Dear Ms. Cooper:
Thank you for sending this book to me for review. I had just finished an excellent New Adult book featuring a rock star hero (Where She Went by Gayle Forman) and was excited to see what a sexy, adult contemporary would bring me. There were many good ideas in the story but the execution of them faltered and in the end, it just seemed like one sex scene strung together with another.
Nick Blackthorne is the hottest rock star in the world but when his best friends are getting married, there is only one person he can imagine him bringing to the wedding–Lauren Robbins. Nick and Lauren were high school sweethearts but when Nick’s fame kind of went to his head. The two parted 15 years ago when Lauren didn’t want to follow him around the world.
She is now a kindergarten teacher with a 15 year old son. I think we all can add 16 + 16 and get secret baby, right?
There were any number of ideas that went unexplored or were explored in previous books (which I hadn’t read). There were allusions that Nick was tapped out creatively. He rediscovered himself a couple of years ago after finding out he was adopted and had a brother who killed himself. None of this is played out in the pages. I had no idea what Nick was like before this enlightenment. It was powerful enough that it makes him want to seek out his first love but we are shown absolutely nothing of the transformation.
The tough reunion emotions that the two might grapple with appear briefly only to be pushed aside when the two fall into each other’s arms the day Nick returns. Whatever issues that kept them apart in the past aren’t well defined or explored. The two are too busy getting into each other’s pants.
There were other issues: dealing with Nick’s fame; the big secret baby that Lauren kept from Nick; how the two deal with their son. All of these issues could have provided the basis for a rich emotional conflict if there was not going to be any character development. (And there wasn’t). But any exploration consists of a couple of dialogue exchanges interrupted by non stop sex scenes. Nick’s anger seemed to abate almost immediately under the fever of their passion. I guess I was supposed to see how overcome these two were with lust for each other, but I tired of the bedroom gymnastics that took the place of any storytelling or plot.
I thought the scene in which Nick storms Lauren’s house to confront her about the secret perfectly exemplifies the problems and probably the high points of the story. He gets inside the house and instead of asking Lauren about her son, he takes her up against the door after saying “nice playlist” upon hearing his own music in her house. Presumably this makes him so hot that the pain of not knowing his only child for fifteen years pales in comparison with the opportunity to kiss and then take her. Only after the several page sex scene is over does Nick demand an explanation.
I remember I tried a Bandicoot Cove book a while back and it read like a swinger story. This book isn’t a swinger story, but the heavy emphasis on sex above everything else, even hot sex scenes, reinforces my opinion of the series. It’s all sex, all the time. C-