A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: A Little Bit Country

Author: Brian D. Kennedy

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: 2 Gay MCs, Mexican American character, Hispanic characters, character with Multiple Sclerosis, f/f romance mentioned, Lesbian character, m/m romance

Recommended For…: young adult readers, contemporary, romance, LGBT, m/m romance, country music

Publication Date: June 7, 2022

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Age Relevance: 15+ (sexism, sexual harassment, sexual content, romance, micro aggressions, language, homophobia, gore, underage alcohol consumption, religion)

Explanation of Above: There are some mentions and comments about sexism. There is one brief sexual harassment comment made by an obvious slimey character to a side character. There is some sexual content in the book in the form of jokes and mentions, and there is one fade to black scene. There are a few curse words throughout the book, but not a lot. There is some slight homophobia in the book and homophobic comments. There is one moment with gore, blood, where two characters are hurt. There is one small scene of underage alcohol consumption. There is a brief mention of religion.

Publisher: Balzer and Bray

Pages: 351

Synopsis: Emmett Maguire wants to be country music’s biggest gay superstar – a far reach when you’re seventeen and living in Illinois. But for now, he’s happy to do the next best thing: Stay with his aunt in Jackson Hollow, Tennessee, for the summer and perform at the amusement park owned by his idol, country legend Wanda Jean Stubbs.

Luke Barnes hates country music. As the grandson of Verna Rose, the disgraced singer who had a famous falling out with Wanda Jean, Luke knows how much pain country music has brought his family. But when his mom’s medical bills start piling up, he takes a job at the last place he wants: a restaurant at Wanda World.

Neither boy is looking for romance, but sparks fly when they meet – and soon they’re inseparable. Until a long-lost secret about Verna and Wanda comes to light, threatening to unravel everything.

Will Emmett and Luke be able get past the truths they discover…or will their relationship go down in history as just another Sad Country Love Song?

Review: Overall I absolutely adored this read. It was a sweet romance between two gay characters and how country music/small town life affected that for both of them. The book is kind of a band book, but definitely a coming out journey and it’s perfect for fans of It This Gets Out or Kiss and Tell. Honestly, I don’t know what we did to deserve 3 gay boy band books this year but I’m loving it! There are a lot of pop culture references to country music in this, which is perfect for fans of the genre. The book is also Multi POV and the author did well to make sure that the characters had distinct voices, especially in how they talk (subtle northern/southern differences). The book is an insta-love romance with a happen chance meeting. The characters are well developed and the world building is good. I loved the writing and the book is definitely a page turner!

The only issue I had with the book is that it felt like some of the plot was a bit slow in the middle. I felt it dwindled down significantly and then really picked up about 15% left in the read. It really rushed the character development of a few people and I think some of that and a little of the plot was still left unresolved by the end. I think it would have been better a bit slower throughout or a bit faster throughout.

Verdict: It was great! Highly recommend!

Book Info:

A Little Bit Country Brian D. Kennedy

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Publishing Date: June 7, 2022

Synopsis:

Emmett Maguire wants to be country music’s biggest gay superstar – a far reach when you’re seventeen and living in Illinois. But for now, he’s happy to do the next best thing: Stay with his aunt in Jackson Hollow, Tennessee, for the summer and perform at the amusement park owned by his idol, country legend Wanda Jean Stubbs.

Luke Barnes hates country music. As the grandson of Verna Rose, the disgraced singer who had a famous falling out with Wanda Jean, Luke knows how much pain country music has brought his family. But when his mom’s medical bills start piling up, he takes a job at the last place he wants: a restaurant at Wanda World.

Neither boy is looking for romance, but sparks fly when they meet – and soon they’re inseparable. Until a long-lost secret about Verna and Wanda comes to light, threatening to unravel everything.

Will Emmett and Luke be able get past the truths they discover…or will their relationship go down in history as just another Sad Country Love Song?

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55685792-a-little-bit-country

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Bit-Country-Brian-Kennedy/dp/0063085658/ref=sr_1_1?creative=330641&keywords=A+Little+Bit+Country&qid=1646694772&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-bit-country-brian-d-kennedy/1140112732?ean=9780063085657

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Little-Bit-Country-Brian-D-Kennedy/9780063085657?ref=grid-view&qid=1646694921879&sr=1-2

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/a-little-bit-country/9780063085657-item.html?ikwid=a+little+bit+country&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=d9fd69aa2cdea39c0183171a6772743f

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780063085657

About the Author:

Brian D. Kennedy writes books for young adults. Born and raised in Minnesota, he occasionally elongates his vowels still. He now lives in New York City with his husband and their very photogenic dog. When he’s not writing, Brian can be found working at the LGBTQ Center, sitting in the audience at a Broadway show, or out buying more books—despite the stack of unread ones he has at home.  

Author Links:

Website: https://www.briandkennedybooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bdkennedybooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bdkennedybooks/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20814893.Brian_D_Kennedy

Tour Schedule:

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