Dirty Little Secret – Jennifer Echols

Dirty Little Secret


From the author of the “real page-turner” (SeventeenSuch a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…


I am a crying and grinning mess of a person right now.

This book was so good. I read Love Story a few years ago, but I wasn’t sold by it enough to pick up other Jennifer Echols books. Well, that’s the end of that — this book definitely swayed me into her corner. Dirty Little Secret had the rush of summer, the warmth of the Dirty South, love, agony, angst, and music everywhere. I felt my heart breaking a million times for everyone… Bailey, Sam, Ace, Charlotte, Julie, Sam’s parents, EVERYONE. And yet it was all tied off with a realistically hopeful bow, a happy ending.

My heart went out to Bailey. Music was in her blood, yet her parents were just so awful. Toby was so awful. It’s weird that both parties were always pictured in such a negative light, without any redeeming qualities, yet they still retained a sense of realism. I often gripe about flat characters in other books, but not so much here.

I loved the competitive, high-stakes picture of the music industry. How easily one bar fight or one bad performance could be the end. Or how one magical performance at the right time and the right place could mean everything in such a good way. I loved the depiction of Nashville, a place brimming with people trying their hardest to catch a break in music and life.

This book was adorable. I thought Bailey would be Sam’s dirty little secret, but I’m glad that their relationship actually signified a shiny pillar of strength and recovery.

This book was so much more than it seemed, yet managed to stay warm and vanilla-fluffy. This was the perfect summer read!

Related Reading

  • How My Summer Went Up in Flames – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
  • Bittersweet – Sarah Ockler (sacrificing for the family… but with a completely different take and outcome)
  • Honestly, this book was so delightfully multi-faceted that many books can seem related in some way or another
  • Note: You have to listen to country music while reading this. Even Taylor Swift.

Rating: 5/5



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