Archive for January, 2015

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I’m one of those people who doesn’t judge when I see a name that’s obviously fake. I mean, hello? I’m obviously fake.

But I gotta appreciate a clever name, and Ms. Marshall here has me smiling. Marshall, as in the famed amps most rockers use.

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See? That’s Corey Taylor, the hottie behind Slipknot and Stone Sour.  See that amp down there on his right? (btw, the picture? It’s from the Marshall website. Thanks for proving my point, cool people at Marshall amps!)

And then we get into the book description and find another name… well, this one’s not so clever. In fact, I kinda groaned at it.

Henley Hendrix has been a guitar prodigy since the age of 12, and has grown up in rock-n-roll her entire life. By the age of 22 she was the Queen of rock-n-roll, and lead singer/guitarist in her band Abandoned Shadow. Women wanted to be her, and men simply wanted her. Tragedy strikes and she walks away from music for four years. She spends four years attempting to pick up the pieces of her life, then she is slowly pulled back to the only things she has ever loved, music and Jagger Carlyle.

Jagger is People’s Sexiest Man Alive, and rock’s biggest bad boy, and every woman wants to bed him, while every man wants to be him. Jagger presses her to tour with his and her brother’s band, Broken Access, and sparks fly. Her eyes are opened back up to music, and to the boy she fell in love with in the sixth grade.

The journey is marked by Henley’s fears of her past, and how to proceed with her music career. She is surrounded by comic relief, and most of all love, but will the pressures of the rich and famous be too much after her sabbatical? Will the cameras and the women be too much for her?

Hendrix and Jagger, huh? Is our cleverly-named author maybe a 70s rock fan?

Now, I got a real gripe here, and that’s that once again, the rock stars. Women (and men) want to be her (and him) and members of the opposite sex want to bed them. Every. Single. Time.

C’mon, folks, can we dig a little deeper? That’s the whole point of rock stars. If you can’t do them, be them. But a book needs a more redeeming quality than that to put stars in my eyes. I’ve been around. I know. There are plenty of rockers I’ve met over the years who I don’t want to be or bed. Corey Taylor notwithstanding.

And to do it twice in the same book description? I’m sorta gagging over here, you know? That just drives it home.

But anyway. There’s been some tragedy and of course, it’s a man to the rescue to fix Henley. It’s a man she’s known for a long time now, too. That’s turning into a familiar trope, too.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s that even with a hot shot of Corey, I’m in a crummy mood. But maybe it’s that I want different. I want to see the boundaries pushed. Rock Fiction is such a fantastic category; there’s so much that can be done with it. C’mon, authors. Let’s do better.

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Start with the book description ’cause it pretty much sums everything up.

It is London and the year 1972. A charismatic anarchist called O’Connell dies of an overdose, leaving his artist boyfriend, Pearson, and fellow activist Nina in shock. It also leaves a spare room in their squat. So Pearson moves in Sweet Thing, a streetwise yet vulnerable young rent boy he initially picks up but then tries to help. Pearson isn’t the only one who’s interested though – glam rock star Johnny Chrome is on the brink of a breakdown and is convinced that Sweet Thing is the only one who can bring him back. As Sweet Thing gets drawn further into Johnny Chrome’s dangerous orbit, Pearson and Nina discover that O’Connell was not all he seemed. In this tautly paced, highly evocative novel Jake Arnott once again combines brilliant storytelling with a flawless portrait of a changing era, when the optimism of the 60s was giving way to the anger and bombs of the early 70s.

Who’s Johnny Chrome? Where does he come from? What’s going on here? How does he have a darn thing to do with O’Connell? WTF?

Maybe this is atmospheric but it sure didn’t work for me. Another DNF.

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Not really sure what to say about this one.

Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?

It’s vague, isn’t it? Is this about Lark’s music or about secrets that need to be uncovered? What’s at stake (that’s Susan’s favorite question)? Who’s the title character? And a name like Lark Singer… Talk about in-your-face-don’t-miss-the-music-running-through-her-veins character names.

Gonna have to read this one, too. Man, my stack is getting big…

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When you start off with THIS cover, you know it’s gonna be a heck of a read. Here. Look. 21570074

Kinda makes you even wonder if it’s Rock Fiction at all. Oh, sure you’ve got a couple raised hands, but maybe they’re there for an S&M show or something.

But no, it’s Rock Fiction. See?

Abel Gunner, the lead singer of the band Lethal Abel, is what beautiful nightmares are made of. His gritty, melodic rasp threatens to rip your heart out of your chest and leave you gasping for the very breath he robbed you of. His kisses, detonating on impact, leave you ruined. Abel is also a Dom, and his appetite for seduction is legendary and intense. After a chance encounter with Gia, his need to dominate this woman increases tenfold. He wants to consume her, merge with her, and never leave her body.

