Archive for December, 2016

Jett-300x300

Even though Feverish is part of Jade C Jamison’s Bullet series, I’ve seen people talking about this one particular book lately, so I figured I’d talk about it, too. Why not, right? If it gets more eyes on a good book and helps an author make some bucks, I’m all for that.

Here’s the description. I’m warning you now: it’s a “works for the band” trope, and you know how I feel about those.

Clayton “Jet” Smith has enjoyed acting the part of rock star god bad boy since his breakup with rock goddess Valerie Quinn. He’s racking up quite a score playing the field, and he has no plans to settle down anytime soon. His biggest problem these days is meeting his obligations, because he’s so busy having fun, he forgets the important things.

To help him out, he hires recent graduate Emily Brinkman to be his personal assistant, and he quickly finds a fire burning in his belly for her. There are two problems, however. The first is that Emily is engaged to be married, a fact that leaves Jet unfazed. The second problem isn’t so easy to surmount, though. Emily is disgusted and unimpressed by both sides of the man.

Will Clay find a way to persuade Emily to try him out, not just for one night, but for all time?

Feverish moves the Bullet story forward. You don’t want to miss this one!

So you know what else bugs me here? Emily doesn’t like anything she sees in Clay, or Jet (hey, nice name. But it’s so nice, *I* don’t need another one. Why do you?), or whatever his name really is. This kinda moves into creep territory, with him doing what he can to win her over. And that… it bugs me. Could be a trigger for some.

It’s gonna come down to how this is handled. What doesn’t Emily like? Is it valid, or is she projecting something onto this dude that maybe isn’t there? Why doesn’t she like him, and what can Clay or Jet or whatever his name is overcome this — and why the hell should he? He’s seen a pretty face. He wants. She’s not playing. Why doesn’t he move along?

I have reservations, folks. I want them to go away and for this all to make sense when I read it — and you better believe I want to read it — and for all my worries to be stupid and pointless.

That’s what I want. Can I have it in this book, please?

Advertisements

Jett-300x300

First in a series! And this one’s release is pretty recent — September 2016 — so there’s only this one so far.

Ash Taylor lives life without making deep connections with anything other than his brothers and his bass. His past has jaded him to love and makes him fear getting too close. Then Michelle walks into his life. Every night, she invades his dreams and stars in his fantasies. She makes him question himself and his ways. However, he is sure she could never date someone like him. So much so, that he convinces himself that she is married.

Michelle Reynolds has been jilted so badly, that she doesn’t want to date again. Her friend Beth tries to encourage her, but all of her relationships end badly or don’t last. She is sick of disappointment. When Ash comes into her life, she feels an immediate spark. He makes her feel special without effort. His big heart and deep voice mesmerize her. As soon as she finds out he is a rock star, her hopes are crushed. In her eyes, it could never work because musicians are not faithful, and she is not good enough for him.

Can these two polar opposites find a way to make a relationship work? Will all that dating a rock star entails break them or bring them closer? Find out in the first book of the Velocity series.

So two jaded, broken hearts find each other. Works for me; I like broken people.

I’m not really seeing polar opposites here, but those are also fun in romance, especially if there’s good banter between them. Is there good banter? Does anyone know?

Jett-300x300

Here’s one for the Vaguebookers among you all…

My name is Scarlett, but most call me Lett. Well, everyone except the man I’ve been in love with for as long as I can remember.

It wasn’t difficult growing up the daughter of a rock star. I loved the attention and the music so the decision to follow my dad’s career path was an easy one.

Trouble always seemed to be my shadow and keeping out of mischief sometimes seemed impossible. The social life always kept me busy. However, recently I just long for a bit of privacy, a little anonymity just for a little while.

Singing and music are my lively-hood and my passion; I need to find my balance. Little did I know, my life was about to be turned upside down and finding someone to trust in my line of work was difficult; I learned that the hard way. But there has always been one man who has been by my side throughout it all, my best friend. It’s a shame he doesn’t feel the same, will he ever love me back?

Will fate be on my side?

Was my destiny about to be rocked?

Okay, so we’re not going to mention the HUGE capital letters Susan used when she picked out lively-hood from that description. Because, umm, hey. I know that editors aren’t cheap, but on this one, I have to agree with her. Having that edited would have been money well spent. And Susan says she’ll edit a description like this super cheap. I’d say it’s totally worth it because even if she hadn’t pointed that out, I’d have caught it. That’s a pretty bad one.

