Book Reviews · Releases & Reveals

Review Tour: ‘Drive’ by Kate Stewart

We’re celebrating the release of DRIVE by Kate Stewart!

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Book InfoContemporary Romance
Stand Alone
Designer: Q Designs
Scheduled to release: October 17, 2017
Goodreads


Blurb

34950852Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.

The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.

At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.

You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.

Two days.
One playlist.
And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.


Review

5 ‘Love, life & music’ Stars!

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to write this review as soon as a finished this magnificent book (while I still was feeling extremely emotional about it) because I want you all to know about it. I’ve said it many times but let me say it again.. Kate Stewart is a writing genius. If you know me, you also know I am not a massive fan of love triangles. Well, you also know I am a massive fan of Kate so, of course, I will make an exception when it comes to this woman. Kate and her stories have worked their way into my heart and I wasn’t about to let this one pass. Get ready because you are about to experience the ride of your life when you start reading Drive.

Drive is Kate’s newest standalone release and it tells the journey through life and love of Stella Emerson. Music is a huge part of Stella’s live, she wants to make it her job and through it we also will get to know her and the people in her life. It’s actually pretty difficult for me to explain the plot of this book without giving it all away but Drive is not just a contemporary romance. It’s not just about a woman falling in love with two men. It’s not just how she deals with that. It’s how she finds herself and who she wants to be.

Love doesn’t die, even when you stop feeding it. There is no expiration date on the ache of missing someone you shared your heart, life, and body with. 

Let me just start by saying this again: music is a HUGE part of this story. So take Kate seriously about what she says on the reader’s note. It will make the story even better than it already is. So.. Such a beautiful, highly emotional piece of work. Seriously, I don’t even know how I am writing this review right now. Kate Stewart just knows how to press all my buttons. Her narrative, her characters, the beautiful way she writes not only about love but about everything in life, the chemistry she builds between the MCs,… I just love everything this woman writes! Her stories grip you and don’t let go. They keep you at the edge of the seat and they make you FEEL. Drive, as all her other books, is a brilliant creation.

Addiction sneaks up on you. It’s a subtle thing. You get a taste, you revel in the buzz, and then you begin to crave another hit. You know the high is temporary, but the craving is the bitch.
And I was beginning to crave Reid Crowne.
 

As I said before, Drive is not only a love story. It’s about music, family, difficult pasts, fucked-up situations, letting go, growing up, big decisions and so many other things. The story builds in itself, it keeps growing and growing until you are full. It makes you connect with the characters, it makes you love them, hate them, love them again. You will be an emotional mess throughout, that is for sure! Kate knows how to write highly emotional stories, but I already know that (and I love her for it!). And that is what makes Drivesuch a great book. You will feel everything, every fucking thing, to the max.

In love with two worthy kings, and I was queen of the damned. 

Now let’s focus on what makes this story what it is: the characters. As I said before, I am not a huge fan of love triangles but I loved this one. You can’t stop but fall in love not only with that amazing strong-willed heroine but also the two men that change her life. Reid is a tortured soul, a man with so many fucked-up aspects in his life that he believes he doesn’t deserve love but everything changes when he falls for Stella. This musician will break your heart in all the possible ways guys but he is definitely worth it. And Nate.. Nate is such a great man. Stella’s second chance. Her best friend after everything that happens with Reid. A man very focused in his work but a man who loves Stella unconditionally. It’s very difficult not to love them both. They are outstanding men: strong, heartfelt and oh-so-sexy! Who will Stella choose? Trust me, don’t look for spoilers, just read this amazing novel and find out!

He was my song, my soul, my everything, and his love had propelled me forward into the woman I wanted to be. 

Therefore, my rating for Drive is 5 STARS because it’s an outstanding love story and life journey that will not leave you indifferent. I just knew Kate was about to deliver another masterpiece in my hands (You already know this, Kate but I love you, woman! Even when you make me cry like a baby!) and of course, she did not disappoint. Don’t miss reading this book, don’t miss this magnificent writing and don’t miss falling in love with these outstanding characters. Believe me, you will not regret it. Highly recommend Drive to all of you!


