Saved by the Rockstar
Michelle Pennington

[Rich and Famous Romance 1]

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Julie is a famous author who avoids the limelight. Her only interaction with the outside world is her weekly vlog where she connects with her fans. When she raves about the rock star who has inspired her writing, he actually responds. For the first time, she considers stepping out of the safe world she’s created for herself.

Ryland loves his music and performing, but not the fake women who come along with it. When his little sister shows him the vlog of her favorite author, he’s intrigued by how genuine and warm she is. As he pursues Julie, he’s forced to evaluate the direction of his life.

Ryland wants to meet in person, but as much as Julie wants to, it forces her to face the anxiety that has held her back all these years. With as much courage as she can muster, Julie steps into the world she’s been hiding from. Unfortunately, her anxiety isn’t the only threat to their happily-ever-after.


Here there be spoilers.

Rushed and suffering from the most unsuspenseful suspense ever, it had potential that sadly went unfulfilled.

Julie irked me from start to finish. She lives with crippling anxiety and panic attacks, which was sympathetic. What really bothered me, though, was her insistence that she was broken and incapable of a meaningful relationship without being a burden. Had she never heard of therapy? If she was in therapy, how was she not cognizant of negative thinking and doing what she could to combat it? If she wasn’t in therapy, how could she be that irresponsible? She obviously is under a doctor’s care, given her popping Prozac to make it through a flight (which is its own issue–Prozac is for prolonged use, not as-needed like Xanax or another benzodiazepine), so why isn’t that doctor making sure she has the tools needed to improve her anxiety? Obviously the story couldn’t have played out as it did were she actually addressing her anxiety, but the whole situation still made me dislike her.

Ryland was better in that he was actually a functioning human being. He was rather a romance stereotype, though: a famous rock star jaded by the world of random hook-ups who just wants to Be Loved™. He also came across as a bit juvenile sometimes, with his inability to focus whenever Julie was around.

The relationship between Julie and Ryland was basically insta-love and so rushed as to be ridiculous. They talk on the phone and are suddenly desperate to meet each other and, upon their first meeting, are tactile and codependent. Julie’s at Ryland’s home for less than 24 hours before he’s introducing her as his girlfriend, which has a minor waver of unspoken protest before being completely glossed over and continued as fact.

The supporting cast was interchangeable or too peripheral. Ryland’s mother and sister were introduced just long enough to serve their purpose before being forgotten, while others flitted in and out for no apparent reason. (Chuck, anyone?) Also: anyone who doesn’t peg Heath as Julie’s troll within three sentences of his introduction should be ashamed, as his attitude was as subtle as a blackjack to the head.

The story could easily have been at least half again as long–which is an odd thing for me to say, as I usually go in the other direction. With the extra length, though, things could have been developed more gradually, without reading like stepping stones.

There were a lot of misused homonyms–the biggest one for me was vocal chords (cords, not chords), but there are several others in my notes. In general, the writing wasn’t bad, but felt superficial with the rushed story.

The story had potential, but could’ve used a bit more elbow grease to bring it out. I would’ve loved to see the relationship between Julie and Ryland develop with more depth, but it wasn’t to be.