When Berkeley proposed, I thought we’d live happily ever after—we’d plan our wedding and he’d tour with the Brightside while I continued designing lingerie. Instead he dropped a bombshell: he’s starring in a movie with his gorgeous ex, Christina Carlton. And what’s more? I’ve been erased from the public eye. All anyone can talk about these days is #Berkstina.
To be together, Berkeley asked me to work on set as a costume designer—a dream come true—but there’s a catch: we have to keep our relationship secret. I’m okay with not being photographed, but the sneaking around, the lies, his love scenes; it’s not how I imagined our engagement. Berkeley is passionate and driven; it’s one of the reasons I love him. But he has so much going on—am I ready to drop everything to become Olivia Dalton?
Each book in the Brightside series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 In Bloom
Book #2 Blushing
Book #3 Believe
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
a Brightside novel
By Katie Delahanty, Karen Grove
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Katie Delahanty
All rights reserved.
Mark VanCleer @BrightsideBP
For a second I was thinking Bangkok? Then I decided Phuket. #INeedAMassage
Berkeley Dalton @BerkeleyBrtside
@BrightsideBP Don't strain yourself working so hard ... wouldn't want you to sprain your slap hand. #NoOneSlapsItLikeYou #bass
Mark VanCleer @BrightsideBP
@BerkeleyBrtside Are you talkin' to me? I wouldn't want you to go straining your vocal cords. #ANiceQUIETMassage
Berkeley Dalton @BerkeleyBrtside
Direct Message > with BloomOlivia: Is this day over yet? Don't believe anything you read #BandDrama. I canceled the tour because I had to see YOU.
"Did someone who is driven by romance, art, and beauty create an emotional impact on your life?" Mom asks when she picks up the phone.
If I weren't driving, I would close my eyes and bang my head against the steering wheel repeatedly, but instead I grit my teeth and say, "Why would you ask me that?"
Ever since Berkeley gently kissed me good-bye early this morning, saying he had to take care of band stuff but he'd see me tonight, I've been trying to process everything — trying to force my lips to form the word "fiancé," though they refuse to. I haven't fully come to terms with the massive decision I made last night, and it's like I'm trying to stand steady on a rocking boat as alternating waves of euphoria and panic wash over me. How do I tell my parents their little girl is growing up? I always imagined this would be easy, that I'd eagerly announce my exciting news, but I'm surprisingly apprehensive about telling them, unable to ignore the tiny fear that my metamorphosis from girlfriend to fiancée will illuminate the passage of time we can't have back.
"It just so happens Esme and I were doing an angel card reading about you last night, and when she drew the Knight of Water card she felt a vibration that made her think an engagement was imminent," Mom says.
Clearly I didn't need to worry. "Is that so?" I grip the wheel, wishing there were less traffic so I could accelerate toward the 105 freeway interchange and find an escape route from this conversation.
CLICK! "Don't listen to her," Dad's voice bellows as he picks up an extension, returning my focus to reality. He and I always join forces when it comes to Mom and her "psychic friends" network. He's an English professor at Pitt, grounded in the written word, and to the earth (except for a slight obsession with science fiction and aliens, which is probably the existential level he connects with Mom on). "Berkeley called us yesterday to ask for our blessing. I'm guessing you said yes?"
I almost drive off the road. One point for Berkeley with the psychic assist. "He called you? When? How did he get your number?"
"He has his ways," Mom says. "Esme says he's quite magical."
"He's a rock star, Kat, not a superhero," Dad says. "And he called last night around seven our time. I'm sure he has people to figure this stuff out for him."
"He does." I sigh. "But you said yes, even though you've never met him?"
"He seemed pretty down-to-earth on the phone. Said he knew this was sudden, but he wanted me to know his intentions," Dad says. "I told him it wasn't my decision, that if he made you happy, then I wasn't going to have much choice —"
"And I've met him," Mom interjects. "He gives the best hugs, he really does. Hugging him you feel this profound energy. It radiates out of him. I can't even imagine what it's like to —"
"Enough!" I stop her before she can take it any further. "I don't want to hear any more."
