How do you become a songwriting star in an industry riddled with potential pitfalls?
Carlisa “Carli” Henton has a high-pressure job at a media agency representing musicians; she’s the owner’s right-hand woman. But her excellence at work and the time she spends on it is at odds with her real aspiration—to write music for major artists and labels. Diligence and talent have led her to the cusp of success there as well, but in the music industry, personal relationships can cause huge complications. Three years ago, she rejected a producer’s advances, and, in retaliation, he cut her out of working on an album that could have made her career. In her present and possible future is R&B star Tau Anderson, one of her agency's clients, coming on strong with the romance, the connections, and a reputation for trouble. Carli is deeply ambivalent about the best way forward. Strangely, her ambivalence never comes to a clear emotional resolution. A lot of recognizable tropes get teased—nice guy vs. playboy; demanding job vs. artistic ambitions—but these don’t quite play out in satisfying ways. What Coleman delivers instead is a great look inside the music industry, especially the creative aspect. Many industry-immersive novels are high gloss but low depth. This one gives as much rich, loving detail to its nonfamous characters as it does to the flashier ones. Everyone here has complications, and they have great conversations with each other, which may just be enough for some readers.
More angst-y and informative than the romp it first appears to be.