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Chasing the Dream #1

More than Music

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Classical musician Maddie Taylor secretly dreams of a louder life, but geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there's more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single, they're forced to keep their relationship secret.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

303 pages, Paperback

First published June 10, 2014

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About the author

Elizabeth Briggs

42 books1,853 followers
Elizabeth Briggs is the New York Times bestselling author of unputdownable paranormal and fantasy romance with bold heroines and fearless heroes. She's worked for an international law firm, mentored teens in writing, and volunteered with dog rescue groups. Now she’s a full-time geek who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their daughter, and a pack of fluffy dogs. Find her online at http://www.elizabethbriggs.net/

***Sign up for Elizabeth's reader list to get FREE books, plus updates on her new releases, giveaways, book recommendations and more.***

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 360 reviews
Profile Image for NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}.
1,298 reviews85 followers
December 5, 2015
***4,25 "Not Okay?" stars especially for Maddie and Jared***

Everyone who knows me probably already knows that i love books with musicians and i'm after them!!!
And this certain book was such an unexpected and pleasant surprise!!!

I loved this story and i had so much fun reading it... It drown me inside of it!!!
I liked that i witnessed how all those shows on TV are working and that was a really interesting experience...
I liked the way that our main characters was loving music... More than anything!!!

But it was about time for Jared especially to learn that there is something more than music...

Well, Maddie was friend with Kyle for a long time but they never got together very often and when they did they never went away from college's area.
But Maddie was loving his band and their music and she was very fascinated with Kyle's brother, Jared.
But she haven't met him before and she is worshiping him from far away like a fangirl!!!

But it's better that way since Maddie has a little "geeky" appearance and Jared is such a womanizer...
But everything is about to change in that party in Cross brothers house!

"I couldn’t let myself forget the kind of guy Jared was, no matter how he made me feel. Especially since he seemed to make every girl feel that way."

You see Maddie is into music too, but her studies are more classical.
She is playing the piano and a couple of others music instruments, but she is secretely in love with the guitar but that is not something known to anyone than her two besties.

So, in this party, Kyle wanted to show her their studio, but some drama between Jared and their bassist player happened (Yep, she was a woman!!!! So, you understand what kind of drama was that!!!) and Kyle aloud to Maddie to go to the studio alone...
Maddie was so fascinated to be in there that she started to play Jared's guitar with a song of theirs and she was singing it alone as she used to play it in her room and she got up so much into the moment that when she opened her eyes and saw Jared in front of her staring her in awe, she runned away full of embarrassment...

But the next day was waiting a surprise for her outside of her classroom...
Jared pleaded her to become their new guitarist player of their band and to join them at least for the audition of "The Sound" in a couple of days.

After this request, Maddie accepted his offer and then she was scared shitless, but she was also very excited about this new opportunity...
Kyle and Hector were hesistant in the beginning and not because they were afraid of her skills on the guitar, but mostly because they were afraid Jared's weakness to the opposite sex.
So they put them to promise that they will stay away from each other...

And with that they were about to dive in this new adventure...

But when they got to the show, they have to sign a contract that was saying that the band should stay as it was if they were going to the next phase...
So, Maddie have to decide what she wanna do with her life...

Will she continue with her plans as they were, or will he chase her dream???
So, she is taking the risk but what the future will bring to her and to the "Villain Complex"???
And what about her fierceful attraction to Jared???

"I’d never seen someone who could channel emotion like he did every time he sang, like each word was being ripped out of him. His voice stirred something deep inside me, a longing that was almost painful, a desire I couldn’t ignore. I ached to pull him into my arms and press my lips to his, to feel him pour that same passion into me."

I don't know if "The Sound" is a real show but to me it reminded "The Voice"... You know, with the coaches and teams and lots of singing and music battles...

But in our case was like "The Voice" but with bands...
And this story was like the chronicle of a show like this and it got me so much excitement...
I love that i witness all this things from the inside even though that many times i got angry with all the things that were happening...

There was much drama, too many intrigues, tough competitions, many expectations, crazy rehearsals, and much more music... I loved it!!!

"This was the real trick to being an entertainer: pretending everything was great while your life was falling apart around you.
Our lives were covered in gold foil, but if you scratched hard enough, you’d see the rust underneath."

And i really liked very much Maddie and Jared..
Maddie was the type of the good girl. She loved music and she loved playing guitar.
She was the girl of the next door and as all the nice girls, she fell for the bad boy.
But as the time was passing, she started to learn the real Jared and she got more fascinated with him...

"I’d promised him I wouldn’t get involved with his brother, but I wasn’t doing a very good job of staying away from Jared. No matter how much I tried to fight it, I was attracted to him. Unfortunately, so was every other girl who laid eyes on him. Being in close proximity to him all week had definitely not helped me get over it either—if anything, it had only made it worse because now I knew Jared a little better. He’d stopped being an impossible fantasy in my head and become a real person I actually liked to talk to, and that was even more dangerous. If I wasn’t careful, I’d get my heart broken or get kicked out of the band. Or both."

But Jared wasn't unknown to her presence but he frustrated us (Me and Maddie!!!) many times!!!
He was acting like the villain and he was doing it in the name of music, because music was his life!
But he started to realize in some point and after many mistakes that there were more things than music...

In this point i have to say that i loved Jared's geeky t-shirts with the villains of the comics and i loved Maddie's clumsiness...
I loved when Jared singing for Maddie...
I think that those two were so great together!!!! They had the perfect chemistry...

