Archive for November, 2015

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Here’s a different twist on a series: it’s about brothers, and two of the three already published are Rock Fiction. How about them odds?

On the heels of Dirty Secret, here is a sizzling hot romance featuring another Burke brother and the girl he can’t resist, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Game series.

Walking out on my wedding wasn’t my best idea.

Neither was throwing my cell in the lake and taking a job as PA for Dirty B, America’s favorite rock band, complete with every teen girl’s dream man, the eldest of the Burke brothers.

Tate Burke is pure sex. Women actually throw their panties at him during shows. And Ella Dawson is the lucky little thing that gets to escort their fangirling butts out when he’s done with them.

Yay.

He’s a cocky son of a bitch, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Every now and then Ella gets a rare glimpse of the Tate behind the “bad boy” act, and it attracts her in the most annoying way. The most annoying, heart-thumping, panty-wetting way.

When her abusive ex turns up at the hotel room Ella and Tate are sharing, raging mad, she knows she’ll need more than just a little protection. Tate sees red, and Ella can’t help but lean on him, despite his bad-boy ways.

And now? Now, he’s in a whole lot of trouble.

You all know how I feel about romances where the girl works for the band and winds up with the guy. It’s got to be my least favorite storyline.

I sent this over to Susan, because I know she’s got a thing about abusive ex books, and her comment was, “I hope this doesn’t end with the abusive ex getting shot.” Seems a lot of abusive ex books do. Seems that’s why she’s got a thing about them — I think she’s looking for a better ending.

Either way, that whole working for the band thing puts me on edge.

As always, bring it. I gotta see if Emma Hart can pull this one off. No reason to think she can’t.

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Not really sure what to make of this one…

Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn’t so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places. Each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.

The problem here? It gets off to an interesting start. Antiquated clothes and ideals? Intriguing.

But then… it doesn’t say enough. Too vague.

Bring it on so I can see what it’s REALLY about. It’s got a ton of reviews — no worries, I didn’t read them, just looked at the number of them. This author’s doing something right to get that many people writing about her book. So it can’t totally suck. Right?

Let’s welcome author Cherry Cox back to The Rock of Pages! She’s got a review of a book that’s not hers, and we hope she’ll hang around this place and help us get through the ever-growing list of Rock Fiction that needs love, attention, and reviews.

Without further ado:

ILLUMINATION by Rowan Speedwell

Review by Cherry Cox

One night while he’s on tour, Adam Craig, a jaded, drunken rock star, jumps into a cab and tells the driver to take him to Indian Lake. Once there, he wanders onto the lakeside property owned by the anxiety-ridden, agoraphobic calligrapher Miles Caldwell and proceeds to make himself at home. The next morning, Miles discovers Adam sound asleep on his patio and the seeds of romance are sown.

The overarching theme of this book is the ‘unattainability of desires’. Both main characters yearn for things that seem beyond their control or reach. In-the-closet Adam yearns for some authenticity in his life, for some kind of genuine connection, and Miles is painfully crippled by his anxieties.

Much of the plot takes place in one location, given Miles’s inability to leave his home. This creates a bit of problem when Adam is forced to return to work in the band. Unfortunately, with the lovers now separated, the plot slows down and loses some important momentum.

The writer has an easy-going style and the book was a quick, easy read. However, I feel that the author may have been in two minds about how to categorize this story and so crammed it into Rock Fiction simply because the main character is a rock star. In reality, I feel this book is really about Miles. Miles specializes in illustrated manuscripts, and the book is called ILLUMINATION. There is very little to do with Adam and his band.

Despite the fact that the characters are well-drawn, I have to admit that I wasn’t all that invested in them. I suspect this comes from the fact that there is little to no development of Adam and Miles’s romantic relationship before they hit the sheets. It really is a matter of fuck first, ask questions later. In fact, it is so quick, it’s unrealistic. However, I pressed on and read to the end.

So, what did I think overall? Well, personally I like a little more depth in my plot, and little more ‘rock’ in my ‘rock stars’. And while I didn’t add ILLUMINATION to my list of all-time greats but I didn’t abandon it either.

