Tristan Hunter, rock star. Lily Taylor, rock journalist. Fasten your seat belts.
Lily Taylor has been reporting on the music scene for years now. But when she met Tristan Hunter, the devastatingly sexy rock star with a wild past, she wasn’t expecting the ride of her life.
Now she’s been told to follow Tristan on his comeback tour to London. With their careers under the spotlight, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Tristan has the chance to reclaim the top, and Lily has the story of her career. Interviewing the people who were there right at the start with Tristan means she might finally find out the truth behind all those dark rumors.
So far, they’ve managed to keep their passionate affair hidden. But there are some people who know – and don’t want to see them together. And with their own demons to fight, will love stand a chance? Or will the first stop on the tour be the last…
Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte
Jenny: 4.5 Stars
Gitte: 4.5 Stars
Jenny: Well Gitte, I don’t know about you but I’m nursing an emotional hangover even after talking AR through with you after we finished it. I felt like I was reading this with a piece of concrete sitting on my chest, my heart felt so heavy. I think I felt every conflicted emotion Lily experienced, and even though it drained me, I loved that it made me feel so much.
Gitte: Absolutely Jenny, I don’t think I have felt so emotionally drained in a while after finishing a book. The only thing I can liken it to is the feeling of melancholy, which I pretty much felt throughout the story.
Jenny: Alice’s writing feels somewhat poetic at times. I’ve said before that spending time in her books really does feel like I’m joining a Rolling Stones reporter on assignment. She has a way of transporting me into the music scene and making me feel like I’m right in the thick of it. At times it felt so real I thought I might be able to reach out and actually touch Tristan, shout a song request to him, it was like I was part of the crowd and it was absolutely mesmerizing. I felt the highs and lows Lily and Tristan experienced and I felt every pitfall and disappointment they encountered. I really was along for the ride, right beside them.
Gitte: There is something real special about Alice’s writing for sure. She has amazing originality and I’d say she really has a unique voice. The writing is intense, intelligent, questioning and extremely authentic. So much so that you have to remind yourself to slow down and catch a breath because the way her words hit you would get lost whilst it draws out the extreme of your emotions. Her descriptive writing is exact to a fault so that you see it play out in front of you.
Jenny: I have to say though I felt the first 50% of this book did move pretty slowly and I do wish there had been a little more dialogue in the early chapters so I could have really “felt” Lily’s emotions rather than “hearing” them. Don’t get me wrong, we are still afforded the impact of Lily’s feelings through her inner dialogue, we still experience her confusion, passion, desolation, sadness and her occasional highs, but I would have loved to have seen her verbalize to Tristan a little more of how she was/wasn’t coping. Lily has definitely grown in this book and is slowly learning how to deal with her relationships and the people people around her more adeptly, but you really do feel her inner turmoil and struggles and at times, her utter devastation. Whilst she is still questioning everything about her relationship with Tristan, you do somehow feel that little by little she is making headway into understanding this complex man who has stolen her heart. My heart absolutely ached for her throughout. I adore Lily and and I love seeing the occasional show of strength she brings to the fore as she makes her way through this narcissistic world.
Gitte: I have to agree with you Jenny, through the first half of this book I was wondering when we were going to get to a place where we learnt more about Lily and Tristan through their dialogue and actions. It did move very slowly and I felt I wasn’t re-connecting as quickly as I wanted to, seeing as I have been hanging for this sequel. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely felt every emotion Lily felt and agonised with her. I felt her pain as her overwhelming sadness, isolation and loneliness leapt of the pages. She did have her confident and strong moments, but on the whole this girl is so lost, it’s as if she hasn’t found her place in the world and I felt completely lost with her. I despaired for how she beat herself up at times and despite being an extremely intelligent girl, her rationale at times floored me and made me tear up.
“..Empty. Waiting. Alone. And possibly forever moving on from floor to grave. Thinking like that, thinking of what could go wrong, the isolation of sitting in some perpetual shade…” – Lily
“…he’ll still be pulling the girls when you’re telling the story drunkenly to your flat mates as they creep out, leaving you passed out in your own aging memories.” – Lily
She had guts though and she really did herself justice when the situation warranted it.