"Jared was the first guy who truly got me, who understood that music coursed through my blood and crept into every single thought—because he was exactly the same way."

Also, i liked very much the way that those four guys were bound together and how much they loved music. I love how they fought about their dream!!!

I would like to tell you more about this book, but i won't do it!!!
I can't wait for the next stories, even though i think that i will miss Maddie and Jared!!!
Profile Image for Sophie's Reading Corner .
784 reviews315 followers
September 9, 2015
3.5 'Bad Romance' stars

Maddie is a quiet, geeky girl who always takes the safe choice and never dares to dream of something bigger. Until she meets her friend's brother, Jared and somehow he's asking from her to replace their bassist for an audition in the reality TV show 'The Sound'.

As the show evolves the two of them come close, even though nobody seems to want them together. Not the producers of the show, not their bandmates. Everyone wants Jared to be the villain, the bad boy who flirts with numerous girls and a romance between them could probably cost them the win.

Will they sacrifice their chemistry and their feelings for the sake of the show? For the sake of their band and their music?

"This was our one shot to change our futures forever. Our one moment to lose ourselves in the music and hope we brought the audience along with us. Our one chance to turn our dreams into reality."

This book is following Villain Complex through their audition and additionally behind/&on the stage of a music reality show, such as 'The Voice', only here it's called 'The Sound'. Other than that, the whole process was entirely like watching the tv show, but with spicy BTS moments, schemes, a romance brewing between the heroes and of course bonding moments between the band as well. If you're into reality shows then you'll enjoy this one.

I did enjoy this book, even though it was kind of predictable (I mean isn't it expected that the band would reach the finals?) What I didn't like and made me lower my rating though was how the heroes handled their situation around 80%. I didn't support the hero's action, BUT the heroine reached another level. I thought her reaction wasn't reasonable and that she caused drama without being necessary. Since they had agreed not to reveal their secret, until the show would be over and only one week had been left, I believe she overreacted and she just made me shake my head in disapproval.

It was getting harder and harder to keep up with this friends-only charade in public, and I worried we were too obvious with all of our secret looks and quick touches. How could anyone miss the fire smoldering between us every time we were in the same room?

However, it was a nice read, with a few scenes that were fun & sexy (the fence scene= H O T)! I really liked the author's writing, so I'm definitely interested to read Hector's story. Plus it's set at Comic-Con!! My inner geek really likes the sound of it.

PS: I couldn't help but imagine 30 Seconds to Mars' version of 'Bad Romance'! If you haven't heard of it, I think you should! <33

Copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,338 reviews4,595 followers
May 28, 2014
3.25 Stars

”I”d lost myself in the show, in Jared, in the impossible dream and the beautiful lie.”

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This story was well written and centers around a band being contestants on The Voice The Sound television show. The Sound is completely identical to The Voice with one exception, there are bands competing under the guidance of a washed out or popular celebrity.

Maddie is a piano student in college who finds herself in a position to follow her secret dream of being a rock and roll guitarist. Kyle is her classmate who invites her to hear his band, Villain Complex play. Maddie is in lust over Kyle’s playboy brother, Jared. The band’s bassist quits right before their audition for The Sound, Jared recruits Maddie while he switches to bass and vocals.

The story unfolds just like a season of The Voice or American Idol all the while, Maddie and Jared develop feelings for one another and are told by everyone (band and show) that it isn’t allowed. Of course they can’t keep their hands off one another…

”We’ll have to be careful. Keep this under wraps until the show is over.”

Maddie decides being a secret isn't all it's crack up to be...

”But when will the act end?” I asked. “When the show is over? What about the tour? What if we win? When will be good enough to not be a secret anymore?”

Jared learns that the fans will still be there even if he’s not a playboy because their music is solid enough and of course, love conquers all.

Overall, this was an okay read for me. It could be that I never make it through a full season of any of these reality shows anymore because they have lost their originality. As for the author’s skills, I would pick up another story by her.

*Copy provided by Net Galley for review*
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews13.8k followers
Want to read
September 25, 2016
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FREE on Amazon US today (9/25/2016)

Stand-alone book 1.

Classical musician Maddie Taylor secretly dreams of a louder life, but geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there's more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single, they're forced to keep their relationship secret.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

FREE: https://www.amazon.com/More-Than-Musi...

FREEBIES are often good for MORE than one day, I have gathered all my FREEBIES on a special shelf: Kindle-freebies (currently over 500 books)
Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,803 followers
July 21, 2014
3.5 stars!

If you are in the mood for sweet rock star story that's low in angst and drama, this one is a great choice. It was easy and quick read, which I enjoyed.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Briggs.
Author 42 books1,853 followers
Shelved as 'my-books'
August 23, 2015
More Than Music is a stand-alone New Adult contemporary romance, suitable for readers 17+ due to mature content. It features rock music, lots of geeky references, and a TV show loosely based on The Voice. There is no cliffhanger ending - the next books are about Maddie's friends finding love. I hope you enjoy it!

You can get the prequel novella, More Than Exes, for FREE by signing up for my reader list!

Here are some teasers!
More Than Music Teaser

More Than Music Teaser
Profile Image for Beatrice Masaluñga.
1,134 reviews1,656 followers
August 12, 2015
Thank you NetGalley and Victory Editing for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I'm okay with books that has a music theme in it. I'm not really a modern music enthusiast and mostly I listened to 70's - 90's song. I recognize some of those mentioned in this book, which is great because I like some of them. I think this book showcased it really good. I like how the characters expressed their passion in music and it makes me want to learn how to play a music instrument. In my opinion, the writing style is really good.

