Notes and Roses (Stanford Creek #1) by R.J. Scott #mf #review


It’s time to stop running and take a stand…for love.

Former pop star CJ Taylor is starting a new life. His stalker is behind bars, he’s taken back his birth name, and he’s bought a house in a small Vermont town. As Cody Brennan, he finally feels safe and wants to write new music and forget about his tragic past, but an accident nearly destroys everything.

Florist Megan Campbell is horrified when a stranger, covered in blood, collapses in her shop. Cody’s erratic behavior startles her at first, but as he recover, attraction to the stranger grows. Her family thinks she should curb her feelings, and worries about her safety—she worries about her heart.

From her amber eyes to her tempting smile, Megan is everything Cody promised himself to avoid. The more he gets to know her, the more he wants to stay. When his past begins to catch up to him in the form of violent threats, will they stay safe long enough to fall in love?

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In Notes and Roses, Megan owns a flower and stationary shop with her cousin, Rachel. In the middle of an ordinary day, a strange man, appearing to be a homeless man, wanders into her shop and collapses, but before he collapses, he and Megan have one moment of eye contact and she can’t get him out of her mind. She calls her brother, the sheriff, and paramedics, and then keeps a check on the guy as he’s healing in the hospital. As she gets to know him, she finds out his name is Cody Brennan, and he is new in town.

Cody Brennan is trying to take his life back. He’s a former member of the boy band fled the Hollywood life after a tragic car accident caused by a stalker killed his best friend’s fiancé. He’s trying to start over again as a songwriter, but he doesn’t know who he is anymore. As he and Megan get to know each other, it’s clear that there is an attraction between them, but what can he offer to a woman when he can’t even tell her the truth about who he is without putting her in danger?

 

I very much wanted to like this book. It’s an intriguing premise with plenty of conflict and should have been compelling. Instead, while the plot was okay, the characters, particularly the heroine, fell flat. I like complex characters, but Megan didn’t hit that mark. She was a confusing bundle of contradictions. On the one hand, she is a smart, independent woman, who owns her own business and doesn’t hesitate to put her brothers in her place when they become overly protective. On the other hand, she at times comes off as naïve, clueless, and completely oblivious. Someone has been sending mysterious packages and causing problems for her, and when another character, who is clearly delusional, flat out tells her he is the one who has been doing it, she doesn’t believe him. Despite copious evidence to the contrary, she just doesn’t believe this man could possibly be doing what he says he’s doing. She also doesn’t think to tell her brother, the sheriff, that any of this is going on. It just doesn’t make sense, and for me, wasn’t at all believable. There were also sometimes logical problems with the plot. Cody has supposedly been part of this well-known boy band, but even after he ditches his disguise, not a single person in the town recognizes him. If they were that famous, how does that happen? However, the most glaring factual problem I saw was at the end. Someone who is supposedly being resuscitated after a fatal car crash manages to speak to Megan. That’s not physically possible. Someone who is receiving CPR is not conscious, cannot breathe, and therefore cannot talk. Personally, I’m not sure how the book made it through editing with that glaring of an error. Needless to say, this book left a lot to be desired.

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