Archive for April, 2015

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How’s that for a poetic title? Under a Georgia Moon. Rolls right off the tongue.

Here’s what it’s about:

Addie Heywood thought she was doing okay after her fiancé dumped her just weeks before their wedding, claiming he’d found someone else more compatible with his health food tastes. But when he marries the other woman three months later, Addie needs to get away. Leaving her home in Idaho, she escapes to Mitchel Creek, Georgia to visit her Aunt Janie. She just wants to spend the next two weeks enjoying her aunt’s southern cooking, not dodging the guys her aunt is determined to set her up with.

Chase Nichols isn’t looking for love. His dream is to trade his computer mouse for his guitar and make it big in the country music world. If he can land a job in Nashville, he might have a shot at getting discovered. His plans get derailed when he does his neighbor a favor and picks up her niece, Addie, at the airport. Things get even more complicated when his ex-girlfriend comes back into the picture. That’s when he hatches a new plan. Since Addie wants to avoid her aunt’s matchmaking schemes, and he wants to avoid his ex-girlfriend, they’ll fool the world by pretending to date. What neither of them counts on is actually falling in love.

So we’ve got a guy here who dreams of being a country music star. But his dreams are derailed and he falls in love.

I don’t know, but I don’t see how it’s a healthy relationship if you have to put your dreams on hold.

The question, then, is if this is really Rock Fiction or not. Can Christian fiction be Rock Fiction? That’s a good question, one this book could answer.

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I gotta say it: I think Lauren Dane is a closet Rock Fiction fan. I mean, this is the fourth book to show up on our master list of Rock Fiction. And this series, The Hurley Boys, is all about rockers.

Check out what this one’s about:

Beyond passion. And beyond their control…

Five years ago, Tuesday Eastwood’s life collapsed and left her devastated. After an empty, nomadic existence, she’s finally pieced her life back together in the small Oregon town of Hood River. Now Tuesday has everything sorted out. Just so long as men are kept for sex, and only sex…

Then she met him.

Musician and rancher Ezra Hurley isn’t the man of Tuesday’s dreams. He’s a verboten fantasy—a man tortured by past addictions, whose dark charisma and long, lean body promise delicious carnality. But this craving goes far beyond chemistry. It’s primal. It’s insatiable. And it won’t be satisfied until they’re both consumed, body and soul…

So if I didn’t know this series is about a band, the “musician and rancher” aspect would have me wondering if this is, indeed, Rock Fiction. From the description, I’ll have to read to see just how much Rock Fiction there is.

But yeah, I’d be more than glad to read this one. Bring it on!

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Not a series! But a guy-guy romance and I’ve said it before: these just aren’t my thing. But here, take a look anyway:

Wealth. Fame. Gold record. Hookers and Cocaine front man Henri Lafontaine has it all…including a control freak manager, band members who smile as they sharpen blades for his back, and last but damn well not least, a fan out to steal his heart. Literally. Trying to write hit songs and plan a comeback in the midst of the hi-fi white noise of LA feels more like watching his world implode, until he’s offered a month in the Colorado Rockies for vocal coaching.

Sebastian Unger’s rich, classically trained tenor inspires wicked thoughts. More than a pretty choir boy, he cracks the whip without hesitation to drive tattooed bad-boy Henri to give his all to his music. Working, fighting, and finally establishing a fragile peace, they find inspiration and perhaps more in each other. But the clock is ticking. Time will pull Henri back to the grit and gold of LA’s mean streets and fame machine, while Sebastian must return to the opera circuit, where a mysterious man known as “the patron” holds far too much sway. Only the trust they’ve built on a handful of notes bridges their two worlds…and shields them from malice.

I like the idea here of going to a vocal coach to get better. But why, when you’re on top of your game?

Why is a killer stalker mentioned in the first sentence and then dropped? Is there a thriller element to this book? How can a band who hates each other this much make it to the top? I bet there’ve been others who have, and I’d love to see the onstage antics of this band, always trying to one-up each other on stage until even the media knew it wasn’t working.

And why would Henri even WANT to make a comeback with these wankers? Comeback from…. what? From having it all?

This is one that I see so many issues with, I gotta read it just so I can be all, “Hey, I’m wrong and that’s an okay thing when a book’s this good.”

And I’ve never seen a book get so slammed on GoodReads for having an ugly cover. Just don’t tell Susan I’m reading the reviews again…

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“Rock Star” by Gary Sprague: The Grass Ain’t Always Greener… (Five Stars)
by sbr martin

For many, being a rock star would be a dream come true… But, for Dark Cross axe-grinder Sonny Wells, it was a living nightmare. Sure, it was great to play on stage and share his artistry with the world—and, the fame, fortune, and feral females were fabulous, of course. But, everything else? Not so much. As Dark Cross rose to dominate the 70’s rock scene, Sonny stood by as everything else around him fell apart and crumbled to the ground. The long-term friendships amongst his bandmates deteriorated almost as quickly as the drugs destroyed their minds, and creative differences, greed, and ego further forged a drastic divide. Enough was enough, and Sonny opened his eyes. He took a deep breath, walked away from it all, and never looked back again… until now.