"But you manifested this, Liv," Mom says. "I think the lotus crystal I sent cleared all the negativity out of your fourth chakra. The fourth chakra needs to be open in order to feel deserving of unconditional love, and as soon as you were ready for it, Berkeley proposed."
"Give it a rest, Kat," Dad says. "We don't even know if she said yes ... "
"I know," Mom says.
Of course she does. They wait expectantly for me to respond while I turn into the driveway at work and park. Letting the car idle, I take a deep breath. "Yes. I said yes. I'm engaged." It's my first time saying it out loud and the E-word sticks in my throat, but I manage to croak it out. Must practice.
"And you're sure this is what you want?" Dad asks.
A little shot of doubt tickles my throat, but I overcompensate for it with a resounding, "Yes."
"Then congratulations, Liv. This is wonderful news. We look forward to meeting Berkeley in person," Dad says.
I cringe, picturing the inevitable hug and my mom sprinkling us with some sort of fertility oil. This is going to be so awkward ... "Yes, we'll have to arrange that, I guess," I say quietly. And for Berkeley's parents to meet them. Maybe I can give Mom a sedative first. "Hey, guys, I just got to work and need to go, but can we keep this quiet for now? Shar, Berkeley's publicist, is really sensitive, and I don't want word to get out until she's ready. I'll let you know when it's public knowledge."
"Not a problem," Dad says.
"Namaste, Liv," Mom says, without promising her silence.
I want to force her to agree, but I'm already late for work. "Namaste." I sigh.
Hanging up the phone, I turn off my car, and a sparkle catches my eye. I stare at the diamond on my left hand. Berkeley didn't give me any instructions for sharing our news, but I make a decision. Slipping it off, I dig the box it came in out of my purse and place it safely inside.
Telling myself I'm hiding it because I'm waiting for instructions from Shar, I head into the office.CHAPTER 2
Olivia Bloom @BloomOlivia
@IsIndulgent @SuperSpinstress Emergency courtyard cocktail meeting! Your mission is to meet me with a garnish for champagne. #DontBeLate
Parker Mifflin @IsIndulgent
@BloomOlivia Oooh ... You are so cryptic, my angel. Mission accepted, but I want to be Farrah.
Blair Hamilton @SuperSpinstress
@IsIndulgent I think your 1970s crime dramas are crossed. But you're totally Farrah.
Parker Mifflin @IsIndulgent
@SuperSpinstress They'd be so boring if they were straight! @BloomOlivia
"So how did this happen?" Blair asks. We're settled in the courtyard, enjoying pomegranate champagne cocktails, and I've just revealed my news. "It wasn't enough for him to declare his undying love for you in front of the whole world on TMI?"
"Of course not," Parker replies. "He's smitten and almost lost her. Like any good prince, he raced to her side to protect her from the lies the wicked Christina is spreading."
"What's up with her?" Blair asks. "Did he tell you why she announced to the world that they're back together?"
I shake my head. "We had other things to talk about ..." I drift, losing myself to last night, remembering the shock of seeing him in my living room when he was supposed to be in Jakarta and the weight of all that was unspoken between us.
"Like ..." Parker prompts.
Recalling how the evening ended, I stall, taking a sip of champagne so I don't have to answer.
"Did he get down on one knee?" Blair asks.
"Both knees," I admit, smiling before again falling silent, replaying his proposal song in my mind, remembering the magnetic focus in his eyes as his words found me, almost certain I dreamed it.
No one knows you like I know you now, no one sees you like I see you now, no one loves you like I love you now ...
"Liv! Come on." She interrupts my reverie. "You're killing us."
"Okay, okay." I relent and give them the short version, hoping it will satisfy them. "He played guitar and sang me a song he wrote, and then he got down on his knees and asked."
Blair and Parker stare at me expectantly. "And?" Parker asks.
"And that's it," I reply. It's not that I don't want to tell them — I do — they're my best friends. It's just that I want to keep the moment for Berkeley and me alone a little bit longer.
"Olivia Bloom," Parker says, standing and pointing at me. "You owe us this. We're your butterfly guides — we led you here. Now spill it."
"Parker, don't start with that," I say. "You're as bad as my mom. Apparently my fourth chakra needed to be open in order to feel deserving of unconditional love, which sounds very 'butterfly guide' to me."
