Monday, June 20, 2016

seriously romantic: idol by kristen callihan

i first discovered kristen callihan off a riffle email. her first book in the game on series, the hook up, was for sale and since i have a soft spot for sports romances i decided to give it a try. then i proceeded to buy the remaining books in the series. and since then i've stalked her facebook page and website in the hopes for more books in the series. what i discovered was that before more game on books, we'd be treated to the kick off of a new series. idol is the first book in the vip series and, well, now it seems that i'm hooked on a new series and am destined to stalk the author on social media until i know when the next release will be. sometimes i wish i discovered all series after they closed so i could binge on all the books at once. i'm not one for savoring.

which is not to say that there isn't plenty to savor while reading idol. one of the things that impresses me about callihan's writing is how much research she puts in to the world she is writing about. in her game on series it is clear that she knows football. she loves it too. the same can be said of the world of music here. it's not just that killian james is a rock star. he's a musician who loves music. he and his bandmates know music. django reinhardt is not only name-dropped, but we get some of the fascinating facts that made him such a legend to people who know about music. my husband is a total music nerd so reading about things that he is constantly telling me about, it's kind of funny and cool. music so often feeds our memories. the white stripes "hotel yorba" makes a special appearance in the novel and that made me smile. my husband put that song on a mixtape he made for me when we first started dating. it was either for my birthday or for christmas, i don't remember, and we'd only started dating in june so it was either two month in or six months in, but anyway that song has the lyrics:

it might sound silly
for me to think childish thoughts like these
but i'm so tired of acting tough
and i'm gonna do what i please
lets get married
in a big cathedral by a priest
cause if i'm the man that you love the most
you could say i do at least

and i remember thinking to myself, he wants to marry me. and that's when i knew we'd be together forever. and so i get why killian is drawn to that song. having music inform and deepen the story is a wonderful thing and the author does a really good job with that.

anyway let's talk about killian james. he's a wreck when we meet him. libby and him have the world's worst meet cute. he's totaled her yard, he reeks of alcohol and vomit, and he actually pukes and passes out on her. but in spite of that introduction killian isn't the bad boy rocker cliché. he's a good guy who is so used to being everyone's rock that when things happen that he can't control, when he feels like he isn't needed, that he can't do enough to fix it, that's when everything goes off the rails. libby bell, has her own demons to wrestle with. her parents' choices, the way they lived, the way they died, deeply affect her. she's still in mourning when she meets killian, she's hidden her heart away from the world to protect it from breaking further.

when they realize the connection they share through their love of music—not just listening to it, but writing and performing—there is nothing to stop the feelings that tie them together. you just know, as a reader, that they will work things out because they have to, because there is no other option. when you feel that much, that strongly about something it just has to happen. they face their fair share of obstacles, sometimes they get in their own way too and you just want to shake them. but they also manage to put so many of their demons to bed. and enjoy a fair amount of time in bed, so if you don't like hot sex scenes in your romances you are going to be disappointed. because the sex between these two is hot and once they get going, they maximize their time together.

one of the other things callihan does so well is establishing the secondary characters. one can only hope that most of them will get their own novels in the series. next up is scottie, who is the incredibly hot and mysterious manager. and who's book i'm already dying to read. at this point i think i have to put kristen callihan on my "must buy" list. and if you like contemporary romance with emotional heft but no unnecessary drama, you will like this too. plus there's the music, and while this one song spoke to me the most, there are others that have their moments in the novel that might speak to you.

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