Review: Idol by Kristen Callihan

idolReviewed by Joanna

Yum. Rock star romances can be hit or miss, but this one was pretty much on the money for me. I’m a Kristen Callihan fan anyway from her sports-based novels so I was expecting quality and I got it. It’s a dual-perspective ride through rock ‘n roll land till we get to a nice HEA, and I was all kinds of happy with this book.

Liberty Bell finds a strange man on her lawn one day. He’s drunk, disgusting and he’s crashed his Harley right through her fence. She hoses him down whilst berating him for the lives he risked being a drunk driver. He promptly pukes on her.

Killian James wakes in Libby’s bed and is somewhat astonished when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He’s a world famous rock star – how can anyone in their twenties (his age) not recognize him? But she doesn’t and it’s refreshing. His previous night’s antics are a little blurry, but when he makes it up and out of her house he knows exactly where he is – in the place opposite to his. He’s had a house on a remote island rented for him as his career is on a freeze – Jax, his best friend and band mate in Kill John tried to commit suicide. The island retreat is perfect for the rest and distance Killian needs, and the new neighbor doesn’t hurt either.

Over the next several weeks, Killian gets closer and closer to the spiky Libby, and a slow friendship develops with our couple bonding over 90’s music and guitar playing – Libby might be a bit of a hermit but she’s also the daughter of musicians and highly talented in her own right. She’s never pursued a music career as her parents, now deceased, pushed her away from it. She’s a bit of a hidden gem, our Libs. Killian revels in the simplicity of the island and the tentative friendship he finds. He describes his life before as “Idolized, adored, isolated.” Poor thing.

Libby has a different issue. She knows Killian isn’t there to stay – “The problem lies with me; I’m half in love with a man who will drift through my life like smoke in the wind.”

The opening section of this book is quite lovely. And hot. A first kiss is primed to go off a number of times but sweetly delayed. Then the scene where they actually touch lips is very well written with a beautiful backdrop and set up. We also get a very frustrating sex scene where I was driven as mad as the couple was, so much so I contacted KC and told her so. (On Twitter. She’s not my buddy or anything.)

Anyway, hermits can’t stay hermits forever, no matter how happy their little bubble and both our H&H are forced into the world of glaring lights and screaming crowds. Can Kill John work together again after what Jax did, and what will Libby do to follow her dream?

There’s lots of cool music in this which I liked. There’s a good amount of stage performance and nice descriptions of the high and the passion that goes with it. Often in rock star books they are never on stage and I find that weird. Not an issue here. Killian describes performing /the crowd as The Animal. He feeds it, it responds. It’s compelling stuff.

The only criticisms I have are of the pace – I wanted to feel the bonding moments between them and some of it whipped by, and also of Libby – I didn’t hugely warm to her. She was consistently in-character though, and I could sympathize with her but I couldn’t get in her skin. I didn’t feel her excitement or her upset. Killian was straight up and down believable (he’s pretty nice for a rock star – dedicated, no cheating etc.). Libby left me a little cold.

No reason this should put you off – it’s a great book and I really enjoyed it.

Rating: A-/B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Idol
by Kristen Callihan
Release Date: June 7, 2016

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