"Maybe she's right," he says, tapping his foot impatiently. "As your guides we deserve to know the details."
"You're impossible," I reply. "And you know I don't believe in that stuff. Besides, for once I'd like to refrain from spilling."
"Fine," he says, crossing his arms over his chest and turning his back on me. Chin held high, he marches off toward my apartment.
"Where are you going?" I call after him.
"To get tequila. Clearly this will require truth serum."
"Parker! Stop!" Leaping out of my chair, I chase after him, not wanting him to go inside, but it's too late. He throws open my front door and comes to a halt in the entryway, staring, taking in the dozens of construction paper hearts, moons, and stars dangling from the ceiling.
Paper chains twist in the doorways, pinwheel bouquets litter tables, and though the candles have burned out, the air is still spicy with their scent. Glimpsing the room awakens the butterflies I've been trying to subdue in my stomach all day. Proof. Berkeley Dalton is my fiancé. How quickly life can change ... All of the cushions and pillows from my couch are on the floor next to an empty Point of Grace wine bottle and two squat juice glasses, where we lay, talking into the night, staring at a heaven of his making.
"Oh," Parker whispers. "He's good. I might need to borrow this for The One."
"You will do no such thing for that tawdry show," Blair says, coming up behind us and looking in awe. "This is beautiful, Liv. He did all of this?"
"He did," I reply, trying to picture him cutting out paper hearts all day. "Pretty rock 'n' roll, huh?"
"Super rock 'n' roll." She laughs. "Don't worry, though, rule number five; his secret is safe with us — and we'll be extra careful with you now that you've made it to the top."
"I'm hardly an A-list celebrity," I say, closing my apartment door and shooing them back to the courtyard.
Parker makes a face but obeys.
"But I appreciate you keeping the engagement quiet. I don't want to incur the wrath of Shar by leaking any news. Besides," I say, reclaiming my seat, "I'm definitely over the paparazzi. I'm going to try to stay out of the spotlight, thank you very much. Being a topic of discussion gives me major anxiety."
"Good luck with that," Blair says. "Every media outlet is going to run with this. Berkeley dumps America's Sweetheart Christina Carlton again, and for a girl no one ever heard of? This is going to look bad for her."
"I wouldn't say 'no one' has ever heard of me. I did make a fool of myself on national television, after all. Who could forget that?" I cringe, the memory of my verbal miscues on the red carpet and the bold statement I made declaring my happiness for the falsely reunited "Berkstina" making me sick.
"As mortifying as that was for you, you need more than fifteen minutes in the spotlight to create a lasting impression," she says. "I can barely find your statement on YouTube, and the love letter Berkeley posted for you on TMI has disappeared. The only mention of it I can find is an article saying it was a hoax, and even Berkeley's tweets at you are gone. Everyone has moved on to the 'Tux Nicholas soliciting a sixteen-year-old girl on Instagram' scandal. You're going to come out of nowhere for a lot of the public."
"It is weird that stuff is gone." Erased. Shar's voice pops into my head, reminding me of her power. Ignoring the twinge of fear she incites in my gut, I quickly dismiss her with a glance at the diamond sparkling on my left hand. "I'm glad I took a screenshot of the letter so I know it existed."
"That Christina is a jezebel," Parker says. "She must be stopped. All those tweets about how she and Berkeley belong together, how they're 'Team Adventure'— how dare she. What is Berkeley going to do about her?"
"I don't know. We haven't talked about it. He should be here any minute — he's been dealing with the band all day, issuing apologies because he canceled the rest of the tour. The official press release says it was doctor's orders, that he has to rest his voice. I guess that sounds better than 'my girlfriend is freaking out and I need to fly home to stop her from making a fool of herself.' They're going to reschedule for next winter."
"You had every right to freak out. We're being sabotaged, and it's not fair our relationship has been under such public scrutiny." Berkeley's voice sounds from behind me, and the Vicente's gate clangs shut.
I jump, my skin heating. Standing, I turn to face him as he walks toward me. His face is pale and his eyes are rimmed red with exhaustion, but somehow they shine brighter than usual. When he reaches me, he pulls me against his chest and holds me there, one hand drifting to the back of my neck. Wrapping my arms around him in response, I breathe him in, pressing my body as close to his as possible, grateful to touch him.
