Melody Gallard may be the daughter of music royalty, but her world is far from glamorous. She spends her days restoring old books and avoiding the limelight (one awkward tabloid photo was enough, thanks). But when a producer offers her a lot of money to reunite her mother's band on live tv, Mel begins to wonder if it's time to rattle the cage, shake up her quiet life... and see him again. The only other person who could wrangle the rock and roll divas.
Beat Dawkins, the lead singer's son, is Melody's opposite--the camera loves him, he could charm the pants off anyone, and his mom is not a potential cult leader. Still, they might have been best friends if not for the legendary feud that broke up the band. When they met as teenagers, Mel felt an instant spark, but it's nothing compared to the wild, intense attraction that builds as they embark on a madcap mission to convince their mothers to perform one last show.
While dealing with rock star shenanigans, a 24-hour film crew, brawling Santas, and mobs of adoring fans, Mel starts to step out of her comfort zone. With Beat by her side, cheering her on, she's never felt so understood. But Christmas Eve is fast approaching, and a decades-old scandal is poised to wreck everything--the Steel Birds reunion, their relationships with their mothers, and their newfound love.
The second Beat Dawkins entered the television studio, it stopped raining outside.
enjoyable/easy to read:
* Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *
I think Wreck the Halls is very enjoyable as long as you are prepared for the insane amount of instalove. Is predestined love a thing? Foreordained love? Are those tropes? Because we're supposed to believe that fate and genetics and history and circumstance are just too much for Beat and Melody to overcome and they never stood a chance.
I’m not going to lie; I was half expecting this whole who’s your daddy thing to turn into surprise incest explaining their weird pull to each other, but I guess that’s a step too far for Bailey…
Something grew and grew inside of her. Something she'd never felt before. A kinship, a bond, a connection. She couldn't come up with a word for it. Only knew that it seemed almost cosmic or preordained. And in that moment, for the first time in her life, she was angry with her mother for her part in breaking up the band. She could have known this boy sooner? Felt...understood sooner?
Now, it’s pretty difficult to overlook the trope-heavy chemistry between Beat and Melody because it’s the entire book. They’re meant to be together, so they fight it and spend time apart, then admit they’re meant to be only to mess it up to spend time apart until - you guessed it - they’re meant to be! It does make me wish that their relationship was based on more than who their mothers are and their insane chemistry. The lack of depth to the relationship prevents Wreck the Halls from being more than a fun holiday romance. The characters are interesting and unique; they just don’t allow any of this messy complexity to get in the way of a good time.
Her fingers strummed a couple of the strings, the notes perfectly familiar to him. "You're just saying that because you're my best friend."
Was this what it was like to be one hundred percent willing to die for someone?
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the camera's blinking red light and honestly, it just didn't mean a goddamn thing in that moment. "You're my best friend, too, peach."
Most of the time, Melody acted more like Beat’s therapist than his girlfriend and for someone who has spent fourteen years dealing with some pretty intense feelings and suppressed self-loathing, it all gets cleared up pretty quickly when his soulmate says the right words. With all the hinting about Beat’s dark secrets and his needs, I was getting pretty excited, only for it to take a strange turn that could have been interesting to explore but was instead made into a quick hurdle to overcome once Melody is involved. It took almost no effort before he was supposedly cured. Which is how all the problems in this narrative are solved: blow up, apply therapy speak (no actual therapist needed), spend some time apart, make up, and everything is better.
"Love doesn't come and go that easily. You need to believe you can lean on it, even when you have to lean really hard." She swallowed the lump in her throat. "I think maybe the people who love you want to be tested and leaned on sometimes, so they can show you how much you mean. Expressing love and trust is a gift to the person who receives it."
His chest dipped and expanded. "I'll give those things to you, Melody Gallard. Every day. If you let me back in."
"When," she whispered. "When. You'll have to trust me on that."
Beat sucked in a breath and nodded, falling back against the elevator wall to watch her leave through bloodshot eyes.
It was a nice addition to the book to have Beat be aware of the unequal treatment he and Melody received when they were children. His actions helped to explain the type of man he grew to be and made me pretty mad at the kids he went to summer camp with. And then for the crowd to swing around and be so supportive of Melody when they’re live-streaming was a true full-circle moment that I really enjoyed.
Skim the instalove (aka 60% of the book), and it’s pretty easy to enjoy Wreck the Halls. It’s a unique concept with fun characters and good pacing. As usual, Bailey can write some pretty good smut, and even though it didn’t end up going in the direction I was expecting, it was still a captivating and exciting read. After all, I am writing this review at 3:30 a.m. even though I have to be up in a few hours for work. Bailey sunk her hooks into me, and I could not put Wreck the Halls down.