Book Review: What Goes On Tour

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Author: Claire Boston
ISBN: 9781760080686
RRP: $3.99

I’m a little late to the Texan Quartet but in the lead-up to the release of the second in the series I was able to read What Goes on Tour, an interesting behind the scenes look at the life of a rock star.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the term ‘party like a rock star’ and it conjures images of drunken debauchery, shameless groupies, sex, drugs and screaming fans. That is not what life looks like for sexy rock-god Kent Downer, especially since he gained custody of his 10-yr old niece Kate.

Kent Downer takes the onstage persona alter ego to extreme new lengths, his makeup isn’t over the top but his personality is different enough that he has managed to keep his anonymity. His off-stage information is closely guarded for the protection of his privacy, and his niece. Kent is arrogant and knows his appeal, he has swagger in spades and loves the ladies. But when he gets home and washes off his alter ego, the shy and uncertain Adrian is a completely different man.

Libby Myles is a children’s author dreaming about the day she can forget about a day job and write full time. It hasn’t happened yet but she is determined to make it happen. She meets Kent when they both appear on a talk show, then the following day Kent takes Kate to her book signing. Libby is struck by the difference in his demeanour but finds herself enjoying spending time with Kate and her uncle Adrian.

Kent finds himself without a nanny and Libby is trying to scrape through until her next temp job starts so after some wordy contracts and in-depth conversations Libby takes on the role as Kate’s nanny, hoping that her schedule will leave her enough time to fulfill her writing commitments.

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What Goes On Tour tackles some very confronting issues with orphaned Kate and the custody battle slowly building steam in the background, alcoholism, abuse, neglect and a whole range of esteem issues.

Libby and Kent both have baggage by the bucketload which leaves them second guessing every move and it really does look like things could be easily twisted. Author hanging out with rock star, oh what story fodder. Add to the mix her current financial insecurity and there’s no doubt she could make a packet off the tabloids.

I found What Goes On Tour to be nicely paced with thorough characterisation and an interesting storyline. Libby and Kent are our damaged leads but Kate is definitely a leading lady also. The 10 year old is resilient and perky but she is still only 12 months in from losing her parents and the wounds are quite raw. She is a character that you can’t help but love and she goes a long way to endearing the reader to Libby and Adrian/Kent. The way all of the characters interact with Kate tells a lot about their character and demonstrates their desire to make sure things are different for Kate than they could have been.

Watching the interactions between Libby and Kate as she imparts her wisdom and helps Kate to write a book is heartwarming. Anyone who writes knows how therapeutic the exercise can be so for Libby to sit by and encourage Kate and help her when she probably should be working on her own deadline shows complete compassion.

What Goes On Tour is definitely not what I was expecting but I really enjoyed it. An intimate look at life backstage for a rockstar who fights hard to ensure that he can live a quiet and normal life in his time off stage. There are times that Kent allows Adrian to do or say the things he wants to and times Adrian allows Kent to behave with the compassion he is not expected to feel. I love the way Boston has painted him as two very different characters and they are treated as two different people. It is interesting to watch those around him interact.

I thoroughly enjoyed What Goes On Tour and look forward to reading more of Boston’s work.

What Goes On Tour is Book #12 for Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015.

Claire loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at her website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

To get your copy of What Goes On Tour you can head to: Momentum, Amazon (Kindle), Amazon UK (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook devices), Google Play (All devices except Kindle), iBooks Store (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac) and Kobo (All devices except Kindle).

 

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