Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books (Simon + Schuster)
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: Vegas, PR, celebrities, enemies
Format read: ARC sent to me from S+S! (Thank you!!)
Summary: Wendy Mann has a lot riding on her current work assignment in Las Vegas. She’s working PR for an out of control celebrity, hanging on to her job by a thread, and forced to converse with her (deliciously hot) college nemesis Daniel, who works at a competing firm. When the two begrudgingly team up for the sake of their clients and their careers, things between them progress in a way no one would have predicted.
Jennifer Echols is like an old reliable friend when it comes to toe-curling chemistry and addicting storylines. (Cases in point: Such a Rush + Going Too Far.) And in her adult debut, Star Crossed, she has the opportunity to take all of that whoa-action and nearly heart-stopping tension and take it a step farther. In fact, a few delicious leaps farther.
Despite a slow start (involving confusing placement of NYC landmarks), Star Crossed featured all the details I love about Jennifer’s writing: humor, hotness, DRAMA, and fun. Wendy, our leading lady, is not only sexy but she is smart, ambitious, feisty, and funny. (There was so many moments where I chuckled at her thoughts.) Daniel is equally good-looking but also classy, successful, and he feels a strong loyalty to his family (the reason why he remains in a job he doesn’t love). The best part about these two is that they share a history. College competitors! But unbeknownst to Wendy, Daniel has always crushed on her when she was just trying to crush him. (Kind of reminds of how I felt about my husband in college.)
There’s nothing sexier than two people who are attracted to each other but their relationship is so off-limits. From the moment Wendy and Daniel collide in Vegas, the story moves full speed ahead and I had to stop myself from skipping pages to find out when they would share a scene next. Working at enemy PR agencies but representing a toxic ex-couple that just needs to stay out of trouble for a small amount of days, they decide their best bet is to work together… very closely.
The whole question of whether or not they can trust each other also fuels their chemistry. Big time.
Vegas serves at the perfect backdrop for all the mayhem supplied by Wendy and Daniel’s clients, two celebrities I was continually trying to place in our own pop culture world. (Loreli, singer/actress/friend to the papparazzi, so reminded me of a down and out Britney Spears.) It’s fun and glitzy but also has this dark undercurrent that works well with a mysterious plotline. Now this particular thread in the story wasn’t my favorite. In fact, it felt a little too predictable, too swarmy, and too Lifetime movie. But it worked for what it was (beware: things get creeptastic) and certainly moved things along and pushed our couple together.
I could say more, a lot more, but I’m going to end with a tid-bit that should say it all: I ignored by husband for 3 hours straight because I was so wrapped up in Wendy and Daniel. (I had promised I’d read for only an hour.) I did not, let me repeat, did not even take a moment to change out of my work clothes. (This is a huge deal.)
Star Crossed is a top example of a romance novel that actually takes into consideration the importance of story without primarily focusing on the hot and heavy. Seriously, Jen Echols knows what’s she’s doing. And I can’t wait to get more of it.