Buy Links

Image may contain: one or more people, people sleeping and textAmazon US → http://amzn.to/2gjkx4I
Amazon UK → http://amzn.to/2yLEitp
Amazon CA → http://amzn.to/2wUVIPC
Amazon AU→ http://amzn.to/2gjHrcr

Excerpt

Breathe. Breathe. This is in the bag, Stella. You can do this, so do it.

I clicked on the camera and quickly glanced at my notes.

One minute.

Electricity shot through my veins and seeped through every pore, reminding me that this was it.

Thirty seconds.

I took a sip of water and set it beside my laptop as I waited.

Ten seconds.

A flicker of doubt processed for mere seconds before I wiped it away.

Five.

I expelled a stressed breath, clicked Go Live, and addressed the camera.

“Womanizer, bully, genius, recluse, and the world’s greatest MC. Even with all those labels, Phillip Preston, also known as Titan, is still a bit of an enigma. Despite the universe he’s constructed with storytelling lyrics, he’s always left it up to us to decipher his truth from his fiction. He burst onto the music scene fifteen years ago, an underdog in the belly of rap, with chaotic and desperate rhymes that resonated and pushed him into an unexpected level of stardom. With one hundred and eighty million records sold, he still holds his title as heavyweight and remains a household staple for his die-hard fans, collecting an army of new followers over the past two decades. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated when I sat down with him this past weekend in his Chicago fortress. I, like millions of others, am a huge fan of his genius. The simplicity of our surroundings in his home studio was shocking, to say the least. The feeling was a bit clinical and there were no platinum records on his walls, no personal photos, and there was no hint of the history he’d made as the world’s most notorious rap star. He sat in a leather chair next to his soundboard, water bottle in hand, and spoke about his love of rap, while subtly redirecting questions about his personal life—though we know he recently broke up with his long-time girlfriend, Jordan Wilson.”

My eyes nearly watered as I watched the live view box tick to a hundred thousand. I had a hundred thousand people watching my podcast in a matter of minutes. I took a deep breath.

“But it seemed my reputation had preceded me because when I sat down with the rap mogul, Phillip appeared ready for the firing squad. We dueled well as I asked the hard questions—the questions of a fan. Questions I know so many of his loyal listeners want answers to, and I think you’ll be surprised to hear his answers. So, without further ado, take a look at my exclusive with the man behind the myths. Feel free to form your own opinions, but above all, remember it’s the music that matters most.”

I linked my pre-recorded interview and watched the ticks explode as soon as his face hit the screen.

That was the moment my career peaked.

With pride, I watched my interview with the white whale, the Moby Dick of the music industry. Gorgeous, brilliant, and highly elusive, Phillip Preston was the hardest artist to get personal with in an interview. And I was the woman he reached out to, to break his silence about his road to success, his parents, his ex-wife, and finally—after some careful eggshell coaxing—he spoke about his recent relationship. He had delivered to me, on a silver platter, highly personal details about his life where so many other journalists had failed, and it was nothing short of miraculous.

It was my greatest accomplishment as a music journalist. I was flying, soaring as my phone began to blow up with message after message. I hadn’t told a soul, not a single person about my exclusive. I was high on adrenaline when the notifications began to ping on my phone. A hundred, two hundred messages, and then I saw the viewer ticks had jumped drastically to half a million. Half a million! I laughed out nervously and checked Phillip’s social media. He had just posted my podcast link to our interview. My jaw dropped. He had over eighty million followers on one forum alone.

And the viewer counts just kept rising. I had done it. I gasped when the ticks went past a million.

A million people were watching my podcast.

A million people were watching my podcast!

“AHHHHHH!” I screamed to no one as I looked around the vacant room. I raised both hands in the air when the ticks rolled past two million. “Oh my GOD!” I shot up from the desk, my eyes full of incredulous water.

I’d never had more than a million views. Ever. And those took months to accrue. It was the greatest career high of my life. I looked back down at my phone, anxious to talk to someone, anyone. Lexi’s middle finger popped up on the screen, and I couldn’t resist answering her call.

