Published by WriteGirlProblems Press on July 7th 2017
Genres: African American Romance, Contemporary Women
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New hire Shauna McIntyre joins The Charisma Group, a New York-based talent agency specializing in social media management. Even though she has never been much of a fangirl in her personal life, Shauna expects that her signature professional task is managing the online fandom of her famous clientele. What she didn’t expect was to fall in love with one of them.
R&B sensation King Smith has made a career of singing soulful tunes and strumming his guitar for his adoring fans. King also harbors a secret: he’s in recovery for sex addiction. When King lays eyes on Shauna, the crooner with a craving for no-strings lust decides to change his life in an effort to hold on to her.
Once King is tempted by the admiration of a persistent online fan, Shauna has a decision to make. When professional lines are blurred and relentless love takes hold, will Shauna sacrifice her rising career for an affair with a famous man with a seemingly insatiable thirst for his fandom?
Most people who follow me know by now that I dabble in fanfiction. My focus was quite narrow– I only ever wrote about one member of one boyband, but those years writing fanfiction taught me so much, mostly that you have to be ‘in love’ with your characters, specifically your male hero, to bring them across as lifelike as possible on the page.
I’m not sure what Eliza’s writing background is, but MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
I am a total sucker for a music/musician romance and I could. not. stop. drooling. over the cover to this book (I MEAN LOOK AT IT) so when she sent a call out to people interested in reading the book for review, I slid into those DM’s to shoot my shot.
See, Twitter can be used for good!
I was immediately hooked on King, a musician who wields magic with Mercy, his guitar (I keep calling it an ax, for no good reason, because people haven’t called guitars that in 20 years, but whatever). He is the modern day Marvin Gaye who is most comfortable, his most musically magical self on stage. But King has a problem and his problem is an addiction to sex– and you know how well sexual problems and rich musicians go together! Read: Not at all.
Especially not when he’s just become captivated by Shauna, a woman he happens to meet in a sandwich shop, who hasn’t spoken to long enough to say hello and buy her sandwich for her. But wait, there’s more! Shauna, it turns out, works for a social media company that’s going to be handling his online presence. So King (sex addict, member?) and Shauna (his account manager, ooh wee) are going to be working together closely.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?!
So, when I used to write fanfic, I always thought about the fan experience. I mean, that’s the fave trope in fanfic, right? Girl meets, boy; boy happens to be uber rich and famous but girl like totally doesn’t care about his riches and his fame. Don’t pick me up in your Maybach, no I don’t want to stay the night in your mansion, Gah I’M NOT A GROUPIE! LOOVVEEE MEEEE. I’ve read it so many times I could recite the stories in my sleep.
But for real, who among us is going to turn down the opportunity to date the one we idolize? Not many. So, Shauna acts like 99% of us would and goes for the gusto with King.
Until he reveals to her his secret struggle.
And a life loving King Smith has become more than dreaming about private jet rides and exclusive resorts and meeting him on tour stops. It’s become a struggle, a worry, a burden she doesn’t want, and a bout of jealousy knowing there is at least one temptation that King can’t resist.
The Follow has an amazing cast of characters that are so super real and down to earth- Chase and Lena, Shauna’s boss and coworker become her lifeline, her steadying hand and voice of reason, because she super needs it.
But I feel like Calla and Lamar totally stole the show– I won’t spoil too much, but picture the most pretentiously woke, ridiculously young and stupid rich people you know and kick it up a notch. The twist at the end with Calla was so perfect but so unexpected, my jaw just hung open the entire time I read it.
Ultimately, romances are about love conquering all, about finding THE ONE and helping each other through struggle, about knowing that there is at least one person on the planet that gets you, that knows you that loves you exactly the way you are.
But above all that, this book reminds us that love without trust is a burden; it’s pain. What’s the sense in giving your heart over to love if you can’t trust the the one you love to take care of it? Again, no spoilers, but… Eliza brings Shauna and King together in a satisfying, healing, supportive way. Perfect story told perfectly.
Grab this one when it drops on July 7th and put it in your face!
Many thanks to author Eliza David for granting me an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.