In Bloom by Katie Delahanty | Book Review

In Bloom coverTitle: In Bloom (The Brightside #1)
Author: Katie Delahanty
Genre: NA romance
Published: 2/10/2014
Length: 281 pages
Format: ebook
Buy At: Amazon

Summary: My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Free.

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…

My thoughts: In Bloom is a fun read, especially for a holiday. It incorporates some of the LA glam while not being so over the top. It starts with Olivia working at a party and meeting Berkeley, the lead singer of a famous band, whom she immediately likes. So, you could say it’s an insta-love story. But at least, it does evolve over time (and by time, I mean months) and it’s not a story that only takes days as in other NA novel. So, that’s a plus. Although, the passage of time could have been more clearly evidenced as I was confused at times and had to reread previous parts.

The book follows the love story between Olivia and Berkeley, with its highs and lows. It’s a sweet story, not much tension there. Besides that, you can also read Olivia’s career start at a lingerie company and her struggles there. It’s nice she doesn’t know all from the beginning, and she makes mistakes or doesn’t know how to use something in Illustrator. Also Blair and Parker, Olivia’s neighbors at Vicente turned best friends, were a nice addition to the story. I loved Parker.

What I didn’t like is that the book lacked tension. I did feel the middle part of the novel was kind of dragged and when the other shoe finally dropped it felt kind of boring. The conflict resolved quickly and we got our HEA. In this respect, the book felt more like a diary of sorts. Also, I didn’t feel that Olivia grew in this book. In the beginning she’s insecure and self-loathing. In the end, she’s still the same even if she has the guy and a lingerie collection named after her. I’m not sure how much a publicist rules a celebrity’s life. Sure, there are relationships that exists only for the cameras, but only if the participants have a lot to gain (think Twilight stars). But, a relationship between a famous rock star and an average actress? It doesn’t make a lot of sense, at least for me.

I loved the Twitter messages at the beginning of each chapter. I thought there were a nice touch and they are actual Twitter accounts you can go and look up. Also, I’m starting to notice a new trend for NA novels: including some New Age or spiritual elements. Here, in this novel, we have Psychic Mom. She was an interesting addition, even though she seemed kind of crazy. I noticed this is part of a series and I’m wondering what the next volume will be about (Olivia or another character, like Mark or Blair). If you’re into NA romance, you will mostly like this novel.

My rating: 3 stars

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.

You can find Katie Delahanty on these websites: