Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Page Count: 324 pages (of nauseation)
Average Goodreads Rating: 3/5 stars (why, Goodreads? You’re usually so tough on books)
My Rating: 1.5/ 5 stars
Truthfully, this is actually a great story. Yeah. So great. It’s the perfect backstory for its horror sequel: The Martins Trump Manson on Body Count.
As a romance it fucking sucks.
I don’t even know where to begin. This book is so full of sugary sap that it makes pasta covered in maple and chocolate syrup and marshmallows look appetizing.
Here’s the thing: I’m not actually a bitter and cynical person. I like sap and fluff. I smile and giggle during romance scenes, I’ve obsessively written cute and romantic fanfiction and my boyfriend and I were arguably the most nauseatingly cute couple to ever walk the halls of John Bapst Memorial High School.
But I gagged reading this book for the amount of love-doveyness.
Marguerite is on holiday in London, recovering from the sudden deaths of her parents which liberated her from 27 years of being suffocated and controlled by them. While there, she has a random chance encounter with Chase Martin, a depressed rock star exhausted from touring with his band. Chase and Marguerite are drawn together by a strange unknown force. They don’t know why they have such a strong connection to each other, but they do know that life without the other would not be living at all.
I actually really liked the beginning and thought that it would shape up to be an interesting and sweet romance. We see them before they meet in the coffee shop, miserable and depressed, and then while sipping her drink and reading her book, Marguerite feels Chase’s anxiety. So she buys him a decaf drink and gives it to him, saying she could feel his anxiety from across the shop. That’s great.
The two of them realize they’re drawn together and can find each other happiness and Marguerite ends up spending the night at Chase’s house just so they can find comfort in having another human being near them. That’s great, too.
The beginning is by far my favorite part because it has promise for a good story and has more vivid scenes than any other part of the book.
But then it moves too quickly from there.
From that moment on, the two of them are so deep in love they make Romeo and Juliet look reserved and cautious. They are constantly “blown away” by each other and moved to tears every minute by each other. They “get a kick out of” every little joke they make to each other, and they start living together immediately after they meet. After a week (that’s right, a flipping week), Chase proposes to her.
And if I had a pin for every time one of those quoted phrases appeared in this novel, I could pulverize a voodoo doll. The repeated phrases and excessive emotion of the characters is definitely the worst part.
I’m still not that aggravated with this book, yet. Yeah, the insta love irks me, but I figure there will be a great plot with lots of trouble between the two of them after they marry. After all, they barely know each other and they need to figure out what this psychic connection means. Maybe they’re the incarnated souls of Hawkgirl and Hawkman and they’re about to get killed by an immortal psychopath (did I mention I’m a huge nerd?).
Nope. The two of them agree on everything, right down to how to decorate the house and the new rule that shoes are off upon entering. And things continue to be hunky dory for practically forever. All of Chase’s friends, and their girlfriends, love Marguerite and nobody questions their whirlwind romance. Yeah, because a severely depressed person getting engaged after a week of dating isn’t a cry for help or anything.
And there is so much to dislike about Chase’s and Marguerite’s decisions. Marguerite is forced to quit her job so she can move to London to be with Chase.
Never mind that she liked her job in Pennsylvania and didn’t express any wish to be a housewife. Never mind that Chase was getting tired of touring and thinking about quitting the band anyway. It’s her life that gets turned upside down.
Also, so much for her newfound freedom following her parents’ deaths! Now she’s shadowed by a bodyguard wherever she goes, needs to sneak into the backs of restaurant when she wants to eat out, and can’t even walk to the store for fear of being accosted by her husbands’ fans.
Yes, Chase’s life gets changed too. He now has a wife that cooks meals for him, cleans for him, furnishes and decorates his house for him, and hands him a cold towel when he walks off stage. He made some real damn sacrifices when he married Marguerite.
But life goes on. With a lot of summary and over thirty years, it goes on.
Aside from dialogues and scenes peppered here and there, the book is mostly sweet and sappy summary of their lives. Dark things happen now and then but they’re glossed over and smothered in fluff.
If this storyline was done by a competent writer, this actually could have been an entertaining series about the Martin family. There is actually plenty of material between the psychic connection, Marguerite’s tragic background, a miscarriage, a huge celebrity drugging conspiracy, two sets of twins, a near death experience, and a baby on the doorstep.
But somehow it becomes boring and plotless when it’s all crammed into one book that seems to drag on forever. During all of this my main concern, the psychic connection, was never explained. It’s just a gift from God. One that turns their “perfect” (as in creepily well behaved and mature) children into kids from The Shining. Because they also have a psychic connection. They can “feel” each other and their parents. Oh, and talk to their dead sister, apparently, when their dead sister wants to tell them about babies being left on their doorstep.
“This is Baby Sarah,” Matt said.
“Baby Sarah?” Marguerite asked.
(Both sets of twins) said “Yes. We knew she was coming.”
Chase asked, “How did you know?”
“Baby Margaret told us,” Mark said.
Also, when Chase and Marguerite choose Sarah’s full name, all four children, in a different room, wake up from a dead sleep, sit up in unison, and announce that the baby is named.
If you want to read a rockstar romance, I recommend Love’s Rhythm by Lexxie Couper, which isn’t perfectly crafted, but leagues beyond The Band 4: The Air We Breathe.
However, if you’re still curious about this book, you can check out its page on the Online Book Club Bookshelves.
Full disclosure, I did get paid a small amount of money for an honest review of The Band 4: The Air We Breathe. 100% of my compensation goes to the upkeep of the Lover’s Quarrel domain.
Have you read The Band 4? Have any other rockstar romance novel recommendations? Let me know in the comments.