May Contain Spoilers
Ahhhhhh – where to begin? I am of two minds about In Bloom. Part of me loved the whole fantasy of this read – young woman meets rock star and gets to live the dream of being his girlfriend. Part of me didn’t like all that her new relationship entailed. While many women would faint at the thought of being pampered and getting celebrity make-overs, complete with designer gowns and shoes, the thought of needing five dedicated individuals to help get me ready for a night on the town made me kind of nauseous. So while I could buy into the fantasy of living a glamorous life, I was left thinking – Nah, that just would not be fore me!
In Bloom is a fun read with a soap opera feel. Olivia has arrived in LA, ready to make her mark on the world. Her flight to follow her dreams began after catching her boyfriend cheating on her. Loading her belongings into her old VW, she discovers that her job in CA has evaporated, and she’s desperately seeking a new opportunity so she doesn’t have to run back to Pittsburgh with her tail between her legs. A chance encounter with Berkeley Dalton, lead singer for a popular rock band, sends her world spinning off its axis. Another meeting has the gorgeous singer sending her decidedly mixed signals. Should Olivia take a chance at love in the limelight?
My biggest reservation about In Bloom is the pacing. It takes forever for things to get started with Berkeley, and the book felt long, especially at the beginning. I’m not saying that I was bored, just that the book wasn’t what I was expecting. For about 50 percent of the story, it’s more about Olivia’s new friends at her apartment building and her new job at Jonquil, a lingerie company. Her friends convince her to let them transform her into the new It-girl, and they basically gate crash a party thrown by Elton John. While dressing in clothing worth much more than her car, Olivia pretends to be someone she’s not – only to run into Berkeley again!
Now, their first meeting left Olivia tongue-tied and stammering, saying the first inane thing that popped into her head. She is mortified by that first meeting, and is afraid to running into Berkeley again and reliving the embarrassment. I found these first few horribly awkward encounters amusing, and Olivia’s lack of social flair made me like her even more. She is so worried about making a good impression, that of course she doesn’t exactly come across as a woman of composure.
Once they do get together, Olivia has to deal with all kinds of other drama – Berkeley’s zealous fans, his jealous ex, life under a microscope. It’s overwhelming, and interferes with her new career and distances her from her new friends. I have to admit, there were times that I wondered if it was worth all of the emotional upheaval. Being stalked by the press would be enough of a deal breaker for me.
While I enjoyed In Bloom, it wasn’t what I was expecting, and it felt more like chick-lit than a straight-up romance. I enjoyed reading along as Olivia gained confidence in her new life, taking on a more important role with her new employer, but, darn it, I wanted rock stars and road trips, and I don’t feel that that’s what I got.
Review copy provided by publisher
My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Free.
I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me.?
How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it’s all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…?