“And I made up my mind that I would do everything I could to make him happy, and when it ended, as it was bound to, I’d just feel f**king lucky that I’d had any part of him in my life.” – Lily
Jenny So Gitte, we join Lily and Tristan where AAA left off. Lily about to join Tristan in London to report on his comeback tour. Their relationship needs to be kept on the down low…easier said than done when you’re as famous and mysterious as rock god, Tristan Hunter. Everyone wants a piece of him and everyone has a story to tell and it up to Lily to report and be able to decipher the truth behind all the dark rumors and innuendo that constantly surrounds Tristan. Every step she takes reveals a little more of the the complex man who has stolen her heart, but is it everything she wants to hear? Hearing Tristan’s story through the interviews broke me at times. I felt so much for this closed off, unfathomable man. How about you Gitte?
Gitte: I have to say that learning about Tristan second hand through her interviews; getting an insight into this enigmatic man was very emotional for me also. One scene actually made me cry and I felt like a vital piece was uncovered and I got closer to understanding why and how. However, I have to say that I am not really any closer to understanding Lily, I am desperate to; I need to. I understand many of her actions but not her thought processes; I want to know where they came from originally…what shaped her thoughts? Her way of thinking? Her irrational paranoia? I am hoping book #3 will help me understand.
“..I’d never met someone before who was so desperate to be loved, while being loved by almost everyone he met.” – Lily about Tristan
Jenny: Tristan Hunter, is still the complex, confusing beautiful man we met in AAA.
“and then there was the man himself. 6’2”, dark hair, long legs, a rock legend in leather, with a stare that could make you want, hard, or make you back out of the room” Lily
I really do love this talented, soulful, conflicted, profoundly beautiful man. As revelations of his past emerge and we begin deciphering the truth from the mystery that surrounds Tristan Hunter, and you feel so much compassion for him. My heart went out to him but at the same time, he also made me so angry at him for what he put Lily through. A time or two I felt Lily’s utter heartbreak and was pissed at him for some of the choices he made that so affected Lily. Tristan is one confusing man. His words and actions don’t always acquiesce and I found him a such contradiction at times. This man has so much depth and so many demons, but these demons must be faced and released if Lily and Tristan are to be given a chance at a relationship. Deep down he knows Lily is the woman for him, but is he willing to trust his own feelings and those of Lily’s and take the leap required to move forward?
“That’s it. You see all of me, but you finish at my eyes. Like you know that’s where what you’re looking for will be” Tristan
Gitte: I think the past has made Tristan question everyone’s intentions albeit with some unfortunate exceptions which he seems to just accept if they are from his past. Tristan continues to intrigue me; he is so complex; shaped by his past. I absolutely love this guy but I cannot tell you all the reasons why because I don’t even know myself. Yes, we have the obvious of him being a talented, beautiful rock star. He is controlling to a point yet vulnerable, playful and questioning too. It is as if he wants to test Lily to the point that he feels he can reconcile his feelings and accept hers in return. He made me cry, he made me laugh and he made me want to give him a good slap! Tristan and Lily will be forever chasing the happy ending unless they face their past, open up to each other and realise that both of their intentions, feelings and love is genuine and not self-serving.
“…there was something desperate in his touch. I held him as tightly as I could, until he finally, slowly let go. He looked at me, a world of emotion in his eyes..”
Jenny: The run home in this book really sold it for me. It broke me, it left me emotionally drained and it made me sad, but there were many moments of hope and I can’t wait for book three to see where Alice takes this story. I’m looking forward to having questions answered, unraveling the intriguing Lily and demystifying the unique Tristan Hunter. I need to know that everything is going to be okay for them and that they can find their way. Book three can’t come quick enough for me.
Gitte: The last half of the book saved this story for me. I could not stop reading and inhaled every word wanting them to reach each other on a level that would save them. My heart aches for them both and I want their hurting to stop and for them to find them-selves and each other.
THE ACCESS SERIES by ALICE SEVERIN