A debut novel delivers a romance set in the rarefied world of pop-music superstardom.
Kalynn Stearne is a newly minted superstar on the verge of her first big solo tour. She has two platinum albums, industry awards, and a huge fan base. But she also has serious problems. An experience with abuse in her past keeps her from sleeping. She feels smothered by her fame, having to be accompanied by bodyguards wherever she goes. She doesn’t get to do the normal things a 19-year-old does, and everybody wants something from her. It’s hard for her to trust men when every guy she meets, including other pop stars and even her tour director, treats her like a sexual trophy. That’s why her immediate attraction to Layne Kennett, her new tour photographer, is so unusual. Layne has his own troubles—he is on probation and has been given this assignment from his father’s media company as a last chance to go straight. Just to stir the pot, Kalynn has a stalker named Alexa/Alex sending her threatening notes. When Kalynn’s longtime manager, Mae, is found dead, the stalker takes credit for it. Now Kalynn has to work through her trust issues, worry about a creep getting to her and her adopted family, and mount the most important tour of her life. Layne has to keep Kalynn’s trust and still reveal his past as a felon. That’s a lot of stuff working against a happy ending, but this is a romance novel, after all, and a briskly moving one at that. Fairbairn doesn’t break any new ground with this tale, but it does have plenty to offer. The characters, especially Kalynn and Layne, are well-drawn and believable. Their development feels natural, even in extraordinary circumstances. There are plot points, for example, a party in Malibu when Layne sees a pop star hitting on Kalynn, in which the author avoids obvious choices and allows his characters to be more human than caricatures. And his prose is sparkling clean, with never a muddled moment.
An engaging, tightly written love story with a dash of suspense.