Once More with Feeling is a book I was really curious about. We get friends to lovers that turns into enemies to lovers. Also a pop star trying to kick off her career again on Broadway. So I was really excited when I got an eARC to read and review this one. It took me a little longer than planned, but I’m finally posting my review today!
A big thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with this eARC.
Then. Katee Rose is living the dream as America’s number one pop star, caught in a whirlwind of sold-out concerts, screaming fans, and constant tabloid coverage. Everyone wants to know everything about her and her boyfriend, Ryan LaNeve, the hottest member of adored boy band CrushZone. Katee loves to perform but hates the impossible demands of stardom. Maybe that’s why she finds herself in the arms of another CrushZone member, Cal Kirby. Quiet, serious Cal, who’s always been a good friend to Katee, is suddenly Cal with the smoldering eyes and very good hands. One unforgettable night is all it takes to blow up Katee’s relationship with Ryan, her career, her whole life…
Now. Kathleen Rosenberg is okay with her ordinary existence, and leaving her pop star image in the past. That is, until Cal Kirby shows up with the opportunity of her dreams–a starring role in the Broadway show he’s directing and a chance to perform the way she’s always wanted. The two haven’t spoken since the joint destruction of their careers, and each of them blames the other, making their reunion a tense battle of wits and egos. Katee reluctantly agrees to the musical, as long as she keeps her guard up around Cal. But rehearsals are long, those eyes still smolder, and those hands are still very good. Despite everything, Katee can’t deny the chemistry between them. Is it ever a good idea to reignite old flames? Especially if you’ve been burned in the past?
A former pop star finds herself back in the spotlight–along with an old flame from her past–in this “friends to lovers” meets “enemies to lovers” romance from the bestselling author of Funny You Should Ask, the sensational Tik Tok romance!
Once More with Feeling has a “then” and “now” timeline and that really worked for this story. The author did a great job weaving in and out of these story lines to slowly reveal our main character’s past. This definitely has certain references that make you think Elissa Sussman grabbed inspiration from certain pop stars in the past, but it didn’t feel like a copied story. It was very well written.
Katee had the pop star career she dreamed of (well kind of) and a boyfriend that was in a popular boyband. I have to say I couldn’t stand him and definitely don’t get his appeal, but that’s a different story, haha. We slowly see Katee getting close to Cal (and I so wish we got chapters from his POV) that’s a bit nerdy, but seems so genuine. She ends up sleeping with Cal before breaking up with Ryan and that basically blew up her career. After reading the first part of Katee’s story I have to say I would never want to be a pop star ever! That life seems horrible.
Now it’s so many years later and Cal ends up being the director of the musical her best friend wrote that they want to get to broadway. Let’s just say we get a bumpy road. I loved seeing different aspects of broadway and Katee slowly starting to believe in herself again and her talent. The banter between Cal and Katee was the best and I loved seeing the tension there and them slowly letting feelings back in. Things get messy, but we all know we’ll get a happily ever after!
There were certain aspects I would’ve loved just a little bit more of, like Katee and Harriet talking things out, but all in all I really enjoyed this book. Dual timelines don’t always work, but this author knows how to balance them out and make you love these characters.
I’ve enjoyed Funny You Should Ask and Once More with Feeling by this author and I hope Elissa Sussman writes more books for us soon! Have you read either of these books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.