“Rock Star” by Gary Sprague finds fifty-something Sonny in an unlikely place and unthinkable situation. Clad in work boots, mud-stained flannels, and a John Deere cap atop his scraggly grey strands, Sonny makes his home on a farm in rural Maine, where he lives in peace under an assumed name and no one is privy to his past. He’s clean, sober, and bedding a babe over thirty, and, for the past three decades, he’s strummed only for his faithful canine companion, the disabled kids at a nearby school, and the rock icons who hang on the walls of his well-hidden music room. But, unfortunately for Sonny, most of that’s about to change… When an overambitious journalist discovers Sonny’s whereabouts, there’s a media frenzy and corporate chase to get Dark Cross back on the stage. Equally as concerned with the band’s legacy as with his own serenity, Sonny is deadest against it at first—but, when he sees an opportunity to help those he loves, he reluctantly signs on and embarks upon a very lucrative reunion tour. Yet with the millions of dollars comes innumerable woes, and Sonny is once again forced to face those things he tried so hard to avoid, including coming to terms with the consequences of the decisions he’s made.

A delightfully down-to-earth and entirely entertaining piece, “Rock Star” takes readers on an incredible journey to places they might not necessarily want to go. Very realistic, revealing, and raw, it presents a world stripped of all the glam, glory, and gregarious good times we rock-star-wannabe-dreamers dream to find and shows how, believe it or not, the grass ain’t always greener on the other side.

Read it for pleasure; read it for perspective; read it for any reason, or for no reason at all. “Rock Star” gets five stars for its touching, thought-provoking portrayal of one.

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So why am I starting with the second in a series? Good question and there’s no answer other than because it’s the book I came across first. Except… when I went back into the archives here (wow. We’ve been around long enough to have archives!), I’d already raved about the first book in the series, Three Nights with a Rock Star.

Kinda cool to keep raving about a series. Usually, it’s one and done for me.

Here’s the description.

Half-Life bassist Krist Mellas is caught in a PR nightmare after his dirty sex video blew up online. His agent has the solution: a fake engagement with sultry pop princess Madeline Fox. Krist can’t think of anything worse than a charade with the bubblegum bombshell…except losing the band.

Madeline knows better than anyone what it means to live a lie in the spotlight. She’s determined to help Krist without ever letting him find out what it costs her—or about her girlhood crush on him. But after a smoking hot back alley encounter with him leaves her breathless, she can’t deny she wants the snarling bad-boy rocker.

In a world of glitter and diamonds where the kisses are fake but the climaxes are real, their facades start to crack. And the publicity storm may shatter them both.

I get stuck right on that first concept. A rock star and a home sex video. Hello, Tommy Lee. Hello, Fred Durst. Hello, Kid Rock. Hello, Vince Neil.

Hey, those Motleys sure like their cameras.

Even Gene Simmons made a tape, purely for the promotional lift it gave him. Because since when does Gene do anything that’s not purely for the promotional lift?

You see the point. Especially in the current world, it’s domestic violence and rape that are the image destroyers (hello Ray Rice and yes, even Big Ben. Know how many people think Ben’s marriage was only to improve his image? The joke around town, I’ve heard, was that she was marrying him so she’d get to keep the house in a couple of years.). Not sex, and not sex from a guy whose career description is sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

If you get past that, the idea of the two radio stations, pop and rock, coming together in a relationship is what’s intriguing here. I don’t know if any of that’s going to come into play ’cause the set-up here is the old secret crush on the rock star. If it doesn’t, it’s sure opportunity wasted.

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You know it… it’s the first in a series! Susan says she was reading a blog post that claims series sell better than standalones. Just from the sheer number of series, you gotta believe that, don’t you?

Here’s today’s pick:

Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He’s desperate to make amends for the mistakes he’s made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance.

Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves and a fiancé who loves her. Unfortunately, her fiancé isn’t the only man professing his love. He may be able to offer her safety and security, but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?

There’s so much here that’s familiar… what’s different about this one? Nothing, from the description. That means we need a better description!

This is an 8-book series, but not all of the books are Rock Fiction, so know that going in. You’ll have to pick and choose. They all seem to be about Country music, go figure, since the series has Nashville in the name.

One major complaint, other than the bland description: at least on GoodReads, the covers are all the same! How are you supposed to tell the books apart and know which you’ve read and which you need and what order to read them in if they all look exactly the same??