“AHHHHHHHH!” I screamed into the phone..

“Stella?”

“Yes! Is it good? You think I asked the right questions? I edited for like nine hours.”

“What?”

“What do you mean, what? Titan’s interview.”

“You interviewed Titan?”

A small amount of my excitement dispersed. “Yours was the wrong call to answer.”

“You fucking interviewed Titan?”

“Yes. I wanted to surprise everyone.”

“And you didn’t bring me?”

“Sorry. I’ll feel guilty later.”

“Yeah.” Her voice dropped. I heard a toilet flush. “Yeah, Stella, that’s so cool.” Another toilet flushed.

“Where are you?”

“I’m in the bathroom at the Marquee.”

“Okay. Well, I’m buzzing right now, woman. Like, literally, my phone is exploding. Five million hits, Lexi. Five million!”

“I’m so happy for you, Stella.”

I frowned. “Yeah, with that amazing monotone, I can tell.”

“I’m so sorry.” And then her voice broke. My best friend doesn’t cry. Ever.

“Oh, shit. What’s up?”

“I’ll call you back, okay? I don’t want to ruin this.”

“You aren’t ruining anything. You couldn’t ruin this. I promise. I’ll be high for days. So, tell me. Why are you in the bathroom?”

“I’m on a blind date. He took me to a wedding.”

“Okay. You need an excuse? That’s not like you. You’re ballsy. Just give him your usual, it’s not me, it’s you.” I chuckled because she’d used it in front of me on a bass player with a cowlick and halitosis.

“Stella.”

I knew that tone. That tone was the bearer of bad fucking news.

“What? Say it.”

“It’s his wedding.”

I eyed the clock while I zipped my suitcase. I had an hour and a half before my flight. I was cutting it close. “Whose wedding?”

“Stella.”

“I know my name. Damn, who—” Realization struck and my heart met the floor. I stayed mute while she rambled on nervously.

“What are the odds? What are the goddamn odds? I don’t know what to do. Do you want me to leave? There’s no handbook for this. Did you even want to know this? That he’s married? I can’t believe I just watched him get married! Who in the hell ends up at their best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s wedding? I couldn’t not tell you.” She sniffed as the toilets repeatedly flushed around her.

“Stella, please say something.”

I pressed the sting back. “I’m alright, of course. I’m fine. Why are you crying?”

“I don’t know.” She sniffed. “Ben called me last night, and things are just so fucked up, and today this shit happens, and I know you’re happy. I know you are. But . . . I mean, this is—”

I put my hand up as if she could see it. “Don’t tell me anything else, okay? I’m good.” I looked at my reflection in the mirror from the bed into the adjacent bathroom. Nothing had changed. I wasn’t leaking. I was fine. “I’m okay. I’m glad you told me. I have to leave for the airport now, or I’ll miss my flight.” A slew of questions was on the tip of my tongue. Did he look happy? Was she beautiful? And more questions I hated myself for that Lexi would never be able to answer. Still, my head and heart refused to keep those questions bottled.

Was she prettier than me? Did he look at her the same way? Did he propose to her with half his heart? Did he think of me when he did it? Was any part of him thinking of me now? Was I in his dreams the way he drifted through mine sometimes?

All my thoughts were selfish. All of them. And of all the thoughts I could have had that day, self-loathing was not the one I expected to nudge its way front and center. I forced myself to speak.

“Stay.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, of course. I’m fine.”

“This freaky shit always happens. Always with you.”

“I know.”

“It’s like karma or God or someone hates you. It’s so fucked.”

I laughed ironically, though inside my heart was pounding.

Silence passed over the line as we both waited for some sort of solution that wasn’t coming.

“Stella, God, I’m so sorry.”

“About what? Stop. You know I would have told you if the situation were reversed. I should go. Love you.”

“Love y—” I hung up the phone before she could finish, frozen in the middle of the hotel room.


The Author

Kate

Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse.

Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader.

A lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.

Contact Kate Email – authorkatestewart@gmail.com
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