Spotlight is the second installment in Finley’s new Famous series and it’s a bit more low-key than its prequel Popstar. But it’s delicious and lovely and really hits the spot.
Synopsis: This is the story of a struggling musician, Lyric, who tries to make it in L.A.He’s also baby-sitting on the side and somehow manages to land a baby-sitting gig for the daughter of the former boyband member Ryder Kennedy by, sort of, insulting him the first time they meet. Ryder is attracted to Lyric from the start, but he’s wary of new people and doesn’t trust easily. Oh, and he’s not out. Lyric thinks his new boss is hot as hell, but crushing on the boss is a bad idea.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It’s a through-and through feel-good story that can only be described as utterly sweet. Ryder and Lyric are circling each other while Ryder’s daughter Kaylee is both what draws them together and keeps them apart. It all revolves around her really, as Ryder is doing his damndest to always put her first. As he should. So it’s a much more subdued lovestory in that sense than the story of Harley in Popstar. Despite both Ryder and Lyric being in their twenties, they’re both very mature with priorities most twenty-somethings usually don’t have.
I think it’s their maturity – however improbable – that made this read such a cozy, warm story. It was the slow way their affection for the other grew, and the understated way they showed it (not counting the hand-job in the studio, because that was the opposite of understated). Beacuse of that maturity, Kaylee could be that central part to the story that gave it such a family-vibe (again, if disregarding all the sexing). And I can totally see this book made into a sappy family movie (apart from… yeah, you get it).
However, there were two things I struggled with.
The first was that, at times, it was difficult to keep the voices of Ryder and Lyric apart. I really like stories written with alternating POVs. That way I get into the head of both love interests and can see the full picture. But somewhere in the middle of Spotlight I noticed that I kept having to go back and check whose chapter I was currently reading. I couldn’t distinguish the two viewpoints from each other because Ryder and Lyric were basically the same person, they were so alike. They were cute as hell, sure, but I think the story would have benefited from them having more diverse personalities.
The second (and last) thing that I couldn’t get over was Lyric’s name. Now, English is only my second language and I don’t live in an English speaking country. So I can’t imagine how Lyric is perceived by all you Americans, Brits and Australians. But to me, Lyric is absolutely a female name. A pretentious female name no less. It’s right up there with Apple, Cricket and Poppy Honey. I totally get that names are tricky and that there just aren’t any names that would work equally well in all different languages. I accept that. But when a name is applied – in my eyes – to the wrong gender. I have a hard time letting it go (read, I can’t let it go).
But both the POV confusion and Lyric’s name are just minor details that don’t affect my opinion of this book one bit. I still think it’s a great read with the coziest feel there is. Despite it being about celebrity popstars in L.A. It has such a homey and lovely feel to it all I don’t know how Finley managed it. It’s super sweet but still has super hot sexytimes. The best combo really. I absolutely recommend!