Abel’s emerald eyes touch the deepest part of Gia’s soul in a way that terrifies her. She fears he can see her secret. Lies, guilt, and betrayal lay beneath her skin, and she’s terrified of being exposed. How will Gia ever begin to explain? She doesn’t believe she’s worthy of him, and her greatest fear is that her carefully guarded heart will be shattered. However, she finds herself unable to deny this rogue tattooed rocker whose kisses just might ruin her.

So the bio tells us ALL about Abel, but nothing about Gia. Or why Abel has to be saved.

Other than the fact that he’s a rocker, this may not be Rock Fiction at all. After all, Rock Fiction has to have a musical component. The book has to throb with music. It’s got to be present, be a factor. This reads more like a journey of self-discovery via an S&M relationship, and like nothing will happen onstage or with the band. Rock and roll may be founded on sex, but it takes more than sex to be Rock Fiction.

So what is it? Even the second book in the series, Forgiving Gia, doesn’t clear things up. Look:

Abel Gunner is a rock-star with legendary skills both in and out of the bedroom. He swore he wouldn’t fall for another woman after being schemed and manipulated by an ex-lover. He kept that vow until he met Gia Mastro. The Dom inside of him awoke the moment he set eyes upon the submissive beauty. His dark soul hungered for her submission and affection. The deep connection they share leaves him desperate for something he never expected – her love. Her pain brings him the pleasure he craves. Her smile calms the beast that rages within him. Gia loves Abel more than life itself, but Abel is disillusioned by love and wrecks Gia in the process. Her life hangs in the balance. His life depends on forgiving her. This couple must face many truths. Is love enough to overcome the damage that dwells within? Gia’s experiences with love have been nil until meeting the infamous bad-boy rocker, Abel Gunner. Swept up in a mind-bending, Dom/submissive love affair, she’s forced to make decisions that both help and hurt their relationship. They both have to face their demons before they can embrace a future together. In the end, they’re faced with two choices: Fight for their love, or die with their demons.

Gotta read it to see!

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Know what I don’t like about all these box sets that are the rage right now? They’re long. Really long. Too long. It’s this huge commitment ’cause it’s all one file and it feels like you’re reading and reading and reading forever and Susan’s going to kill me because the review is so long in coming and that’s a stress I don’t need. Or else I’m so frantic, I’m reading when I should be working and then I get in trouble at work and I really like my job, so.

If box sets are your thing, have at it.

Me, I’ll wait to get ’em all one at a time.

Sizzling romance that rocks!

From sinfully hot guitarists to wildly aggressive, dominant heavy-metal rockers, these are the bad boys of the music industry. This special collection brings you 12 of the hottest rockstar romance stories ever told from many of your favorite authors.

Now get a DOZEN novels and novellas all featuring deliciously naughty rock stars by the hottest New York Times, USA Today, Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestselling authors in the rock & roll romance genre all together in one amazing boxed set.

So, bring your lighter and get ready to toss your panties on stage!

Meeting Trouble by Emme Rollins – Sabrina can’t believe her luck—she’s always dreamed of front row seats to see her favorite band, “Trouble,” but when she bumps into lead singer, Rob Burns, and he invites her backstage, she finds herself hoping her luck doesn’t run out—and that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams will come true.

Wicked by Arabella Quinn – Second chances don’t always come knocking… When Lena reunites with Alex Lavigne, gorgeous lead guitarist with the sexy tattoos and nimble fingers, passions ignite…but she’ll learn the hard way that loving a bad boy rock star is never easy.

ROCKED: DEX & BECCA, compilation of Hard Rocked, Deep Rocked & Well Rocked by Clara Bayard – With music in her blood, Becca’s new job with Dream Defiled is a chance of a lifetime. But the irresistible pull of troubled bass player, Dex, raises the stakes for the plus-size beauty, and could be the start of something wonderful, or the end of everything she’s worked for.

Hard Rock Arrangement by Ava Lore – Chronic loser Rebecca Alton lands a job as the fake-girlfriend (read: 24/7 babysitter) of the music world’s current heartthrob and wild child, Carter Hudson, but it’s Kent–her boss, Carter’s older brother and bassist for Carter’s band–that catches her eye and the ensuing white hot attraction may just be too much to keep under wraps! Originally published as a four-part serial “Rock Arrangement:”
Exclusive Interview
Exclusive Contract
Exclusive Access
Exclusive Engagement

Rock Hard by Adriana Hunter – When they meet face to face, sparks fly, and the room is charged with electric, undeniable heat. A mixture of pain and pleasure, where history means something and instant attraction is remembered and perhaps rekindled. Can Gage look beyond the past and ever see Kate as anything but a cold heart-breaker who abandoned him?

