left her frightened and forced her to give it up. Ten years later, top country star Jared Marshall is searching for an artist to support him on his upcoming tour, and Honor’s voice is exactly what he’s searching for – at least he tries to convince himself it’s just her voice he’s interested in. Honor’s story was so moving it was easy for me to connect with her straight away. She was obviously talented and I wanted nothing more than for her to embrace her talent and lose the fear so she could come back and do something she loved. Her doubts and fears were more endearing than off-putting because you could see the psychological trauma she was going through but when Jed was on the scene, there was hope that things might get a little better for her.

I fear I could talk about Jared for a long time but simply, he’s probably my favourite leading male character in any book. He was billed as a rebel but I loved how his character wasn’t overdone – normally in romance books surrounding the music scene, the love interest is completely chaotic and out of control but Mandy portrayed his character in a much stronger way than that. Honor and Jed’s stories were backed up by several supporting characters who were also developed so well – there were no flat characters and everyone we meet is a little interesting or fun or there’s some intrigue behind them that may lead up to one or two of the great twists deployed in the novel. It was refreshing to read.

Another thing I loved about Made in Nashville was the focus on country music. I’ve actually recently started to listen to more country music and so it was more relevant to my interests than it might have been had I read Made in Nashville as soon as it was released. I liked the name-checking of real-life country stars because it made Honor and Jed feel relevant and as if they were an actual part of the country music scene now. I’ve read a lot of books featuring characters surrounding rock music which therefore makes most of the book about drugs and sex but country music to me is more heart and soul and this is the impression I had throughout most of the novel. There was always the hope that things may come good and I loved how it played out. I also thought the look into the backstage side of the country music scene, all the politics between labels and advisors was a fascinating part of the novel too.

As for the ending, I’m guessing it will divide people but I pretty much thought it was perfect. Actually, I thought the entire book was pretty much perfect and this review really could go on forever because I have about a million more reasons why everybody should read and love Made in Nashville. Instead, I will be recommending this book for a long time to come and if anybody can enjoy it even half as much as I did, they’re in for a great read. Made in Nashville had possibly the most captivating romance story I’ve ever read and mixed in across some drama-filled pages were some extremely heartfelt, uplifting messages which made this book an all-round pleasure to read, and rated a very easy five stars.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

Mandy Baggot is an award-winning romantic fiction author, writing hot heroes and emotional reads.

Represented by Kate Nash of the Kate Nash Literary Agency she is also a contributor to writing blogs, magazines and short story anthologies and regularly takes part in fiction festivals and literary events.

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, Corfu, shoes and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.

Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. You made me cry! Happy, happy tears that you really got the book and enjoyed it so much. I have to say I miss writing Jared and Honor - I love both of those characters! I might just have to write more of them!

    1. Jared and Honor were the perfect characters! I'd love to read more from them :)

  2. Great review, Sophie! This sounds like such a fun read and I love country music so I'm definitely intrigued by that aspect! And Jared sounds like a great character and one I think I have to meet ;) Glad you liked it!

    1. Thank you, Giselle! You would definitely like to meet Jared but I get first dibs ;)

  3. Great sounding book, really should get around to reading some books by Mandy Baggot

  4. This sounds like such a great book, I would love to read it!

  5. Jared sounds fascinating. I'd love to read this book!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...