Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Blushing
Series: The Brightside #2
Author: Katie Delahanty
Publisher: Entangled Embace
Publication Date: Feb 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Engaged.

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. But instead he dropped a bombshell that turned my life upside down: he’s set to star in a movie with, who else, his gorgeous ex, Christina Carlton. And what’s more? I’ve been erased from the public eye. All anyone can talk about is #Berkstina.

Berkeley wants 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, the love scenes; it’s not how I imagined our engagement. I know Berkeley is passionate and driven, but he has so much going on—I don’t know if we can take it. I’m starting to wonder how well I know him.

I love him, but am I ready to drop everything and decide the rest of my life? To become Olivia Dalton?

REVIEW 

I absolutely adored the fairytale-esque style of In Bloom and jumped at the chance to read the second installment of Olivia and Berkley’s relationship. Blushing picks up at the exact moment In Bloom ends providing amazing continuity of both the story and the emotions it invokes.

The continued use of twitter updates in Blushing adding visually dynamic interludes at the chapter headings. While the psychic predictions and use of new age ‘therapies’ often add humour to the plot while re-enforcing the idea of fate/destiny/serendipity within the narrative. Everything happens for a reason leading a person to where they should be even if they had never envisaged that place before 🙂

Olivia is a fabulous character, she really doesn’t see herself clearly, beautiful both inside and out she draws people to her. Her inner monologues are utterly adorable and very relatable, often tugging at the heartstrings. Everyone has moments of self-doubt, add to that the situation Olivia finds herself in and you can’t help but feel for her.

The stress and demands on a person with celebrity status is portrayed very well. Adding a great number of unnecessary obstacles to building a ‘real’ relationship add in the amount of ‘spin’ within the media and you have a recipe for disaster. My heart was literally dropping with elements of this plot 🙁

Olivia and Berkley’s relationship moves extremely quickly adding to the feeling of unease within the story. Secrecy regarding their relationship added to the fact that Olivia doesn’t know Berkeley all that well increases the sense of foreboding. I’ve got to be honest but I found myself liking Berkeley less and less as the story progressed. There are a number of sides to him, that Olivia points out, you have to question which one is real and what is his motivation. Revelations within the narrative, true or false, add to the sense of impending doom. You question what to believe and who to trust in a world where everyone has their own agenda.

I cannot imagine having to watch someone I loved kissing another person, even if it was only for fictional purposes; it has to play on your mind/emotions especially if they had a previous relationship with that person.

Alternative romantic interest are introduced, alongside old flames intent on stirring the pot. In all honesty, I adored Justin to the point I would have happily seen Olivia with him as opposed to Berkeley (I KNOW RIGHT) For me, Berkeley just didn’t cut it, I don’t feel as if I know him at all with all his secrets and differing personalities. He needs to be consistent with Olivia, which at this point he just isn’t 🙁

While the romantic aspects of Blushing left me a little defeated, Olivia’s character development more than made up for it. The friendships she has stood the strain of celebrity status while professionally Olivia has a whole new world open up to her. The stuff dreams are made of.

Blushing is most definitely an adult fairytale – one I hope continues with the other characters taking centre stage ♥