Jul 10, 2014

Before He Was Famous by Becky Wicks *Review*

One guy, one girl. One in the spotlight. One in the shadows.

Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?

The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.

From International Bestselling HarperCollins Author, Becky Wicks, comes a new adult romance that will leave you starstruck.

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.***

I received a copy of this story from NetGalley for an honest review for The Reading Room Blog.

Stories with a musical component are my Kindle kryptonite. “Oh one of your characters is a musician? You have some song lyrics in you? Why don’t you come meet my friend Kindle?” Some stories have been received with love and some…not so much. Before He Was Famous is a story I’m very happy I introduced my Kindle to. Well written characters with strong chemistry, an interesting rise to stardom plot, and quick pacing make Before He Was Famous a great read.

Noah Lockton’s childhood dream of becoming a famous musician are handed to him on a silver platter after winning America’s TV singing sensation “Show Us What U’ve Got.” The thrill of fame quickly loses a little of its shine when it’s coupled with instant pressure from the label, hounding by paparazzi, and overly aggressive fans. Fortunately Noah’s best friend Chloe is along for the ride and helps keep him grounded. But the more time the two spend together on the road, the harder it is for Noah to deny that the love songs he writes aren’t about his girlfriend; they’re about Chloe and what could have been.

In a moment of weakness Chloe Campbell let her relationship with her best friend Noah cross a line that years later she refuses to acknowledge. Noah is her rock and a romantic relationship would put the bond between the two in jeopardy. But as Chloe watches America fall in love with Noah, how can she keep denying that her heart has belonged to Noah all along?

What I Loved: Before He Was Famous is a wonderfully sweet love story that is also an incredibly easy read. Author Becky Wicks provides clearly defined POV’s for both Noah and Chloe that really established the value of the friendship between the pair and made it easy for me to invest in their potential future. Noah and Chloe’s characters are young and the confusion over changing the status of their relationship felt incredibly real. Embracing what you want as an adult versus what you know as a child can be scary, and author Wicks does a wonderful of portraying the characters struggle.

What I Didn’t Love: Noah and Chloe are incredibly likeable and it was easy to cheer for them. So I was just a little disappointed that the pair (SPOILER ALERT) finally got together at the very end of the book and there was almost no time spent on them as a couple. Author Wicks does offer a bonus chapter to those who review Before He Was Famous on Amazon or Goodreads. The bonus chapter is supposed to focus on Noah and Chloe getting some private time together in Bali so I may have to check that out and post an amendment to this review.

Favorite quotes:

“She tightens her arms around me. It’s as though she’s trying to squeeze her way right through to my heart. But I can tell when she pulls away and sighs in frustration that she knows she’ll never be able to.”

"I can still taste her lips… the way we kissed after all this time. I’m not imagining the fact that I have never felt anything remotely like that before with any other girl. It’s more than even wanting to fuck her; it’s like I want to crawl inside her brain and actually figure out what the hell is going on in there, so I can fix this.”

“Noah Lockton came back like the ocean waves on the beach. And this time, I’m letting him carry me away.”

Overall Before He Was Famous is an enjoyable and sweet rock and roll love story. I happily recommend it. Before He Was Famous is Book #1 in the Starstruck Series with Book #2 coming out this August. I’m definitely interested and look forward to seeing what comes next.

Happy reading.

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