Oh, and about that description? If you read the rest of the descriptions in the series, they all read exactly the same. Insert Detail A into Blank B. And none of them really reveal much that makes you think you’ll die unhappy if you don’t read this book.

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Ever notice how some book titles are really popular? This is one: Backstage Pass. I don’t quite get why, but then, both Susan and I have stacks of them. When you have stacks, the novelty tends to wear off. So as a title, I’m not sure this makes me all ga-ga.

But it does alert me to Rock Fiction and … another first in a series! This series is called Let’s Make This Thing Happen, which might be the oddest series title I’ve come across yet. It sure does stand out!

Here’s the book description:

Emily is a successful woman in the tail end of a failing marriage. Ray is the reformed wild boy of rock, back on stage again for the first time in years. As a teenager Emily had Ray’s posters all over her bedroom wall so when she gets backstage tickets it’s as if her dreams have come true. Actually meeting him is an unexpected highlight of the evening, but that’s as far as it could ever go. They come from such different worlds: what could an international star ever see in a grounded, curvy woman like Emily?

A story of secret romance in the world of the super-rich, an international celebrity and his unlikely BBW love. Steamy and passionate and full of the twists and turns familiar to readers of PJ Adams’ work, including the bestsellers Winner Takes All and Black Widow.

Some familiar ground here, changed only by the fact that Emily ain’t a stick. That’s good. Not everyone is a stick. And everyone, no matter how stick-like or not, has body image issues. I swear it.

I’m more intrigued by the fact that she’s in the middle of this failing marriage, so why isn’t her rocker her rebound?

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Who’s surprised to see the first in a series? This one sounds like fun, though. A LOT of fun.

In this sizzling and hilarious contemporary e-book romance, pop sensation Ivy Hudson returns to her small town to face her ex. Only trouble is, she made her Taylor-Swift-like career with the hit song “Size Matters”—and the football hero has had to live it down ever since.

Five years ago, high school sweethearts Ivy and Blake’s relationship imploded and both their lives were changed forever. Ivy became a rock star and Blake lost not only his dreams of a successful NFL career, but his reputation. Ivy’s angry song about their breakup, called “Size Matters,” hit the top of the charts and Blake became a national laughingstock. He’s salvaged his career and returned to Rosewood to be the high school football coach, regaining his status as town hero and leading the boys to the state championships.

When a tornado whips through town and destroys the high school gymnasium and stadium, a committee is formed to help rebuild and plan some charity fundraisers. Blake’s grandmother requests that Ivy return to Rosewood for the events. Forced back together for the good of their hometown and their careers, Ivy and Blake have no choice but to put aside their differences, stop running from their pasts, and finally face the music.

For fans of Kristen Proby and Colette Auclair, Facing the Music hits a perfect balance between small-town romance and big-time success. Follow Ivy and Blake as they fall back in love and figure out what does matter in the end…

Does this sound like fun, or what? Totally up my alley.

The second book in the series is supposed to come out in March, and there’s a firefighter on the cover (well, his abs are on the cover anyway), so I’m thinking the Rock Fiction ends with this first in the series. Such a shame — but on the other hand, it’s not following the recent trend of putting the characters through all sorts of hell. Get in, get out, fall in love, the reader swoons. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?

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Hey! This isn’t part of a series (yet). Although it’s published by Ellora’s Cave and I hear they have some sort of controversy of their own. So head’s up if you want to buy.

Computer geek by day, by night Mike Harvey becomes outlandish guitarist Chee Keydood for rock band Velvet Cocks. Spotting two women kissing in a club, he thinks he’s in luck.

Allana Miles isn’t sure what came over her, but she sure as hell recognizes Chee and can’t believe he doesn’t remember her from their one-night stand. But she has no time to think about him—she’s too busy opening her own yoga studio to get involved in a relationship.

When they meet again at a New Year’s party, their attraction reignites, too hot to ignore. But they’ve got issues to overcome. Allana catches glimpses of the man behind the façade, but doesn’t think they can fit into each other’s lives even though the sex is great. Mike has always known he’s a bit different, but is shocked to discover his real nature. Will he be able to protect Allana from danger and convince her to take a chance on him?

There’s something about this that makes me think it could spin into a hot mess. I don’t know… computer geek by day and red hot rock star by night? Even with flex time for the geek part, I just can’t see this fitting into one 24-hour day. I’ve known programmers. I’ve known guitarists. And what’s this at the end about him protecting her from danger? Most of the computer geeks I know … well, they’re not exactly Tarzan. Nice guys, sexy in that smart way, but action heroes? I know they wish they were.

This one’s a definite gotta read, in the hopes it’ll surprise me.