Aug 5 2014 3:30pm

First Look: Lorelei James’s Hillbilly Rockstar (August 5, 2014)

Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei JamesLorelei James
Hillbilly Rockstar (Blacktop Cowboys)
NAL Trade / August 5, 2014 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital

She’s protecting his body and guarding her heart....

Country music star Devin McClain understands there’s a downside to life in the public eye, but the laidback Wyoming cowboy has never imagined he’d attract crazed fans who would do anything to garner his attention. When veiled threats become real, he agrees to hire a discreet security detail. But Devin is shocked when that bodyguard is a hard-bodied woman. He’s even more stunned to be attracted to the steely-eyed stunner.

Former soldier Liberty Masterson’s return to civilian life has been fraught with challenges until she lands a job with a prestigious security firm. But when she agrees to provide personal protection during a cross-country tour, she doesn’t realize she has signed up to masquerade as the playboy star’s girlfriend. Though she’s more comfortable in combat boots than high heels, she has no choice but to appear to be the sexy groupie Devin prefers.

Living in close quarters causes the chemistry between them to ignite, and Devin realizes he wants to turn their charade of a romance into reality. Although Liberty surrenders to his every whim behind closed doors, she fears the sexy country star doesn’t see the real her; and Devin can’t help but worry when the tour ends that there might not be enough between them to build something that won’t fade away....

With Hillbilly Rockstar, Lorelei James doesn't just return to her Blacktop Cowboys series, she takes it on the blacktop in a new way, with country rockstar Devin McClain, and in doing so, creates an erotic western/rockstar romance hybrid that features the best of both genres. Because although book six steps outside of the ranching setting of Muddy Gap, Wyoming, it still fits right in with the heart, family, and sense of community we've come to love about this series that's light-hearted and fun yet manages to pack a punch. And all this takes place on the Heroes and Heartbreakers tour!

Devin McClain is learning all about the ugly side of fame. As his stardom builds, so do increasing threats against him from rabid fans, overexcited zealots, and a whole lot of crazies. When his label and touring promotion company decide he needs to up his personal security and acquire a bodyguard, Devin scoffs. When he finds out it's a woman who doesn't look like much and certainly isn't the hottie he's usually surrounded by, he's up in arms. As for Liberty, she can more than hold her own. A rocky home life and years in the army on multiple tours of duty have given her a thick skin. Soon enough, the two of them come to terms with the fact they'll be spending four months side-by-side on the road.

The pairing may seem unconventional, but in Devin, the small-town cowboy he once was shines through frequently, lending a necessary likeability. He is a hero, not a puffed up musician. And Liberty's bodyguard status doesn't make her masculine, but fierce. Her tough side as a soldier is tempered with an unexpected vulnerability. Devin and Liberty are more similar than it might appear at first meeting; before long, their close quarters has Devin eating his original words that Liberty isn't the type of woman he's used to, much less attracted to, and they work out an arrangement that suits them just fine.

“Outside this bus you are in charge. I respect that. I respect you. But when we're alone like this? With the world shut out and the bedroom door closed? It's all me.” He brushed his mouth across her temptingly full lips.

Those silvery blue eyes of hers didn't waver. “So this isn't a onetime thing between us? We're not scratching the itch, satisfying our curiosity and moving on?”

“Fuck no. I want this for the long haul.”

“You mean for the duration of the tour.”

Sugar, I'd have you running scared for sure if you figured out how much more I want from you. “That too.”

“Then you need to understand that if you're with me, there's no one else for you. No groupies. Not a single one. Yes, fan meet and greets are part of your job, but having those fans blowing you isn't part of it. You want your cock in someone's mouth? It'll be in mine. Ditto for this monster dick of yours. Giving you a fast, hard fuck before or after the show to take that edge off? That right belongs to me. Only to me.”

Sexy as hell, seeing the determination shining in her eyes. “Agreed.” Devin kissed her again, letting his lips linger on hers. “I want this one-on-one more than you know.”

They come back to their mutually beneficial, agreed-upon situation several times: in public, she takes the lead when it comes to work she takes very seriously as Devin's bodyguard, but when they step on that tour bus—or anywhere away from prying eyes and behind closed doors—all bets are off. At the same time, Liberty is an especially sexually uninhibited heroine, a freeing quality, and just one of many that balances the character so well. She's up for anything, but happy to hand over the reins, and the many locations and surfaces where they capitalize on life on the road spices things up very well.

“What the hell do you think you're doing?”

“Takin' you back where you belong. In my goddamn room and in my goddamn bed.”

“Let me go, you fucking psycho!”

“Not a chance.”

Liberty tried to jerk away from him, but he held fast.

When the security guards started toward him, he said, “She's fine. Me'n her are havin' a private chat in my room.”

When his bandmates started to open their doors to check out the action, Devin yelled, “Go back in your rooms. This doesn't concern any of you, so butt the fuck out.”

“You are such an ass,” she hissed.

“Yep. And, sweetheart, I'm just getting started.” He unlocked the suite and didn't break his stride until he'd brought her into his bedroom and kicked the door shut. He crowded her against the post on the four-poster bed. “Remember our deal?”

Her eyes said she remembered, but her mouth remained closed.

“Determined to show me that stubborn side, are you? Fine. I'll remind you of our deal. In public, you're in charge. In private, I am.”

Devin's bandmates also come alive and revisiting Harper and Bran's cozy little homestead is always a treat. There's even a cryptic suspense storyline that keeps cropping up to remind us that the whole set-up of bodyguard and superstar isn't frivolous and instead adds to the intensity, not only of Devin's safety but how they really feel about each other besides just the job. But the greater issue between Liberty and Devin always lurks in the wings: it's a temporary situation between two people who could never last day in and day out in the real world. Yet sometimes when a blurry, clouded future is brought into clarity and suddenly isn't what you pictured, those are the detours that make life worth it.

Learn more about or order a copy of Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James, available now:

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Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.

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