Blacktop Cowboys®, Book 6
by Lorelei James
Penguin/NAL/Signet Publishing: August 5, 2014
Paperback/ebook /Audio 380 pages
Book provided by publisher for review. No remunerations was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
She’s protecting his body and guarding her heart….
Country music star Devin McClain understands there’s a downside to life in the public eye, but the laidback Wyoming cowboy has never imagined he’d attract crazed fans who would do anything to garner his attention. When veiled threats become real, he agrees to hire a discreet security detail. But Devin is shocked when that bodyguard is a hard-bodied woman. He’s even more stunned to be attracted to the steely-eyed stunner.
Former soldier Liberty Masterson’s return to civilian life has been fraught with challenges until she lands a job with a prestigious security firm. But when she agrees to provide personal protection during a cross-country tour, she doesn’t realize she has signed up to masquerade as the playboy star’s girlfriend. Though she’s more comfortable in combat boots than high heels, she has no choice but to appear to be the sexy groupie Devin prefers.
Living in close quarters causes the chemistry between them to ignite, and Devin realizes he wants to turn their charade of a romance into reality. Although Liberty surrenders to his every whim behind closed doors, she fears the sexy country star doesn’t see the real her; and Devin can’t help but worry when the tour ends that there might not be enough between them to build something that won’t fade away….
I really enjoyed this book, but had hesitated picking it up because the title gave me an expectation that it was a one-way ticket to Hick-Ville. Country music is much more sophisticated than the title implies, and so is the writing in the book. Plus, Devin is a country music star, with a rock and roll edge. So the title is also a little off kilter.
It’s very, very hot on Devin’s tourbus. After Devin embarrasses himself implying Liberty’s sexual preference is not men because he thinks she looks butch, he sees her for the sexy woman she really is. And well, when the tourbus is rockin,”….
This kind of implies that women who are strong and not girly are not attractive. You cannot determine someone’s sexual orientation by looking at them. Devin learns this and is sorry and embarrassed for being an asshat.
There is a standard romance plot throughout of a man and woman who are both commitment shy, who grudgingly come to like each other. Something happens in the story where their understandings, each of the other, change. Of course, he realizes his existence of easy sex is somehow empty. In this genre it is almost always the man who realizes this first. For the two to be together they will have to overcome logistics and lifestyle differences and one or the other has to make the first move. It is a common enough plot device.
Lorelei James writes the world of country music on tour in a detailed and, seemingly realistic way and also appears to have a good grasp of what kind of security issues one would find on a big music star’s concert tour. There’s one kind of pie-in-the-sky event that didn;t work for me, but hey! It’s a romantic fantasy and helps create an air of the cocoon of touring, and helps Liberty understand Devin.
Liberty is a tough woman fighting to be taken seriously in what is perceived by most to be a male’s profession. Never mind that we have had female agents and soldiers for a good long while. Having worked in a so-called man’s job for a while I felt immediate sympathy with the character.
Devin give us a view of a musician who learned to separate his public self and his inner emotions pretty well, only suffering from a minor case of male ego in so far as having a female bodyguard protecting him. His artistic experience and his ability to learn from his mistakes and take advice has made him patient in waiting for Liberty to want what he does. Of course, as is often the case, communicating this issues is a problem. The good news is that they do overcome that issue when it arises.
There is a little rant against critics and their place in the story. It felt like a thinly veiled complaint about critics, that is, people like me. And although this is a part of a series, it stands well on its own! But, that was the only feel for author ego that came out. And, it doesn’t in any way prevent me from whole-heartedly giving HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR Two Thumbs up!