Saturday, March 12, 2016

Book Review for Brooklyn Rockstar by Jennifer Ann

Sexy bad boy Charlie Walker had everything he could ever want as a rock star: a platinum album, a cushioned bank account, and an endless supply of groupies desperate to have him. But things changed when the band's drummer went missing, forcing Charlie to go it alone and question if he truly has what it takes to succeed in the business.
Small-town girl Evelyn Kendall has just arrived in Brooklyn Heights. With a new job and her best friend as a roommate, she's ready for an epic adventure free from her family’s constant supervision. She's not prepared for the muscle-bound, tattooed star who appears out of nowhere and rocks her world.
When Charlie locks gazes with the freckled brunette at his first solo gig, he falls hard and fast for reasons he can’t explain. Determined to keep Evelyn in his life, he’s ready to change his ways, even if they run blood deep. But will their instant attraction be enough to weather the storm brought on by the perils of fame, Charlie’s secrets, and Evelyn’s overly protective brothers?


As a reader OBSESSED with rock star romances I was immediately pulled into this gritty and desperate world where a singer once on top of the music world is now trying to rebuild his career and his life after the death of a bandmate.  Throughout his journey Charlie hits some very bad lows as secrets from his past weigh on him heavily and dangerous truths put him, and the one woman who makes his life worthwhile, in danger just as love takes him to some very steamy and loving highs.  As the first installment in The Kendalls series readers are introduced to a cast of compelling characters with interactions full of sexual and emotional tension that leaves readers clamoring for more in a story that nicely balances suspense with romance.

Charlie's very jaded when readers first meet him, flitting from one meaningless sexual encounter to the next.  While he hates himself for acting this way it's his demons, and the memory of his deceased bandmate whose connection is more complex than the public knows, that keeps leading him astray.  With everything hanging in the balance a beacon of light in the form of good girl Evelyn gives him hope and the chance to be a better man.  Theirs isn't an easy relationship though as fans and the paparazzi interfere in their attempts to grow closer and fuel self-esteem issues and doubts.  Just as their HEA seems within reach his past comes rushing back to put Evelyn's life in danger and Charlie no longer able to keep the truth about his bandmate a secret any longer.  Charlie's a truly sexy rock star who has doubts about going solo.  Every move he makes is scrutinized and it's left him frustrated, lonely, and self-destructive.  Seeing Evelyn is like a breath of fresh air, her wholesomeness a balm to his jaded heart and soul.  With his reputation for lovin' and leavin' them though it will take a lot to win her over, bringing out his protective and possessive side along the way.  It also leads to lots of steamy encounters that will keep readers blushing.

Evelyn is the quintessential good girl from the Midwest.  After her mother died she stepped-up to run the household which left her little time for fun.  With extremely protective brothers her love life also suffered as she was kept pure, living only half a life.  She's had enough though, and with the prompting of her fun and flirty British friend, she's ready to live life to the fullest.  She's drawn to Charlie the moment she sees him and despite what the press says about him she still wants him, though she doesn't understand why he wants her.  Uncomfortable with being in the limelight, and worried about what her family might think, leaves her heart and mind in constant conflict.  When a crazed fan kidnaps her she'll finally figure out what's most important, but by then it may be too late.  Evelyn is a truly sweet and kind-hearted heroine and it's her open honesty that appeals to Charlie.  Evelyn wants to think the best of people but her naïveté leads to trouble and heartache as the story progresses.  She's a bit naïve when it comes to sex too, but with Charlie as her guide she quickly turns into a sex kitten as seen through their almost too numerous sexual interludes.  For the most part I liked Evelyn but one moment of weakness and self-pity had her doing something that left me disappointed in her.  Luckily she redeemed herself in my eyes by standing strong when the man she loved needed her.  Though she seems fragile at times she's ultimately tougher than she looks as she stood by Charlie when he needed her acceptance the most.

From start to finish this was a compelling read with immensely appealing and larger than life characters that laid engaging groundwork for future installments in this series.  The storyline of having a relationship in the public eye was in the forefront and showed the positives and negatives of being a rock star's girlfriend realistically and quickly immersed me in their rocky path to HEA.  In some ways Charlie was stereotypical but his sweet side quickly shown through and seeing him beat himself up over how he used to treat women was a big moment for him and endeared him to me.  Evelyn had her own stereotypes in being the good girl which is why I enjoyed her interactions with her roommate Sharlo so much.  Sharlo was full of life, saying whatever was on her mind using delightful British slang, and pushed Evelyn into embracing all the opportunities thrown her way while protecting her too.  Sharlo was one of the highlights in this story in fact and I hope to see more of her as her interactions with Evelyn's brother were crackling and teeming with flirtiness and sexual tension.  While most of the story dealt with the romance between Charlie and Evelyn, the latter half brought the mystery of what happened to rock star Danny to the front burner after dropping hints about him throughout the narrative.  It's a compelling mystery with unexpected twists and turns and though it appears to have reached a conclusion, I'm not entirely convinced of that.  Ultimately, if Ms. Ann goes where I think she can go it will have readers squealing in delight.  As is, there's lots of fodder for more delightful romances between apparent opposites that I look forward to reading as the talent Ms. Ann displayed here has me excited for her future and those of her characters.

My rating for this is an B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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