KFF’s 5 ★ Review                                            Loud is How I Love You (Hub City #1)                                                by Mercy Brown



Title: Loud Is How I Love You

Author: Mercy Brown

Series: Hub City Romance #1

Genre: New Adult

Release date: 19th January, 2016

Published and sold by: Penguin Group USA ~ Intermix






Note from the author


LOUD is a New Adult romance between two indie rock kids, set in the 90s New Brunswick music scene. It’s something I happen to know a lot about, though it’s not–I repeat–it’s not autobiographical.


* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *



Twenty-one-year-old front girl Emmylou knows that getting her band noticed in the ‘90s indie rock scene will be no easy task. She definitely knows better than to break the number one rule of the band: Don’t sleep with your bandmates!  But after she ends up having the best sex of her life with her guitarist, Travis, she finds following that rule is a lot harder than it sounds.

When the band gets the gig of their dreams, making it big seems just within reach. But Emmy’s inability to keep her hands off Travis threatens everything they’ve worked for. Can Emmy find a way to break the rules and not blow the chance of a lifetime?



I front Stars on the Floor. Locally our nickname is “Soft” because when Billy Broadband, the WRSU DJ (that’s Rutgers college radio, folks), was trying to say “SotF” on air it sounded like “Soft,” and whatever. Close enough. One thing Soft is known for is having its shit together. We’re also a good band, if you like our moody, dark, loud, guitar-driven brand of angst. We pack the local clubs on the weekends, we play Manhattan and Philadelphia on a regular basis, and we play our fair share of out-of-town shows, too. But there are plenty of bands around here doing as well as we are right now. We’re a regular headline at the Court Tavern because we’re not fuckups.

I may only be twenty-one, but that matters to me. There are exactly three female-fronted acts in this town right now out of three dozen bands who compete for headliner spots, and one thing you have to be when you’re a woman fighting for the headliner spot is not a fuckup. And I’m not. Or I wasn’t, anyway. Now that I’ve gone and done it with my own guitarist, I’m not even sure.

Of all the guys in this town I could potentially fuck, why do I pick Bean? (By the way, I am the only person on this earth allowed to call Travis that, and it’s after the Travis Bean guitar, which he doesn’t play because, hello, they’re rare and like two grand and he’s not made of money.) I don’t even know. I really shouldn’t have done it, because he’s my number one collaborator, my co-conspirator, and one of my best friends, and I’m so worried that fucking him is going to ruin everything we have between us.

I can understand how it happened, of course. First of all, he’s adorable—lean but not wispy, and he’s got excellent guitar-playing, amp-hauling arms that look spectacular in a black T-shirt. He’s tall and he’s paler than a Norwegian’s ass in winter, but I like that basement-dwelling vibe he’s got going on. He’s always wearing the same pair of untied Timberlands (a token of his Nebraska homeland) with his jeans sort of not fitting over the boots, sort of not tucked in, either. His hair is dirty blond and always in need of a cut, even right after he gets it cut, but it’s thick and wavy and falls into his eyes when he’s playing, and you have to wonder if he even sees all those girls who fantasize about trading places with his guitar when he’s running those skilled hands all over that Les Paul on stage. But he never misses a note.

I’d have to say of all the things there are to dig about Travis, his guitar playing is what did it for me. That’s why the beat brothers (that’s our drummer Joey and bassist Cole, who are not brothers but might as well be) and I picked him out of the seven guys we auditioned. He’s got a style all his own. Every review we ever get mentions his shredding, his insane use of the screeching end of the Marshall half stack. Honestly? He is so good I didn’t even want to audition him because I knew he’d be the one we picked and I knew sooner or later I was going to have an issue keeping my hands off him. Because Travis is very much my type: smart and confident, but not an egomaniac. He’s quiet in big groups and thoughtful in rehearsal, but one-to-one he loves to talk about things you had no idea he even knew about. Bird-watching. Vintage Land Rovers. Science fiction. And also music, of course. Any and all things related to music.

Damn. Well, anyway, we can’t fuck again. We are literally just one sold-out night at the Melody away from an opening spot for Ween at Rutgers’s Ag Field Day and we can’t fall apart now.

I’m sure Travis will agree with me.






KFF’s 5 ★ Review by Rachel McEwan


Five Loud Stars ★★★★★

**ARC given by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Loud is how I loved this read! This book was offered to me via NetGalley and as it was an author I hadn’t read before; I went straight onto Goodreads to investigate further. I must admit it was the title which caught my attention at first; so very different, it immediately opened my interest. The genre is also one of my favourites too, New Adult. So sold I was!

“Don’t fuck anyone in the band.”

When I first started reading this book, I was instantly captivated by the author’s style of writing! It’s incredibly witty, razor sharp and heavy on the sarcasm which is my kind of book. The quote above is the first line in the book, so I should’ve known from the beginning that I was in for one hell of a read!

