I bought this book after first being introduced to Karina Bliss and her excellent writing style via a bookclub chat on Here Comes the Groom. I really wanted more of her intensely heartfelt contemporary romance, and it's a shame that I've put off reading this one for so long.
Devin has spent the last seventeen years of his live living the rock star dream--fame, fortune, unlimited sex, and lots of booze. But his health wasn't holding up so well, and he's started to feel a sense of ennui toward the lifestyle, so he quits the public life and moves to New Zealand to attend college. There he meets a delightfully buttoned-up librarian named Rachel, who has no clue who he is and doesn't really care. Still, there's an attraction between them that's unlike anything either of them is used to. But Rachel is hiding a seventeen year old secret of her own.
One of the things that Bliss is good at is taking a premise that sounds miserably cheesie and make them work, so that the reader is invested in the story and the characters. I didn't think I'd like the whole washed-up rocker plotline, but I actually found Devin very real and sympathetic. The banter between Devin and Rachel is witty and sexy, the chemistry great.
I was also pleasantly surprised that the secret adoption plot was not half as saccharine as you might think. Mark is introduced as a friend and protege for Devin. I liked that Devin took up an older brother sort of role so easily. Mark undergoes a remarkable amount of development in a small number of pages.
My one complaint for the book is that Rachel is a bit too uptight and judgemental for my taste. Too much the cliched librarian you'd expect her to be. She converses in random factoids, forces books on people, and wears conservative clothing. Quite dull and at times annoying, though she does have some great backbone to make up for it.
Overall, if your looking for a quick contemporary with a big emotional punch, this is a good choice. 4 stars.