Cover Image: Girls with Bad Reputations

Girls with Bad Reputations

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Member Reviews

if you want a sloooow sloooow romance, then this is for you. There was a lot going on storyline wise. Some were interesting, some were not. Axelrod's writing style was nice so I may try them again. I wish netgalley said this was a 2nd in a series. I wasnt lost, but i wished I read the first first.

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Whoever compared this to Colleen Hoover should not have because it was so much better than anything CoHo could ever write. The romance was very sweet, the two characters had great chemistry and I absolutely loved Kayla, her journey, her thoughts, everything. I haven't read the first book but I definitely will because I crave more from this author. 5 stars

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This book had a wonderful plot and story line. the problem for me came with the pacing. This was so so slow. If it was a car it'd be going neutral on a tiny bump.

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3.5/5 Stars

Thank you to Sourcebooks Cascablanca and Dreamscapes audio for providing me with an arc and audio arc to review.

I was sent a netgalley widget for an earc of this book and didn’t know what to expect out of it but I actually enjoyed it. It was a bit slow for me but otherwise I really enjoyed the plot and characters. Our characters are flawed and are just trying to live life how they want to live.

Kayla grew up constantly hearing how she had to act, to not be loud, don’t act wild, don’t take up space, and definitely don’t go into music. But desperate to find a safe place she takes up the drums to get away from her mother’s opinions and to follow in her brother’s footsteps. Keeping her rock n roll band secret was easy when they were playing bars and small venues but now they are growing and secrets are going to come out whether they like it or not. Ty is just trying to survive and provide for his grandfather but after he was accused and charged in the public eye of horrible things almost all opportunities disappeared. He gets a job as a bus driver for Kayla’s band, but even when sparks fly between the two they can’t let anything happen until his contract is up due to a no fraternization policy. But when secrets start coming to light they have to figure out how to not let that get to them.

I loved Ty’s arc and seeing him deal with the realities of being accused and charged of assault in the public eye as a black man even though he is innocent. We see him have nightmares and run into people who still just see him as that but we also see Kayla instantly reassure him that theres no way he did that and she believes him instantly. Kayla grew up being forced into this picture perfect role, perfect daughter, perfect student, perfect person. She finally is breaking out of her shell with the Lilly’s but she struggles with keeping the band and her family separate as she doesn’t think her family will accept her being in a band.

I exclusively listened to the audiobook and I really liked the narrators. I don’t know if I would have finished this without the audiobook as it helped with it being slower than most books I read. Both Tyla Collier and Benjamin Charles did an amazing job as Kayla and Ty. I am super picky with male narrators but I really liked Benjamin in this book.

I do recommend this and I do plan on reading the first book in the series as I liked the writing style and characters.

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5 STARS!

Xio Axelrod could write a phone book and I would read it. My god, she is such a brilliant writer! I absolutely loved Kayla and Ty's story in The Lilly's series. Kayla is the drummer for the band, and Ty winds up becoming their tour bus driver. They find a quick and deep connection with one another that is irresistible, smoldering, and teeming with chemistry. They both bring baggage to the table. Kayla has a fraught relationship with her perfectionist mother, who has tried her damndest to control Kayla's life and keep her away from music, one of the few things that keeps her tethered to her brother Zach, who passed away when he was a teenager. Kayla was the inspiration for her mother's children's book series "Little Miss Yolanda," the perfect A+ child who can do no wrong. Becoming a rock and roll star is antithetical to everything her family stands for, and is in direct opposition to everything Little Miss Yolanda is. Ty was raised by his grandfather, who means the world to him and has had various health issues throughout the years. Ty thought he had it made when he was going to college, until someone he considered a "friend" lied and said he plagiarised her work and physically assaulted her. The university took the woman's side, kicking Ty out of school with no evidence to support her claim. He has been trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life ever since. Eventually, he becomes the tour bus driver for the Lilly's, comes slowly out of his more introverted shell, meets Kayla, and the rest, as they say, is history. Even though Kayla and Ty are a relatively young couple, they feel like mature and realistic characters. Both of them have terrific arcs that feel authentic to their characters. The steam between the two of them is undeniably sensual and incredibly alluring. As with "The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes," the found family element here is strong and makes the story much more rich and complex. The members of the Lilly's have such an indelible bond with one another. Their rock story is chockful to the brim with passion, power, love, respect, and admiration... that, and kick a$$ music! It seems like there are a lot of moving parts to this story, and there are, but Xio Axelrod balances each storyline so no one plot point outshines the other, ensuring that nothing is dropped by the wayside. I absolutely loved this book, and I truly hope you give this series a chance. Xio Axelrod is one of the best romance writers out there right now!!! Listen to the audiobook, if you can, because narrators Benjamin Charles and Tyla Collier bring these characters to life. This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to as of late. They did a splendid job differentiating between the characters. Fantastic work!