So Lett is in love with this dude who may or may not know she’s alive. He doesn’t have a name, he’s THAT important to her. And something bad happens, but we don’t know what, which means anyone who needs trigger warnings is going to approach this one carefully.

And the author’s bio on Goodreads says this is a series, but the book isn’t linked to a series, so I don’t know what number it is, or if there are others or if this is just an intended series.

So lots of questions, and other than that huge typo in the description, nothing that I don’t think scares me off. It raises a lot of questions about what’s really going on here, and that’s not always a bad thing to start reading with, you know? So much better when you don’t know the plot. I mean, hello? It’s a romance. We know the plot, or at least the happily ever after (or happy for now, which seems to be a thing anymore). But that’s okay — with romances, it’s all about getting there, not how it ends. Romances are all about the falling in love, and that totally works for this single girl.

Jett-300x300

If you’ve got a generous gift-giver in your life, it might be the right time to ask for this TWELVE BOOK SERIES. I’m not kidding. Twelve books — so far. Will there be more?

I don’t know, but if you know Terri Anne Browning, ask her to stop in and answer that question for us!

It’s The Rocker Series, if you haven’t guessed or read the headline by now. And man oh man, am I intrigued. The descriptions are all over the place, some in first person, some in third, some talking about romance, some talking about familiar character names, some not. This isn’t a bad thing, depending on how Terri Anne Browning pulls it off, and it looks, from the number of stars she gets on each book, that she’s pulling it off.

Twelve books. Color me in awe; I can’t think of any other Rock Fiction author who’s got twelve books in ONE series. I don’t think even Cecilia Tan’s Daron’s Guitar Chronicles is up that far yet. (yet)

Can you think of any?

Have any of you read any of these?

C’mon. No need to keep silent. We want to hear from you over here.

Jett-300x300

You know how sometimes, you’re so beat down by not reading anything good that you’re not motivated to pick up the next book in the stack? And then you finally do and you want to kick yourself because what you’re reading is so much fun that you have trouble putting it down.

Yeah, that.

Jaine herself sent us a copy of her new release, Dirty Like Me, and man, it took way too long to find something that pulled me out of my slump, but this was definitely it. Girl floundering through life meets hot dude. Best friend negotiates a deal for her that gives her more money than she can get her brain around, if she’ll be the hot dude’s pretend girlfriend for six weeks.

Problem is: there’s real chemistry between the two. And they’re both genuinely good people, despite Jesse’s bad boy rocker persona and Katie’s strange life stasis. This, of course, leads to more than a work situation between them, which eventually leads to Katie’s insecurities kicking in.

In a sense, yes, it’s predictable. But what isn’t is how genuinely nice Jesse is. He’s not a tortured, angsty rocker. He’s a normal human being who is considerate of the people around him. He gives a lot of trust to his inner circle, and they all act as though they know they hold a precious gift. Gotta love that.

And Katie’s best friend, Devi, who always ends every conversation with is he good to you – that’s a huge consideration, and props to Devi for asking that question. There’s every reason for a huge rocker type to not be nice to Katie, the newbie on the scene, but Jesse doesn’t take that chance. Like I said: refreshing rocker type.

And refreshing best friend, who looks after her bestie in a way that I wish my friends looked after me. That’s such an important question for any of us in relationships, even if your past isn’t like Katie’s and you’ve never been left at the altar. I’ve written that one down and prettied it up and hung it in my cubicle at work ‘cause it’s a good reminder not just in my private life, but in work, too. Treat and be treated. Be good to each other. I love it.

This book isn’t going to win awards, although it should. Where’s the award for Most Fun Read? Or Couldn’t Put It Down? Or even What To Read When Everything Around You Sucks and You Need to Break Out of the Rut?

Okay, that’s maybe too long of an award category, but man oh man, Jaine Diamond. You get mad props for this one. You hit me at the perfect time and I wish I’d been on top of things in enough time to realize it. Sorry this one’s late.

And thanks for sending a review copy! If you ever want to stop in at The Rock of Pages to talk about your book(s), we’re here for you like raving fan girls. ‘Cause I’m making Susan read this one next. She needs some fun in her life. She’s getting kinda… icky.

This ought to fix her right up. It’s so fun, so hopeful, so fresh.

