Dirty Little Secret | Jennifer Echols | Book Review

I have come to the discovery that I really, super love Jennifer Echols’ romantic dramas. FOR REALS you guys. FOR REALS. Like, I wasn’t too crazy about The Boys Next Door, but I freakin loved the heck out of Forget You and I whipped through Echols’ latest book, Dirty Little Secret in about two days and basically refused to set it down, even though it was my kindle book which means those usually stay in the background and get read when I work out. Y’all, this book, Dirty Little Secret is set in Nashville and filled with things I like: country music, a cute boy, celebrity impersonators  drama, and a badass grandpa. My heart is definitely on my sleeve for Echols’ book.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols | Good Books And Good Wine

Bailey’s sister is about the blow up the country music charts, think Taylor Swift but totally not as annoying. Unfortunately, the record execs don’t want Bailey to mess up her sister’s chance at fame — this matters because Bailey and her sister Julie used to be a performing duo, but only Julie got signed. SO, after a series of piss poor life choices, Bailey moves in with her grandfather and has to basically give up music. ALSO, her parents are dangling paying for her tuition at Vanderbilt – if Bailey joins a band and they get wind of it, she will lose tuition. This girl is between a rock and a hard place y’all. Luckily, Bailey’s grandfather who makes guitars and is a total boss, gets her a job at the mall where she plays her fiddle backing various country music super star impersonators — including a pervy Elvis, a feisty Dolly Pardon and Johnny Cash. One day, she ends up backing with this boy named Sam and his dad. After hearing Bailey totally rock it on the fiddle, Sam, who is dead sexy y’all, is like oooo girl join my band we can hit it big. Bailey loves playing with him BUT there’s all the drama. And that, dear friends, is the plot in a nutshell of Dirty Little Secret.

Y’all I will tumble for Bailey. Look, I get the whole making bad life choices because you feel screwed over, believe you me, I get that. SO, even though I am totally a judgmental prick, I was actually really empathetic toward Bailey. I guess one of the reasons I liked her so much is that she has all this passion for music inside her and passion is something I respect. Which brings me to one of my points about characters, in order for me to like them and feel empathy instead of pity, I have to respect them and I totally respected Bailey. ALSO ALSO, she totally does not take any guff from ANYONE, and I love that so darn much. LOVE IT YOU GUYS LOVE. I might as well wave my arms around and declare all of my love for Bailey.

As I write this review of Dirty Little Secret, I am listening to country music, which I normally like you guys. BUT I have this overwhelming urge to listen to it even more when I am thinking about Echols’ book. It’s because music is a huge theme in this story. It’s a theme that’s done very well and I thought Bailey’s love for music and her pitch perfect ears felt so authentic. Also, the love of other characters for the music felt so real as well. Then you couple that with the Nashville setting and it is a basically perfect combination. Y’all, I had the strongest urge to go on vacation to Nashville and go to country bars and listen to music. Seriously, I got Americana wanderlust pretty hard while reading and that’s actually an awesome occurrence, I think.

Ugh, I think this romance is going to leave people divided. Like, a lot of you will think that Sam is a douchebag because Bailey has a legitimate fear of him using her to get famous and for her musical connections. Plus both characters have issues to get over. I personally, loved it. I was really feeling the tension between Bailey and Sam and the HEAT. Oh yeah, there’s real “romantic” chemistry between them. BUT you should know that Sam is a total Casanova, jumping from girl to girl and what makes Bailey any different. Sigh. Whatever, I ate this whole romance up, but I know people who weren’t entirely feeling it either, but for me I was like, yes please give me more of this drama please. MORE OF IT THANK YOU MS. ECHOLS YOU ARE THE BEST.

So in case you are dense, I am going to come right out and say this whole review means I loved Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols. I actually could not read contemporary immediately after finishing it because I knew that whatever contemporary I read would pretty much suck by comparison. Y’all, I loved pretty much everything about this book – the country music (haters to the left), the setting, the swoons and the kissing. Legit, Echols has another winner in Dirty Little Secret and one that I am so, so glad I took the time to read, even if I did read it months early (writing this review in May, even though it’s live in July).

Disclosure: Received from Edelweiss for review

Other reviews of Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols:

Chick Loves Lit – “a perfect mix of Nashville, emotion, and protagonist

Books by Jennifer Echols:
Endless Summer
Forget You

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I usually am not interestedin contemporary stories, but for some reason, this one sparks my inerest.

  2. So glad you loved this because I am an Echols fan! I haven’t read this, and saw a few critical reviews, but your review makes me sure I will love it too!

  3. Ha, this review makes me smile. I TOTALLY loved this one. Like, I didn’t buy into the romance and actually didn’t like Sam after that one scene (I’m sure you can guess which) but honestly… I DIDN’T CARE! This one was way too good to let a little thing like rushed romance get in the way. And even though it was rushed, there was so much chemistry and heat between Bailey and Same it just worked.

    What really blew me away was the setting. I honestly believe this is the best character Echols has written. Country music is NOT my thing, but she very nearly had me converted after this. There were some moments when I just felt like I was in Nashville, which to me, is the sign of a well written book. Anyway… rambly reply. I just loved this book oh so much!

  4. You need to read Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols if you haven’t already!

  5. I liked this one a lot too. And it’s sure generating passionate responses! Bailey and Sam’s love of music totally sold me. Sam is a little sketchy but I did love their chemistry all the same. Fab review! Makes me want to check it out again.

  6. I LOVED Going Too Far and Such A Rush. And I’m excited about the Nashville music scene and the fiddle playing. BUT I’m nervous that I’m going to be one of those people who has trouble with Sam, especially if we aren’t’ given enough of a BIG SIGN that he really DOES like Bailey by the end. Guys who jump from one girl to another aren’t really my thing. However, many of my friends have loved this one, so I’m going to give it a go.

  7. I had serious hatred of the parents. WTF, people? You don’t do that to your kid. Ever. And Sam — I really liked him but he turned so slimy when he wanted something of her! I had all the feels for this book.

  8. I’m still really curious about this book! I’ve read only two Echols books – SUCH A RUSH and GOING TOO FAR – and I really liked both. I’m intrigued by DIRTY LITTLE SECRET, mostly because of the country music aspect and the setting. You make Bailey sound like a great (conflicted) (real) character, so there’s obviously that for me to look forward to.


  1. […] April @ Good Books Good Wine: “Bailey has a legitimate fear of him using her to get famous and for her musical connections. Plus both characters have issues to get over. I personally, loved it. I was really feeling the tension between Bailey and Sam and the HEAT. Oh yeah, there’s real “romantic” chemistry between them.” […]

  2. […] by Alecia Whitaker initially appealed to me based on the country music theme. Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols was fresh in my mind when I requested it – and I loved that […]

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