Type: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
My Copy: Sent
Johnny Trouble. He’s a commanding presence in leather and tattoos, both on stage and off. He’s had more than his fair share of groupies and lovers, but it’s time for a change. He reconnects with the woman whose memory has driven him crazy since high school. Liz. She’s a quiet, shy romance author who likes her comfort zones. But when Johnny comes back into her life, Liz’s lust-filled private fantasies shift into overdrive and she nervously asks him to fulfill them. Just one weekend is all she proposes, but the sparks flying between them aren’t temporary. She’s the particular brand of trouble he wants in his bed, bent over or crawling all over him. Forever.
I really wanted to love this book. The story of a rock star ladies man and the shy introvert he can’t get off of his mind is right up my alley. Johnny and Liz were friends as teenagers and then went their separate ways after high school. He left to follow his dream of making it in the music business, traveling the world performing, recording and living his life in the spotlight. Liz is exactly the opposite. She chooses to live a normal, safe life as a romance author, giving her characters the happy ever after ending that has eluded her. Fast forward twenty years to their high school reunion when attraction sparks to life between Liz and Johnny.
Liz is a heroine I could easily identify with. She is quiet and shy, preferring to live her life out of the spotlight. She has always liked (and lusted after) Johnny and his rock star persona has fueled more than a few of her sexual fantasies. Until they reconnected at their reunion, she always figured he was way out of her league. That chance meeting and the time they’ve spent together since have given her the confidence to finally act on her attraction. She knows her friendship with Johnny is solid, and fed up with her staid, boring life, she decides to proposition him. Instead of meeting up and spending time platonically as they’ve done for the last five years, she offers to spend a weekend with him – in her bed.
Johnny is a smart, grounded, sexy rock star hero. He is gorgeous, talented and famous, but at 43, he knows he wants more from life – more that he knows Liz can give him. She is the smart and sexy girl next door that he longs to have not only in his bed but in his life. When she approaches him with her desire for him to make her sexual dreams come true, he pounces on it, hoping to seduce her into involving him in all aspects of her life. He knows she is a private person who would be a fish out of water in his world, so he makes plans to change his life a little, getting him – and keeping her – out of the spotlight. When Liz realizes that Johnny not only desires her but he wants to have a relationship with her, she is elated but very apprehensive. She has a hard time picturing their two very different lives blending, and she is reluctant to change the status quo, afraid she will lose the friendship with him that she cherishes.
I enjoyed the premise of this book very much. I like friends to lovers stories, and having a rock star fall in love with a bookworm was just icing on the cake. The writing fell a little flat for me. I wanted to feel more of what Johnny and Liz were feeling. When they hook up at the hotel for their sexy interlude, I was under the impression that them being a “them” was all new. Liz was incredibly nervous and uncomfortable with Johnny. As the book goes on, though, you learn that they had been spending time together for years, just not sexually. Their sex scenes were hot, but very repetitive. Liz and Johnny were 40-somethings and yet sometimes they came across as much younger. Likeable characters and a good storyline weren’t quite enough to allow this book to live up to my expectations.
I give Trouble in the Making by Lissa Matthews 3.5 stars