Friday, January 26, 2018

Blog Tour & Review: Midnight Blue - L.J. Shen

Midnight Blue
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: January 18th
It should have been easy.
I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.
I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.
The worst part is that I should have known better.
Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.
“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”
Sounds familiar? That’s because it was a headline in a tabloid the second time he got arrested.
Guess what? I didn’t listen.
I signed the contract.
World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.
My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.
Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.
Then he took my heart.
Then he took my all.
Read Today!
(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

4.5 Stars

"Alex Winslow was beautiful in a way storms were, only from afar."

Alex Winslow, the girls love him, the guys hate him, and the Suits have threatened to ruin him. He's on his last chance, taking off on a world tour that's meant to bring him back into a positive spotlight and give him the drive to hopefully write again. The only downside? He's been given a babysitter that might actually last longer than the week the others hadn't managed to. Indie Bellamy is all blue haired, wide eyed, and oddly dresses. She's smart-talking, naive, and actually determined to keep him away from the addictions he so desperately wants to spiral into. He finds a use for her though, keeping her up all hours of the night for something a little more innocent than his bandmates think it is. Somewhere along the four continents and one hundred shows, Indie gave the rockstar more than just her soul and by the end she just might not have anything left.

"...he had the power to sweep and ruin you, two things I was too busy surviving to entertain."

Midnight Blue is a full-length, standalone from L.J. Shen featuring rockstar Alex Winslow and tough-as-nails, unique Indigo "Indie" Bellamy. It's a rockstar romance that's very unique, featuring a more true to life setting and twists that will shock readers. It's classic L.J. Shen, the kind of book that showcases her stunning ability to bring dialogue, characters, and locations to life. She's unabashed about her love of a good bad boy, which makes Alex Winslow one of the worst and yet readers still will fall in love with him, just like I did. It seems L.J. Shen is set on mastering the craft of complex characters with extensive development through out the novel, because by the end of this one I was head over heels for stubborn Alex and stunned by Indie's transition from sheltered to a girl who owns her world and her future.

"Disgusting. Gorgeous. Rude. Sexy. Screwed-up. Witty. Broody. Unbearable. Trouble. Trouble. Trouble."

Like most of Shen's previous works, the main characters lead Midnight Blue, carrying us from country to country on a tour fit for a King, with the secondary characters fading into black as the spotlight shines on Alex and Indie. Told in dual POV, we are treated to their innermost thoughts, to their very different views of the outside world and how the glittering life of fame alters it. I, like most readers, loved Alex from the start. Yes, he's a stubborn jerk with language and thoughts that definitely aren't rated PG-13, but he's so full of feelings, of complex thoughts and a determination that's hard to explain. I loved his rough nature, his crass actions, and his anger at the world. I appreciated all his faults and his inability to deny his addiction when faced with losing something he didn't quite understand yet. He's flawed and very true to how young, famous individuals and spoiled, wealthy rockers are in reality. Indie has blue hair, rocks handmade vintage look dresses, and appreciates the simple things in life. She's emotional and so similar to an innocent flower found among the weeds. I loved that she was also tough, that she had the ability to make room for this massive change in her life and that this entire novel featured her character development as she changed. She grew into a very resilient character, accepting that the world had even more ugly than she'd known previously and yet also seeing the beauty in it all. I think she's one of L.J.'s softer characters, which I really appreciated.

"I have a signed contract to prove it, and now i'm going to take what's inside you and put it in my notebook, because I'm empty and you're full."

Like all rockstar romances, there's bandmates, paparazzi, ugly stories spread across the media, tour life, and music. Midnight Blue follows Alex as he rediscovers his music with Indie by his side as his babysitter and accidental muse. It focuses on their strained relationship, on Alex's ability to suck the soul and life from any room, and on Indie as she gains strength and courage to carry him through sobriety and loses her heart to him. I was pulled into Midnight Blue from the very beginning, unable to focus on much while I read. Alex and Indie's individual stories are incredibly emotional and very telling of why each character is the way they are. My heart beat fast with this book, stuttering when the angst was turned up high and steadying as their relationship found level ground. Nothing about it is a typical romance, the sexual tension stealing the show and leaving both Alex and Indie unable to think normal around one another. Then there's the lyrics, oh man the lyrics, they reveal so much about Alex and his tortured outlook on life. As readers finally get to know him, as we finally accept that their separate worlds have become one, L.J. Shen tosses the ultimate twist in there and the book becomes a roller coaster, the kind you have to read on your own to discover the highs and lows of it all.

"He scarred me. I decorated him. But at the end of the day, we were both tainted by each other."

It's a longer read, but as a standalone Midnight Blue is the perfect length and filled with a complicated and impassioned story. I loved the journey this novel took me on and it's definitely one I will be reading again.  Angsty and sexy, Midnight Blue is the book that should be found next to the definition of Rockstar Romance. You'll swoon, you'll curse, you'll read until your eyes burn from tears and your heart falls in love with the rockstar too. If your a romance lover that seeks evocative writing and the push and pull between love and lust, Midnight Blue is just for you.

"I put her under my spell, to make sure she was mine.
Scribbling onto her the notes only I could play."

About LJ Shen:
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat. Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards. She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.
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