Thank you to NetGalley, Xio Axelrod, and Dreamscape Media for the complimentary ALC of this book. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

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Goodbye dive bars, and hello open road. In this contemporary romance, drummer Kayla struggles to calm her nerves as the Lillys set out on tour. When past fears and press attention start to be too much, she finds comfort in Ty, their quiet bus driver.

This was a really solid romance featuring a diverse and queer cast. I love reading rockstar romances for the found family element that bands can have, and that was really on display here as Kayla learns to open up and trust her bandmates with her history. The band's upwards trajectory was nicely balanced against the blossoming romance with Ty, and I think both narrators did a great job with bringing the characters to life.

This book felt really intentional, and my only real critique is that there were a small number of comments that attached morality to food (example - having dessert is 'bad' and must be countered by burning off calories to earn or offset it). This sort of diet culture/anti-fat language felt out of sync with the otherwise really intentional and thoughtful way that the book and characters were being written (where characters are flawed and complex but not prejudiced).

I haven't read the first book in the series and am looking forward to going back to it!

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Thank you NetGalle, Dreamscape Media, and Sourcebook Casablanca for this amazing book!

Girls with Bad Reputations is not just a love story. The romance was beautiful, a not-so-slow burn, friends-to-lovers story.
But what captivated me in this book were the background stories, where our main characters come from, and why they are the way they are.

Kayla is pulling a double Hanna Montana act. Famous since childhood thanks to a series of books her mother wrote about the perfect child, Little Miss Yolanda, Kathrine - Kayla for friends - wants just to follow her late brother's dream to be a rockstar drummer.

Ty is the perfect student, but when he gets tangled in various injustices, he is forced to quit university and accept any job to help his grandfather out.
Ty is a kind soul, searching for the quiet life he was used to. After his grandfather pushes him to do something for himself he decides to take a job as a bus driver for an all-girl indie rock band, with a no fraternization closet written boldly in his contract.

Ty and Kyla met and they found each other. But like I said at the beginning of the review this book is so much more.
Kyla and her mother's relationship was what struck me the most, but there are various themes that make this book very interesting and I´m sure it will enter soon many people´s hearts.

For the audiobook, the production, like everything Dreamscape, is flawless. The voice actors did a great job interpreting the characters. I loved both of their voices.

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Love this one even more than the Girl With the Stars in Her Eyes! I don't know how many books are going to be in this series, but I'm here for it!

This book has more than just romance. There are strong women and parental relationships and grief and friendships and somehow it doesn't feel like the book is trying to do too much.

Our lead female Kayla is strong and trying to deal with all the expectations her family (mainly her mother) has for her, and Ty is a sweet, cinnamon roll who was raised by his grandfather and has a past that he's trying to hide from.

Side note: Grandpa is adorable and I love him.

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Wow! Pure gold right here! Rockstar romance extraordinare!

I read the first Lilly’s book last year and it was fine, but this one - this one is fire! I completely fell in love with not just Kayla and Ty, but the rest of the band again, and Ty’s Pop. It was a completely different experience and I just loved the entire thing. The characters felt different this time around (yep, even crazy Candy, when they ran into her - I think dealing with her in book 1 was super stressful and part of my issue with it), the vibe was all positivity, and I just loved everything about who Ty was and how he lived his entire life after the crap hand he’d been dealt.

This book is just superb and I completely and totally recommend (not a strong enough word - I demand) every single one of you reading this runs out and gets a copy of it now! It’s incredible and Xio Axelrod is truly such a talented author. Get the audio copy if you can - it’s narrated by two incredible voices, Tyla Collier and Benjamin Charles. Spectacular performance by both and reading along to the audio was the best way to take in this fantastic story.

I received an advance read and listen copy from NetGalley, Sourcebooks Casablanca and Dreamscape Media, and this is my honest feedback.