However, I wasn't really a fan of Maddie and Jared. They are a great pair but they just fell flat for me. I don't feel their chemistry. Plus, Maddie is really whiny and complained too much. As for the competition.. well it was definitely like The Voice. Overall, it was an okay book to me.
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,473 followers
January 2, 2018
This whole series is like my NA reality show guilty pleasure:) If you love the voice and Adam Levine, read this book. I can't wait to read the rest!
Profile Image for Maria's Book Blog.
340 reviews160 followers
June 11, 2015
This book reminded me why I love reading so much. Ms. Briggs has brought back a style of writing and story telling that has almost turned into a lost art. It’s not overly angsty or sexual, the writing sells itself without the need of flashy gimmicks and over the top antics. This first full length novel in the Chasing the Dream series contains, dare I say it, good old fashioned writing that has become quit hard to find as of late. The morning after I finished reading More Than Music I actually woke up still thinking about it. Believe it or not I thought it was a show/movie I had watched and not a book I had just finished reading the night before. I was looking forward to catching the next episode! So needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get to the next book.

I loved that More Than Music picked up right where the novella left off. After winning the Battle of the Bands competition, Villain Complex is about to embark on a new journey competing in a reality show competition called The Sound, a show similar to The Voice. Reality TV is my weakness, my kryptonite if you will, so the fact that this book was based around this show totally made my day. The band’s only problem at the moment is trying to find a replacement for their bassist, since bad boy guitarist and lead singer, Jared decided to take a dip in those forbidden waters, and of course there was bad blood between them afterwards.

Enter Maddie Taylor, the shy, geeky heroine who happens to be a closet guitarist and the answer to Villain Complex’s prayers. Nobody would have ever assumed that the same Maddie who was about to start an internship with the LA Philharmonic could be as talented, and just plain awesome as she is on the guitar. It’s always been her way of relaxing, so naturally over the years she continued to improve and eventually morphed into the musical beast that she is today!

Both Jared and Maddie have been given strict orders not to hook up or fall for each other in any way, shape, or form. The band comes first always, no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Risking everything they’ve worked so hard for because of a fling gone wrong is just not going to happen…again. But don’t you find that what’s forbidden is always a million times more tempting?? It just so happens that Maddie and Jared actually have a lot in common and hit if off almost immediately, so would it really be that bad just to get a teeny, tiny taste of that forbidden fruit?? You’ll just have to read and find out for yourself!

I instantly felt a connection to this unique case of characters. Their love and passion for music just exuded from their fictional pores, and I couldn’t help but be just as excited as they were about the whole process (from beginning to end) of competing on this show. The drama, romance, and overall flawless writing provide a fun, fast paced and exciting thrill ride. This is a stellar addition to the New Adult genre that I would HIGHLY recommend for those in need of a breath of fresh air!
Profile Image for Lex.
758 reviews145 followers
June 21, 2014
OH. MY. GOD. This is such a good book! I can't even describe my feels. Lol. I love every single page of it. I need the paperback. I need to inhale the scent of the book. Eeek. Jared is soooo hot! Hahaha! Yes, I'm fangirling over the guy again. :p

I love everything about Maddie. She has some faults but hey, no one is perfect. I love she plays guitar, piano, violin, and clarinet. It was one of my dream to know how to play guitar. So, a heroine that could play guitar, a Strat for that matter, OMG. Major points! And of course she's in a ROCK BAND with hotties! Hello, Jared. :p

I love music based book. Especially rock bands. I love this More Than Music and I really believe Elizabeth Briggs did a wonderful job with this one! :)

I am so hoping for more! And!!! For all my friends who love good smut, you won't be disappointed with this one. ;) Briggs did it right. :p

Team Jared x Maddie! :)
Profile Image for Ariana.
936 reviews1,299 followers
March 20, 2015

I am not a writer; I have no idea how does that feel like or how hard it might be.
But I am a reader and as a reader I do have expectations.

When I read a book I want to ‘live’ in it for a while, I want to ‘be’ the main character through it all, to ‘have’ that life and make the best out of it. And every now and then I read a book with so, but sooo much potential that I wish (from the bottom of my heart) I had enjoyed it a lot more, because I know that it would have been possible.

This being said, what you will find next might not be your average review (it might not feel like an actual review at all, just random bits of what ifs). It’s just that while reading this story I couldn’t help but think of all the ways it could would have been better (for me at least) and I just feel the need to share those thoughts with you.

Don’t get me wrong.. it was good, it was entertaining, but it could have been really good.

There was one main thing (and I say one only, because the others were related to this alone) that took those 2 stars away and left me with this ‘meh’ kind of feeling that sits hard on my heart… And that was the overrated romance with a pinch of cliché.
No, there’s no irony here – though this is indeed a romantic story and the romance in it was that thing that made me roll my eyes and want to drop reading this book quite a few times for its own good.

Why was that?
Because the love story started kind of before the book even did, and so it overshadowed everything with childish thoughts and longings that the readers can’t possibly fully connect with (or maybe that’s just me).

I wanted so much to believe in those feelings, to feel that passion, but I couldn’t entirely. I didn’t ‘see’ the personality of the two main characters throughout all this crushing and lusting – I just wasn’t there when those feelings happened, I don’t know how it all started - how our girl became attracted to this guy, what did she see in him except for good looks and tons of girls surrounding him (which might not be quite the quality after all). And it’s a shame, because I think that both oh them, both Jared and Maggie, deserved to be known better by us, the readers, as individuals and not only as love interests.

