Title: B-Side (Arielle Lockley Series book 2.5)
Author: Elle Field
Publication Date: 10 May 2016
“What do I honestly know about the music industry? I’m just another idiot with a dream who is naive enough to hope that I might be the next big star.”
Etta Millhouse has always had big musical ambitions to match her big voice, but she’s also got three very big problems – the addiction she won’t admit to, her godmother’s illness that she can no longer ignore, and her godmother’s useless business partner (who she wishes she could ignore).
Keeping an eye on Arielle’s poor business decisions is the last thing Etta wants to do when she’s offered the chance to record a demo with a top producer. But, a promise is a promise, even if it has her reaching for another pick-me-up… And then another. And then one more.
When the secret she must keep for her godmother, Felicity, sends her drug habit spiralling out of control, can Etta battle her demons in time and make her dream happen? Or, will her music career be over before it’s even begun?
B-Side sits between Lost(out now) and Found (out summer 2016) in the Arielle Lockley series – read Etta’s version of events in this gritty Lost spin-off.
Having already read (and thoroughly enjoyed) books 1 and 2 in the Arielle Lockley series, I jumped at the chance to read B-Side. This spin-off from the series focuses on Etta Millhouse, aspiring jazz singer, junkie and god-daughter to Arielle’s refined business partner, Felicity.
Wikipedia defines an antihero (or anti-heroine) as “a protagonist who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, or morality. These individuals often possess dark personality traits such as disagreeableness, dishonesty, and aggressiveness”. This describes Etta to a T.
Etta is rude, prickly, quick-tempered and a total mess. The ultimate flawed heroine! To those who know her, she is also loyal, caring and hugely protective of those she loves. After a lifetime of disappointment, misery and difficulty, Etta relies upon her disagreeable attitude and some chemical enhancements as coping mechanisms to protect her from any hints of emotion or grief that threaten to make an appearance. Unfortunately she finds herself needing more of a boost to get through each day.
Etta has her heart set on becoming a singer. She can’t imagine any career path other than becoming a singer. Luck comes Etta’s way and she finds herself making a demo and moving a step closer to fame and fortune! This looks to be Etta’s big break, depending on whether she can control her demons and really focus on her career. However, as soon as things start to look up for Etta, a big spanner is thrown into the works courtesy of her god mother’s failing health.
Having experience of a family member with similar health problems to Felicity, this really struck a cord with me. I understood Etta’s frustration and, more importantly, her fear at seeing one of the most important people in her life fade in front of her and, at times, become someone she does not recognise as her beloved godmother.
B-Side is different to the earlier books in the Arielle Lockley series. It is more hard-hitting, darker and grittier. The book has a much different feel to that of the earlier books in the series.
The story is well-paced and held my attention until the last page. I really enjoy Field’s writing style, finding the story easy to follow.I feel that Field has dealt with the darker issues in a sympathetic but realistic fashion.
I liked the dry and witty humour in B-Side and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I’m on tenterhooks waiting for book 3 in the series, Found, to be released so that I can find how the story ends for each of the characters.
Whilst the book could be read as a stand-alone, I think that it would benefit the reader to have first read the earlier 2 books in the Arielle Lockley series in order to gain a better understanding as to the links between the different characters.
Overall, a great story and a fantastic addition to the Arielle Lockley series!
About the Author
Elle Field writes romantic comedies, and is the author of the Arielle Lockley series and Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not. She grew up in Yorkshire, then moved to Scotland to study International Relations and Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. Elle now lives in London with her boyfriend and their cat. She’s a massive fan of sunshine, giraffes, The Killers, Audrey Hepburn movies, playing Scrabble and tea. Oh, and reading, of course!
To celebrate the publication of B-Side, Elle Field is running a giveaway. Prizes are Amazon vouchers, a paperback set of the full Arielle Lockley series (Kept, Lostand B-Side), and a set of vinyl coasters.