“I’m the last guy you had sex with. So I guess I’m in competition with myself. Now I’m really worried.”

The story centres around a band, Stars on the Floor, which Emmylou and Travis are members of. The band is Emmylou’s world. It’s all she thinks about and all she wants to do with her life. The one thing she doesn’t want to do is upset the dynamic of the group which would in her opinion, kill the band! When a relationship develops between her and Travis, she immediately panics and this is where things take an interesting turn! But does the ‘relationship’ actually cause any issues in the band or is it actually Emmylou’s behaviour dealing with her feelings? Hmm, that would be telling! Let’s just say there were times when I could’ve gladly swung at her! On so many occasions she didn’t say the things she wanted to say which led to misunderstandings galore!

“Lie to my own mother? The woman who gave me life and ironed all my Levi’s all through high school? I don’t think so.”

Travis! I loved this guy. I loved how patient he was towards Emmylou. I really did feel for him at times, she really did put him through the wringer! He desperately wanted Emmylou, but also understood her reluctance of having a relationship with him. Travis loves the band but to him, it’s not the be all and end all. He appreciates how hard it is to make it big in the music industry which is feasibly realistic, but not Emmylou. It’s more than her world, it is everything!

“You’d better impress me.”
“It’ll be hard to live up to the Michael Bolton Fan Club president. But I’ll do what I can.”

The book is set back in the late 90’s in New Jersey, USA. I had to keep reminding myself on quite a few occasions that social media and mobile phones were uncommon; especially to young people in college. Good old fashioned telephones were the name of the game in this book which was endearing and took me back to when I was in my early 20’s. It was lovely to read how young people literally waited for that one phone in the house to ring. It added to the angst which was plentiful. One would come to the conclusion to expect this from reading about kids of a certain age; therefore I found it endearing and yes, admittedly it took me back to when I was at school! I also loved the Michael Bolton references. Oh my word, that really did take me back to the 90’s.

“They’ll hear me all the way across the river to New Brunswick. I’m too loud, I can’t help it.”
“Good. Loud is how I love you.”

The story is told entirely from Emmylou’s point of view which at first I thought I would struggle with. But fear not… the author conveyed her thoughts and feelings perfectly. And never once did I feel the story was lacking in any way. The passion was abundant in this story and even though it’s New Adult, the author certainly didn’t hold back when it came to the sex scenes!

‘’Oh man, was I really that loud?’’
‘’Sweetheart, I think there are paramedics still out there looking for the car accident.’’

When I started reading this book, I thought it was a standalone which it is per se. Notwithstanding, this is the first book in a series, so hopefully I will get to read the stories of some of the other characters you are introduced to in this book. Ms Brown, in my opinion, you have brought a fresh, original and animated book to the New Adult reading world and for that, I can only thank you! I understand this is also the authors début; all I can say is, WOW ! you have certainly impressed me with your literally skills! To say I loved this book would be an understatement. This was the first book I have read in 2016 so let’s just say the bar has been set high!



Penguin Random House


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I’m the author of LOUD IS HOW I LOVE YOU, a New Adult novel about two indie rock kids falling in love in the 90s. And doing it. A bunch of times. Since there’s some question or debate these days about whether sex is a requirement for a book to be considered NA, I’m just going to put that right out there. There’s sex in this book. That’s what makes it sexy! That and guitars. Guitars are always sexy. So are amps. And guys who carry amps for their girlfriends are extra sexy.

LOUD is based very (very, very) loosely on my experiences fronting bands in the 90s New Brunswick, NJ music scene. It’s not actually about me or my band, but let’s just say, if I hadn’t cut my teeth playing clubs from Baltimore to Boston in my youth, I don’t know that I could have written this book in quite this way.

LOUD will be out on Intermix/Penguin on January 2016!And hey you can actually buy it as a pre-order from Amazon! A follow-up will be out in the spring of 2016.

My agent is the ever-patient and sharp-dressing wizard chess aficionado, Brooks Sherman at The Bent Agency in Brooklyn. I am so very lucky to have him in my corner.

I also write YA and other romance. I have a picture book sitting in a drawer and four different ideas for middle grade novels. I write a lot, is basically what I’m trying to say, when I’m not otherwise working or wrangling children.

I studied English Literature at UMASS, Amherst a long, long time ago and I was a total Arthurian Legends dork. I once wrote a 5 page poem about a llama and King Arthur for my friend’s birthday. I wanted to be a novelist way back then but I was too young. (I’m not saying there’s an age requirement or anything, I’m just saying that I wasn’t very good at writing books when I was 19 or 22.) I didn’t want to teach English (why not? I really don’t know, it was just a feeling), so after I graduated I went and did a lot of other unrelated things instead, some of them terribly interesting and others not.




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