This is a solid romance novel and I believe this author is on her way to gaining a large and loyal following. Love contemporary romance? Ireland? Romantic Suspense? Then you shouldn't pass this one up.
Kemberlee has a real knack for catching the Irish flavor in a book. I don't know if I have read any other Irish novels that have really given me the sense of authenticity like Kemberlee does except perhaps in historical novels.
This novel is based around the music business as Eilis is searching for talented musicians and believes she has found the real deal in Kieran Vaughan. Upon hearing him play his guitar in a seedy club, Eilis searches for him and quickly informs him she is there to make him a star. Kieran had almost given up on making it as a blues guitarist in Ireland and was at a serious crossroads in regards to his musical career. So, he didn't look a gift horse in the mouth. He decided to at least hear Eilis out.
For Eilis when she finally comes face to face with the guitarist that blew her way, she finds his musical abilities are not the only thing that has her attention. A professional and strictly business minded, Eilis was so stricken by Kieran she says and does things she would never have done under normal circumstances.
Both Eilis and Kieran have seen the underbelly of the music business. Eilis wants to help people find success without having to use their bodies to achieve it. Kieran needs someone to manage him who will be honest about business matters.
This was a really sweet and spicy contemporary romance that features characters that are real and plausible. Eilis is one of those women that doesn't harbor a lot of vanity. She thinks she has a weight problem and guys like Kieran who are the target of perfect model like clones and groupies, would never find her attractive in that way. Kieran is a spitfire with a hot Irish temper at times, but is also down to earth with strong principles. He and Eilis have a bond and connection that just can't be explained. That doesn't mean they escape certain misunderstandings, one being Kieran's belief that Eilis has a boyfriend.
The story also has some great banter and dialogue and a comical development as Eilis finds herself exposed to a childhood illness she never had and will likely develop now. This isn't really funny per se since adults have a really hard time recovering from the illness. But, Kieran uses the situation to his advantage. This gives the couple a chance to clear the air and banish any misinformation. However, there is something sinister going on that Eilis is vaguely aware of and it looks like the situation could become very dangerous.
This development gives the book a slight romantic suspense element, which I liked. I liked Eilis a lot because she was just so real and had real problems and insecurities many of us can relate to. Kieran was also a guy with a head on his shoulders who didn't behave like the typical arrogant rock star type. He also suffers self-doubt and insecurities concerning his career path and in his relationships. There was no immature angst, just two people learning to love and trust and communicate.
Since the author really works to keep the dialogue true to the Irish dialect there were some occasions when I stumbled over certain words or phrases. I knew Van Morrison, but I didn't know any of the other musicians discussed. A Google search cleared that up. I learned a little more about Ireland and its culture, which is always fun.
Artist Representative, Eilis Kennedy, gave up a singing career so that other women could have a fair chance at having their music heard. Having suffered rejection from callous men in the industry, she thought she would get away from ‘casting couch’ mentality. But when she finds herself in the office of Fergus Manley, all bets are off. Disgusted by his continual come-ons and lewd invitations, Eilis is looking for ‘the one’ who will take her career to the next level, getting out from under Fergus’s controlling thumb.
Aspiring blues guitarist, Kieran Vaughan, is looking for his big break. But after suffering near bankruptcy at the hands of an unscrupulous business partner, Kieran is left picking up the pieces. He’s unsure if the debts will ever be paid or if he’ll ever have a chance to do something with his music. At his whit’s end, he’s about ready to throw in the towel and find a full-time job with real hours.
When Eilis discovers Kieran playing in a seedy pub in Dublin’s Northside, she knows he’s the one rare talent she’s been searching for. With her know-how and his talent, Eilis will finally get everything she’s been waiting for. Neither of them count on the powerful attraction from first meeting. Eilis is so rocked by Keiran’s forthright words that it sends her running. Kieran risks being arrested as he chases Eilis across Ireland.
Seeing what’s happening between Eilis and Kieran, anger wells inside Fergus and he steps up his pursuit of Eilis. Refusing to let Kieran get in his way, Fergus vows to add Eilis’s notch to his bedpost, whatever it takes.
Will Kieran be able to protect her?