Since I went to see a real live Rock Star Tuesday night, I thought I'm make this my first review now that I'm back in the saddle.
Rise by Karina Bliss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I discovered Karina Bliss with What the Librarian Did, loved it, got all her backlist and have read every new book since then so it was a given that I would read Rise, her first single title and what seems to be the first of a series.
We first get to know Zander in Librarian and he's a first class, egotistical, selfish jerk. And he didn't really improve much in the next couple of books he appeared in. So I wasn't sure how I would react to him in Bliss and for at least the first half of the book it was not in a positive way and it was kind of tough going. It was Elizabeth, his biographer and his friend and eventually his lover that kept me reading a book when I didn't like the hero. Elizabeth makes for a wonderful heroine. She's funny, intelligent, grounded and more than capable of holing her own against the over-inflated ego that is Zander.
A bit about the book. Zander Freedman is the lead singer of a very popular Rock band named Rage. There decline is outlined in the book What the Librarian Did and is about Devin, Zander's younger brother and the lead bass. The band imploded when Devin collapsed onstage from over excess of the lifestyle that goes on with that kind of life. In Bliss, Zander has reformed the band with different musicians and is preparing to take Rage on a worldwide tour. In order to get even more publicity, he hires Elizabeth, a respected biographer of historical figures. She, of course, is reluctant as all get out since this kind of biography but Zander is a force to be reckoned with and is next to impossible to say no to with his charismatic ways.
So this is the story of Elizabeth trying to get the story from him. He dodges, cancels, only tells half truths and in general very difficult, but hard to stay angry at.
The book started out in my head as a 2, then as the book went along and Zander slowly became less of a prick, I upgraded to a 3, then a 3 1/2, then a 4 and ended as a 4 1/2. There was never any doubt though that Ms. Bliss lost no points as an author even if i wasnt feeling this one at the beginning and even as I was reading about this fairly dislikeable 'hero' I knew I'd be counting down until her next book in the series I enjoy her writing and stories that much.
So you did it Karina Bliss. You fully redeemed Zander Freedman for me so much to the point my throat was closing up as his was. You gave him the perfect partner in Elizabeth who could help with his oh so enjoyable transformation.
Because I was bored and fellow worker bees are still offering their help, I was checking out GoodReads for other reviews of this book and I stumbled upon a bit of news I hadn't really realized. If you sign up for Karina Bliss' newsletter, there is a little bonus section where Zander meets Elizabeth's parents. I did not know that. Now I do, I signed up and I'm about to go on lunch and while on lunch, read said bonus!