Review – The Hope That Starts by Heidi Hutchinson



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You can never have too much music… or mayonnaise.

It’s sort of been Harrison O’Neil’s credo for the better part of his life.

At least since he first discovered his love for playing the guitar and developed a taste for gourmet sandwiches. He couldn’t pinpoint which one happened first, and it didn’t matter to him. Food and music have always been equally important.

If there’s one thing Zelda Fitzpatrick is good at, it’s fandom. She can out-nerd the nerdiest, her devotion knows no bounds. Her love is true, her motives pure. Oh, and she’s also a talented freelance photographer, newly hired to go on the road with her favorite band, Double Blind Study. All she has to do is not ruin this opportunity with her plethora of Tolkien references (which are in abundance), or the fan girl inside who has a mind of her own.

And she definitely shouldn’t fall madly in love with lead guitarist, Harrison O’Neil… who is taken. Unfortunately.

Zelda is more than the band’s new photographer. She loves Star Trek, Doctor Who, and making gourmet sandwiches. This puts Harrison O’Neil in the very awkward position of loving Zelda’s sandwiches—with their perfect ingredients, and impeccable construction, and their ability to make his heart happy without even trying—and being in a relationship with another woman… who thinks he should cut out eating sandwiches entirely.

Which one will win out, his heart or his stomach?

Is there a difference?

This story is an ode to a fan girl. Because, male or female, we all have one inside of us. And sometimes, on the rarest and most wonderful of occasions, the fan girl’s dream gets displayed in all of it’s beauty.

The Double Blind Study series continues. Each book in the series focuses on one band member at a time and they can all be read on their own.  If this book were a movie, it would be rated PG-13.



THTS is the fifth book in the Double Blind Study series by Heidi R. Hutchinson.  I read it as a stand-alone and didn’t feel like anything was missing by not reading the books that came prior.   That being said, I now want to go back and read the series from the beginning.  Harrison and Sway were pretty easy to fall for, and don’t even get me started on the nerd girl crush I’m sporting on Zelda.  I’m curious to see if the rest of the band is just as loveable.

As you may have gathered, Double Blind Study is a band.  Zelda gets to live every fangirl’s dream when she is hired as a photographer to accompany them on tour and hopefully portray them in a positive light.  Harrison, the guitarist, and Zelda have chemistry almost immediately, not to mention their shared love of all things nerdy.  Harrison is in a clandestine friends-with-benefits relationship, and Zelda wants to keep her job more than she wants to be involved, even though Harrison ticks off every box that would appear on her “perfect guy” list.  That chemistry is hard to fight, though – cue the nerdflirt!

I loved that the members of DBS were not your stereotypical musician a-holes.  Sway’s reputation as a ladies’ man was alluded to, but was really not shoved in your face as it probably would have been by other authors.  A lot of what I typically read is more detailed and graphic when it comes to sex and even to flirting and foreplay, and there are times when reading that I’m looking/waiting for that kind of content.  To be honest, I didn’t even miss it in this book.  I just loved the sweetness of the story.


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