by Julia London

August 2007
ISBN: 978-0-425-21564-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

I’m a big fan of Julia London’s stories. Her characters, plots and settings usually always engage me. Unfortunately, this is not the case with American Diva. Suffice it to say that this is a major letdown to the Thrillseekers Anonymous series.

Jack Price’s dream is to own his own flight school and hangar. He is working hard at gaining the funds for the project, but not even Thrillseekers Anonymous, a job he loves and which definitely pays well, doesn’t quite provide the money he needs. That’s why he agrees to take over security duty for pop singer and current “It” girl, Audrey LaRue’s tour. It doesn’t hurt that he also has a small crush on the beautiful and talented singer. He figures security detail will be an easy gig. Not so.

Audrey and her entourage are demanding, needy, and hard to put up with. Even Audrey has her moments when she becomes the Diva the press associates with her. But Jack is starting to see a softer side to Audrey and he likes it a lot. Too bad he also has to put up with Audrey’s boyfriend and manager, Lucas. Controlling, domineering and riding her coattails to success, Lucas is a pain in the behind and Jack just wants to punch him. Then there is Audrey’s stalker. Jack has to protect Audrey, safeguard both her talent and her heart, and in the process, hope he can stop himself from falling fast for this pop diva.

This book could have been so much better if only Audrey was a different character entirely. She is simultaneously whiny, needy, demanding, a push over, and a total mess. She has no idea what is going on with her business dealings and her chaotic lifestyle infiltrates every page of this story. She takes verbal abuse from Lucas with no complaints and meekly accepts his decisions. The final nail in her coffin, and this story’s coffin, was that she stood up for herself far, far too late in the story. By then, I had no sympathy for her because she had accepted these behaviors for too long.

I don’t know how Jack fell in love with Audrey because I felt at times pity for her and the desire to kick her. Jack was an okay character. He had his problems too but nothing in comparison to Audrey. American Diva was painful to read and a letdown for a series that has been enjoyable and dynamic up until this point.

I will still give Ms. London another chance, but readers, beware. American Diva is a mess of characterization and cruelty.

Reviewed in July 2007 by Sarah.

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