Review: Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James

Tuesday, August 5

Title:  Hillbilly Rockstar*
Author: Lorelei James
Series: Blacktop Cowboys series
Genre: contemporary erotic romance
Publisher: Berkley NAL      
Format: ebook, print, and audio
Date/Year: August 5, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

She’s protecting his body and guarding her heart....

Country music star Devin McClain understands there’s a downside to life in the public eye, but the laidback Wyoming cowboy has never imagined he’d attract crazed fans who would do anything to garner his attention. When veiled threats become real, he agrees to hire a discreet security detail. But Devin is shocked when that bodyguard is a hard-bodied woman. He’s even more stunned to be attracted to the steely-eyed stunner.

Former soldier Liberty Masterson’s return to civilian life has been fraught with challenges until she lands a job with a prestigious security firm. But when she agrees to provide personal protection during a cross-country tour, she doesn’t realize she has signed up to masquerade as the playboy star’s girlfriend. Though she’s more comfortable in combat boots than high heels, she has no choice but to appear to be the sexy groupie Devin prefers.

Living in close quarters causes the chemistry between them to ignite, and Devin realizes he wants to turn their charade of a romance into reality. Although Liberty surrenders to his every whim behind closed doors, she fears the sexy country star doesn’t see the real her; and Devin can’t help but worry when the tour ends that there might not be enough between them to build something that won’t fade away....

My Musings:

Although I’m a big fan of Lorelei James’s McKay books, my heart will always belong to her Blacktop Cowboys, and HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR, the latest entry in the series, reminds me exactly why they are among my very favorites.

We’ve already met our hero and heroine in previous stories, but even if this is your first visit to the friends and family in Muddy Gap, you’ll have no trouble diving in to this wonderful romance. Both Devin McClain and Liberty Masterson hail from the same small town in Wyoming, but had never crossed paths until the day she was assigned to be his personal bodyguard. Now he’s got to let this frustrating bossy woman in every aspect of his life while continuing to entertain people all over the country one night at a time. Liberty’s still adjusting to civilian life after multiple tours in Afghanistan, and it’s only by keeping men at arm’s length that she’s been able to deal with the loss of the only man she’d let herself care about. Being around the deliciously attractive Devin every waking moment is wearing her down, and the last thing she needs is to let this man distract her from her duty. But when they finally succumb to their mutual attraction, it’s only a matter of time before a moment of weakness could put both their hearts and lives in danger.

One of the things I love the most about Lorelei James’s Blacktop Cowboys series is how people you only meet briefly in previous books can still be memorable enough to rate a story of their own later in the series. Both Devin and Liberty have been in the background here and there, but they come into their own beautifully in HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR. We knew Devin’s success as a rich and famous singer hadn't changed how he behaved around his childhood friends in Muddy Gap, but that it had kept him from letting any woman get close enough to see the true man inside. That duality is all the more poignant here when we see how the loss of his younger sister had affected his relationship with his family and hindered his ability to love anyone else. But Liberty had just as much trouble trusting and loving for similar reasons after she saw how easy it was to lose a loved one in a war zone. So it was no surprise that it took the forced proximity of living on Devin’s tour bus and her task of keeping him safe before she could let herself give in to the irresistible sexual chemistry they shared. Yet what neither of them could know at that moment was that they had just each found the one person who could save them from their self-imposed solitude forever.

The best part of HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR was how we got to see both Devin and Liberty learn to let love back in, and that the choice they’d each made to keep their hearts safe was the last thing the people they’d lost would have ever wanted for them. There were several times where each had their tenuous hold on this new love tested, and each time they came back to try again was another mini-victory that made me cheer. Even the subplot of the possible threats against Devin’s life which had brought them together was kept at just the right level of suspense so that it worked to move the romance forward instead of forcing it into the background. By the time the tour is over and the threat neutralized, we know that Liberty and Devin will have to be together for the rest of their lives, even if it takes them a little more time to figure it out. And that’s when we get yet another perfectly orchestrated happy ending for two people that deserve every bit of it. HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR not only let me visit Muddy Gap for another sensuous and sentimental romance, it reminded me that you should never give up on love, and that’s just one of the many reasons why it’s among the best romances I've read in 2014.


Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level:  3.5

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