The truth is that the overall plot was OK – more than OK even (the contest, the need for a new member, the chance for Maddie to stand out and do what she likes the best, the ups and downs of the fame), only the details felt a bit ‘smudged’ over the edges (there was so much “I want to touch him”, “I should not like him”, and so much obsessing and jealousy that I barely saw the beauty of the storyline itself. It made the characters seem flat because there was too much telling and too little actual showing). Not to beat around the bush any longer, I simply wish that the romance had been toned down a little bit… Ok, maybe more than a bit.

Anyways, do I recommend this book?
Yes I do.

- People that usually enjoy NA stories might actually like this one – I’ve read quite a few and most of them tend to have the same problems – underdeveloped characters and romances, so they should be fine, as the quality of this one is frankly even superior to many of those.
- People that like to read about music and bands and light, romantic stories might enjoy it too. I have a thing for connecting books with music or any other kind of art – I don’t know why, I just feel attracted to them and I would also recommend Amplified, with a similar concept – or well, sort of.

Bottom line: fun, romantic and edgy. I hope that you will like it more

Happy midnight reading!

*Find the complete review at: ReadingAfterMidnight.com


Blog (EN) | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bloglovin' | Blog (RO)
Profile Image for Lindsay.
2,194 reviews504 followers
August 25, 2016
Anyone that knows me knows that I love rock star romances. So when I found myself with no ARCs to read and some unexpected free reading time, I couldn't resist the draw of this.

Maddie was my type of girl. She was shy and loved music. And she was so real. She wasn't a complete klutz (which is often popular) and she wasn't model perfection personified either. She was real. She was awkward with Jared (who was beyond hot) and a good friend and yes, a little klutzy at times (we all are) but there was no tripping over perfectly flat surfaces. Her first performances had me cracking up. Mostly because I could totally picture myself in those situations and the events happening to me.

I thought Jared was beyond dreamy. First of all, he's a hot musician. Second, he's got tattoos. Third, he's also a geek that liked comic books and Comic Con. And he wanted Maddie. Because the book was only Maddie's POV, you only got hints that Jared was interested in her. But those hints were oh so good. And I loved the connection and friendship that Maddie and Fared built before they became a couple.

I was both intrigued and unsure about the reality show competition that the story took place within. But I actually really enjoyed it. It was a great reason for Maddie and Jared to spend every day together. Plus it provided a little intrigue. My only complaint regarding this part of the book was the eventual culprit of the suspicious activity that was going on. I thought the resolution was a little too easy. I thought it was someone specifically and while I was wrong, I wasn't satisfied with the real culprit either. But honestly, it's not a huge issue and it didn't take away from the story.

I can't wait to see the books for the other guys of the group. And I'm hoping that Maddie's friends will get books too. I'm not ready to say goodbye to these characters yet.
Profile Image for Michelle Pickett.
Author 10 books906 followers
June 10, 2014
Review of: “More than Music” by Elizabeth Briggs
4 1/2 Stars

I enjoyed “More than Music” by Elizabeth Briggs a lot. I thought it was well written. I liked the author’s writing style and voice, and the story line was a nice change of pace from the typical new adult books where the female main character is running from a secret, or the male character has a secret, or both.

I really liked the game show idea. It made the story very relatable since most people have heard of the various singing reality show/competitions, even if they don’t watch them. It was an interesting backdrop to the romance and gave it a little forbidden element.

I liked the characters quite well. Maddie was very relatable. She was unsure of her skills and where she fit into the band. I think we can all relate to not knowing where we fit in at some point. She also has feelings for Jared that confuse and set her off-balance.

Jared was a little harder to pin down. He had two personas. One in front of the camera and one when the cameras turned off. As the story progresses it was easy to understand the need for this, but early on his true feelings were fuzzy. But he turned out to be a really nice guy. And I always like the nice guys…especially the hawt ones that can sing.

I would have liked more development in the supporting characters. There were a lot of areas where this could have been done, especially with the other two members of the band. I really love secondary characters and think they can add so much to a story.

Bottom line: If you are looking for a quick, sexy read, this book is for you. The plot was good, the characters were likable and the writing was well done. I recommend.
Profile Image for Samantha.
571 reviews41 followers
September 7, 2015
A sweet 4 stars for Elizabeth Briggs's More Than Music. This novel is very much a new adult sweet fest with the way the story plays out. Having said that, it is a really good read. The writing is much better than I thought it would be and am happy to say that.

The story has a very redeemable male character and a female character trying to really come into herself. They are both music lovers while he's in a rock band and she's been walking the classic line for years. Jared and Maddie have never actually met before the night the story starts even though Maddie is very close with Jared's brother Kyle.

After a series of events, Maddie ends up playing guitar for the band to compete on a reality television show called The Sound, think The Voice but for bands. The band makes it all the way through to the final round while Maddie and Jared try, and fail, to fight their attraction towards one another. They must figure out what it is they really want and need before the not only rip each other apart but also the band's chances of success.