But… what’s with the title? Who’s the dirty one? And where? That doesn’t come up once. Katie never feels dirty as she’s with Jesse. So… what gives?

Jett-300x300

The Runaway Train series is one of those series that lets most of the books feature a different set of characters — in this case, the dudes from the band Runaway Train. Pretty simple stuff, really. And the one book that repeats characters is a 1/2 book — you know, one of those short things that lets the world have more favorite characters but without putting ALL the focus on them and messing up the rhythm of the series.

Heh. Rhythm of the Rock Fiction series.

But this is why Rock Fiction is the perfect thing. Fiction’s got rhythms, just like music. It’s just not verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-chorus-chorus. Which is a good thing. That’d be eight books in each series, but five would be repetitive, and who wants that?

This series looks pretty cool, although we’ve got some familiar tropes (Book #3, Strings of the Heart, is built on the “I’ve always loved my brother’s best friend, but he thinks of me as a sister” story). And man, do the guys in this band have a lot of sisters! Maybe a couple too many… what’re the chances that life really is that sorta-incestuous?

Still, this is a series that looks like all the books came out in 2013-2014, so it’s over and done, which means you who like to read a series only when it’s complete so you’re not waiting for the next will be in love. And those of us who came onto it late can be happy, too, because hey, it’s all right there and easy to get our hands on and do a weekend-long power read. I’m all for that. Once I’m caught up on the rest of what’s here, waiting for me.

Jett-300x300

This must’ve not made it over after Susan’s original Rock Fiction site was nuked ’cause she swears she’s written about it. Before it was a series. When it was only one book.

IT is Nico Rosso’s Heavy Metal Heart. And Susan knows she wrote about it ’cause and and Nico’s wife are Twitter buddies. I think it sounds like something too horror-like for me and she’ll have to read it. Why not pull some strings with your friends and get a copy, Susan?

Here’s the description:

Rock Star. Front man. Demon. A descendant of satyrs and the lead singer in a band that feeds on the energy of its audience, Trevor Sand is growing weary of the constant need to perform. He needs the legend of the Muse—a woman destined to be a demon’s eternal companion and only source of sustenance—to be true.

Misty Grant has never been bold, but when Trevor singles her out among hundreds at a concert, she takes him up on his explicit offer. During an erotic night in his hotel room, she learns that his touch is as electric as his lyrics. But when Trevor’s demon is aroused, her desire turns to horror and she runs.

Knowing that he’ll die if he loses her, Trevor must find Misty before his enemies do. But even if he can save her, he knows that regaining the trust of his fated Muse will be his greatest challenge.

The second book is kinda similar, in that it’s about another demon in the form of a rocker, who’s looking for his soul mate. And there’s only two in the series, too, and it’s been a couple of years, so here’s what Slam Dance with the Devil is about:

All those wild rock stars you hear about? Some of them really are demons, sustained by the energy pouring off the audience…

Wild, destructive and immortal, rocker Kent Gaol has given up the search for his Muse—a demon’s one true source of inspiration, his forever partner. After losing the one woman he thought might be his, he’s convinced she doesn’t exist.

Hard-as-nails private investigator Nona Harris has been hired by a mysterious client to track Kent. She knows nothing of his truths, until one night when Kent tricks her on stage during one of his concerts. Amazingly, she not only senses the energy around the demons, she feeds from it…and it turns her on.

Kent never expected Nona’s response to be so intense, nor that she could enter his world and so thoroughly rock it. This is beyond a tumultuous love affair—this is a sexual and emotional bond that will change them both forever. A bond strong enough that now Nona’s shady client wants them both dead…

But the woman’s response is the complete opposite.

I don’t know. After that, where else is there to go? Wish we’d gotten a chance to find out.

Jett-300x300

Every time I open a new book, I do it with the expectation that I’m going to love it and it’s going to be great.

Maybe I need to get over that. Because Under the Spanish Stars is one of those books that’s a good read, a strong story, and almost alive with the flamenco culture that frames the story, but… it didn’t knock my socks off.

It’s the story of Charlotte, who goes on a quest given to her by her sick grandmother to discover the history of a painting that means the world to the grandmother. And in alternating chapters, we get not only the story of Charlotte’s quest but also the story of the grandmother.

