This is one of those books that I’m going to point out several different things about it that I didn’t care for. You’re probably going to get to the end and think, “Wow, she didn’t like this book”, and then look at my rating and scratch your head. Please do not be alarmed, there are no bugs or itching powder in my rating. I promise. Read on…
Nick Blackthorne is a rock star who has enjoyed a great deal of fame. But after his good friends find love and are getting married, he realizes his life feels empty. 15 years ago he left his childhood sweetheart and first love in search of fame. Now all he can think about is finding her and making things right again.
Lauren was heart-broken when Nick left her for the glitz and glamour of the rock and roll life style. The blurb says it’s taken her 15 years to get over him, but it’s clear Lauren has never gotten fully gotten over Nick. She’s reminded of their past everyday but she has moved on with her life. When Nick turns up out of the blue, her world is turned upside down.
Right off the bat, I was disappointed in this book. When I saw the cover and the title, I wanted rock star! I about tripped over myself grabbing at this book. I like rock star romance. But I was disappointed to realize that this book is set entirely in the hero and heroine’s hometown, far removed from any kind of rock and roll lifestyle. Tiny bits of Nick’s life trickle in here and there: a burly bodyguard, a brief appearance by the paparazzi and a helicopter. But that’s about it, no tour bus, performances, groupies or rock star antics here my friends. Once I realized that this was simply a contemporary romance where the hero happens to be a world famous rock star I pouted a little bit, then moved on.
Nick is a very famous performer and his reality is probably somewhat different than that average Joe due to his lifestyle and privileges. Even taking that into consideration I still found him overly presumptuous and arrogant when he assumed he could drop into Lauren’s life 15 years after their romance ended. They were in love (childhood sweethearts) and he left her to pursue his career and they didn’t stay in touch. Then one day after his good friends fall in love and are getting married, he decides he needs to see Lauren again because he realized his life had become meaningless. Never mind how his leaving her all those years ago could have affected her. Never mind what’s happened in the last 15 years. Just tada! I’m back! Silly Nick, couldn’t he have called first? It wasn’t like he was just dropping in on an old friend. They had serious history.
Lauren has moved on and is now a kindergarten teacher. She has a stable life quite different from the life of her former lover. When Nick just drops back into her life unexpectedly, she is shocked and shaken. She clearly does not want him disrupting her life. But, that does not stop her from having sex with him within the first few hours of his visit. Huh? Yes, she ends up naked soon after their reunion.
I’m not necessarily opposed to the hero and heroine responding to the chemistry that is clearly still burning between them after all these years. I love second chance romances. But what bothered me was how Lauren gave into her lust, like she just couldn’t help it, and then right after shunned Nick like he was a rotten egg and so bad for her he must be cast away. She does this several times, gives in to lust, then regrets and pushes Nick away. Obviously she is conflicted about Nick being back in her life but the “I can’t help it sex” was unconvincing.
This brings me to the next problem I had. I don’t think this is a spoiler, but since it’s not mentioned in the blurb, only hinted at, I’m going to put it in a spoiler tag so that it’s your choice if you choose to click the link and read it.
Lauren has a secret baby (now 15) she never told Nick about. Yes, they have a son together and Lauren, decided to keep that a secret from Nick. Apparently she has her reasons but since Nick is not an ax murder or worse, her reasons do not hold water for me. Nick is amazingly forgiving about this. I’m not going to go into anymore about this but I did want to mention that the secret baby scenario did not work for me. While it provided some emotional drama, it really put me off the heroine.
It may seem like I didn’t like this book but I do like flawed characters as they come off as more realistic to me. Nick and Lauren made mistakes both past and present and in the end I don’t feel like their flaws, with the exception of issue in the spoiler, were unforgivable issues that couldn’t be worked out in a relationship. Yes, the thing I mentioned in the spoiler is forgivable for some and can be overcome, but it’s something I don’t care for and I guess I’m a little less tolerant than some on the topic.
I liked that the characters that are flawed, passionate. I liked that Nick wanted to make up for his past mistakes and was willing to do whatever was necessary to make that happen. Yes, he was somewhat selfish in that it took him 15 years to recognize what and who he left behind, but I liked that he wanted to make it right again no matter what.
I understood Lauren’s emotional conflict in this story and could sympathize…mostly. She’s lived with the emotional fallout of her break up with Nick for years, and to have him suddenly appear again, shaking up her life and stirring up things she’s work hard to put behind her is difficult. Her fear that he would blow in like tornado and be gone just as fast is understandable especially since it’s not just her heart she needs to protect.
I had some problems with this book but never once did I want to put it down out of frustration or boredom. I was entertained and I wanted to keep reading. Besides, Nick was hot the sexy times and the steamy scenes were pretty darn good.