Author: J. Bengtsson
Series: Cake #1
Publication date: May 14th, 2016
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn't been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.
When outspoken, vivacious college student Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved rockstar for a friend's wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a reclusive loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn't carry a tune. She'd enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.
Yet despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a *full-length* standalone romance. Cake is a love story at heart but does deal with a sensitive topic and may not be for all.
Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of eighteen.
*This novel was professionally re-edited on June 28th, 2016*
I have to admit something that normally reviewers keep to themselves. I am a sucker for a cover. Sometimes I won't even read the description of the book and simply go off cover appeal. This one's cover was not something I would call particularly "wow-worthy". I could tell it was about a rock star as with the guitar and silhouette of a concert at the bottom, but other than that I didn't see anything that made me perk up with interest. However, as I determined I was going to read most if not all the books available for Kindle Unlimited I decided to try it out.
Jake is a rare breed. He's a rockstar who still has a down-to-Earth personality. You won't see him marring the front pages of the latest gossip magazine with wild antics. He is from a troubled past and a popularity he had hoped would not define his entire career. His past is traumatic and his present is unpredictable. Everybody wants something from him and it gets old fast. So when he meets Casey, who doesn't seem to care much for his fame, he can't help but to get to know her. When he does, he doesn't know how he survived without her. She is the first person who doesn't seem to immediately want something from him and it's that rare quality that makes walking down the aisle at his brother's wedding with her that much more exciting.
Casey knows the newspaper's report of what happened to Jake when he was younger. She wouldn't dream of feeling sorry for him, but knowing the man, who seems so put-together and accomplished, was hurt like that makes Casey's heart ache. Casey is awkward in the most delightful way and she keeps Jake on his toes. But when Jake's past starts to bleed into their life together, Casey must find a way to weather the storm so both her and Jake make it out alive.
I loved Casey. I loved everything about her. She was the perfect female lead in this story. Jake I don't feel was as flushed out as Casey was. The situation leading to Jake dealing with his past was very true to real life with someone with PTSD. The flashbacks and the feel of those types of traumas was real and clearly well researched. I felt for Jake even while being annoyed with him for the way he would treat Casey when he was having one of his "moments". He definitely had a diva side to him and Casey's role as the complete opposite did wonders for the story. If they had both been dramatic then the story would have come off as very whiny. It was a good balance.
Cake was the real story behind rockstar fame when you remove the drugs and alcohol that seems synonymous with that career path. Rockstars have a past and it's not always pretty but sometimes, like everyone else, they find the person to pull them from their dark abyss and into the light.