He squeezes me tight as if he's making sure I'm real, too, before releasing me and lowering his face to mine with a gentle kiss. "Hi."
"Hi," I whisper, trying to keep my legs steady.
Behind us, Parker sighs, reminding me we're not alone.
I turn to face him and Blair while Berkeley slides his hand around my waist, keeping me close.
They're sitting side by side, champagne glasses in hand, grinning at the intimate moment, and my face flushes at my apparent disregard for public displays of affection.
"I wish I could have taken a picture with my eyes just now!" Parker says. "Adorable."
"She is." Berkeley smiles. "But no pictures. I've got to watch out for this one — I don't want the world falling in love with her any more than they already have. She's mine." He glances at me and squeezes my hip, sending a little thrill through me.
Embarrassed by his compliment, I try to lighten the mood. "And I can really funk up a situation. Maybe Psychic Mom can cast a pap-straining order spell on all paparazzi cameras so they break whenever they're within a five-mile radius of me."
"That's a terrible name for a spell." Parker grimaces. "Her wand might miss, and I don't think you want any straining going on down there."
I wink, and Berkeley laughs. "Believe it or not, you'll get used to being in the public eye at some point. And the truth is I want to share my wife-to-be with the world. I wouldn't deprive them of Olivia Bloom."
Before I can protest, Blair jumps in.
"Yes. Congratulations are in order," she says. "Champagne?" She raises her glass to Berkeley in offering.
"Thanks," he says. "Maybe in a little bit. If it's okay with you, I'd actually like to borrow Liv for a few minutes. I need to talk to her."
"Don't let us stop you. I'm sure you two have lots to say," Parker says, a glint in his eye.
I shoot him a dirty look. "We can go inside," I tell Berkeley, anxious to be alone with him. Taking his hand and dragging him toward my apartment, I call over my shoulder, "We'll see you guys later."
"We won't wait up," Parker says.CHAPTER 3
Felix Sheridan @TMINewsNow
It's official. Berkstina has reunited! And it feels so good.
Christina Carlton @Celebrightly
What a day!!! The press is crazy! Why is my love life so interesting? Well I guess it is hahahahaha!
"We need to talk," Berkeley says once we're inside.
The room goes cold. He wants to talk? "Sure," I say, locking the door behind us, trying to keep my confusion from showing.
Berkeley crosses the room and starts picking up cushions and pillows, reassembling my couch. Somehow his actions make me think he's unraveling the previous night's events, resetting the stage, taking us back to before he asked the question that would forever change our lives, and my stomach knots.
Taking a seat, he pats a cushion, and I move to join him.
Swinging my legs underneath me, I sit, pulling a pillow into my lap and watching him.
He takes a deep breath, and when his eyes meet mine, their intensity frightens me. "Liv, I have a confession to make."
Excerpted from Blushing by Katie Delahanty, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2015 Katie Delahanty. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Glorious book!!! I stayed up reading this book (I kid you not) until 5 this morning. I am paying for it already im so tired but it was soooooo worth it. I couldn't put it down. Bravo. I loved it. Already want to re read it. I am fervently hoping there is another book in this series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3
4.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: I really did. It was a great read, just as good as the first book, In Bloom. I read it every free chance I had! It was great to catch up with Olivia and Berkeley. We pick up where In Bloom lets off, with their engagement!!! It is so exciting. Olivia is still a bit naive and a bit shy, until a certain point in the movie. I don’t want to give too much away, so I won’t go into detail. But there were quite a few moments that left me a bit shocked. There were quite a few moments that left me worried. And many moments that left me with a smile. This book had so many swoon-worthy, giddy-worthy, smile-worthy, cringe-worthy moments. I loved that Berkeley’s movie is filmed in Pittsburgh, and I loved that Olivia slipped into Pittsburghese easily. There were quite a few more Yinzer instances in this book . . . and I loved every one of them! I loved the supporting cast as well–Parker, Psychic Mom, Boots, and Dig. All great. Even now, days after I finished this book, I still get this giddy feeling and I can’t stop smiling. It was so good! Would I recommend it: Definitely! Be sure to read book one of the Brightside series, In Bloom, first. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Loved this one more than the first, and I really liked the first one! This has it all! Cant wait for another one!
