What a collaboration! I loved every minute of this novel and if not for sleep, I would have finished it in 8 hours max! Either way, I was still under 24 hours to show you how engaged I was. I laughed, shed a tear and rolled my eyes at the lifestyle or Trace's crew.
This is a completely different take, from the music based romances I have read in the past and that alone brought most of the appeal for me. I tried to picture two current artiste to as my muse when reading this novel and I couldn't. They reminded me of no one and I like that. They held and carried their own personalities. Trace wasn't ghetto or rapping about sex with chicks just because he was a rapper and Taryn wasn't singing about cornfields and the like.
In the end, they weren't even as polar opposites as I thought. Their backgrounds are not what you expect and their present day relationship dynamics with their team and parental figures waver. I actually like that there wasn't any pomp and fluff with these reveals because their crazy lives held enough drama.
Taryn is portrayed to the public as America's sweetheart but she has quite the skeletons in her past, that her mother never took enough time to cover. That is what surprises me most, because the woman is like a bulldozer. I like though that she was feisty, level headed and secure. She didn't go around demeaning herself or speculating the worse. Honestly, she was born to be a star, because she handles it like a pro! I like that she stood up for what she believed in and wanted and she and Trace make really good music ;)
Trace surprised me, not only with his past, but his thinking. Yes, he partied and drank with the best of them but he had his priorities straight and his ideas weren't bad either. He was an artiste who revered his craft and respected those inside and those looking to get into the industry. I believe Eli's story would be an interesting one.
I love when they got down to the music and the focus they all exuded, even Dre and Xavier. With this ebook, you could click on the songs mentioned, as they were mentioned, as it was a direct link to the YouTube page. I've never read a book that's done that and I love the interactivity of it all. Even though I knew most of the songs, it was good to just click and be introduced to new ones.
The sex in this novel was dear I say more street. *face palm* ... There was no sentimental crap! It was some good, rough, need you right now, sex! I never felt a soft aspect and it wasn't laced with any BDSM based or implied acts. It was a guy getting his rocks off with a girl who wasn't afraid to say what she want and when she want it! :D
The shadier side of being a celebrity was the focal point the further we got into this romance. It wasn't all glamour and it showed how easy things get misconstrued to sell tabloids. Being stars didn't make them immune, they just handled it better. I even like that the race card was played, because racism is still prevalent in society, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. I am sure they probably got some aspects of the music world wrong but it's their story and they can do whatever they want!
The build up in this story was a good one because both characters are at the peak of their career and are literally touring on different sides of the country. Some how, they make it work and show more interaction than couples who see each other daily. I believed their relationship and eventually love, even with them being half way across the country, for the majority of the novel. They might be apart but their connection was strong.
There are a lot of unexpected events by the end of this story and I will say that I don't agree with some. I was sad because there was one death in this novel that I for one didn't want, especially the fact that it was unnecessary. It's not the violence that most would expect from a novel about a black rapper, but I think that racing to get away from the paps is silly and in a tanker like that, why is he the only one that died?
Either way, I loved this story, it's characters and the slow build up to something so good and fulfilling. I might not like the death in this novel but there is some semblance of closure and a HEA for those who hate cliffhangers.
I am glad I took a chance on this novel because Michelle Lynn and Nevaeh Lee made a great collaboration!