I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me.
How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it’s all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…
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
Katie never knew she was a writer. Her childhood obsessions centered on old movies, costumes, fashion, playing dress up, and books. Lots of books. On her quest to play make believe for a living she decided she wanted to be a fashion designer and after satisfying her practical parents by graduating from UCLA with a BA in Communication Studies she went on to pursue her design dreams with a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. She spent five years helping to design romantic dresses that were sold everywhere from Anthropologie to Nordstrom before the economic downturn led to a career shift and that practical degree came in handy. Now in charge of the ecommerce business for In Bloom Lingerie, she was asked to start the company blog. Not knowing what to say about lingerie but needing to use bridal keywords, she decided to start a fictional serial about how a girl named Olivia Bloom, who worked for In Bloom Lingerie, became engaged. And that's when Katie fell in love with storytelling and the path to make believe became clear. She hasn't looked back since.
Read an Excerpt
By Katie Delahanty, Karen Grove, Nicole Steinhaus
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Katie Delahanty
All rights reserved.
Mark Vancleer @BrightsideBP
Oh, you didn't ask how the SI fashion show is going? Too bad. Swimsuitingly well!
Parker Mifflin @IsIndulgent
@BloomOlivia It's not so bad, honey. It's not like you were wearing ... oh wait. Nevermind. ;)
Taking a sip of my champagne, I attempt to blend into the potted palm tree I'm standing next to. Blend in. Clearly I didn't get the half-naked model memo. I sneak a peek across the after party at Hollywood's current darling, Allie Russo. Still wearing the skimpy bikini from her last trip down the runway, she is at the center of a group of A-listers who are hanging on her every word. They can't seem to get enough, and she's not even the most famous person in the room. What am I doing here? This is nuts.
I've never seen so many pretty people in one place, and I marvel at how quickly life can change. Last week watching Project Runway on TV was the closest I'd been to a fashion show, and now here I am surrounded by household names. Having just moved to LA, I'm a little short on cash, and to help me out, my new friend and neighbor Blair hired me to dress models at the taping of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Fashion Show that the PR firm she works for is putting on. This is a huge step in the right direction.
All of these women must have personal shoppers, trainers, and fairy godmothers. I so don't belong ... Concentrating on my drink to avoid making eye contact with any celebrities, I slowly become aware of a presence to my right. My skin heats as I glance up, nervously scanning the crowd to locate the eyes I'm certain are examining me. But I find no one. Don't be ridiculous. You're practically invisible — the girl with nobody to talk to — the help. Who would be looking at you when every one point five seconds a supermodel in a swimsuit walks by? Despite my all-black ensemble being form fitting, my skin is mostly covered, and I'm certain I look like a frumpy Puritan shadow by contrast. I should probably go home and spare everyone the snowsuit.
Making my way through the boisterous crowd, I head toward the exit on the far side of the airplane hangar, in search of the restroom before I leave. The bathrooms are located in a poorly lit, narrow corridor, and I avoid touching the pale blue walls as I squeeze through to the end. Twisting the knob on the door to the ladies' room, I find it's locked.
Sighing, I turn to wait and come face-to-face with the bluest eyes I've ever seen. Jumping in surprise, I do a double take. The face attached to the eyes is so familiar ... perfectly formed jaw ... messy dark brown hair ... I can't help but look twice before the recognition registers. Berkeley Dalton. Lead singer for Berkeley & the Brightside, my favorite band. Sucking in a breath, I tear my eyes from him as my stomach contracts, and I resist the urge to hyperventilate Miss Piggy-style at his feet. I stand perfectly still, sweating and praying to the Restroom Gods to open the door so I can escape. What is she doing in there?
"I always wonder why they don't have more restrooms at these things."
OMG. He's talking to me. His voice is smooth and slightly hoarse as though he's been screaming into a microphone all night. Hmm. Think. Think. Think. Words. Use them. But it's no use. My brain shuts down and fills with champagne bubbles. Say something!