I found myself liking Jared quite a bit because he's allowed himself to fill a role, to be a villain. He's clever, wickedly musically inclined, and really a darling. He's funny and responsible. I also liked Maddie for other reasons. Overall, I liked the read and would recommend it to someone who wants a softer, less sexual read than many other books I tend to rave about.
Profile Image for Jeffe Kennedy.
Author 94 books1,210 followers
January 10, 2018
I loved this book! My assistant, Sullivan McPig, sent it to me for Christmas as one of her favorite finds from this year, and she was spot-on that I'd be into it, too. A super fun contemporary romance set in Los Angeles, with a framework plot of bands competing on a show like The Voice. The competition gave a terrific acceleration of anticipation as I rooted for MY band to make it - and also provided convincing and effective conflict to escalate the sexual tension between the hero and heroine. I loved all the characters, even the "baddies" and enjoyed the hell out of this book.
March 13, 2017
Don't pass this story up!

They can't resist each other, but their secret romance might tear their band apart...

Music major Maddie Taylor secretly dreams of a louder life, but geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there's more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single, they're forced to keep their relationship secret.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

When I first started to read this book I only thought about the tv show, "THE VOICE" with a band twist. The funny thing is that I was so excited about that version of the story that I felt it added so much to the storyline. The characters were decent and found myself yelling with the crowd when Maddie fell off stage. It didn't take me long to love the Jared and Maddie story at all!

I recommend this book to anyone who loves rock, The Voice, and romance because you won't be disappointed.
September 21, 2015
ARC provided in exchange of an honest review

Review original post:

book review: 4.5 stars!!

Well, with this book, I definitely claimed the title FREAK since, the first day that I started it, I reached the 70% of the book in less than 6 hours. Crazy, huh? Tell me about it!!!!

From the first chapter, I was deep deep into this story and without realizing how much time had passed, I was over the half of it. I was reading and reading and reading with hardly any break. I was just flowing with it and couldn’t stop. So, that’s what had me so hooked with this story:

The love story: Oh God! What can I really say about it? Great is the first thing that comes to mind, and really, I can’t find a better way to describe it. The way Jared and Maddie interact, communicate and transform from friends and band-buddies to lovers in a matter of few weeks, is really captivating. I saw – with the bookaddict meaning of course – how, while discovering and learning more about each other, they were discovering, also, more about their own self. There are so many ups and down and so many unexpected moments that I just kept reading. And, let’s not forget the necessity of keeping this relationship a secret for more reasons than one. So, combining all these, you get a love that is special and hot and can’t walk away.

My eyes followed the dark hair that trailed down his stomach and under the towel. Please let that towel fall, I thought. I’d never wished for something so hard in my life.

Characters: each one is a wonderful creation that blows your mind completely. They had it all. Funny, emotional, hilarious, sad, heart-broking, determined, full of love. Their hearts are made of pure gold. And who can resist gold? It was really amusing to see how they were interacting and communicating with each other and the others around them. I never knew which way each of these moments was gonna go. The unexpected indeed!!

“You two are disgusting.”, Hector said, making gagging noises. “Seriously, get a room.”, Kyle said. “Oh, I plan on it.”, Jared kissed my neck in the spot he knew made me crazy.”

Laughter: you will probably wondering with I named this category like that. So, the explanation is pretty simple. Because there wasn’t a moment – ok, except some more emotional ones – that I wasn’t crrrryyyiiiinnngggg from laughter. And it was from those fall-off-your-seat-and-your-stomach-is-hurting laughter. And the proof of that statement, exist just below the collage where there is one of my top favorites parts of the book! Just read it and you’ll see my point! (go to the link)

The place: one of the main things that made this story so intense. The fact that they became part of a music reality show where they had to follow its rules to a T, just took everything into a new level. Also, it was one of the reasons why Jared and Maddie HAD to keep their love down and no one knowing about it. But, Life finds always a way or ways to reveal the secrets that the humans try to hide. And afters she does? You can never know where it will take you.

Elizabeth Briggs wrote an amazing story with lots lots of music and love. And dince I’m a complete sucker for the stories that include everything that has to do with music, there was NO WAY to not read it! Her lovely selection of the songs, the INCREDIBLE choice of instruments – especially the guitars – and how she was describing their part in the story, made me feel like I was living it. I can’t wait to read the Hector’s story because I bet it will be equally awesome! Besides, we’re talking about Hector, which means you won’t get anything less!
Profile Image for Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads).
710 reviews182 followers
February 25, 2015
3.5 stars

At A Glance

Fun and interesting, but not the best read ever.

The Good

I have to be honest, I might have liked this book more than most because A) my obsession with rock star romances and B) I loved seeing a possible version of what it’s like behind the scenes of shows like The Voice or X Factor. It was crazy!!! I would hate dealing with all that drama and cattiness, so I am happy I got to experience it through Maddie’s eyes.

Maddie is a music and comic book geek who gets pulled into a band and then a reality show in a matter of a few days. It all happens so fast for her. She is not a rocker, but she LOVES music. So she easily fits in with the rest of her new band, the Villain Complex. But her major crush for Jared, the lead singer, gets complicated. I loved how down to earth and sweet Maddie was. She was so damn endearing. I wanted to protect her from all the drama of the show, but I was happy to see it made her a strong person.

Jared was a perfect match for her because he too loves music with a passion and is all geeky with his comic book obsession. He isn’t the typical rocker. He’s sweet and approachable, though still smoking hot. But the fame does get to him a bit. His focus is winning the show and getting the contract, which added a lot of drama.

So much shit goes down in this musical reality show. The people working for the show don’t care and are manipulative. The competition is cruel and aggressive. The mentors care more about themselves than the bands they are suppose to me helping out. But there are a few good people sprinkled throughout.

