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‘Til We Run Out Of Road In This One Horse Town

Need an escape from the winter? Hit the road with Emery Lord's debut novel and let its hot romance warm you right up.

‘Til We Run Out Of Road In This One Horse Town

BOOK REPORT for Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Cover Story: Lazy
BFF Charm: Eventually
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factors: Taylor Swift, Flirting
Relationship Status: Crush

Cover Story: Lazy

Never mind the fact that tour buses, not bikes, are the primary mode of transportation in this story. (There's not even a bicycle cameo!) This book is a romance, so obviously all you need for the cover is a stock photo of two teenagers kissing. And bonus, the guy is wearing a western sort of shirt, so he's instantly the country singer love interest of the heroine.

The designers took an early lunch the day they put together this cover, is what I'm saying.

The Deal:

When it comes to making good choices, Reagan O'Neill doesn't have a great track record. She's dated the wrong boys, tangled with the law and even landed herself on probation. In fact, the only wise decision she's ever made is sticking close to her best friend (and positive influence) Dee, known to the rest of the world as rising country star Lilah Montgomery.

Hoping to start clean after a close encounter with rock bottom, Reagan hits the road with Dee for her summer tour, which features opener Matt Finch, formerly of the Jonas Brothers Finch Four. Matt isn't just there to perform, he's also serving as Dee's rumored boyfriend to distract the press from a recent scandal. But away from the prying eyes of the media, the real sparks start flying between him and Reagan, who finds herself torn between this good, charming guy (so not her type) and the need to protect her heart, which is still bruised and battered by the life she left behind.

BFF Charm: Eventually

To say that Reagan is a little rough around the edges is an understatement. She's brash, bitchy and unapologetic about showing some skin. While I love me some sassy attitude, I wasn't initially drawn to this miniskirt-wearing, boob-flaunting gal who was trying just a little too hard to be tough. But she finally got over herself, and my eye rolls faded away, because underneath that push-up bra, Reagan is smart, and she's determined to turn things around for herself. I was also touched by her loyalty to Dee, a person she loves very much. By the end, as Reagan stood tall (figuratively and literally, because she's always in stilettos), I knew I would be lucky to call her a friend. Especially if she could teach me how to walk in heels.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

One of the chief things I admire about Reagan is her newly learned restraint, because if I were her, I would be ALL OVER Matt Finch from the minute I laid eyes on his handsome face and easy smile. He's a Southern gentleman with a playful streak and a soulful gaze, and he's drawn to Reagan almost immediately.  Thankfully, she plays hard to get, which stretches the romantic tension to deliciously excruciating levels. More on that below, but yeah, the chemistry between these two is white hot, and I was more than happy to get a little singed.

Talky Talk: Straight Up

While the flirtatious fireworks and snappy dialogue cast a beachy glow on this book, Reagan's emotional journey insures that this story isn't just shallow fluff. Emery Lord gives her heroine a strong voice and a thoughtful narrative, and although some of her progression feels a little too cut and dry, Reagan's growth adds an empowering depth to the novel's themes.

Bonus Factor: Taylor Swift

As a major fan of Taylor Swift and obsessive follower of her Instagram, I like to pretend that we're friends. (Who am I kidding, we totally are.) So I had a blast living vicariously through Reagan and her bestiehood with Dee, who's like Taylor in her early stardom days (complete with songs that reference a former flame). From the photo shoots to the glittery wardrobe to the concerts with thousands of screaming fans, this book was like a backstage pass to the life of a burgeoning country star, and I relished getting the inside scoop.

Bonus Factor: Flirting

I realize that flirtation is a pretty necessary component to any literary romance, but the banter between Reagan and Matt is SO good, I had to award it a bonus factor. The barbs they trade are sharp with humor and laced with desire, which resulted in me looking like a complete idiot as I tore through the pages with blushed cheeks and a ridiculous grin.

Casting Call:

Lindsey Morgan as Reagan

Thanks to her role as Raven on The 100, I know Lindsey would nail Reagan's fierce attitude (and bangin' bod).

Taylor Swift as Dee

I mean, duh.

Matt Lauria as Matt

He's too old to play the part now, but when it comes to cowboy charmers, I can't help but picture Luke Cafferty.

Relationship Status: Crush

This book is a blast and a half, and I savored its lively company. It's not afraid to get serious, but it's unabashedly fun, inviting me to indulge in the stuff daydreams are made of. Sure, it didn't rock my world, but it definitely turned me on, and if I were Taylor Swift, I'd write a catchy song about how it left my pulse a-racing.

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money, y'all! Open Road Summer is available now.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).