REVIEW: True North by Liora Blake
Dear Ms. Blake:
This is one of those books that I think people will like if they just give it a chance, just read an excerpt, or a snippet because the voice of the narrator is so strong and appealing. Kate Mosely is a widow who, in her grief, writes a bestselling book about Montana, matriarchs, and surviving. During a talk show appearance, she meets Trax aka Trevor Jenkins and a connection is sparked.
But one flirtatious exchange during a green room meeting or an onstage interview doesn’t a romance make for Kate. She’s bewildered when Trevor calls her (by having his manager call her agent to obtain her information) and is even more confused when he invites her out to dinner.
Trevor’s interest in Kate is deepened when she shares the story of her husband’s death. I liked that there wasn’t any jealousy over Kate’s past marriage and that Trevor was comfortable hearing about Kate’s love for her first husband. The grief Kate had was well done, showing that she loved her husband, missed him but still longed for something–intimacy, even love.
I enjoyed seeing both the non artist and the artist sides of Trevor and how Kate is interested in both. During her first concert with him, she muses how she’s always intended to download his albums but never did but figures that he probably hasn’t read her book so that they are “even on the artist front.” For me, a rock star book that doesn’t include a concert or some kind of actual rocking or starring frustrates the hell out of me. If I wanted to read about a guy hiding in Montana, I’d buy that Harlequin book.
No, when there’s a rock star book or sports book, I want to see the characters doing those things. Fortunately, we see a lot of that in True North. There’s the scene of the concert where Kate unashamedly admits she wants to play the role of the sex starved groupie because seeing Trax on stage really cranked her chain. There are tiny little snippets of Trevor in studio and doing rock star things which all lent itself to imbuing the reader with the fantasy of the rock star character.
We are taken from first date to first coupling in an unhurried, but believable pace. Trevor falls fast for Kate who’s a mix of no-nonsense North and sarcasm. She likes her sexual attraction to Trevor and how he makes her feel but she just doesn’t get why he’s into her. From Trevor’s point of view, Kate’s remote and unavailable. She doesn’t respond to his texts initially and then when she does, she never initiates it. She confesses to him later that it is because she’s nervous and her world view doesn’t include a front page cover rock star being interested in her.
Trevor’s pursuit of Kate is both sweet, hot and funny.
Is there a reason I’m always the text initiator in this relationship? Why do I feel like I’m chasing your ass around? Not that I really have any issue with chasing that ass around.
Cripe, how is it possible to screw up a text-based relationship? I don’t even think it should count as a valid form of communication if you are older than thirteen. So I type back.
I don’t even like texting. You should be grateful I even respond to yours. I ignore all the ones my sister sends me. R U mad? ? See that? That’s what texting has done to the English language.
Well, when you put it that way. Sorry I bothered u with all my annoying texts. Thank you, thank you for answering them.
I would prefer if you only sent me written correspondence. On fine linen paper using a quill pen. Using words like “anon” and “doth.” These letters should have a wax seal of your family crest and be delivered via carrier pigeon.
Anon, I doth not have a family crest. We’re a white-trash-in-the-projects kind of family. Do prison tattoos count?
Not really. I promise to text you something random at some point. I wouldn’t want you feeling like you’re chasing me around. I think we both know you can catch me.
You bet that sweet little ass I can.
Another thing I really enjoyed was how Trevor’s dialogue was uniquely his.
“Are you serious right now?”
“Anon, woman! What do I have to do, hire a skywriter? Anon! Trevor doth like Kate! Trevor doth want to see her gorgeous little face again!”
He’s pissed, but it’s hilarious, so I can’t do anything but laugh because he’s shouting the word “anon” and trying to sound hard at the same time. I find the nearest building and lean against it, rolling my head back to rest on the brick façade. It’s too warm out, my feet hurt, and I’m running annoyingly late.
The story is told only in Kate’s point of view but Trevor doesn’t hide his feelings for her at all. We know that he wants her and pursues her with everything he has. Kate’s a mystery to Trevor, but not to us. We know she is a normal mix of bravado and fear–that her greatest fear is loss. Will the dark moment frustrate the reader? Maybe? Because for the most part, Kate is very in control of her feelings. When she loses control over one thing, it could be read as an overreaction. It worked for me, but if there’s a flaw in this lovely, very sexy tale, it’s probably there.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how smoking hot this story is as well. The two have a very healthy sexual relationship and they aren’t afraid at any point in expressing that. The two characters are both strong yet emotionally vulnerable and it works really well. B