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Can you say Oh my god oh my god oh my god!!!
Cause that’s what I just did (as well as a rather ridiculous little dance) when I discovered USA Today’s Happy Ever After romance book reviews section gave Blackthorne a Recommended Read.
Blackthorne by Lexxie Couper
We first met Josh Blackthorne as a teenager in Love’s Rhythm, his father and rock ‘n’ roll superstar Nick Blackthorne’s story. Love’s Rhythm was well received, and eight books later Josh is all grown up and we are treated to his story in Blackthorne, the Heart of Fame series finale.
Nick has long since stepped out of the limelight, and his exceptionally talented son has followed in his footsteps. Thanks to Josh’s small-town origins and strong parental guidance, he has his feet firmly planted on the ground and hasn’t let the fame go to his head. In an effort to throw a crazy, obsessed stalker off his scent, Josh listens to advice and leaves New York and rendezvous with his best friend and soccer superstar Rhys in Australia, their home turf.
Catlin Reynolds hasn’t built her Sydney club Chaos Room to be the hottest nightspot in the city by being a push-over. She is unimpressed with celebrity and believes them arrogant and self-obsessed. Josh Blackthorn, however, proves to be the polar opposite of the stereotype and difficult to resist.
A smile played with her lips. “I’m just going to get my bag.”
She sniggered as she rounded the end of the bar and walked towards the private door on the other side of the dance floor. “What kind of rock star says okey dokey?”
He preened. “This kind.”
Her laugh wafted back to him, full of relaxed life and humour.
It was her laugh that made Josh move. Made him propel himself from the bar and follow her across the polished wooden floor, despite the dull ache in his knee and her assurances she didn’t want him. Her laugh and the simmering passion for life he heard in it. It was the first time he’d heard such intoxicating emotion from her and it stirred him.
“Well, okey dokey then,” she tossed over her shoulder, unaware he was close. “Try not to be too famous and doable while I’m—”
He snared her wrist in a loose grip and tugged her to face him. He couldn’t do anything else.
He had to kiss her. Now.
“What the—” she began, a surprised smile curling her lips.
Lips he claimed with his own.
Josh is quite smitten with Caitlin and feels defeated when he discovers she has a fiancé, a doctor who went missing while working overseas with Doctors Without Borders. Matt has been missing for eight months and is presumed dead, and Caitlin is riddled with guilt at the thought of moving on for a variety of reasons. Josh respects Caitlin’s wish to not become involved. He does, however, institute a plan to help that completely wins her heart (and mine).
Blackthorne is a moving story about coping with grief after a devastating loss, altruism and new love. I’ve read many of Lexxie Couper’s books over the years and have watched her writing mature. I have to say: She ends the Heart of Fame series on a high note. Blackthorne is one of her best. Josh’s warmth and sensitivity shine through, and Couper’s signature sarcastic sense of humor provides a laugh a minute even when the characters struggle through some very rough times (have the box of tissues handy). As a bonus, Caitlin’s personable three-legged pet lizard named Fluffy is given a special role in the story. Yep, a three-legged lizard! lol
Couper has a knack for writing memorable secondary characters who shout out for their own story. Josh’s “best mate” and ladies man Rhys McDowell certainly makes his presence known. 😉
Blackthorne can easily be enjoyed as a stand-alone, as it focuses on Josh and Caitlin. That said, if you like rock-star romances, the Heart of Fame series is well worth a try.
Oh wow. How cool is that!!