Marooned with the Rock Star by Dawn Steele – Rebecca Hall never thought she would be marooned on a deserted island with the guy she hates most in the world, gorgeous rock star Kurt Taylor, until the fates throw them together to sink, swim or perish.

Rock & Roll Curves by D. H. Cameron – Darcy loved rock & roll but she never thought she could attract a rock star until Gage Tucker, lead singer of Dark Fire Love, walked into her life and proved that some men, even rock stars, love a girl with curves.

Cury Girls Rock by Virginia Wade/Ashlee Alexander – From the moment Brandi and rocker Ax Stevenson meet, sparks fly and libidos explode, as they find themselves hopelessly attracted; yet, in this climate of self-destruction, lust, and insanity, can two soulmates find the courage to surmount all obstacles and be together?

All Access by Karolyn James – Chasing Cross lead singer, Johnnie, has a major career decision to make and it doesn’t include meeting a woman who doesn’t know who he is… and it definitely doesn’t include falling for her and turning his rockstar world upside down with romance.

Rocking Her Curves by Aubrey Rose – When rock star Asher meets Trixie, he’s smitten by her curves – but she’s the lead singer for his opening band: strictly off-limits. Then their paths collide – literally! – and they’re forced to look temptation in the face…

The Rock Star And The Girl From The Coffee Shop by Terry Towers – Hanna is small town girl just trying to make a living serving coffee at the local coffee shop, but all that changes when a car accident brings rock legend, Bo Savage, into her life. She quickly comes to realize that being the girlfriend of a rock star is harder than expected as she’s pulled into a world of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

New Sensation & Run to You by Clare Cole – Down on her luck and working two jobs to make ends meet, curvy redhead reporter Amy Reid’s life is turned upside down when she is swept off her feet by international rock superstar Rick Borrell.

Mary from BookHounds is a HUGE Rock Fiction fan. Huger than maybe Jett and Susan combined. Maybe. So when she offered to cross-post her review of Rock of Pages favorite Jessica Topper’s new book, we were all over it.

Well, Jett was. Susan was pouting ’cause she doesn’t get to read a review copy.

Here you go. Here’s Mary.

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My Thoughts

Can I give this more than five stars?
Graphic artist Laney Hudson fell in love in with her high school sweetheart, made plans for a wedding and then her boyfriend left her right before the big day.  She left her dream job as an artist for a famous comic book company and went to work for her mother’s greeting card company.  Although not fulfilling, she is reluctant to try anything new and her mother’s constant put-downs as a screw up has not helped her self-esteem much either.  When her mother decides to get married in Hawaii, Laney is recruited to deliver the wedding dress from her home near New York City.
Scoring an upgrade because of the dress, Laney expects to be asleep until she has to change planes in Chicago.  In the first class lounge, she sits at the only open seat next to a business man using every single outlet and the two end up seated next to each other which leads the crew to assume they are engaged.  A little white lie and a snow storm creates a life changing event for both of them.  Noah Ridgewood is on his way to his bachelor party and finds himself  caught up in the excitement that is Laney.  He also realizes that he connects with Laney more than he ever did with his wife-to-be.  Stuck in a Chicago hotel for a day, the two connect more than either thought possible.
Laney and Noah become truly honest with each other because they expect to never to see each other again.  We find out what happened to Laney’s fiance in flashbacks that may have you in a bit of tears by the end.  Noah’s fiance is someone you will dislike right away, trust me.  I appreciate the fact that she is made more human by the end.  Overall, this is a swoon-worthy read, perfect for Valentines Day.  Oh, yeah, there is a bit of a music angle as well, since Laney’s ex is a drummer.  Those little details just make a book a great read.  Sigh, it just can’t get better than this.

Dictatorship of the Dress ISBN: 9780425276259
by 
Jessica Topper
Series: 

Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-01-06
Genres: 
ContemporaryFictionRomance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC 

Goodreads
five-stars 

From Jessica Topper, author of the “beautiful and engaging” (Open Book Society) debut novel Louder than Love, comes the story of second chances, missed flights, and a woman ruled by her mother’s wedding dress.

As the dress-bearer for her mother’s wedding, comic book artist Laney Hudson has a lot more baggage than the bulky garment bag she’s lugging from New York to Hawaii. Laney is determined to prove she’s capable of doing something right, but running chores for her mom’s fairytale nuptials is proving to be a painfully constant reminder of her own lost love.

So when she’s mistaken for the bride and bumped up to first class, Laney figures some stress-free luxury is worth a harmless white lie. Until the flight crew thinks that the man sitting next to her is Laney’s groom, and her little fib turns into a hot mess.

The last thing Noah Ridgewood needs is some dress-obsessed diva landing in his first-class row. En route to his Vegas bachelor party, the straight-laced software designer knows his cold feet have nothing to do with the winter weather.