I like how the book ended, but I can’t say anything else without spoiling it.

The Bad

I didn’t like Jared as a love interest for the majority of the time. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good guy, but his image means too much to him for him to be a good boyfriend. I was sad to see Maddie keep running after him after he embarrassed her quite often. And this was for the majority of the book.

I expected something more. It felt rushed, then the end came so fast I was disappointed that not more was resolved or at least mentioned.

The Snuggly

Jared pissed me off a lot with his resistance to acknowledge Maddie as his love interest just because of his image, so it was hard to love them as a couple. I just felt okay with them overall. There is some sex but nothing overdone.

Final Thoughts

Not the best book ever written but it was fun to read and I liked all the drama and most of the characters. Recommended.


“I’d lost myself in the show, in Jared, in the impossible dream and the beautiful lie.”

“But when will the act end?” I asked. “When the show is over? What about the tour? What if we win? When will I be good enough to not be a secret anymore?”

“I didn’t know what would happen with the band, but I knew we’d get through it. Because what we had together was more than music. It was love.”
Profile Image for Margarida.
329 reviews68 followers
February 15, 2015
4.5 stars

I think this is my first ARC ever and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read because it was AMAZING! I LOVED IT! The first thing that happened in the book that made me think *OMG I LOVE YOU ALREADY* was that one of the characters was half Portuguese I was so happy because usually Portuguese people or the country aren't mentioned in books so when a book mentions my country I start jumping around and screaming OMG THERE'S PORTUGUESE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK *faints* Well I think this was a bit of an exaggeration but you get my point.

So at first I wasn't really sure about Maddie I liked her but she was so damn shy around Jared but it ended up being really adorable! Maddie really changed throughout the book she started as a girl who had a secret dream but she was afraid to leave and she ended up the book pursing that dream thanks to her hard work. I loved the ideas she would come up with when she was under stressed.

OH MY! Jared Jared Jared. I just don't what to say first maybe agshafsmkhdfasmhgdf *deep breath* I LOVE HIM! God. He is so unbelievable hot and HE'S A FREAKING NERD OKAY? HE GOES TO COMIC CON! HOW COOL IS THAT?! I WANT HIM. NOW. At first he seemed a bad boy I mean he kinda was but when Maddie really started to know him he showed that he wasn't just a bad boy. I loved the shirts he wore! So cool and nerdie! *drooling* Wait wait there was one thing I didn't like that he did my stomach was in knots he did it and I just thought how could you?! I understood what he did at one level but at the same time it broke my heart. He compensated though I loved what he did for her.

I really liked seeing these two main characters together and they struggled to be together stupid show. I loved when they were together. The "Not okay? Not okay" was so adorable!

Oh my I loved the scene that the band was entering the elevator and they heard someone saying "Going down" and everyone thought of songs and Hector thought of a Nelly song and everyone laughed at him. I loved the moments they were together as a band they had so much fun. The game they played at the supermarket was awesome!

I can't wait to read the novellas about Kyle and Hector!!

**ARC kindly provided by Victory Editing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Cristina (My Tiny Obsessions).
470 reviews98 followers
December 14, 2015
Read full review HERE


This is the only book from the bundle Banged: Rock Stars, Bad Boys & Dirty Deeds that’s I’ll review alone, and that is because I requested this bundle only because of this book. And because this is the fourth book I read in this series, having previously read More Than Comics, More Than Once and More Than Exes (now I just need to get my hands on Julie’s story!).

I already said my praise for Briggs’ writing in previous reviews, so I’m gonna skip that. I already loved Maddie and Jared as a couple (because I’ve seen them as a couple in 2 books already and they are super cute), but I really enjoyed getting to know them as individuals too and they are so so great.

Between the 4 books I read from this series, this one is also the one with the biggest and best plot. The reality competition is great, and watching them grow as a band, and as friends, was delightful. I already knew how it ended, so I wasn’t surprised, but the way that things progresses kind of left me a bit speechless. I was frustrated with Maddie and Jared at times, but ultimately they both needed to grow a bit in order to be comfortable in their own skins, and that’s what they did.

I absolutely loved the whole band together, and knowing Kyle and Hector already, I came to appreciate that time even more, and I think that’s one of the reasons I rated this book higher than all the others. And Kyle’s friendship with Maddie was so amazing. And Hector warming up to her… wow…

The only thing that I wished was different was the narration POVs. See, in More Than Comics and More Than Once we get dual POV, but here we only get Maddie’s POV, which means that we never actually hear Jared’s voice, and that’s a shame, because I think the book would be even better if we could know what was going on in his head at times.

I’m absolutely loving this series, and I’ll definitely read Julie’s and Carla’s stories.
Profile Image for sil ♡ the book voyagers.
1,002 reviews2,388 followers
May 31, 2017



Holy damn. Elizabeth Briggs you are now one of my faves. More Than Music was so fun to read and I had never read something like this! It was also so geeky (I adoreeeeed) and full with nice and sexy guys. Perfect right?

The Allies
Jared and Maddie were so cute since the first time they saw each other. Maddie, gosh, Maddie - I totally could relate to her and I loved her the way she was and how she acted and everything she experienced. Her personality was so nice and such a breath of fresh air. I seriously adored her and I want more of her, more characters like her, where they make you laugh just for simple things. You feel happy inside whenever they are in the room.

