When it comes to romantic comedies, I am hard to please, rarely connecting with the humour, and finding the intensity of the sexual chemistry between the characters lacking more often than not, but this book was my complete and utter undoing beginning to end. I giggled, I swooned, I even fist-pumped the air a few times, because I never delight in such a story this much, yet I found myself relishing every single thing about this book. I will even admit that after turning the last page, I immediately went back to re-read some favourite passages, desperate to keep riding the ‘book high’ I found myself in, and hungry for more. This is one of my most enjoyable books of the year, and possibly my most beloved one from this remarkable author.
There’s a bum on my lawn. Maybe I should use a better term, something more PC. Homeless person? Vagrant? Nope, I’m going with bum. Because I doubt he’s actually homeless or without means. His current state seems more a choice than a situation.
Liberty “Libby” Bell is a twenty-five-year-old hermit of her own making, the sudden loss of her parents having driven her to isolate herself from the world in a place that reminds her of happier times, a place that also does not allow her to move forward in life or seek happiness. Her simple life comes to a standstill, however, when she finds a drunk young man sprawled on her lawn, covered in vomit, and his motorcycle crashed into her fence. But instead of calling the police, she turns her hose on him, dousing him with ice-cold water and waking him up from his drunken stupor drenched and angry.
“Here’s a tip. Don’t be such a cliché.”
Killian James might be the lead singer and guitarist of one of the biggest rock bands in the world, but for the past year, he has been a man with no direction in life, a man lost in a world he no longer feels he belongs to. Uninspired and desperate for change, he escapes to a quiet island off the coast of North Carolina, its calm waters and vast stretches of sand dunes making it the perfect destination for someone seeking solitude and privacy, never expecting to find himself fall-down drunk on the front lawn of a prickly young woman whose disdain and quick judgement end up being the wake-up call he’s needed all along.
“I don’t feel it, all right? I don’t want to sing. Don’t want to play. It’s just…a void.”
What starts as a hilarious altercation between two very sharp-tongued young people, unafraid to speak their minds with no holds barred, slowly morphs into an unexpected yet genuine friendship that catches them both by surprise. As they fall into a comfortable pattern of spending days on end in each other’s company, enjoying the simple things in life and getting to know one another better, they discover parts of themselves they’d ignored for too long. And parts of one another they never expected to find.
“F*ck it. Here’s the truth: I wasn’t happy—until I met you.”
Under Libby’s thin shield of self-assurance, Killian unveils a lonely and insecure young woman who is stuck in a rut, desperate to follow her only dream in life, but terrified of taking that first step. Her honesty and no-nonsense personality, however, anchor and calm the demons inside him, offering him a fresh outlook on his own life and reawakening his love of music. And in return, Libby blossoms under Killian’s gentle encouragement, his love and support giving her the courage to take a leap of faith in herself and in them.
“Let me show you. Let me give you the world, baby doll.”
Once Killian’s band goes back on tour, however, the real test of their commitment to one another begins, the pressures of living in the public eye slowly fraying the edges of a relationship that brings out the best in them both, but that will forever be questioned as the world fights to reclaim the sexy rock star as their own. And when their professional future is suddenly put into jeopardy, setting each other free might be the only way to show their love for one another.
“You want me to stay, Lib?”
God, please let me stay. I’m so damn cold. And my bed is empty.
“Yeah,” she whispers.
I almost dive under the covers right then and there. But I can’t. “Libby, babe, I gotta be honest. I’m not naked, but all I have on are boxers. I might wake up with morning wood. Hell, I might get contact wood too.” I’m actually in danger of getting hard just being in bed with her. “I don’t want you kicking me in the nuts if I do.”
The corner of her cheek plumps on a grin. “Killian can’t control his dick. So noted.”
An engaging, witty, sexy as all hell take on the quintessential scenario of celebrity falling for the girl next door, but in Kristen Callihan’s capable hands, this story becomes a unique experience beginning to end. With her seemingly effortless flair for delivering humorous dialogues for both comedic purposes as well as more dramatic ones, Ms Callihan captivates the reader with playful exchanges that end up revealing a lot more about the characters than one would expect. Her prose flows naturally and swiftly, each element enhancing the next, and making the reader incapable of putting the story down. I absolutely adored this book and am already anticipating the next story in the series with bated breath.
“Baby doll, I could assert my manly dominance, thump my chest, and declare you’re mine. But it wouldn’t mean a damn thing if I’m not yours in return.”