About Cherry:

Ever since reading her first rock fiction book Cherry Cox has been hooked. More so, she loves m/m rock fiction. Cherry is the author of IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP. Available now on Amazon & iTunes.

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Who doesn’t need a maid? I bet even maids need maids. (Susan says “housekeeper” or “cleaning help” is what our society has evolved into, but the heck with that. The book we’re talking about has a maid in the title. Deal.)

A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their mess and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There’s just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.

Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what’s a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can’t have?

Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren’t all that’s surging under the surface.

Lots of familiar stuff in here, of course. The rock star who goes into hiding. The “no sleeping with rock stars” rule that gets broken. The unattainable girl.

So what’s the attraction? I’m not sure. Maybe that it’s a fun idea. Maybe that I like knowing that women who do jobs like being a maid are still pretty and attractive, even if the job isn’t. We see so many glamour jobs for our heroines in rock fiction — the managers, the photographers, the publicists — that seeing someone sexy but doing the grunt work of life… yeah. I like that idea.

Bring it on. Let’s see if it can rise above the familiar stuff and make me break the budget to hire some cute man maid. Because like I said, everyone needs a maid.

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What IS it about country music? I don’t overly like it, until I sit down and watch Nashville, and then I absolutely love it so I try to listen to it and yeah, that doesn’t go so well and it’s like I’m a teenager again listening to it playing in my boyfriend’s truck, wishing I was old enough to drink beer so I could chase this crap out of my head.

But give me some Rock Fiction about a country star? I am so there. And I can’t tell you why. Or maybe I can. Check it:

Wade Sheppard was the king of country for nearly ten years. Now he can’t get Nashville on the phone, much less another record deal. When yet another drunken night onstage gets him fired from a casino gig, Wade is pulled off the road by his manager and sent home. Being back in the small town where he was born and raised, his every screw-up fodder for gossip, isn’t helping any. His family knows him too well, and the pretty, sharp-tongued waitress who catches his eye doesn’t want to know him at all.

Daisy McNeil has more baggage than most her age but she’s finally pulling her life together. College classes will be her ticket out of poverty and instability. She doesn’t mind waiting tables for the time being, but she could do without the rowdy rednecks who sometimes get handsy. When one of them crosses the line, she snaps and gives him and his stupid ten gallon hat the telling off he deserves, but causing a scene gets her fired.

Wade didn’t mean to cost Daisy her job. Chastened, he decides he doesn’t want his train wreck of a life to crash into anybody else. He offers the bar owner a summer of free shows if Daisy can have her job back. Now they’re spending nights together trading barbs and fighting a growing attraction. With a sexy smile and a powerful voice that can make any song his, Wade’s determined to show Daisy that he’s more than just a good time bad boy.

We’ve totally seen this before. The rocker who effs up his life and needs to get back on track. So what IS it?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s that he does something really cool: trading Daisy’s job for a summer of free shows. Smart move, on a million levels, and what a great plot device.

This one looks good, guys. Pick up a copy and read it before I do. I’ll make Susan post your review, too.

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Susan sent me the link for a book tour. We’re totally willing to do them here at The Rock of Pages… so long as the books are Rock Fiction. Thanks to the excellently named Rock Star Lit for letting us be picky and join in today.

Susan told me, when she mentioned that Cecilia Tan’s Daron’s Guitar Chronicles was up for review, that it wasn’t the sort of thing you could really pick up in the middle – and the offer we were looking at was to read Volume Eight.

She said that came from Cecilia herself.

And okay, the first quarter was really hard to get into, but once I did, I sort of found myself caring about Daron. And sort of not, but I think that’s because at points, Daron was too stupid to live—really, dude? Running off after a show without your wallet and without telling anyone what you’re up to? That sort of thing has nothing to do with coming into the series in the middle. That’s just bad judgement. But… when you care enough to wince and want to slap someone for being dumb, that means it’s a good character, one worth your time and attention.