When a severe storm leaves them grounded in Chicago and they find themselves booked into the last available honeymoon suite, Laney and her in-flight neighbor have little choice but to get better acquainted. Now, as her bridal mission hangs in the balance, perhaps the thing Laney gets right is a second chance at love

 

AmazonBarnes and Noble IndieBound

Jessica TopperAbout the author

Jessica Topper is an ex-librarian turned rock n’ roll number cruncher. She can trace her love for the written word back to age three, when she memorized Maurice Sendak’s “Chicken Soup with Rice” in its entirety.
After her daughter was born, Jessica left the Manhattan library world and began working for her husband’s music management company. He offered her a part-time bookkeeping job so she could “stay home for the baby’s first year” and pursue her dream of writing.

The baby is now thirteen, and Jessica has been working her full-time, sold-her-soul-for-rock-n-roll job as Office Manager for veteran jam band moe. ever since. She may have traded in books for bookkeeping, but the written word is never far from her mind, or her heart.

Jessica lives in upstate New York with her husband, daughter and one ancient cat. You can visit her atwww.jessicatopper.com Also, you can follow her on Twitter and Facebook

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For awhile there, country music was hot in Rock Fiction. At least the stuff crossing my radar, anyway. I think it has to do with the popularity of the TV show Nashville. If you’re not watching, you should be; that’s Rock Fiction at its best.

But I found this one.

From New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, comes the first book in her new adult series, LIVE FOR YOU.

Boys of the South ~ Book 1

The faster I rise, the harder they want to see me to fall.

For years, I had the perfect life and the perfect career as the reigning princess of country music, Violet Lynn. Then after one drunken night, my mug shot went viral. Suddenly, I was the girl least likely to be invited anywhere. Unable to withstand the questions from the press or the sight of my ex-boyfriend with my ex-best friend, I ran…straight into the arms of one bad boy bartender- Cole Morgan.

Cole’s nothing like any guy I met before, with his rough demeanor, tattoos, and piercings. It doesn’t matter to me that our worlds are so different that they don’t even occupy the same universe. He makes me feel safe, secure, and …loved.

But once he learns the truth of who I am and what I did, will he stay or turn on me like all the others?

[Note from Susan: four typos in the first line? Really? Well, maybe that explains why a quick Google search didn’t turn up the name of the publisher]

So on the surface, to make another Nashville comparison, we’ve got the story of Juliette Barnes here. The faster I rise, the harder they want to see me fall. Right there, I’m curious to know how this Violet chick falls. One mug shot ain’t gonna do it anymore, honey. You need a string of them — and music that isn’t that great in the first place, or that’s fallen off over the years.

And we know nothing about Violet’s background, so how can this Cole dude be nothing like anyone she’s met before? She’s never met bartenders? Really? Never played a place that had a bar and all the particular magnetism that goes along with it? Not sure I buy it.

Add this one to the “gotta read to see how it gets pulled off” pile ’cause in the end, that’s all that matters. I just know that as a freelance editor, these are the questions I’d be asking my client about her back cover description, especially with that title, that makes me think Violet’s feeling pretty desperate and it’s up to this Cole dude to keep her from doing something… stupid.

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The rise of the Black Eagles was meteoric, from band practice in the garage to global stars almost overnight.

And Melissa Webb, the beautiful girlfriend of the front man, appeared to have it all.

But when Luke Black disappears without a trace and Melissa wakes up in a hospital bed after a savage attack, her perfect world is shattered and their lives are plunged into a potentially deadly crisis.

Where is Luke, and can he be found before it is too late?

Whoa! This one sets us up for a romance and turns into … a mystery??

FRESH storyline. I’m loving it.

(but why do bands always have a meteoric rise to the top? Okay, so that’s pretty much the norm these days, but how many of them stay there? What’s wrong with slow and steady? With going in jags? With having a bad album and then recovering? C’mon, authors! Variety!)

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Woo hoo! This series looks like one no smart Rock Fiction lover should walk away from. One of those couples with an explosive chemistry who are SO hot, they have problems getting past it to do the hard work of a relationship. Secrets. Ex-spouses. Jealousy. It’s all there, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a kitchen sink run through, too. The difference here is that from the book descriptions — and that’s all I’ve got to go by, since review copies haven’t trickled from Susan to me [word from Susan: I ain’t got ’em, either, babydoll.]

Jackie Collins, sit up and take notice because Emily Snow is on the scene with what might be the first series with as many half stories as full stories. You know, the books numbered .5 and 1.5 and man, I am hoping there’s a 2.5 and a 3 and a 3.5…

The Devoured series features Sienna and Logan. They come together and part in the first couple of books, but in the final one, they get over themselves and try to make it work.

YES! YES! YES!

I’m leery, though… the final book (so far?) is set on the road. That always leaves me with that moment of hoping really hard that author Emily Snow will get it right. Only one way to find out, though, so bring on the Devoured series!