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Girls With Bad Reputations follow the rock band The Lillys and focus on the drummer Kayla. Touring, the kilt wearing Ty becomes their driver, and a romance starts blooming.

This is a very sweet romance with the addition of found family with the band. I didn't realise until I was almost finished reading that this is book two, so in my opinion, it holds strong by itself. The tension and drama in the book feel very real, relatable, and not overdone to press the characters into situations. I really enjoyed both the band and romance aspect, and how Kayla and Ty handle their personal problems. Ty's grandfather is one of my favourites.

Audiobook thoughts:
The narrators do an overall great job. They go very well together, and it feels cohesive between the two. The Norwegian words that are sprinkled in from the Norwegian singer are a bit butchered, but who cares really? It's cute, and they're trying their best!

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Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca for my advanced reader copy. These opinions are my own.

Girls with Bad Reputation was an excellent second book in The Lilly's series. This story follows Kayla the drummer for the Lilly's. Throughout this book, Kayla discovers her desires, even if they're not what her family expects of her. During this book, the band is touring, and they hire Ty to be their tour bus driver. I loved the chemistry between Kayla and Ty, especially their shared appreciation for reading. Like the first book, this one provides the same fun glimpses behind the scenes for this band. I cannot wait to see how this book series will continue!

I listened to the audiobook, and both narrators added extra elements to their characters and story. I would highly recommend the audiobook.

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•Thank you to Netgalley and Dreamscapes for the ALC•
♡A U D I O B O O K♡
Release Feb.6
-4.5 stars!
The audiobook is good. I love how the lead drummer is a female! We rarely see that in books. I enjoyed this book a lot.

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I absolutely love the characters and the story and the narration was perfect. Loved everything about it and this is currently my new favorite author.

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Kayla comes from the perfect family. Her mother expects perfection. Kayla feels like she isn't perfect and just wants to be herself. She's in a band called The Lilly's and her family has no idea. Her band has no idea who her family is. Her mom isn't the nicest and kind of a snob.

The band is about to do a tour to a bunch of festivals. They hire Tyrell to be their bus driver. Tyrell has a past and he is trying to get past it. He lives with his grampa, his only family.

This was such a fun rockstar Romance. I really enjoyed getting to know the other bandmates. I read this as a standalone but I'll definitely be going back and reading the first of the series. I loved the audiobook and the narrators did a fantastic job. I can't wait to read more of the series.

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This audiobook was amazing! It had so much depth and complexity and I loved it!

I didn’t realise it was book 2 in the series but it read pretty well as a standalone, though now I want to read the first book!

An all girl rock band? Yes please! They were so incredible! I loved their dynamic and the way they love and support each other!

Ty’s side of the story and want he went through infuriated me. He deserves all the good things!

Kayla has secrets and I love how she resolves everything, I wanted to give her so many hugs throughout the book.

I loved these two together SO MUCH! They just fit like puzzle pieces. Their connection was beautiful.

I loved this book!

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The Girl with the Bad Reputation, Book #2 The Lillys. I'd recommend reading Book #1 The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes first to get background on the band formation, record label issues, and ex guitarist Candy.

Publication date 2/6/24, read 2/6/24

By: Xio Axelrod-1st time read author for me

Format: 📖 & 🎧

🏃🏾‍♀️Run Time: 14:16

🙏🏾Thanks to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Casablanca, and Dreamscape Media for this ARC and ALC🧡 ! I voluntarily give an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own.

The narrators are Tyla Collier and Benjamin Charles with all characters read by them. I believe the voices fit the characters with standouts of Ty and Kayla. Their voices were the most distinct, but I could easily tell the difference between all characters. The reading style did bring the story to life and the pacing was great and flowed easily with the story. The narration and the author were in sync, and they fit together perfectly.

The audiobook's flow was pretty good. The narrators paused and announced every time a new chapter came. The book had a table of contents which helped me follow along with the e-book and audio.

Summary: Kayla is done trying to be perfect for her mother. She's an academic overachiever told to be quiet and make herself small -all her mother's expectations. Kayla's "real" life is as a drummer in The Lillys. They are a female rock band on the way to stardom. Ty is their tour bus driver who connects with Kayla over books. The more famous the band becomes, the more the press threaten their peace.

My Thoughts: the romance was very sweet and Ty is a new book boyfriend of mine . He and Kayla were book lovers looking for their purpose. Together they encourage each other to be whatever they want. I loved the LGBTQIA+ and POC representation. Female empowerment, YES!