I need to read the earlier books, so if you haven’t read any of them yet, start at the beginning. Even toward the end, there were times when I felt lost. That’s because Daron’s not so good at setting a scene when we’re thrown into something new. I kept wondering if this was something I should have known to expect, but it could also be a failure on the part of Daron. After all, guys aren’t really known for their observational skills, as millions of women fresh from a new hair color will tell … anyone who’ll listen.

I’m totally up for reading the earlier books. I want to. Need to, even. Daron’s living a dream, but to him, it’s just the way things are. There’s no rose-colored glasses here. It’s the way it is, and it’s very real. People get on each other’s nerves. They want things, long for other people, feel lonely and isolated in a crowded room. Daron’s likeable enough that he’s good company, and I want to experience the backstory, not only figure it out from the sketchy details he tells us to remember.

Another thing I really liked was the way that the real-life death of Eric Clapton’s son echoed around the story of Remo. I’d actually forgotten that had happened, so seeing it on the page was a really cool jolt and maybe I felt more from it happening on the page than I did when I’d first heard about it, but I was how old when it actually happened?

So, yeah. I’d keep reading this series. I’d like to start at the beginning, though, so I know some of what’s going on, and like I said, if you’re going to pick any of Daron’s Guitar Chronicles up to read, I suggest you do that. Start at the beginning.

There’s a lot of volumes out – eight – and that’s longer than a lot of series ever get to be. But I have a feeling this one’s well worth the investment. And this is me, who hates making big time investments like this.

DGG 8 cover

Here’s the book description:

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Coming out and coming of age in the days of AIDS, MTV, Reaganomics, and Just Say No. Winner of the Rose and Bay Award for Crowdfunded Fiction!
Daron Marks is a young guitar player with a dream, make it big like the guys he grew up idolizing in New Jersey–or at least escape his dysfunctional family. He makes it as far as music school in Rhode Island, and the rock clubs of Boston beckon him. But it’s hard to succeed from the closet. A story of how finding one’s self is key to finding love, and loving one’s self is key to loving another.

And some buy links. Because you should. Buy all eight of ’em, even though these links will only take you to Volume 8
(Kindle
B&N
KOBO

Hosted by:

(and oh, yeah. Free copy… blog tour participant… and Jett only does honest, even when it brings the trolls out. Do I really have to remind everyone of that all the time?)

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I loved the first line here. We don’t see a lot of siblings in Rock Fiction (unless they each get a book in a series); it’s just not a family thing, rock and roll. And I like that family plays a part in a different way in this one. That Stella thinks about her sister.

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.

Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Ali Novak wrote her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys when she was just 15 years old, and has since penned her next book, The Heartbreakers. First a hit on the online community Wattpad, her second novel has over 38 million reads and is loved by readers around the world.

But the insta-lust, the usual tropes… it’s not bad stuff. Just… I’m still looking for something different, I guess.

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Susan’s been seeing this one on Facebook. I asked her why we didn’t just mention here ’cause everyone loves a sale. And this sale apparently is a limited time thing, although no one’s talking about when it’ll be over. Just that it’s happening.

It’s an eight-book box set, which is too much of a commitment for yours truly, but if you like that thing, grab it.

LUST’S RHYTHM (Heart of Fame) by Award winning author Lexxie Couper ~ She’s the daughter of rock royalty. He’s been warned off her by her famous father. But Jed Brody has lusted after Chloe Blackthorne for four years, and when Chloe lets him know the lust is entirely mutual, nothing will stop the bad boy of rock claiming her as his. Career be damned.

THE ROCK STAR’S SECRET BABY (Ballybeg Bad Boys) by USA Today bestselling author Zara Keane ~ When a beautiful former fling blasts back into his life, jaded rock star Darko Dunne’s peaceful seclusion on a private island comes to an explosive end. Faced with a band of ruthless criminals and a ticking clock, Darko and Muireann must pool their resources to rescue the baby he never knew he had.