Goodness! What a roller coaster of a story! This book was non-stop from beginning to end. I have to say I have not read the first one in the series, but I think I may go back to read it. I loved Berkley and Olivia. When together, they were magic. But with all the outside forces working, man I could feel their frustration. It was madness. I was pleased with the outcome, so super sweet. And Berkley could very well be the most romantic male character I have come across. This is my first book by Katie Delahanty. I hope she continues to write more in this series because I enjoyed Blaire, Parker, Gemma and Boots. Such great friends! I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
First off, let me say two things. One, I am kicking myself for not having read In Bloom before reading Blushing, but obviously I wasn’t paying attention to good books a while back. And two, I did not expect this book to be so good. Blushing was refreshing, it’s not everyday you start reading a romance novel where the couple is already pretty much established. Blushing was fabulous. I stayed up through the night to read it and when i was done, i immediately took to Twitter, because I had to gush about this book. And that’s exactly what this book is. It’s gushy (is that even a word?), it’s funny and it’s a fantastic fun, feel-good read. I laughed through so many pages, I cried through a few parts and I admit, I had my doubts about the hero. Katie Delahanty managed to completely convince me that at one stage he was the bad guy. I was happy that this book did not essentially follow the “romance novel rules”. It did it’s best to keep the book funny and light, being essentially a chick-lit book, but it had an element of unpredictability, that I was happy to encounter. I loved the “tweets” at the start of each chapter, it showed little tidbits of the heroine’s life that the reader wouldn’t have encountered any other way. It was a refreshing way to start each chapter and I started looking forward to reading them every time I got to the end of a chapter. Olivia’s voice perfectly captured what I think an average NA female should act, speak, think and sound like. This book was one of the more entertaining romance/chick-lit books I have read in a while, so much so that I struggled to read anything else for about three days after reading this book. I’ll happy reread it (after reading In Bloom, of course) and I’m patiently (translation:consistently stalking Entangled Publishing and KatieDelahanty’s websites) waiting for the next in The Brightside Series.
This is such a cute series! I love the dynamic between Olivia and Berkley. The characters were well developed. The book was well edited. In the second book in the Brightside series, we find Olivia and Berkley engaged... Yay! Complications occur... of course... which delays their engagement announcement. With seemingly everyone trying to keep them apart, can Liv and Berkley hold strong?? Rumors of wandering eyes and suspicions of infidelity tests these two love birds. Can they come through in the end to get their HEA??? I'll never tell... :) This book definitely set us up for more story to come... I can't wait to see where we go from here!
This book is a good read. Olivia and Berkeley story is when you love someone you would do anything for them.
This is the second book in "The Brightside" series. I have not read book one so wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I might have because it is not a stand alone novel. Still I liked it a lot. It is well written, interesting and quite entertaining book. Although sometimes characters did irritate me with their immaturity but all in all it was a fun read. It did make me smile a few times along the way. I'm sure to read book one now and also can't wait for the next instalment in the series as the story is not over yet. :) Olivia is engaged and she has hard time believing it. and what more, she has to keep it a scret because her fiance is on his way to become a movie star and they don't want to announce their engagement just yet. But that turns out to be a bad decision because it made things very complicated for them. Will they be able to stay together when they have to pretend that they are not?!