Jared made me scream inside, as well as my heart. He completely, undeniably stole my heart. That boy is shivers and palpitations. Wait, no that was me WHILE READING ABOUT HIM. I wanted to wrap myself in his voice (I totally know it's a book and you can't hear him sing) BUT I BELIEVE HE HAS A GREAT VOICE AND TOTALLY COMPELLING AND PROBABLY SWOONY AS F. That man can sing me the phone book if he wants.

I'm so happy I got to meet them finally because I read More Than Comics first and I was like THEY LOOK SO CUTE I WANNA KNOW HOW IT ALL WENT DOWN. So yeah finally I met the lovebirds. I so want to reread everything right now, this story makes you want to reread everything again. It's so easy to get into the story and love the characters. Liz brings them out with so much potential and so much understanding for them.

I recommend this series so badly guys. Please pick it up. And if you are a geek like me you will absolutely adore it to millions. Jared uses t-shirts with villains on them or quotes of villains, like the Joker, Loki, etc. And the second book, More than Comics, its setting is in Comic Con so!!!!! All the stuff that Liz puts there make me wanna go so badly.

>>>> R E A D T H E M <<<<<
Profile Image for Tony.
134 reviews
July 1, 2014
1 "barely there" star and I am PISSED
I cannot believe I wasted 3 whole hours to conclude that this is one of the worst books I've read.

First 60% - Jared, you're so sexy, please notice me; Jared, you're so different than anybody else (but we've barely talked at all) ... At this point I wanted to send the main character in the pits of hell. This continued so long and the whole "show" they were starring in came and went so quickly (just like the story), that I couldn't wrap my head around it.
I was pretty much pissed off by the time they decided to "have a secret relationship" (yeaaah, because that is new and we all don't know AT ALL how it's going to end). The style of writing was not bad but it was rushed which made me anxious to get it over with, seeing as the end was very much predictable. I had really high expectations (a habit I try to break out of) about this book, I thought it would be something different, something spectacular... turns out, I really need to get my head checked before trying the "bad boys with tattoos" type again.
Profile Image for Tameka.
163 reviews6 followers
July 9, 2014
Oh my. Oh my my my. I've had mixed feelings about New Adult as a genre for quite awhile, simply because it seemed as though most stories were so dark, twisty, and filled with overly dramatic turmoil. More Than Music is such a breath of fresh air! An NA book that's fun and romantic that I ended up reading in one sitting because I just had to know what happened with Jared and Maddie. Oh and speaking of Jared...anyone with a rocker fantasy needs to read this book asap, because Jared's hotness can only be experienced and not described. I'm still fanning myself from all the heat generated by these two! Loved loved loved this book!
Profile Image for Lisa.
416 reviews9 followers
November 14, 2015
This is the first book in the Chasing the Dream Series and I loved it. Unassuming Maddie Taylor is a college student majoring in music. Her friend's band loses a member right before they're supposed to be on a TV music competition, so she's asked to join the band temporarily. Not only is Maddie terrified at the prospect but she has a fierce crush on Jared Cross, the gorgeous lead singer who has a reputation with the ladies. She decides to be brave and help them out and learns a lot about herself and that there is more to Jared than she'd thought. This is a great story, well-written and has wonderful characters. I couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for Nancy❤The❤Bookaholic.
1,084 reviews139 followers
January 17, 2015
This was just okay for me. The premise of the book reminded me of the tv show The Voice. The ending felt really rushed. You're given Jared and Maddie's story and their sexual attraction for one another and you know it's working up to something and then THE END
Profile Image for Deanie Nelder.
1,131 reviews12 followers
August 22, 2020
Maddie Taylor is a classically trained musician with an internship with the symphony, so what is she doing playing rock guitar on a reality music competition show (like an all-band version of The Voice)? It started out as a favor to her friend Kyle, whose band Villain Complex had one of its members quit when they were on the verge of their big break on the reality show The Sound, but when she met Kyle's brother Jared, even Jared's playboy ways couldn't keep Maddie from falling for him.

I read two different New Adult music romances for a challenge, and this is by far the best one. The characters seem grounded and mature despite their ages, and the behind-the-scenes intrigue at the reality show seemed like something that could happen. Maddie and Jared had crazy chemistry, and her musical chemistry with the rest of the band was great, too. I liked seeing her transition from careful classical musician to rock goddess. This was a really fun book.
Profile Image for Dianne.
320 reviews155 followers
May 18, 2015
*Also posted at Oops! I Read A Book Again*

Thank you to Elizabeth Briggs for the review copy! This in no way affected my views of the novel.

I remember anticipating this book so much last year. When I first read the plot, I was so sure that I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE I'M GOING TO LOVE IT that I practically begged Liz for an ARC. I practically begged her to tour the book with me too because PEOPLE ARE GONNA LOVE THIS BOOK I MUST GET THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE. That was how my mind was working last year. I guess my begging worked because Liz gave me an e-ARC of the book AND toured the book with me. I felt like I won something. I read MORE THAN MUSIC and loved it so much that I ended up not reviewing it because HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE AND EXPLAIN LOVE?!?! And now here I am, trying to do exactly that, albeit a year late.

I read this book almost a year ago, May 25 to be exact, according to Goodreads. But when I re-read it now, everything still felt so fresh. I knew what was going to happen and who the characters are because THERE IS NO WAY I CAN FORGET but I never felt like I'm tired of it. I really wanted to relive the journey Elizabeth Briggs crafted for these lovely characters. I missed the gang. It was so nice to be back with them and go through everything with them.