THREE NIGHTS WITH A ROCK STAR (Half-Life) by USA Today bestselling authors Amber Lin and Shari Slade ~ Sparks fly when a hot rocker takes a good girl for a walk on the wild side…against the penthouse window, backstage, in the limo and on the elevator.

FORBIDDEN ROCK STAR (Red Hot Rock Rhapsodies) by NYT and USA Today bestselling author Madelynne Ellis ~ Nathaniel Darke: She knows just how to press all my buttons. Bass-playing bitch, crawling under my skin. I want to believe one good shag will cure me of her. But instead, I end up addicted.

PAINKILLER (First Hit) by USA Today bestselling authors Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott ~ He’s the rockstar she doesn’t recognize. She’s the fighter he’ll never forget. Nothing stings as much as the first hit…or hurts so good.

DIRTY (The Horus Group) by USA Today bestselling author Ainsley Booth ~ Wilson: Tabitha Leyton is a mess, but now she’s my mess. To the rest of the world, she’s a superstar. Secretly, she’s a witness to depravity and a train wreck waiting to happen. But I can’t get her out of my head. And for one angry, secret night, we have each other in every imaginable way. The whole time, I know she’s off-limits. So in the morning, I’ll walk away. Officially.

MORE THAN MUSIC (Chasing the Dream) by Elizabeth Briggs ~ When geeky guitarist Maddie Taylor joins tattooed rock star Jared Cross’s band to compete on a reality TV show, their attraction becomes impossible to resist—but their forbidden romance might tear their band apart and cost them everything.

RESISTOR (Black Halo) by Madelynne Ellis ~ Sex is the last thing on his mind, or he wishes it was…Spook Mortensen has one rule when it comes to relationships: just say no. He has his reasons. Good reasons. His policy of total abstinence has kept him out of trouble for years. Sex ought to be the last thing on his mind, but whenever go-getting sound engineer Allegra Hutton shows up, she doesn’t just hijack his libido, she downright screws with hit. The only way to deal with her is to tie her up. Alle realises she’s upsetting Spook’s rhythm, but she’s under no illusion that he’s the right top to warm her bottom.

Some of these books are available separately, but not all, which is a bummer for people like me who download these huge things and then whimper at how big they are and how long it’s going to take me to read it. Maybe if someone involved sends it our way, I’ll make Susan read it. It’s not like she’s overdue with a review of her own…

Anyway, it’s super cheap. 99c for eight books. Man, how can these authors afford to live off THAT royalty?

Get it at Amazon.
Or at Barnes and Noble, for those of you who support the little guy.

There might be more; check your favorite retailers. And, as always, if you want to post your review of the whole thing, or any book by itself, The Rock of Pages is here for that. We love guest reviews!

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I like the title, even though I have no idea what a Malykhin is. Other than a bear to spell.

Twenty-six-year-old Gaby Barreto might be a lot of things (loyal, sarcastic, one of the guys and a pain in the butt depending on which family member you ask), but dumb isn’t one of them. When her twin brother invites her to go on tour as his band’s merch girl, she isn’t exactly screaming at the top of her lungs with joy.

With no job opportunities pounding on her door, an ex-boyfriend she would still like to castrate, and no end in sight to moving out of her parents’ house in Dallas… it would be dumb to say no to the chance of a lifetime. Two bands, three continents, one tour. Spending the next ninety-plus days with three beloved idiots and eight complete strangers shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

If only the singer of the headlining band didn’t have tattoos… a great personality… a fantastic body… and if he wasn’t so funny….

Let’s be real: Gaby never had a chance against Sacha Malykhin.

So right off, I ought to hate this. Girl works for band and falls for him. But there’s something about the voice I really like.

Bring it on. Fast. Really fast.

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Right off the bat, this one leaves me wanting more.

A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant.

They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn’t work–and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after.
They, more than anyone, know that life doesn’t go according to plan.

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet’s heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale.

But what happens when the fairy tale doesn’t fall apart–but is forgotten?

Yeah, typos galore. And again, I gotta wonder… is this really Rock Fiction or a story about two people who get together and life happens? How much does the guitar and the band play in the story?

Only one way to find out…