Title: Runaway Rock Star (A States of Love Novella)
Author: C.J. Anthony
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 87 Pages
At a Glance: Another enjoyable read from the States of Love series. I was glad I jumped on for the little Ohio road trip! I think you guys will like it, too.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Just hours before Brandon Harris is supposed to head home to Cincinnati for a Labor Day family picnic, his boss at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame forces him into giving a private tour to bratty British pop-rock star Lucas Black. Before he knows it, he finds himself swept up in a whirlwind road trip through Ohio with Lucas riding shotgun.
Lucas grabs hold of this wild opportunity to run away—even for a few precious days—from the gilded cage that is his carefully managed life. He’s just looking for a little fun and freedom as a normal person. From roller coasters to a college football game, Brandon begins to see the real Lucas Black buried under the famous persona. But by the time he and Lucas discover their mutual attraction, they only have one night left before both of them have to go back to their real lives. The fun is over…unless Lucas can run away for real this time and keep their adventure going.
Review: Road trip books are always so fun. And, when there’s a bromance of some kind involved, they’re even better! I can’t think of a single road trip book I’ve read that I haven’t enjoyed on some level, and CJ Anthony’s Runaway Rock Star is no exception. This installment of the States of Love series takes us through Ohio, and shows us what might happen when you pair an earnest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum employee with a fed-up rock star with an agenda.
When Brandon gets stuck giving Lucas Black—once described by his father, then manager, as ‘the British Justin Bieber’—a private tour of the museum, he is definitely less than thrilled. He was supposed to be headed home for the holiday weekend, and his family’s annual Labor Day picnic, but instead is dealing with a somewhat pissy popstar with an attitude. After his initially unenthusiastic response, Lucas starts to turn it around, though, and actually engages with Brandon and gets into some of the exhibits. I loved even the tiny glimpses we got to see of the genuine Lucas—not the unhappy Lucas who has been pigeonholed by his father and the record label, and forced to continue creating music he hates.
The real Lucas slowly emerges during the drive to Cincinnati with Brandon. The ride he fibbed his way into, and then completely hijacked. That’s right…Brandon thinks he’s simply giving Lucas a ride to his next gig, that they’re just taking the I-71 on the boring four-hour drive to Cincy. But, Lucas has something entirely different in mind. In fact, he’s not being straight up with Brandon at all. He didn’t just want a break from his tour bus—he’s actually going AWOL. And so, the road trip begins. From Cedar Point to Buckeye Country, and finally to Brandon’s family’s home, the barriers gradually come down, and Lucas opens up to Brandon about who he really is and who he wants to be.
I liked these guys a lot. Throughout the weekend, as they discuss music and their lives, it becomes apparent that their tastes are very similar, and that they may have a good basis for a real connection. As is sometimes a problem with books this length, however, I ended up feeling like we needed more. The romance was extremely slow to get going. I’m glad it wasn’t rushed like so many feel they need to do in novellas; I’d rather the slow burn than an unrealistic insta-love situation. But, I would have liked an inkling of something to have begun before the seventy-five percent mark.
What I think I would have really liked is about twenty-five more pages. That way we could have had a little more of Brandon and Lucas together, and could have avoided that crazy abrupt ending! I’m talking abrupt, y’all. It was like *poof*! It’s over. That being said, I was still feeling them as a couple at the end. They were a good fit.
So, another enjoyable read from the States of Love series. I was glad I jumped on for the little Ohio road trip! I think you guys will like it, too.
You can buy Runaway Rock Star here: