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!
The first chapter of Managed (VIP #2) by Kristen Callihan is riveting, much like the first chapter of Idol, the first book in this series. The way the heroine and hero are introduced is very inventive. The heroine Sophie is very unique and an original, while the hero Gabriel aka Scottie is swoonworthy. We first met Scottie in Idol, and he made quite his mark there. He's a hotter than hot Brit who has personal issues such as having trouble sleeping at night, and is estranged from his parents. Sophie is like a breath of fresh air for Gabriel who soaks up her sunshine. These two are complete opposites but their attraction for another is obvious from their first meeting on a plane, which consists of teasing and some insults, but nothing too damaging.
Most will enjoy how Gabriel and Sophie get together, especially when it comes to light how tortured Gabriel is, and how Sophie heals him. They take their relationship slowly in terms of sex, using their time getting to know one another wisely by sleeping together, but not becoming intimate. Also the on the road environment helps them bond and connect. Gabriel may not be a member of the band, but he's in charge. Sophie is in a way his subordinate, but he won't allow the power to go to his head, especially when he wants her to do what he wants.
For the most part Managed is a typical contemporary romance with a rock star appeal. But there is something missing here. On the surface, Managed has a lot going for it, but the "meat" is missing. There isn't much depth here when it comes to Sophie, who is a borderline Mary Sue, and of Gabriel who fits a stereotype that has become the norm, with a been there, done that feel. His romance with Sophie is too one-dimensional, relying on too much snark and bantering to make these two more rounded and deeper with their personalities. Because the angst factor is low here, including a big lack of drama, things start to move at a snail's pace half way through. Most readers won't care, especially if they are enjoying Sophie and Gabriel's non-stop flirty banter.
I was hoping for more "pow" or fireworks, but things fizzled for me around the time Sophie and Gabriel become intimate. As soon as they became a couple, some sudden troublesome things are thrown at them to cause them both heartache, which felt empty in the end.
If Managed had kept the pace and dialogue from the first chapter throughout the entire story, then this would have been a winner. But unfortunately, the plot loses steam with stereotypical device tropes and the action of the characters
A so-so romance that had me wishing for more.