My recommendation is to read the audiobook and eBook (if possible) because you can adjust the speed, skip parts easily (if desired), and picture the characters more vividly.


Rating 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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In book 2, Xio Axelrod gives us Kayla’s story. The Lillys’ star is on the rise. There are still complications with the label, but the band is hitting the festival circuit and garnering fans. But with exposure also comes press. And interest in the members of the band. And people trying to create drama for them.

And Kayla does not want the story of her life growing up juxtaposed with her position as the propulsive drummer in a rock band plastered across headlines. Let’s just say that her current lifestyle does not jive with the carefully constructed persona she wore throughout childhood.

Hitting the festival circuit also means many, many hours on the bus in close proximity to the driver assigned to their tour—the hot, caring, intelligent, and insightful driver who has a past he doesn’t want in print as well and with whom Kayla feels an instant connection.

There is something about The Lillys, y’all. Each character is so dynamic. They are fiercely devoted to each other. And Axelrod’s writing makes their performances leap from the page. I felt like I was at the concerts and sitting in the recording booths, and I just want more—more of their passion, more of their drive, more of the beat, more of how they gel together, more of Lilly prowling across the stage. Pick me up and drop me at the music festival. I am ready for it. When can we expect book 3?

I adored this one. Axelrod takes on misogyny, systemic racism, patriarchal structures, and record label machinations while crafting a tender love story and growing The Lillys’ found family. I liked how the relationship between Kayla and Ty has a gradual build and how their actions and physical intimacy reflect that. I enjoyed watching The Lillys’ circle grow just a bit more. And, though I have a soft spot for each member of the band, whip-smart Kayla is my favorite.

While you could read this one as a standalone, I highly recommend reading The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes first to get background on the band, early introductions to its members, Toni and Seb’s story, and the backstory with former guitarist Candy and the record label.

The audiobook narration by Tyla Collier and Benjamin Charles is excellent. Both are new narrators for me, and I will be seeking out more audiobooks by them.

I received an advance copy of the audiobook from Dreamscape Media and NetGalley. All review opinions are my own.

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I've been eagerly awaiting this book ever since devouring "The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes." It did not disappoint – it's just that good! Ty and Kayla's love story fulfilled all my expectations, making it difficult to pinpoint highlights. I wholeheartedly recommend this book; the Lillys and their friends have become my latest obsession.

Kayla, drummer for the up-and-coming band The Lillys, grapples with parental expectations, hiding her life from her demanding mother. Ty, accused unjustly in college, takes on the role of the band's tour bus driver, navigating life's uncertainties. Despite their youth, Ty and Kayla's relationship feels mature, built on respect and communication. Ty's endearing character and his genuine connection with his grandpa added depth to the story.

If you are are an audiobook person I can not recommend this audio enough! Benjamin Charles and Tyla Collier, the narrators for this book, skillfully brought the characters to life. Tyla, especially, captured Kayla's essence, establishing a profound connection that resonated throughout the narrative.

The exploration of Kayla's strained relationship with her mother and the insights into the music industry added to the book's richness. Overall, a delightful read, and I highly recommend it.

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Loved the story of “Kayla” and Ty - but I really loved the story of the band and their friendships. I enjoyed the behind the scenes action of an up and coming band. This story is just the total package: romance, friendships, found family, family, baggage and triumph. Bravo, Xio! Thank you to #Netgalley and @dreamscape_media for the ARC - a totally enjoyable listen on audiobook.

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Girls with Bad Reputations is a good follow up to the first in the series, The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes.

I think it is worth noting that I wouldn't define either of these books in The Lilly's series as romance since I feel like they are more about character development than about relationship development and drama. If you go in with the expectation of less romance and more character growth, you receive it better.

Kayla spends the book navigating her own feelings around living up to her parent's expectations, redefining herself as a rockstar, and also (on the side) falling in love with tour bus driver Ty Baldwin. Ty's character is amazingly sweet, and yet, very multi-dimensional - with his own struggles from his past (profiling and prejudice play a very realistic role here). While Kayla and Ty navigate their own life difficulties they depend on each other for support and friendship.

This book doesn't have super high highs or low lows, but more of a steady hum of real life running through - all that we get to glimpse through the eyes of budding rockstars.

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