ARC Review: The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod

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ARC Review: The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes

4 Stars

Book Info

Released: May 4 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Lillys #1
Pages: 464

“If you truly love music and books blending together, you have to read this one.”

~ Under the Covers

Antonia “Toni” Bennett grew up around music while her mother tried to make it big. Backstage was like a second home for her until one day her mom decided she couldn’t keep dragging a kid around and it was time for Antonia to go live with her father. This is where she stayed until she found a way to make it out of that small town and that suffocating life where she thought no one cared for her.  Disappointed by her father’s lack of attention and her best friend leaving her behind.  Now years later, she’s trying to get into the music industry and lands a position in a popular all girl band. Only to find she’ll be closely working with that best friend that broke her heart.

I’m not the biggest rockstar romance reader these days, although I enjoyed quite a few years back. But when I saw this story centered around an all girl rock band I couldn’t pass it up. The Lilly’s are so much fun and I’ll be on the lookout for more books about the rest of the band members for sure.

At the heart of my enjoyment of this book is the fact that I fell in love with our heroine from very early on. Even as a child, I couldn’t help but root for her and want her to find a way to make her dreams come through. The innocence of her childhood took a bit of a beating by everyone she let in close, and she still wasn’t a bitter and jaded person in the end. Instead she was loving and forgiving while at the same time able to stand up for herself when needed.

The romance in this book is a slow burn and not too steamy. But it was written in the only way that made sense for the story. While Antonia always had a crush on Seb and many years to deal with her emotions toward him, to him she was a friend until they meet again as adults. Their romance felt real, not rushed. They had so many things to work through and I’m glad they took their time with it. Going along for the ride was a fun experience and only reinforced their connection.

Xio Axelrod delivers everything that is good about a rockstar romance, even some drama, without making it a super angsty read. There’s a fine balance for that and she does it perfectly well. My only complain is that I wanted to know more about her parents, and I’m still curious to know more about her dad. I would’ve loved to see that relationship developed more in this book.

If you truly love music and books blending together, you have to read this one. You can tell the author is very comfortable writing about this industry in a way that transports you into their lives. Plus I’m a sucker for a childhood crush/friends romance and this was such a great sampling of that. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next installment in this series because I now need to see them all get their HEAs, even Candy get her redemption.

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About Xio Axelrod

Xio Axelrod is a USA Today bestselling author of different flavours of contemporary romance. She also writes what she likes to call strange, twisted tales. Xio grew up in the music industry and began recording at a young age. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in the studio, writing songs, or performing on international stages (under a different, no-so-secret name). She lives in Philadelphia with one full-time husband and several part-time cats.

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I’m not into rockstar romance but the main character sounds great.

Sophia Rose

I like the way it seems like a personal journey story and the all-girl band is definitely a draw.

Under the Covers Book Blog

It really is! Almost like a women’s fiction combined with a contemporary romance.

Amy R

Thanks for the review.