SPOTLIGHT by Eden Finley
Release Date: July 16, 2020
Cover Design: Cate Ashwood
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
When I quit the biggest boy band on the planet, I was supposed to get my life back.
It’s not that I wanted to leave the spotlight. I felt like I had to for my daughter. Her picture shouldn’t be splashed all over the tabloids.
I thought I could do this parenting thing on my own, but it’s obvious I need help. I just didn’t expect to find it in the form of a gorgeous guy I meet by chance.
I can put my attraction aside for my daughter’s sake. I’ve put my whole life on hold for her.
If only he wasn’t so tempting.
Working as a nanny is my backup to my backup plan. My first plan is fame, but something always holds me back.
When I randomly run into Ryder Kennedy and end up becoming his daughter’s nanny, I figure it’ll be a short-term thing.
But then Ryder finds out I can sing. He wasn’t ready to give up music, and now he’s found a new way to have it: through me. He wants to produce my demo and make me a star.
He says I was born to be in the spotlight, but I think I was born to run from it.
It doesn’t help that each day I’m with him and his daughter, the deeper I fall into fantasies of being part of their family. And not just as the nanny.
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Lyric is a struggling musician, trying to make it in LA, but unwilling to compromise his style and his principles for fame and money. And Ryder gave up on a life of fame as part of the boy band Eleven, so he could give his daughter a normal life away from the paparazzi and the fans, or as much of one as he could give her. After a first meeting that could’ve gone horribly wrong but didn’t, Ryder hires Lyric as his daughter Kaylee’s nanny and they become good friends. There’s a sizzling undercurrent of attraction between them, but Ryder isn’t out of the closet and doesn’t want to disrupt Kaylee’s life in any way. However, he might need to decide if he’s ready to face the very real possibility of someone else whisking Lyric away from him and Kaylee, or if he’s willing to fight for Lyric and what he really wants.
Both Ryder and Lyric were fantastic and Ryder’s daughter Kaylee was all kinds of adorable and pretty much stole every scene she was in. Theirs was a slow-burn romance, first with them becoming friends until they were unable to keep their hands (and other body parts!) away from each other. I loved their banter and some of their inner thoughts were hilarious. The UST was thick enough to cut with a knife and boy if they didn’t have chemistry in spades… yumm!
Lyric was more than a little stubborn about his career and I wished I could slap him upside the head a few times, but I could see where he was coming from. And while I’m not a fan of closeted characters like Ryder and I would’ve liked a bit more of this topic being addressed or resolved in the end, I was happy with how it ended. It made sense in the great scheme of things, especially since Ryder’s priority was Kaylee’s well-being and having her life disrupted as little as possible. Even with those things, I just adored how Lyric fit into Ryder and Kaylee’s lives and how things played out for all of them.
I loved Maggie and how her presence in their lives made things easier for Ryder and Lyric. And of course, I loved catching up with Brix and Harley.
Overall, this was a fantastic addition to the series and while it could be read as a standalone, I really think you should read Pop Star first, you’ll be missing out otherwise. Eden Finley did a great job balancing humor with angst to bring us a love story I won’t forget anytime soon and that I definitely recommend. I can’t wait to see whose story we’ll be getting next!
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
~ * ~ Amy‘s Review ~ * ~
Oh, Ryder. Sweet, sweet Ryder. I knew your story was going to be a good one. (Insert contented sigh here) What I didn’t anticipate were the side characters.
Kaylee is the cutest fake four-year-old I’ve never met. She was quite the scene-stealer. I could definitely see why she’s so important to Ryder. You couldn’t spend time with a kid like that, and not want to both give her the world AND protect her from it.
Kaylee wasn’t the only likable side character. Maggie was a mystery, until she showed up on Ryder’s doorstep. I thought Lyric handled that better than I ever would. Once we got to know her, we all kinda really liked her. (I’m an important part of this ragtag family, so, yes, I include myself in that WE.) Lyric’s family was fun, too, despite little page time. His sister in law was a hoot. Overall, Eden did a fantastic job with character development. Which leads me to our two main characters.
Ryder and Lyric probably shouldn’t have met, but they did. Despite Lyric’s first impression being insulting Ryder’s former boy band, they really hit it off. That chemistry continued like a lit fuse throughout the book. Said fuse would inevitably go off at some point….again and again, which is fine by me. I was all for it!
Both Ryder and Lyric had irrational fears holding them back. Watching them struggle, make headway, and then struggle some more with their fears made me want to jump in the book and hug the shi—vers out of them. Their banter throughout the book had me in stitches.
I absolutely loved the storyline. It was better than I even imagined it would be, but then again, Eden Finley is a talented storyteller. She doesn’t just draw you into her stories…she has you setting down roots and buying real estate. I’ve become invested in all of her characters. Many of her books are comfort reads for me. When I open her books, I know I’m going to spend time with quality characters, who have stories with depth. When I close out of each book, I know I’m going to do so with a smile on my face, and a song in my heart. This particular story put several songs in our hearts. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!!!
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ***
~ * ~ Annie‘s Review ~ * ~
Spotlight is the second standalone in the Famous series and it proves why this author is such a fan favorite. Blending humor with a sweet romance, sexy scenes, and a good story, Spotlight immediately drew me in.
I loved the dynamic of a manny by day, aspiring musician by night paired with an ex-boy band member. I also loved Ryder as a single father- facing down self-doubts but full of love for his young daughter. He was relatable and easy to root for. Happily, the child played an active role in Spotlight, something I know many readers hope for in their single father romances.
Undoubtedly, there was so much to love about this book and I ate it up…and yet, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed by the end. I wanted Ryder to publicly and proudly claim Lyric, not only for Lyric but because it felt like Ryder needed that piece of the puzzle. So, while I loved the relationship between Lyric and Ryder, especially their easy banter and close bond, the ending left me wanting. Even still, Spotlight was a good read that I’d recommend to fans of manny and single dad romance, and I’m holding out hope that a short or future novel will include the ending I was clamoring for between Ryder and Lyric. In the meantime, I’m excited to learn who will be the next stars of the Famous series.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eden Finley is an Amazon bestselling author who writes steamy contemporary romances that are full of snark and light-hearted fluff.
She doesn’t take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a wackadoodle premise, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart.
With a short attention span that rivals her son’s, she writes multiple different pairings: MM, MMF, and MF.
She’s also an Australian girl and apologises for her Australianisms that sometimes don’t make sense to anyone else.
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