You’ve heard of Young Adult (or YA) fiction for some time, no doubt, but have you heard of one of the latest trends in publishing? It’s called New Adult (or NA) fiction, and it’s becoming more and more popular, not only with its intended target audience (protagonists tend to range from ages eighteen through twenty-five) but also with mature younger teens and adults, too. Meet Olivia Bloom, secretly engaged to marry rock star Berkeley Dalton. She’s floored that someone so well-known, popular, and talented would even notice her, let alone date her and ask to marry her. But she’s caught in a difficult position—she does have to keep their engagement … and even their relationship … a total secret. Otherwise, Berkeley’s opportunity to play the male lead in a huge new film project will be lost, especially because the leading lady is Berkeley’s jealous, manipulative ex-girlfriend, Chris, who wants Berkeley back very badly. Meanwhile, Olivia, a fashion design major, is hired to help with the costumes for the production (thanks to Berkeley’s influence) but the work behind the scenes isn’t nearly as forthright, nor the people as possessed of integrity, as she expected. Before long, it’s clear that everyone is keeping secrets, and even Berkeley may have a hidden agenda. BLUSHING, a Brightside novel by KatieDelahanty, debuts from Entangled Publishing’s Embrace imprint, their New Adult line of books. The work—essentially a romance, but with enough unexpectedness to keep readers from feeling like the whole thing is a “same old, same old” cliché—is innovative and entertaining, in equal measures. The innovation is evident in the story’s format. Each chapter begins with one or more Twitter messages (“tweets”) between or among the characters. The quick snapshot-style messages are designed to ground the reader in the immediate scene of each chapter and, simultaneously, to open up different facets of each character. The entertainment factor is present in a number of gratifying ways. The story is written in Olivia’s point of view, in a breathless, breakneck, first-person present-tense voice that perfectly encapsulates the typical New Adult female perspective. A wild cast of characters, both primary and secondary, maintain reader engagement from one encounter and page to the next. And the very newness of the New Adult genre itself— with its standard preferences for its characters to strike out on their own, assert their independence, and develop their own paradigms for life—is excellently portrayed. BLUSHING is a fantastic example of the rising New Adult genre, and worth your time whether you’re a New Adult yourself or not. # # # Author: Katie Delahanty Title: BLUSHING Publisher: Embrace (Entangled Publishing) ISBN: 978-1-62266-309-5 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I feel like I have read this plot in another book. No original and disappointing.
Perfect Read! Blushing does not disappoint And the ending...do not miss such a fantastic ending :-D ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*** . OMG! This was a great follow up. Olivia and Berkeley were now engaged. Olivia thought they would live happily ever after—not so fast This story tells of the ups and downs they are going thru while Berkeley shoots a movie and how their relationship is being sabotaged from the inside of their inner circle. The mystery is there as you try to figure out who the culprit is and also if Berkeley and Olivia will stay together or will end up breaking up. I was rooting for them to stay together. I was on pins and needles throughout the book because I was so mad that there was this possibility that they could break up. There are some twists. The ending is the best. I do not want to say anything but just watch out for the “killer’ ending. It’s a possible do or die moment. It does not disappoint! Hope there is a possible novella letting us readers know how the characters are doing from the author. Overall I really did like this story and hope to see more in this story world. My rating: 4.3 stars ****
3.5 stars I'm a little torn with how I'm feelings after finishing Blushing. Did I like it yes, did I love it? no and this makes me sad. I really enjoyed seeing Liv and Berkeley get together in the previous book In Bloom and I was excited to read Blushing knowing we were going to get more of them. While Blushing was still a good read I just missed seeing Liv and Berkeley being together. I enjoy Katie Delahanty's writing and I'm looking forward to reading more from her in the future.
I LOVED book 1 in this series - In Bloom - and I stalked Katie Delahanty's FB, twitter etc desperate for news on when the next book would come. The longer I waited the more desperate and excited I got. I couldn't wait to read more about the wonderful characters we met in In Bloom and to overload on the delicious feels that Berkeley and Olivia generate. So, you can imagine my super embarrassing fan-girl display when it finally landed on my kindle. Blushing picks up pretty much immediately where In Bloom left off, so I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you've read In Bloom. Too much of who the characters are is invested there and thus I feel you'd loose too much of the connection and back story to truly appreciate Blushing. Katie's writing is wonderful. She has a real gift at making the characters feel alive. It makes it so easy to lose yourself in the story as it doesn't feel like you are reading about fictional characters. It feels like you are reading about real people, people you know, friends, and it makes these books so addictive! Blushing moves from music to movies - proper Hollywood - but most of it is spent on set in Pittsburgh so we get to see a lot more of Olivia's family! (Psychic mom! Legend.) I loved the drama and tension, the ups and downs, the general ridiculousness of celebrity and PR that the book presents. Olivia and Berkeley were all kinds of awesome. I wanted to smack 'em both upside the head a few times but they got themselves sorted in the end and provided loads of yummy feels throughout. The secondary characters each have their own developments and I enjoyed catching up with the gang. 100% recommended, and if you enjoy books from the likes of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk then I think you'd definitely like Katie Delahanty's Brightside Series.