"Yeah. Tell me about it," I say. "You'd think they'd plan it better." I stare at the floor. Good. So far so good. And then, for a reason I don't understand, I raise my eyes to his and continue. "So, I'm a huge fan. I know you're Berkeley Dalton, and you know I'm — "I try to stop myself. Where am I going with this? What am I saying? But it's too late: the champagne is talking now. "Well, actually, you don't know — so let's move on. You're taller than I expected."
What? What kind of crazy talk was that? Why would I say that? What is wrong with me? I want to reach out and pluck back each and every word, but it's too late. Maybe I can just stab myself in the throat with a stiletto — there has to be one around here somewhere.
Berkeley, to his credit, registers only a moment of confused surprise across his perfect features before he resets his expression and studies me with amusement in his eyes.
Great. He's laughing at me. As well he should.
"Um, thanks? I think?" he says with a hint of a smile that sends my heart straight to my toes. "Maybe I should know you?"
Just then the bathroom door opens and I turn to see a scantily clad model towering behind me. Scrambling to get out of her way, I rush to the right, but so does she and I end up blocking her path again. We both scoot to the left. Right. Left again. Finally, with an exasperated glare, she stomps her foot and stands still as I stumble backward against the wall, tripping over my feet in the process, but blessedly out of her way.
"Oh, Berk," she coos, with no further regard to me. "You found me. So sweet." She easily wraps an arm around his waist. "Let's get out of here. I'm starving."
Unable to ignore the body she reveals as she adjusts her tiny dress, I try to console myself. Enjoy your cucumber slices.
As the pair turns to leave, Berkeley leans toward me, catching my eye. "It was nice talking to you."
My cheeks hot with humiliation, I grant him a disbelieving half smile before slinking into the bathroom. Nice talking to you. Right.
Back home at the Vicente, I slump into a chair in the courtyard and pour myself a glass of wine. The cool night air washes over me as I try to make out the Hollywood sign, barely visible in the hills to the north, and allow the tinkling water from the stone pineapple fountain that dominates the space to soothe my nerves. Behind me an apartment door closes, and I don't have to look to see who has come to join me. I've lived here less than two weeks, but I already know Parker has a sixth sense for cocktails.
"The adorable mistress of apartment one is back so soon?" he asks as he leans down to greet me with a one-armed hug and kisses my cheek. I'm still not used to the kissing thing, and turning my head with an awkward sucking sound, I blow a kiss into the ether. Terrible. After all of those years in junior high practicing kissing my hand, who knew it would be cheek kisses I'd fail so miserably in?
Taking a seat, he pours himself a glass and settles in. With his flawlessly waved hair, knotted ascot, and boat shoes, he looks like he should be sipping champagne on a yacht instead of slumming it with me in our little Spanish courtyard.
"Yes. Another job gone awry," I reply. The costume design job I moved here with has already disappeared. It was on a super low-budget movie and didn't pay anything anyway, but I'd been hoping to make some connections that would lead to future work. No such luck. After my first day on set the film's main investor backed out, leaving me unemployed. I've been applying for jobs ever since.
"I'm starting to think I'm doomed. I accidentally switched two of the models' outfits and one of them had to go down the runway wearing a seashell bra the size of pasties. I'm sure they'll never hire me again."
"Please. It'll probably make the teasers," Parker comforts me. "Wardrobe malfunctions are ratings gold."
The Vicente's iron gate clangs shut, and Blair rushes in. Even after a long day at work, with her brownish-blond hair pulled into a messy bun that is a perfect complement to her smooth, cocoa skin and blue eyes, she is stunning.
"Liv! Thank God. What happened to you? I was worried when I couldn't find you."
"I'm sorry. I should have texted. It was a weird night. I should probably do LA a favor and book the next flight back to Pittsburgh."
"What happened? Did you get abducted by swimsuit models?" she asks, taking a seat and grabbing Parker's wine for a sip. He gives her a dirty look.
An image of Berkeley's charming smile pops into my head, and my stomach contracts. "No. Worse than that. I had a run-in with a rock star."
