Resurrection is the fourth installment in Karina Bliss’ Rock Solid series. This charming tale works well as a stand-alone novel, but the experience is definitely enriched by having read the previous books in the saga.
She used to be known as Stormy Hagen, model and professional girlfriend to rock stars. Now she’s Lily Stuart, nanny and early childhood education student. She’s left her double Ds (surgically removed) and smexy boy toys behind her, although unfortunately, they aren’t quite through with her. Her final fling with a b-list rocker was recorded and since the loser had left it on his phone – which has since been stolen – the video is now all over the internet. Knowing she has only hours before the paparazzi make the family she works for regret ever knowing her, Lily quits her job and calls gal pal Dimity. Dimity offers refuge in the oversized home she rented for the band she manages, T-Minus 6. Lily has no desire to re-enter the world of rock and roll – but she also has no choice. She literally has nowhere else to go.
Moving into the T-Minus 6 house essentially means moving in with guitarist Moss McFadden. The other two members of the band are with their wives/significant others, but the lease hasn’t been changed to reflect the new living situation. Moss is happy to have Lily stay – the place has plenty of room – but she feels guilty taking charity from a casual acquaintance. He has a solution for that. He lost his driver’s license. Not the way that most rock stars do – to an excess of drugs or booze – but simply by forgetting to renew it and then being in a fender bender after it had expired. He’s unable to use his kick ass sports car and has been dependent on rides from friends ever since. He feels like a toddler and the situation has been seriously cramping his style. He figures hiring Lily to work as his driver is the perfect way for her to keep her dignity and really help him out at the same time. It turns out to be a dangerous decision, though, because he’d had a crush on Lily back when she was Stormy, and this new, improved version tempts him far more than that overly polished version ever did. Stormy would have settled for sex and being seen in all the right places with him, but Lily? She’s honest, open, sees through his bullshit and understands the past that made him the guarded individual he is today. She’s not going to be satisfied with a superficial relationship and he’s convinced he’s too damaged to offer more.
I thoroughly enjoyed this acquaintance-to-friends-to-lovers’ romance. It perfectly captures that experience of kind of knowing someone, then getting to really know them and then having the relationship deepen. Living and working together enables Lily and Moss to learn each other’s secrets, dreams and hopes. Initially, the story is fairly low on drama and concentrates strictly on their budding friendship, which is exactly what it is. There may be some hidden longing in each of them, but the lustful thoughts are kept to a minimum. Seventy-percent into the book there has been exactly one heated kiss, given partly in consolation when the fallout from the sex tape follows Lily into what she considers a safe space. Moss backs away because a) he thinks he’s too flawed to truly love someone and b) he knows Lily has sexual hang-ups.
Which she does. It’s not just the tape currently burning up the internet, but the fact that she was raised to believe that her only value lay in her ability to attract men. Her desire to be something more is a core part of her new life and she’s not ready to fall into bed with yet another rock star. Especially one who stubbornly refuses to believe he is capable of giving or receiving love. Besides, that wouldn’t do much good for Moss’s career since his new band’s freshman album is about to released and he doesn’t need the negative publicity of being seen with someone infamous.
Moss had a messed-up childhood, part of which was spent fending for himself on the streets. He knows Lily’s past was only slightly better and appreciates how she gets his dark places. But while she came out of her own difficulties determinedly kind and loving, he did not. And he refuses to pull her into the shadows with him.
This relationship conundrum wasn’t looking like it would have a solution when, at about the fifty percent mark, the life-changing situation mentioned in the back blurb happens. It plays to all of Lily’s strengths, enabling her to show Moss that he can’t live without her and that he is, after all, capable of being a loving human being. It’s a bit silly but it is also awfully sweet, so works fine in a romance.
I also really appreciated that the relationship takes plenty of time to blossom beyond friendship. Both these characters needed that rock-solid-friend base for any relationship to succeed outside the bedroom, so the time spent on creating that was time well spent.
Rock star romances tend to be complete fantasies and Resurrection is no exception, but that didn’t keep me from finding it a quick, delightful, entertaining read. I think fans of the series will love this novel.