Julian Wheaton views the world through a kaleidoscope of synesthesia, seeing the colors of every sound he hears. His life as an iconic rock guitarist was a stressful psychedelic trip that nearly destroyed him. Now he's abandoned the rock 'n' roll lifestyle for the peaceful sanctity of his recording studio, but when fiery Cleo Compton comes to work for him, she brings chaos with her.
Cleo Compton has had her flings with rockstars - and it's left her wary and bruised. Julian may have those sexy bedroom eyes and drool-worthy tattoos, but Cleo is determined to keep things strictly professional - until Julian turns out to be every dream she's ever chased. When he risks it all to hit the road with a band again, Cleo fears he'll return as the one thing she can no longer abide - a rockstar.
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Color can be painful
Julian Wheaton and Cleo Compton have a history that includes his sister as her best friend. Usually when they are in the same place, Cleo ends up falling or tripping or harming someone.
Julian is also the owner of a recording studio. He gives her a job and a place to live above the studio after her world implodes. She does not want to live with her parents and has run low on options.
Cleo is dating a man her parents approve of. This is before they meet Julian, of course. His sister and her best friend is also dating a rock star. One that Julian does not approve of.
Julian has secrets that he is not wanting to share. One is his health with the synesthesia. Second, would be his history with a band when he was young. The past for him is very dangerous and repeating it could be his greatest mistake. When he realizes who he has fallen for, he may be willing to make that mistake anyway.
Cleo wants to tell him everything. She cannot help that she is attracted to musicians who play guitar. She has some secrets from the past that could have consequences too. What will she do if there is a choice between a man from her past and Julian?
This story makes me think. It has amazing character development and some real fun with banter and sex. I was impressed with the story as a whole. I do not say that often. This book makes you feel for both characters and root them on. While giving you a dose of what would happen in real life at the same time.
***This ARC copy was given free from Netgalley.com and its publisher, for review purposes. My honest opinion does not reflect Netgalley, nor its affiliates.
A Seriously Impressive Debut Novel. Stand-Alone. No Cliffs.
** Provided by Author in Exchange for an Honest Review **
Judging a Book by it's Cover --
Catches the eye. Clever concept. Synopsis sounds interesting. I'm normally not an avid fan of Rockstar romances, but as a favor to a friend, I agreed to read this one. The fact that he sees sound as colors is what mostly intrigued me.
Looking Deeper --
Third-person POV. Imagine going through life hearing the world's sounds in 3D HD living color. From the effervescent bubbly laughs to the annoying buzz of a fluorescent tube light, everything coming at you in color... now imagine the crippling effects it would have on a musical prodigy. That's Julian's lot in life.
Cleo's hopelessly attracted to musicians. She left a great job to follow one. Took a dead-end job to be near one. When she finds herself unemployed and evicted, Julian's sister steps in and announces her to be Julian's new studio manager and loft-mate. She's already drawn blood on Julian a few times, and worse, so HOW can this possibly be a GOOD thing?
I caught myself laughing out loud, literally, in several places in this book. Julian and Cleo's conversations and interactions were priceless entertainment. He's not your stereotypical rocker bad boy. She's not the stereotypical country club snob.
"If you can get your big toe in front of the camera in that bunk, then we seriously have some new positions to try when you get home." -- Cleo, in Color Me Crazy by Carol Pavliska
Both are wonderful characters. The secondary characters are enjoyable add-ins as well, each adding another dimension to the story to create a lush and rich world. At about 75%, my opinions were drastically altered and I felt an overwhelming need to kick some teeth in, but... when it was all said and done, they managed to get their heads on straight and find their path to a wonderfully concluded HEA. Yes, the conflicts grew to epic proportions, but they forged their way through it all to find eventual resolutions, albeit not always in the best manner. There was little to no predictability. Overall, I am thrilled to have taken a chance on this novel. Congratulations, Ms. Pavliska, on a Debut Novel very well done.
Heat Level: 4.5 ~ Score: 4.7 ~ Stars: 5