"Ooh. Who was it?" Parker asks.
"Ugh," I groan, my face heating. "I met Berkeley Dalton."
"Berkeley Dalton!" he says. "That's like hitting the celeb lottery."
"Please don't say that. It makes it so much worse," I say, hiding my face in my hands. "I'm such a huge fan — I listened to Berkeley & the Brightside on repeat all the way to California — it was all I could do to keep from melting at his feet."
"He's super hot," Blair says, fanning herself. "How did you meet him? He wouldn't have been mingling with the regular people — he was on the VIP party list for sure."
"VIP list?" I ask.
"There's a party within every party," she explains. "Full access is reserved for the A-list. Most of the people at that event would have given up Botox for a year if it meant an invitation to the VIP party. We're talking major sacrifice here."
If those were "regular" people, what does that make me? Insignificant. "Oh, well, I definitely wasn't in the VIP section — I was waiting in line for the bathroom while he was waiting for the model who was in the bathroom, and he started making small talk."
"Wait. He talked to you?" Parker's jaw drops as he stares at me. "You minx!"
"Yes, but I don't even know what I said. I've almost completely erased it from my mind — that happens in traumatic situations, you know. I think I told him I knew who he was, and I know I told him he was taller than I expected."
"Oh, wow. That violates, like, a hundred rules. I take it back. Not a minx," he says, shaking his head as he turns to Blair. "Didn't you brief her?"
She throws her hands up in defense. "I didn't think I needed to. She was supposed to blend in."
My eyes flit back and forth between them. "Rules?"
Parker studies me. "The rules have been compiled from years of experiences, and many a glass of Cabernet has been spilled in this courtyard during their creation. We don't share them with just anyone," he finally says with a questioning glance at Blair.
She nods her permission.
"But we like you," he says. "We think you have potential, Olivia Bloom, so we're going to let you in on some of LA's secrets. Being with celebrities is an art." He folds his hands and looks at me like he's about to share the long-lost secret of the universe. "Those of us in the industry are not in the business of meeting them from a fan point of view. Instead, we have to strive to be on their level. We may not be famous, but we're still their peers. Celeb inner circles are reserved for the elite, and once you enter the circle, there are certain unspoken rules you must abide by."
"For me, it helps to look at it this way," Blair says. "Celebrities are people, no different from you or me, who are living their dream. That's why we all come here. We're dreamers, and we don't want to settle for ordinary. We'll all meet with varying levels of success; some of us will be great artists whose names will never be known, and others will make it to the level of celebrity. Regardless of where you are in the journey, it's safe to say you probably have a fragile ego. For this reason it's important to remember Rule #1: If you don't know who someone is, just assume they are someone."
"LA is a place where everyone might be anything," Parker continues. "Your barista could have just sold a screenplay, that actor walking the red carpet at a premiere might have had to get his shift covered to attend, the guy working at the Apple store's band might be playing the Staples Center that night. You never know, so Rule #2: Never ask anyone what they do. It's okay to ask general questions until you figure it out, but don't be too obvious. 'What are you working on?' is a good, vague question."
"On the other hand," Blair takes over, "Rule #3: If you do know who they are, don't let on you know. You can assume you both know who they are and move on. This is not a time for fans. Be professional. If it gets overwhelming, remember Rule #4: You can always decompress later. Just breathe."
This is getting confusing. "So basically," I clarify, "assume everyone is someone, and if you do know who they are don't let them know you know, and if you don't know who they are, don't let them know you don't know."
"Right!" they exclaim in unison.
"And," Blair continues, "to take it a step further, keep in mind we are all public until we don't have to be. The people at the lowest rungs of success are the ones who require publicity to fuel their rise to the top. They're the ones who need the tabloids and will call the paparazzi any time they leave their house. You don't have to worry about them as much. It's the people at the top you have to look out for. Once a celebrity reaches the top, they become fiercely private, shutting out all the leaches that helped them get there, and keeping only the most trusted around."
