Dirty Little Secret - Jennifer Echols Initial reaction: Probably a solid 3 star read. The story had a leisurely pace throughout, and the beginning was a bit rough for events, but as the narrative went on, I'll admit that I ended up caring for both Bailey and Sam. It has its share of rough moments, both with the characters clashing with each other and trying to make music together, but it was a decent story which had a nice resolution to things in the end. I liked the experience well enough, and hope I can express that more in my full review.Full review:And I think Jennifer Echols has some brownie points back with me in "Dirty Little Secret" - though I'll admit there are still some problematic elements within it that straddle the line a little like my previous read from her - the NA work "Levitating Las Vegas". This story has to do with a young woman named Bailey whose sister is a bonafide rising country music star. What does that mean for Bailey? Well, when her sister gets signed by a major record company, she gets the short end of the stick - pretty much putting her music dreams on hold, undervalued by her parents (who tell her if she steps out of line and tries to do any major music work, they won't pay for her college tuition), and sent to live with her grandfather to keep her existence out of the limelight.One could imagine that this leaves Bailey feeling a little more than bitter. I think I was more forgiving of Bailey's brute demeanor when I found out the whole story behind what her parents did to her and where she was emotionally following that, but I still had a hard time liking her perspective, it was difficult. It was also difficult to get into the narrative to begin with because of the slow pacing, the dragging of the prose, and the fact that it seems to meander with some sketchy details (case in point, the perverted Elvis we meet near the beginning of the novel as Bailey performs in gigs).But things change for Bailey when she meets Sam - a rising musician himself and with a colorful cast of bandmates to match. I really liked Sam upon his introduction and he made the narrative more vibrant for me in terms of his characterization and camaraderie with Bailey for a time. Yet, I had a hard time in this part of the novel too, because there is some rampant slut shaming and odd considerations as the narrative went on. The group weathers some tough situations and Bailey seems unwilling to confront her issues, just as much as Sam has a troubled past and is unwilling to deal with his issues. Such terms threaten to break apart the budding band at its seams. However, I do have to admit that the way the story rounded itself out in the end made me give full credit to where Echols takes it, and I liked the resolution.I would still give this book credit for immersing me in its respective journey and the way things tied off in the end. It's a decent novel for what it aims for, and I think quite a few readers will enjoy it for what it offers, but there are caveats in this that require patience to get through them.Overall score: 3/5Note: I received this ARC from Edelweiss, from the publisher MTV Books.