TMRGB is a blog series wherein I, a bearded HazMat trucker and blast crewman, recommend effeminate fiction to the masses.
‘Twas mere days ago that I was amongst my Brotherhood of the Blast, working on a local construction site, having a testosterone-fueled conversation with fellow Blastards Scott and Case, discussing manly things like chest hair, hockey fights, and Kasie West’s P.S. I LIKE YOU.
“Graham, what are you reading right now?”
“Dude, it’s so chicky. I can feel my fingernails getting manicured as the plot progresses.”
Fortunately we were working with dirt and explosives, so the manicure didn’t hold. But Kasie’s book definitely did. It plucked right at my greasy heartstrings (directly adjacent to the valve that turns barbecued prime rib into blood and muscle) and played me like a heavy metal guitar.
It’s the tale of a pale, wan, homely young lass who comes from a slightly broke and somewhat eccentric family in Arizona. Lily, our protagonist, is of course a guitarist and aspiring musician who is only interested in the most independent and unknown music that speaks to her profoundly complex soul. Nobody understands her. Except, of course, for the Mysterious Guy Who Is Most Likely Hot, who somehow fills in the blanks on her desk when she idly scribbles indie lyrics on it in class.
Soon she’s secretly swapping notes with Mister Mystery, and they become ever more flirty and personal in nature. Before long she’s baring her soul to a complete stranger and gobbling up the replies as if she’ll die without them.
This seems like a really good idea.
But that’s not all! There is, naturally a Twisty Complication to this fly-by-night Romance-Not-A-Romance: Lily has to figure out Mister Mystery’s identity! Could it be Dave, the Nice Guy her friends tried to set her up with? Or is it Lucas, introverted and brooding, always listening to music on his headphones, too cool to talk to people (and supes hot?) Wait a minute…there’s no way that…you guys don’t think it could be the evil Cade, a rich, hot jerk who always picks on Lily, do you?
I mean, Mister Mystery doesn’t know Lily is writing to him. It’s completely anonymous, painfully honest stuff, so if it ends up in the hands of an enemy, it could be embarrassingly compromising. But he’s just so sincere, and sweet, and he gets her! Because they listen to the same music! CONFLIIIIIICT!
I really felt Lily’s pain as I listened to the audiobook from behind the wheel of a beat-to-crap GMC TopKick, which is clearly on its last legs and needs to be run through a trash compactor. When Lily discovered Mister Mystery’s identity, and all of the staggering complications it presented, I was…well I wasn’t shocked, but come on, you kind of see it coming. (It’s no less earth-shattering for this, mind you. In fact, you kind of want it to go that way. I did, because I’m sadistic.)
Then Lily had to confront Mister Mystery when he showed up on her doorstep for Thanksgiving, all the while trying to keep the secret contained within herself, I was dancing on my tippy-toes and belting out SQUEEEEE at the top of my lungs, even as I chained an Everdigm T-450 to the back of a lowboy trailer, five points of securement, thank you very much Officer.
The revelations! The betrayal! The I-want-to-smack-the-socialite-wench-who-tried-to-destroy-our-beloved-protagonist feeling! The geyser of unabated emotion at the end!
That damned rabbit, too! (No context provided, go read the book!)
It tickles all the right spots for a good clean contemporary romance. This is the first of Kasie West’s books that I’ve read, but I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another one, just as soon as I scrape the grit out from under my fingernails and find my hard hat. You should too. Read it, I mean. Well and maybe the grit thing too. And a hard hat, if your jobsite requires full PPE.
Back to work with the lot o’ ye.