"Rule #5: Never breathe a word of what you hear when you're with an A-list celebrity," Parker whispers. "It's suicide."
"Personally, I rarely utter a word about anyone," Blair says, "because if the people at the bottom ever make it to the top, they need to know they can trust you. Unless it's around you guys, of course," she adds. "I trust you, and sometimes you've got to tell someone!"
"I think I'm just going to avoid ever talking to anyone," I say.
"That's probably for the best," Blair agrees.
"Especially in restrooms," Parker says. "Rule #6: Never talk to a celebrity in a bathroom. They hate that. Everyone deserves a little privacy now and again."
Of course they do.
My head is spinning with information but I venture, "Technically, he talked to me ..."
"That's true," Blair says to Parker. "Maybe he was hitting on her."
"Oh no." Waving my hands in front of my face as if they could erase her words, I dismiss that notion immediately. "He definitely wasn't hitting on me — he was probably just being friendly because I looked like such a loser. I'm sure he's benevolent and wonderful and strives to make those of us who fall into the excessively clothed category feel appreciated. I felt so frumpy next to his girlfriend."
"Hold on," Parker interjects. "You were wearing that?"
I look down at my shirt. "Yeah. So?"
"Oh. My. God. Now I really can't believe he talked to you. Those aren't your pj's? What are you wearing?"
"Blair said I should wear black. It's my 'blend in' outfit."
"Honey, were you trying to be a 1950s beatnik from Funny Face or something?" He guesses correctly. "It is one thing to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn, but it is quite another to wear a mock turtleneck and capris to a Hollywood event. This is the big time, sweetheart; you best check your costume at the door."
"But I love Hepburns." I sniff.
Blair and Parker look at each other and a moment passes between them. He shakes his head. "It'll take a lot of work," he warns her. "Accent elimination. She'll need to be able to talk the talk, not just look the part ..."
"Yes. But it could be the true test of our spinning ability," Blair replies.
"If we turn her into an It girl, it could put us on the map. At the very least it would look good on my resume. I don't want to be an assistant forever, and this could send me on my way to becoming 'the super spinstress'! And, don't you need a project? You'll go crazy sitting around all hiatus."
He considers for a moment. "It could be fabulous ... as head writer on The One, I am qualified to craft her into someone worthy of assumption ..." The One is a reality dating show where either a gorgeous guy or girl must choose their fiancé from a group of attractive singles who live in a mansion together, and Parker is in charge of coaching "The One" on what to say during the lily ceremony.
"What are you talking about?" I ask.
"Operation Loverly," Parker says, seeming to come to a decision. "Your Hollywood initiation."
Excerpted from In Bloom by Katie Delahanty, Karen Grove, Nicole Steinhaus. Copyright © 2014 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
Pure and utter bliss. How could you not feel that way if you started DATING your rock star crush? Well I guess you'd have a better chance of feeling that way if there were no such thing as the paparazzi and tabloids. Drawn in by the title of this book, IN BLOOM, which happens to also be the title of a song by MY favorite band Nirvana, I read what the book would be about - falling into a relationship with a rock god, how could I pass that up?? Obviously I couldn't. Olivia Bloom has packed up from Pittsburgh and moved to LA to pursue her dream of becoming a costume desinger. Happening to be in the right places at the right times, she soon not only meets Berkeley, the frontman for her favorite rock band Berkeley and the Brightside, but also begins dating him. She also happened to luck out in making friends at her apartment complex as well as getting a job and making a friend there, too. I loved her friends and how she wasn't shy about making sure they know she wants to be herself - not someone fake to fit into the scene. IN BLOOM is the perfect title for this book and not just because "Bloom" happens to be Olivia's last name. I adore that girl to pieces. She boldly left everything and everyone she knew behind to move to LA to go after her dream. Olivia is like a delicate peach rose, and once she's found her niche, she really begins to thrive and bloom. She's witty and instantly likable. I could read ten books in a row with her in them. Berkeley is completely swoon worthy. There's just something about him from the very start that made me fall for him. He seems unaffected by his rockstar status by being a genuine and down-to-earth guy. He's modest and romantic...all of this adds up to every girl's dream! For me, I love that he is so into music - I could just imagine him playing his guitar and singing right to me. One of my favorite parts of IN BLOOM is that every chapter begins with a tweet or two from the characters in the story. It was a really fun way to start each new chapter and showcased the different personalities of each character. Plus, the tweets were just funny and made me laugh. If you've been reluctant to give the New Adult genre a try, I highly recommend you start with IN BLOOM. This book will cause you to swoon and laugh and is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
