5 out of 5 Stars
*I was provided a copy of Crimson and Clover by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*
Eighteen-year-old flower child Katie Scott is all for the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in the late sixties, but she still dreams of a June Cleaver life. When San Francisco no longer has anything to offer her, she moves to Ladbroke Grove in London to start over. She’s not really looking for love, but love finds her in the form of twenty-six-year-old Jay Carey.
The long-haired, beautiful rock god leaves his popular band to form a new one, playing the kind of music he really wants to play. Music is Jay’s life, until he meets Katie, and the two share a connection that can’t be denied. But that connection will be tested by Jay’s life on the road and an atmosphere of free love.
Crimson and Clover is a twentieth century historical romance, set in the late sixties with a backdrop of rock and roll and free love. The story immediately takes you to another time, easily incorporating vivid descriptions of the fashion and hair styles popular during that period. The dialogue keeps you in the setting, and I loved the mix of Katie’s Southern American twang with British English and sixties terminology.
Told in third person, the majority of the story was from Katie’s point of view. Although young and naïve in some ways, Katie was a strong lead who knew what she wanted out of life and wasn’t afraid to go after it. There were times when she should have spoken up and didn’t, but for the most part I loved her iron will and her ability to take care of herself without needing to depend on a man.
From the moment Jay was introduced, there was a clear attraction. The buildup of Katie and Jay’s relationship was realistic and fun to watch—for the most part. There were times when I had trouble accepting the things Katie accepted and I had to remind myself of the atmosphere in which the story was set. The author did a fantastic job of keeping things real for the time frame Katie and Jay lived in. Nothing was shied away from and nothing was left out. And although I couldn’t accept every choice they made, I still couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages to find out how their lives played out.
The reader was given bits and pieces of Jay’s point of view, and if the story was missing anything, I would say it was a little more of what he was going through. I would have liked to hear from him more to understand things from his perspective. Granted, keeping the reader mostly blind to Jay’s perspective pushed us to feel things from Katie’s point of view and sympathize with her on a deeper level.
Overall, the story kept me hooked the whole time, fully immersed in Jay and Katie’s relationship. The entire story felt realistic and gave me a taste of life in the age of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I look forward to reading more from this author.