Friday, July 19, 2019

Book Review: Starfish: A Rockstar Romance

By Sara Steven

Ambitious graduate Marin Collins accepts a four-month internship at a prestigious public relations firm to work on a tech account, but her plans are derailed when she’s assigned to go on the road with touring rock band Kings Quarters, hailed by Rolling Stone as the next big thing.

Enter Brad Osterhauser, the reluctant rock star who would rather be coding computer games than penning Grammy-nominated songs.

Traveling by bus, city to city with a group of practical joking bandmates and a greedy manager, Marin and Brad forge a friendship and forbidden romance over a shared love of Seinfeld episodes, stolen moments and Red Vines.

But when Marin’s accused of betraying her company and the band, will Brad come to her defense or believe she was disloyal to him for the sake of her career?

Told in alternating perspectives of Marin and Brad, Starfish is a contemporary romance of unexpected love, the redemptive power of music and hogging the bed. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

If I were tasked with using only one word to describe Starfish, that word would be STEAMY. The chemistry between Brad and Marin feels nearly combustible, the biggest reason for Marin to try everything she can to put a wall between herself and the guy. Told from both Brad’s and Marin’s perspectives, the blunt talk and bold emotion really drew me to their friendship and forbidden romance, hot and smoldering.

But there is more to Starfish. Well-written characters have well-intentioned backgrounds that let the reader see beyond their motives, and we learn more about the reasons behind Marin’s walls, and why Brad isn’t paving his own path in life. This lends into the insecurities both face, creating more of a gap, why it’s so hard to fall hard and let go. It added a much-needed push and pull in what Marin wants, and what Brad needs. Just when I thought they’d take the next step forward, they’d fall three steps back, only adding more and more to the anticipated build up.

It was interesting to imagine myself in Marin’s shoes, an ordinary girl who finds herself falling for a famous person, another stumbling block. I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of celebrity, or what it would be like to go behind the scenes of concerts and rock bands, and while she tries to find her way we’re right along with her, understanding the shock and at times, disorientation. There is too much going on and not enough time to figure it all out, lending into the divide of doing what her heart feels, versus what her head tells her she needs to do.

While I felt Marin’s boss overreacted a bit, given how much Marin gives of herself and tries so hard to prove she’s worthy of her job, it was a nice wrench to throw into everything, the alleged company betrayal, giving us a fresh, raw perspective on who Brad and Marin really are and how much they’re potentially invested in one another. If someone you’re falling for does you wrong, what would you do? Who do you side with? A worthy question for a five-star, worthy read!

Thanks to Lisa Becker for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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