In Bloom was a refreshing change of pace. I have read many books centered around a “regular girl” falling for a rock star, but this story was one of my favorites. It was witty and fun and gave us a look at day-to-day life on the A-list. Olivia Bloom is an awesome character. She is the kind of girl you want to be best friends with. She proved herself to be strong, independent and secure in who she is over and over again. Berkeley is the frontman for Berkeley & the Brightside. His band has been a hit on the music scene for years and he is used to life in the spotlight. Thankfully he was a little older, a little wiser, and past his I’m-going-to-sleep-with-every-girl-I-meet phase. Parker and Blair make for hilarious best friends. They kept me laughing throughout the book with their antics and ridiculous conversations. I loved the integration of social media into this story. Every chapter begins with a few tweets sent back and forth between the characters. It was honestly one of my favorite things about the book. It gave me a piece of the characters’ personalities and helped to round out the characters completely. The plot was more than just another hot rocker with a girl back home who is sleeping with groupies and forgetting to call, forcing her to play out her insecurities and break up with him repeatedly. Both Liv and Berkeley had substance as characters and I respected and loved them for that. I really enjoyed their story and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the band over the course of the series!
Absolutley LOVED this book, Endearing characters that were relatable, cute banter, great writing. I felt like the characters were real. You could feel their struggle and see that famous or not people can be real,, they can be just like anyone else. Scared, lonely, happy, they can also choose to be nice and sincere or egotistical and self absorbed. I would definitely recommend anyone who wants a good love story with real feeling and depth to pick up this book. Cant wait for more!!!
Great story, well developed characters & great steam;-) Thank you... & please write faster!
I finished this book last year and loved it!! I am looking foward to reading the new book coming out this week.
My Thoughts: Before I chose to step into this book, I hesitated. I wasn't sure if this was a story I wanted to read. I glanced at a couple reviews and saw people were raving, then knowing it was taking place in California, I decided to cave. In the end, it wasn't as good as I was hoping. I was enjoying seeing Olivia experience this new world in the beginning. I've been wanting to go to California for awhile, so hearing little mentions of Cali was pretty cool. But, some of it started to feel far fetched for me. Just too glitzy and I started to get annoyed with all the celebrity of the story. And the romance with Berkeley and Olivia didn't really draw me in. It kinda did, and kinda didn't. I didn't feel the pull that I usually do when the characters have those moments. Maybe it's because I started losing steam partway in and could hardly pay attention without skimming. I'm not sure. In Bloom may not have been a favorite, but it's not a horrible book either. I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads, and I only give stories that have some sort of redeeming value to them 2 stars even if I didn't like it a lot. It was well-written, I just couldn't get into it myself. Doesn't mean you shouldn't check it out. I may pick up another one by Katie Delahanty, see what I think about that. My Rating: It's Okay
4.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: Yes! It made me giddy throughout. I read it in about a day and a half. At first, I was skeptical because it started off a bit slow. However, it picked up speed and got me interested. Once the author referenced the life-changing capability of a Primanti Bros. sandwich, I was sold! I loved the Pittsburghese, the Burgh references, and the mentions of Pittsburgh. It gave me an additional connection to Olivia. The story is cute. It’s sweet. It’s romantic. It’s very hot. The New Adult steamy scenes were hot. I’m glad I wasn’t reading those as I was walking around my neighborhood. I was on the sweet and romantic scenes then. I was walking and giggling and smiling. I wasn’t sure I liked Olivia in the beginning. She seemed too naive and clueless. But the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. She was sweet, shy, sometimes clumsy-ish, and a hard worker. She was also funny. I liked her attempts to ease the tension or change the subject. I liked Berkeley from the beginning. And I loved getting to know the real Berkeley as the story unfolded. He seemed genuine, kind, shy, and an all-around good guy who wanted to protect Olivia from the press games. I loved his South African accent slips, and I wished Olivia had a few more Yinzer accent slips as she got comfortable with Berkeley. That would have been fun to watch her explain, especially if she told him she had to redd up n’at before she could leave the office. LOL All-in-all, In Bloom was a great read, and I can’t wait for the next book in the Brightside series. Would I recommend it: Yes. