What I am about to present to you is a singularly phenomenal reading experience within the romance genre. At least for me. Don’t worry, I will provide you with many arguments for this statement.
Managed written by Kristen Callihan is a second book in the VIP series. Even though Idol, the first book, is similarly excellent, this one overshadowed it immensely for me. We follow a story of Gabriel Scott, a manager for one of the biggest rock bands in the world at the moment – Kill John, and Sophie Darling, an ex-paparazzo. Their relationship is quite unique in my opinion. Not because the trope of a damaged and guarded male protagonist and a female protagonist with a dark past. The trope is quite common within the romance genre. However, the author’s capability to create a believable plot, characters with complex emotions and dialogue I can actually imagine people having in real life excited me immensely.
I didn’t really have great expectations delving into this book. Not because I had any reason to think I would dislike this book, but simply because in my experience I never enjoyed reading romance for the three reasons I mentioned previously. After only a few pages I was hooked. The witty comments for the female protagonist, Sophie, who surprisingly had a developed personality and depth really pulled me in. Similarly, the male protagonist, Gabriel, was entertaining and had a great sense of humour. They were in that aspect quite similar, but at the same time dissimilar. The author managed to create two characters who shared a sense of humour while at the same time keeping their personalities distinct.
“Jesus,” I blurt out, lifting my hand as if to shield my eyes. “It’s like looking into the sun.” “What?” he snaps, those laser-bright eyes narrowing. Oh, this will be fun. “Just stop, will you?” I squint at him. “You’re too hot. It’s too much to take.” This is true, though I’d never have the guts to say so in normal circumstances. “Are you quite well?” he intones, as if he thinks the opposite. “No, you’ve nearly rendered me blind.” I flap a hand. “Do you have an off switch? Maybe put it on low?”
Their interactions were almost always amusing since they were equally intelligent and had a voice of their own. There were moments when I chuckled. Like out loud. I actually giggled.
The protagonists’ dynamic was extraordinarily natural. They were so damn cute I often caught myself smiling.
„You hate weakness.“
„Yes. Only I believe you are my greatest weakness now, chatty girl.“
„You hate me?“
„ I think… adore would be a better word.“
I’m not sure if I should even speak of Gabriel Scott now. He is just so breathtaking. A „bit“ snobbish, always well-dressed, efficient and devilishly beautiful.
“This man could sell boats to desert dwellers just by standing there, looking pretty.”
Sophie Darling is equally enchanting. With her undeniable intellect, humour and physical beauty she isn’t even a bit overshadowed by Gabriel.
The tropes… oh the tropes… all my favourite ones. The bed-sharing, the tortured and emotionally closed up protagonists, the dark moments in a protagonist’s past she is now ashamed of… need I continue? Having said that, I must also say that Kristen Callihan has spoiled me with this book. She took my favourite tropes and she twisted them in a way I have never seen before. I will not list how she managed that (yes, I know, I really pushed it with this pun). The main reason is I want you to experience it yourself. I would do the author a great disservice by spoiling the book now. You must forgive me for it, however, I believe you should also thank me in advance for pushing you to read this book.
Besides everything I’ve already said there is one more thing I simply cannot not say. The fact that Kristen Callihan managed to put irresistible rock stars in a book and make them side-characters. I loved all of them and I, of course, can’t wait to read books about them, but reading this book I didn’t once start thirsting over one of them!
„This is highly irregular…“ I quote Gabriel Scott as I am now rating this book five stars. I have never before in my many years reading, rated a romance book five stars! Kristen Callihan, you absolute madwoman, I think you just became my favourite romance author!