So the lowdown. Maddie Taylor is a geeky piano major (but a closet guitar lover) at UCLA and she's friends with Kyle Cross, the keyboardist for local band Villain Complex. Kyle invites her to a big gig for the band and there she meets Kyle's older brother, Jared Cross. Maddie has a big crush on Jared ever since Kyle gave her their album. His voice and the lyrics to the songs he penned that seems to pierce Maddie's heart. She feels like Jared understands her. It doesn't hurt that Jared is so effin' hot and handsome as well. After the gig, everyone goes to the afterparty at the brothers' house, where Becca, Villain Complex's bassist, leaves the band. Maddie goes into their studio and plays Behind the Mask, one of Villain Complex's song, when Jared catches her using HIS guitar. AWK. The next day though, Maddie finds Jared asking her to be a part of the band so they can audition for The Sound and the rest is the oh-so-exciting story of Villain Complex in The Sound and OF COURSE, Maddie and Jared's romance.

Of course, I was in absolute glee with the concept of the reality show The Sound. Yes, it's like The Voice but for bands. It's easy to imagine and relate to because it's basically The Voice, complete with judges turning around and mentoring them and the battles. LOVE IT.

What I love best about More Than Music, aside from quite possibly everything, is even though this is the story of Maddie and Maddie and Jared's love story, it is still the story of Villain Complex. Maybe that's why this novel works so well because it balances all three. You get character growth in Maddie and her facing her demons, you get the swoon and the steam (YES, THE STEAM) on her romance with Jared, and you get the journey of the whole band. And you get the geek on! Everyone's a geek and thank you, Liz, for writing these characters. Elizabeth Briggs even featured recent songs for Villain Complex to cover so this novel is really a part of pop culture. Liz also did a fantastic job in describing everything and chronicling the intensive six weeks of the band that the show felt cut-throat and intense. I cared so much about everybody and when there was conflict, I just want them to solve it or make up.

I'm not doing a great job on praising this book and commending it. TELL ME WHAT TO SAY SO YOU'LL READ IT. It's just so full of plot without being excruciatingly long, in fact, this is such a breezy read that my re-read only took me a few hours. It's so easy and addicting to read and you won't put this down until you see it to the end. Populated by lovely and likable characters, More Than Music accomplishes what most new adult novels fail to do and that is equally delve onto the life, romance, and career of our protagonist. Before re-reading it, I was wondering if my five-star rating was too much and just spurred on by my feelings but after my re-read, More Than Music deserves all five of those stars. It checks everything on what you'd want on a contemporary new adult romance. Just, READ THIS ONE. Awesome doesn't even cover it.
Profile Image for Ashley - Book Labyrinth.
1,251 reviews307 followers
August 12, 2014
I absolutely loved this book. It contains so much fun, so much swoon, and so much character development. Our main character Maddie is a classically trained pianist. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd who doesn’t see herself as anything special, except that she has a secret talent for playing guitar. Maddie’s love interest is Jared, a tattooed “bad boy” and the lead singer of a band. You might think based on these characters that you’ve read this story before, but you definitely haven’t. Sure, More Than Music fits in with New Adult tropes to an extent, but only in a good way. It offers up exactly what you want from NA in the form of a professionally edited book. Elizabeth Briggs is a very talented author who belongs in bookstores alongside other New Adult rock stars like Tammara Webber and Colleen Hoover.

I found Maddie to be a sympathetic character. She’s sweet and smart, and she has a crush on a guy who she sees as unattainable. Jared definitely comes across as a ladies man at first, but very quickly the reader sees that he’s a lot deeper than that. He’s very much into music in the same way Maddie is, and their connection in this way is instantaneous. In regards to the romance I love sexy scenes in NA when they seem “right”, but so often I find them to be extraneous, just there because it’s expected of the genre. I’d rather read a relatively clean story that’s swoony and slow burn than read a book with tons of sex scenes that feel out of place. I’m happy to say that I found More Than Music to have the perfect balance. The sexy parts were totally fitting to the characters and the story, and it’s a slow burn to get to that point, with Maddie crushing on Jared from the beginning.

The concept of this book (a battle of the bands reality TV competition) is just amazing. I’m not a person who listens to a lot of music and I’ve never seen an episode of “The Voice”, but weirdly enough, give me a book on these topics and I am in love. Elizabeth Briggs executes this concept flawlessly. I loved all the aspects of it: the scenes with the judging panel, the choosing of songs, the rehearsing, the new fans. There were also the internet reactions (both very good and very bad), the producers, the “mean girl” -- all of these elements were so fun and interesting. There was also a fun geekiness to the novel: just enough to keep it true to character, but not too much that it seemed like name dropping. I like that it was a part of the characters, from Jared’s comic book t-shirts to the band name (Villain Complex) and mentions of Hector's graphic novel.

I really loved the character journeys in More Than Music. Both Maddie and Jared really transform throughout the novel. Maddie goes from a scared little girl to a rock goddess. She learns to stand up for herself, to go for what and who she wants. I loved this message of finding your self-worth and not compromising when it really matters. Jared, too, learns about himself. He’s always been so focused on music that he doesn’t necessarily clue in to situations where he should be prioritizing people over his career. He learns that life is about people, relationships, and love, and that music isn’t absolutely everything in life.

Basically: More Than Music is so fun, so swoony, and so smart. It’s my favourite New Adult read from the past while, and I highly recommend it to all NA fans.
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