The Kaleidoscope Album Box Set – Bryce Oakley

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I read all of the Kaleidoscope series (so far) in about 36 hours and thought it was probably easier to review as a series rather than individual books, however I have rated them individually:

Undone – 5 stars
Bewilder – 4 stars
Midnight – 5 stars
Bloom – 4 stars

All of the books in the series are written from an alternating point of view between the two MCs in that particular book. I thought this worked really well and gives the opportunity to get to know the thoughts and feelings of the characters quickly.

Each of the books had moments that genuinely had me laughing out loud and the banter between the bandmates, and their extended group of partners and friends really made the series for me. As is typical each book contains some angst, but in general each story is centred around the getting together of the MCs.

Billie and Vero’s story in Undone got me hooked. It served as a really good introduction to The Shrikes, whilst still managing to keep the book focussed on the main relationship. I enjoyed the do they like each other or hate each other, will they/won’t they, push pull throughout the book. The introduction of the ex-girlfriend felt a little old, but it did serve to deepen the understanding of Vero.

Domino and Sabrina are pulled together to clean Domino’s messy house. It’s an interesting concept as from the way you meet Domino in Undone you wouldn’t think these characters could work together. I enjoyed their story but Bewilder didn’t grab me in quite the same way as Undone, which I thought was a shame as I really like Domino. However, both characters popping up in subsequent books helped me see the relationship a bit more and I’ve grown to enjoy this pairing.

Zoey serves as the odd one out in the band in many different ways and the story of her falling for Pia stands out for me. A toaster situation is nearly always a good read for me, I enjoy a well written book that explores new found sexuality, so I’m probably a little biased, but the opening scenes of Midnight are the standout scenes in the series. The MCs are well suited for each other and by this point the group dynamics play really well.

I loved that Meg fell for Collins. I enjoyed how both characters were written – Meg as the ‘glue’ to the band, passionate but often in the background. The hardness of Collins when you are first introduced to her in the series versus the softness that Meg brings out in her is really well done and makes Collins one of my favourite characters. I also really liked how the passion both have for their work is written about.

The sex scenes in all four books are generally short but steamy. I also really appreciated the world building that goes on throughout the series, tying each storyline together nicely and ensuring that in each book you got a glimpse of all of the featured characters.

All in all the series won’t necessarily give you something shiny and new, but it’s full of well-written strong diverse women, funny banter and good storylines. If you’re looking for easy, relatively quick reads this series will do you right.

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