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings If you have been reading my reviews for awhile then you know that I am a big fan of books that give readers a behind the scene glimpse of the Hollywood life and this book did not disappoint! A regular girl moves from Pittsburgh to LA to follow her dream as a designer and ends up in a relationship with the Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake of the music world. And this relationship will completely change her life, is it for good or bad? What a great book! I loved how the author mixed a regular girl and Hollywood, and really used the craziness of media to give their relationships ups and downs. I will absolutely not spoil this ending as it is worth the read, but I love how the ending came about, the last twenty pages were a fantastic roller coaster of emotion. The secondary characters were just as full and fantastic and I loved how they played against Olivia's newness to the city and the Hollywood life.
Thank you to Book Sparks PR and Macmillan for my copy of In Bloom. This novel is the first book in the Brightside series. I think it might be one worth checking out! What kind of relationships do you dream of having? Synopsis: Olivia Bloom has suffered a recent breakup and has decided to make some changes, in her life. The first change is to move out west from Pittsburgh to sunny Los Angeles California. She starts making new friends, but is struggling with a job search. Then she meets Parker and Blair who offer to help her in project Loverly. What is this project but a way to help Olivia to adjust to her new life in LA. Will she be successful? How will Berekeley from the Brightsides figure into all of this? My Thoughts: I really like this novel. It is written very well! I think Kate Delahanty may become one of my favorites. I am definitely interested in the rest of the series. The structure of this novel is interesting! I have read novels where the structure is text message, email, or written letter. I have not seen the use of tweets, but this is how each chapter begins. It totally works with the rest of the novel. I also have not read the genre of New Adult before which means the character is college or post college. The characters are interesting! The way an author constructs a character factors into the rest of the novel. I was a little unsure of what I thought of Olivia’s conflict with Berekeley the lead singer. I look forward to more from Kate Delahanty! by Jencey Gortney/Writer'sCorner
Great history =)
Slow to start, I hung in there because the writing was good enough, glad I did. Liked Berkeley, he was hot. Olivia was annoying at times with self deprecation and stubbornness. I wasn't quite sure where the story was headed, I liked that. Once the couple became the focus piece rather than Olivia herself, I enjoyed the romance and couldn't put it down. S.A.K.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I'm an avid reader and this one really held my attention. However, some vocab and words she used to describe certain things I found very frustrating and unnecessary. It at times made me want to stop reading but I continued and I'm glad I did. I just really think that sometimes the vocab was way too much and made the story unreal and fairly aggravating. Overall though great book.
Do yourself a favor and read it
This is a true love will conquer all story. Berekley is a rock star whose life is consumed with fame. When he meets Liv he is completely smitten. Their relationship is sweet and true. That may not be enough to protect their love. Thank you Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley for ARC.
Fun read-who wouldn't enjoy crazy neighbor friends, working in the fashion industry in LA, qwirky mom, and super hot guitar playing love! It was like set in mtv's the Hills, with a dash of sex in the city and melrose place. I read it two times just this week. Just that good. #loveinbloom
Really cute story. Kept me interested without over the top drama. I hope there's more story to come (it does say series). Great debut novel!
I loved Olivia! In Bloom was a great "feel good" book. I am so glad it is going to be a series. I can't wait to read more from Katie Delahanty.