When I saw Blushing was published I could not wait to pick it up, but once I picked it up I was worried that I would not remember things from the previous book as it's been a long time, and lots of books since I last read In Bloom. I needn't have worried, I fell back into this world hard and fast, and within a few pages remembered how much I love Liv's quirky, psychic mum, Liv's friends, and Liv herself. "I'll do my best not to trip," I reply, imagining my feet getting tangled in my dress and the inevitable face-plant. "I'll catch you if you do." He smiles. "I promise. I'll always be there." This is the love that we see between Liv and Berkeley, it makes you smile, it makes your heart melt, but as the story progresses we don't always see this as this duo lose focus on what they really mean to each other. Blushing takes Liv away from the safety of her home and her friends, and thrusts her into the movie industry as an assistant costume designer for Berkeley's new movie, of course he helped get her there, and told an enormous lie in order to maintain the gag order placed on everyone in the know about himself and Liv's relationship status.. But what she thought was going to be fun and a great way to spend more time with Berkeley, soon turns out wrong and she finds herself having to deal with the adoring fans in the form of fellow assistants, and Christina's pseudo friendship. The time she thought she would get to spend with Berkeley becomes less and less, putting a strain on their relationship and making Liv doubt his feelings for her, but also her ability to deal with the fame and fortune that comes with him. Reading Blushing I felt so sorry for Liv, she is lost and out of her depth, and even though Blair is there, Liv is still alone and friendless while Blair lets her working partnership with Christina get in the way. The feelings of loss and loneliness come across easily in the pages, and it made it so easy to want to pick Liv up and hug her, and push everyone else away for acting the way they do. Everyone is getting sucked into the fickleness of the movie industry, and poor Liv is having to deal with the fallout of it all, being left out or pushed away as the movie making continues. Blushing also gives us the chance to really see into Berkeley's life as a pop star and as an actor. We see the lengths he has to go through to be normal, disguising himself, having bodyguards around all the time, and even being careful with who he is seen with. We also see how much this business can really affect a relationship and the strain and tension is portrayed through the eyes of Liv, and the actions of those around her, including Berkeley. Blushing was just as good as In Bloom, and not only did the ending surprise Liv, it also surprised me. At this moment of posting the review there don't seem to be any plans for a new book, but I would love to see what happens next for this duo, especially after Liv's offer and actions in Blushing. I also want to mention quickly how much I love the covers for these books and how they represent both Liv and Berkeley's lives. The top being Liv and her job as lingerie designer, the bottom for Berkeley, for his fame in the band and as an actor. Final Verdict Another great book for this series, with a well deserved ending.....I just need to know if a next book is in the works?
I have mixed feelings about this book. I absolutely loved In Bloom so I couldn’t wait to get my hand on Blushing. I have to say I was a little bit disappointment in how Blushing played out. While I still believe that Katie Delahanty is brilliant. This book felt a little to “reality TV “ for me, too much drama and not enough Olivia and Berkeley. It was upsetting to me the choices Berkeley made, letting outside sources affect his relationship with Olivia making her feel isolated and unwanted at times. (Wake up! You’re a superstar, rain in your people!) and where did Olivia’s backbone go? I just wanted to shake or maybe slap her. I have to say the secondary characters made this story for me. Parker, Boots, Blair, Justin and Tux, what would this book have been without them? I was frustrated at times but when all said and done, I was entertained.
This book picks up where In Bloom, book 1 in the series, leaves off. Brilliantly written, Ms. Delahanty creates characters that are realistic and relatable. I was riveted from the very beginning; and even shed a few tears at the end. I loved the use of tweets at the beginning of each chapter and the length of the chapters. There is a bit of mystery and several surprises in this installment. I loved it! I hope there will be many more novels in this series. I would love to read more about Parker, Gemma, Boots, Mark and Blair. And, look forward to reading many more books by Ms. Delahanty. ARC provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.