Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Idol (VIP #1) by Kristen Callihan should whet the appetite for fans who gobble up rock star romance like M&Ms. Idol is a prime example of what a rock star romance should have with a rock start hero who takes the stereotype to the max with his partying, drinking, man-ho groupie sexxorin, adrenaline rush when he performs in front of thousands, and teams him up with the extreme opposite regarding the heroine who is closed off and pretty much a hermit in a very small town, almost cut off from the world. What this couple has in common is their pain, which makes them bond in a bone deep way. This bond the hero and heroine has keeps you reading because their suffering and a near, all-consuming love is palatable on each page, although the characterizations are far from perfect, more specifically with Liberty, the heroine, who’s angst and drama seems a bit too canned and almost fake for the purpose to move along the story.
Idol starts off with a hilarious bang. Liberty Bell finds a passed out, drunk on her front lawn. He apparently was intoxicated behind the motorcycle and crashed. Liberty is disgusted and appalled by this foul, drunk degenerate. After turning the hose on him, he comes to, and is surly and confrontational, as if Liberty caused him to crash. What Liberty doesn’t know is that he’s Killian, one of the biggest rock stars currently on the planet. Killian has run away from it all because his best friend and band mate Jax tried to kill himself by ODing. Killian blames himself and needs time to reflect and basically hide from his life for awhile. He’s lost his mojo for writing lyrics, playing guitar and singing. He thinks if he stays in some backwater town in the middle of nowhere for a few weeks to lick his wounds, he’ll find his balance again. He doesn’t make a great first impression on Liberty by a long shot, and internally he is a bit insulting to her by calling her plain, and a sad hick. But when she goes out of her way to cook for him even though she’s angry with him for passing out on her lawn like he did, he softens to her big time. He taps down his ego and turns on the charm, including getting his flirt on. Liberty doesn’t fall for it, which makes him very confused because women adore him since he’s this big rock star loved my millions.
To Liberty’s dismay, Killian has rented the house next to her. Over the course of the next couple weeks, he annoys her, now acting like a lost puppy in need of a home. He follows her wherever she goes, helps her garden, enjoying the outdoors, and insinuates himself in her life where he expects her to cook for him. It’s actually very endearing and sweet because he’s showing a side to Liberty no one else has seen. He begins to grow on Liberty, who he finds out has a musical background. Her parents were musicians, and she knows how to play the guitar and write music. Killian begins to get his mojo back, and they both start jamming together. Surprisingly Liberty has incredible talent and an amazing singing voice. When she figures out Killian is this big rock star god, he tries to convince her to go on tour with him and his band, more so to keep her with him because Liberty has saved him. What’s a homebody like Liberty, who is still mourning the loss of her parents to do?
Idol has many things to recommend. Killian is a very engaging character. His personality is colorful and enjoyable. He embodies the rock star hero to a tee. His interactions with his band mates are great, including some secondary characters, such as his snarky cousin, and his band’s manager, Scottie, this hotter than hot Brit who makes all the ladies lust after him. He also has a nice humorous side to him, and when he realizes he has it bad for Liberty, he’s all in. She owns his heart and soul. Liberty is the problem here. I just couldn’t connect with her or understand her motivations. We have more of a well rounded background regarding Killian, but Liberty is an enigma. Why has she closed herself off from the world and entering close to agoraphobia, which is touched upon but quickly swept under the rug? Her parent’s death has really done a number on her, but it’s hard to understand because she never had a good relationship with them. Her personality is very dry and almost empty. She fades into the background whenever Killian is on the page, or with her. I just couldn’t connect with her or her relationship with Killian. Their chemistry just wasn’t believable for me at all. It seems Killian has latched onto her in an almost unhealthy way because he was vulnerable and lost when he met her. I kept asking myself, why is he so enthralled by Liberty who didn’t impress me at all?
Idol has a fairy tale element to it with Killian as the Prince Charming who swoops in and saves the damsel locked in a tower. Liberty’s tower is her self-imposed exile, as well as having no real emotion or feeling. She robotic most of the time, except when it comes to sex with Killian. I wished there was a better explanation for her motives, but she is so monotone and almost lifeless. If Kristen wanted to show how the power of love can bring together two total opposites with Killian and Liberty, she succeeded, but it fell flat. The only excitement with Liberty is her name-Liberty Bell, and her interactions with the hot British stud Scottie (Killian’s manager), who almost complimented her better than Killian.
Idol was an enjoyable read, and I will definitely read the next book because it’s about Scottie’s HEA, but the blahness of Liberty and her oh woes is me attitude that’s never really fixed or healed didn’t leave me with a satisfactory feeling when all was said and done. If you can look beyond the characterization of Liberty, and concentrate on Killian and his dedication to Liberty, then you should enjoy Idol more than I did.