How Not to be Starstruck - Portia MacIntosh (2014)

Nicole Wilde has always wanted to be famous. She is a music journalist who spends her time interviewing rock stars, partying, touring, and falling for band boys. Her best friend is Dylan King, rock star extraordinare and lead singer of The Burnouts. She writes for her own music magazine, Starstruck, and is about to go on tour with Two For the Show, whom she's been touring with before they were famous. She has a major crush on their sexy drummer, Luke. Slowly, her life starts to unravel. Some compromising pictures of her partying with rock stars are leaked to the media, and she gets a taste of fame. Fame loses it sheen, however, when she loses her boyfriend, her job and her best friend. Will Nicole be able to turn her life around, or is she destined to be labelled as a groupie forever? This was a quick, entertaining read. The characters are well written, their individual personalities shine through. Although I enjoyed parts of the book, I found the main character, Nicole Wilde, very annoying. She seemed to have good intentions but appeared very naive for someone who lived such a worldly lifestyle. She was constantly getting herself into trouble, not thinking twice about how her actions might affect the future. Dylan King was mildly annoying as well. I understand that his life is sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll, but it gave off the impression that he needed to be babysat all of the time, lest he get himself into trouble. This book just fell flat for me and the ending dragged. (CK)

How Not to be Starstruck, the debut novel by Portia MacIntosh, is partly inspired by her experiences touring with bands. The summary says: "Nicole Wilde's life is one of sell-out gigs, bunking on tour buses, trashing hotels and partying with the band all night long. But she's not in the band. She is a music journalist, paid to be the world's greatest groupie - and she loves it! Nicole has the party lifestyle - and the hangovers to prove it - but no one stops her in the supermarket on a bad hair day. Until she is papped in an incriminating position with recently married mega-star Dylan King of the Burnouts and the tabloids start hounding her. This isn't so fun. Especially when her make-up is a mess and she hasn't yet had a chance to clean her teeth. Dylan accuses her of ruining his marriage. His handsome PR agent, Charles, calls her a tart. She has to take gorgeous Luke from Two For the Road to hospital after a drug incident. And she's dropped her mobile phone in the bath! Too much celebrity lifestyle for one week? Time to slow down and take stock? Maybe for somebody else. But Nicole Wilde is going to come out fighting!"

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place - Portia MacIntosh (2014)

This is the novelette prequel to Portia's novel How Not to be Starstruck. Nicole has a pretty crazy life as a music journalist. No only does she get to interview famous music artists, but she sometimes gets to go on tour with them. And, her best friend also happens to be the famous rock star, Dylan King, lead singer of the Burnouts. He's tall, dark, handsome, and he knows it. When Dylan goes missing after a concert, Nicole offers to help find him. With only hours before they have to leave for their next gig, Nicole races back and forth between their hotel and a nearby town, where he's left a trail of casual encounters and starstruck fans. From dodgy tattoo parlors to red light districts, Nicole searches desperately for her friend, wondering what sort of trouble Dylan might have gotten himself into this time. Will she find him before the tour bus leaves? And, if she does, will she go home, or will she go along for the ride? This is a quick, entertaining read. Dylan is a lovable bad boy; the one you know isn't good for you, but darn it, you can't resist him. Although I did get a bit bored with Nicole running back and forth to the hotel, I found the story quite funny. It offers an exciting view of what it might be like to rub shoulders with a famous rock star. Looking forward to the novel. (CK)

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place - Portia MacIntosh (2014)

Journalist Nicole Wild and Burnouts lead singer Dylan King are friends. While Nicole is classy, sober and sensible, Dylan is a drunken womaniser. When Nicole is assigned the task of covering the music event where Dylan is performing, she knows it is not going to be an easy task. After the gig, Dylan disappears and now it is Nicole's responsibility to find him before the tour bus leaves the town for the next event. In her quest of finding Dylan, Nicole goes places and meets people who are not exactly fun. This novelette is a funny read, like flicking through the gossip section of a celebrity magazine. (SS)

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