What happens when the most successful boy band on the planet breaks up? How about 20,000 fans screaming my name. But the price of fame comes with an increased risk to my safety. I’ve been avoiding the dreaded B word for as long as I can, but after a close call with a rambunctious fan, I can’t do it anymore. It’s time to give in. I need to hire a full-time bodyguard. And when he shows up, he not only screams badass, he’s another B word I try to stay away from: boyfriend material.
Protecting people is not what my company usually does, but the boss knows I need money, and the pop star is offering an insane amount to live with him and make sure no more crazy fans break into his house. I’m doing it for the money and nothing else. He may be the prettiest man I’ve ever seen, and I may feel sorry for the celebrity life he’s been forced into since he was a teenager, but that doesn’t mean anything. Just because he fascinates me, that doesn’t mean I like him. It doesn’t.
Professionalism. I’m gonna live it. Breathe it. Enforce it… Mostly.
Rating: Narration – A-; Content – B-
If you’ve read or listened to Hat Trick, the final book in Eden Finley’s Fake Boyfriend series, you’ve already met Harley Valentine, one of the two protagonists in Pop Star, book one in her new Famous series. Harley was a member of Eleven, the most successful, most famous boy-band on the planet, and he came across as a selfish, spoiled brat, especially when he (in effect) blackmailed his former lover Jet Jackson – one of the leads in Hat Trick – to re-join the worldwide tour Jet had quit through burnout and a need to separate himself from Harley because their relationship was so unhealthy. Harley is gay, but isn’t out and can’t come out – his contract has him nicely hamstrung on that score – and even though Jet had broken up with him several times, their proximity on tour meant that they often fell into bed again – and Jet had had enough of being Harley’s dirty little secret.
By the time Pop Star opens, Eleven has split and its five members have gone their separate ways. Harley has embarked on a – so far – successful solo career, and is as famous and widely-recognised as ever. It’s clear, however, that he’s not exactly happy; if he’s not touring or recording or doing PR for concerts and albums, he’s holed up writing in his LA home, where he lives with his fiancée Evah – although as was made clear in Hat Trick, their relationship was manufactured by the record label in order to squash any rumours that Harley might be gay. To anyone on the outside looking in, Harley has it all – a beautiful fiancée, a great career, public acclaim and more money than he knows what to do with… but from the inside, it’s a lonely life. Harley doesn’t have any real friends, he’s feeling stifled creatively and he can’t set a foot outside his home without being hounded by paparazzi. And then things take a turn for the worse when he returns home exhausted after a concert and meet-n-greet to discover a young man waiting in his kitchen – a young man he doesn’t know who is clearly fixated on him and who creeps him out. Things are – thankfully – safely resolved, but having turned down the idea of hiring a round-the-clock bodyguard on several occasions because he dislikes the idea of having a permanent shadow even in his personal space, Harley is now forced to concede that it’s probably a good idea after all.
You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals