Review – Star Crossed (The Billionaires #4) by Emma Holly

Reviewed by: E

A.J. Hoyt is as cynical as she is badass, a former cop turned bodyguard. A lifetime of hard knocks taught her not to trust—a handy trait in her line of work. Given the right motivation, she knows anyone will betray their near and dear. Rather than let them betray her, A.J. keeps her shields nailed up.

On the surface, Luke Channing’s life seems charmed. He’s a Hollywood action hero whose looks inspire fantasies. Known for being easygoing and kind to fans, his latest film made him a billionaire producer. Problem is his high profile has attracted a dangerous admirer.

Threats like the one Luke faces aren’t new. A.J. saved his life once already. Now he doesn’t trust anyone but her to guard him. With a deadly enemy lurking in the shadows, this star-crossed pair better pray A.J.’s skills are sharp!
This blurb came from Goodreads

One of the many not fun things about being too stressed to really read for about a year and change is missing out on all of the normally read authors. One of the many great things about regaining your reading mojo is when you accept a review request and part way through reading the book you start thinking to yourself this is why you enjoy this particular author. Then your next thought is you now have a back-list to catch up on. Holly did that for me with Star Crossed. I had forgotten how fun her characters are, how complex they can be, and how more is at risk then the blurb suggests.

As a child, A.J. had quite an imagination and a strong streak of curiosity. She put both of them to work as she observed the people in her town and came up with a conspiracy theory. After the adults in her life dismissed her theory she took things into her own hands and set out to prove or disprove her suspicions. Her determination to investigate and then take action really formed the core of her character. Even though she didn’t know the results of her actions until much later, she kept her focus for what was right even after experiencing several of life’s hard knocks.

Luke became a well-known actor who transitioned to an even more famous producer with all of the perks and rabid fans. Even though he never knew who A.J. was his encounter with her left an indelible mark, one he never forgot. Seeing her years later as his life took another unexpected turn he was reminded of how she was the only person to tried to intervene in his situation and as a result she became the only person he trusted with his life.

Holly included several layers of emotional complexity in Star Crossed. She had the primary relationship between A.J. and Luke full of banter and tension. Then she had A.J.’s relationship with her father, which was full of undercurrents and conflict. In addition, A.J. also led a close-knit team whose respect she valued and wanted to keep even as she struggled with her attraction to Luke. On Luke’s side he had his immediate employees and his partner, then he had his co-star, her friends, and his “fans” all of whom had a vested interest in Luke for one thing or another. I thought this added several different motivations for the threats against Luke so I was kept guessing until the big reveal. I really liked how both A.J. and Luke needed each other to survive the threat to his life.

Star Crossed employed a very interesting twist on the second chance at love trope which is one of my favorites. The initial connection without a single undertone of romance followed years later by meeting again under a stressful situation and seeing the sense of familiarity followed by attraction and love as the story progressed was enjoyable. I did have a few quibbles with the story. First, I grew a bit tired of A.J. continuing to resist her attraction to Luke even after becoming intimate because I thought that became more of a distraction to her doing her job then their relationship was. I also wanted to dive a bit deeper into A.J.’s complicated relationship with her father. Having said that I still enjoyed my reading experience and when I finished I really wanted to go back and start this series over so I could keep my reading high going.

I give Star Crossed a B

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