by Jeffe Kennedy
Published: March 6th 2018 by Brightlynx
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Source: review copy
In a Flutter: A nuanced story
Not all desires are shiny and sweet—and the dark ones might change you forever…
It’s not the kind of obsession a tough Army guy can admit to—a jones for Ava, the pretty-princess pop star. Not just her body, the perfect product that sells all those magazines. Her music.
The critics call her human lip gloss, all style and no substance. To Joe Ivanchan, Ava is the exact blend of reality and fantasy that he can tolerate, the closest he’s willing to get to giving his heart after the injury and breakdown that got him out of the service.
But Ava is real. She’s a flesh and blood woman with a publicity machine and an album deadline, along with a whole team of handlers paid to shellac a pristine sheen over a damaged, desperate soul. A woman with fears, with secrets, with desires.
When Joe finds himself in an interview to join her security team as her driver, his instinct is to get away. But the woman behind Ava’s carefully focus-grouped image is even harder to walk away from. The angry needs tormenting her speak to something within Joe. Something empathetic, protective—and primal…
Besides, even a falling star can light up the darkest night.
Worldbuilding: NYC setting, music scene world.
Characters: Ada comes off as a bit of a spoiled brat in the beginning. She’s a bit devious and manipulative, but also smart and funny. I loved her Crack Jack project, lol. She’s very intriguing and pretty obviously fucked up, which is always a treat for me. Snark as defensive mechanism, self-deprecating humor – it rings some bells, which makes this a tinsy bit uncomfortable as a read, and then there’s Joe.
Joe aka Jack is a veteran and a driver slash bodyguard, who managed to get his life (relatively) together after recovering from his injuries. The PTSD part is tough for me to stomach, which is why I don’t generally read “survivor” stories – for my own good, I distance myself emotionally from these bits. It’s not entirely in his past either, he’s still struggling with things. It made me struggle with the story in some places, detaching myself a bit, I won’t lie. But he’s a good guy, a bit screwed up (understandably so) but charismatic in this subtle way.
They had fab chemistry and very hot and emotionally intense one on one. The depth of their connection is delicious, and there are some light D/s moments of smexeh lurve.
Plot: The superstar/bodyguard romance is super tense and bantery deliciousness, but also very nuanced and a bit scary. There were spots where I got a bit detached from the story (for reasons mentioned before), but Jeffe Kennedy pulled me back in every time.
Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, her/his POV. I SO love her snark.
Curb Appeal: Really cool cover, hooking blurb – luv the author, so impulsive buy material for my Romantic Suspense needs.
I recommend Shooting Star to fans of nuanced stories with war vets/survivors with PTSD and superstar/bodyguard trope fans, and also to fans of New Adult romance with traumatic pasts for the MCs.