Abuela’s story is fascinating. As in many of these flashback novels, it’s the better half of the book. The flamenco culture is something that was new to me, and I totally dug it. I wanted more of it, in fact: more description, more of the music. I wanted it to breathe and throb off the page and swallow me whole, the way the best Rock Fiction does.

It didn’t.

But it came close. And for that, we give it props.

This can’t be easy stuff to write about. When you write about a rock band on an arena tour, it’s easy. Most music lovers know what’s up. It’s so much easier to pretend we’re there in the crowd, worshipping the singer or the guitarist or the bassist or the drummer. Most of us have been to concerts. We know how it goes.

And that’s part of why we gotta give Sinclair props. She did her best, describing the opening steps, the stomping feet, the speed of the music, the sweat, the beautiful lines of an arm raised overhead. She almost transported me there.

I bet the reason I failed was more me and less Sinclair. Because I didn’t have that frame of reference; the closest I come is one of the Dancing with the Stars dances, and… even if the characters didn’t tell us, we’d know the two aren’t even close.

Maybe the problem wasn’t the book so much as the reader.

But back to the story itself, and… yeah, still disappointed in it. I wanted more of the culture, especially in the history part. I wanted more of Granada, too, because it’s so different from my life. I feel like I got a quick peek, just enough to tantalize me but not enough to immerse me. And I wanted to be immersed.

This is one I’d say is worth the read. The story is good. It’s solid, if a bit predictable. I’ve gone on about things being at stake in a lot of books I’ve been reading lately, and I kinda feel like this one has the same problem. Not enough is at risk, and the problems that Charlotte faces are fixed too easily. It almost winds up painting Charlotte as a jerk for worrying so much about them, and no one wants the main character to be a jerk. You know?

Pick it up for the Flamenco. Stay for the past history. And just go for the ride with the present day because even though it’s the weakest part, it’s still a nice read.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me have a read! Seriously. Pick this one up and tell me what you think. It released on December 8, which was just a few days ago. Grab it now. Help it boost its First 90 Day Sales count!

avatar S RED

Yes, you see the right avatar. I shoved Jett out of the way because this one’s set in Pittsburgh and that immediately disqualified Jett from writing about it. It’s Rock’n Tapestries, the first book in Shari Copell’s series of two. The books came out in 2013-14, so I’m doubtful we’ll see more entries. In fact, Ms. Copell leaves a note on the description for the second book, Wild Angel, that she was going for a standalone with it. And the second one may not be set in my favorite stomping grounds; if it is, it doesn’t explicitly say. And no, that quote at the start doesn’t tell us much of anything. How many bands have opened a show with that same phrase?

That’s a bummer.

Here’s the description of Rock’n Tapestries:

“Asher Pratt had been a drug for me, and I wasn’t sure I wasn’t still addicted.”

Chelsea Whitaker works as a waitress at Tapestries, a trendy Pittsburgh bar. She’s doing her best to avoid Asher Pratt, the Pittsburgh rock legend who shattered her heart years ago.

When he takes a job at Tapestries just to be near her, Chelsea has some decisions to make.

She soon discovers that some things never change. It’s all she can do to keep a tight hold on her heart as Asher takes her for another wild ride.

As she struggles to gain some perspective on their relationship, she learns that he’s never needed her more. She must put the past aside for the sake of the future.

I am DYING to know what bar this is modeled on. Is it one I used to hang out in? Or is it straight out of the author’s imagination? Is the author herself from here? A current Yinzer?

But back to the book. It’s a familiar trope, no? The “Loved him when she was younger” trope — do we ever get over those early loves?

And then here’s the description for Wild Angel:

“Hello, Pittsburgh! You ready to rock?”

Nicks Sorenson, guitarist extraordinaire for the band Wild Angel, has a lot going on during her last year of high school. In fact, she sometimes wonders if someone has painted a bull’s eye on her forehead.

Stone Jensen, lead guitarist for the band Heavy Remedy, shows up everywhere she plays despite the bad blood between them. The high school principal is targeting her with endless detentions for some reason. And she’s starting to wonder if her mother is losing her mind.

Life soon spins into chaos for the Sorenson family. It began when Nicks learned the name of the dead musician who’d willed her his four guitars. Then came the dreams of a man shrouded in mist. She doesn’t recognize him, but he seems to know her.

As the strange occurrences escalate, Nicks goes on an unexpected—and painful—journey into the past.

She’s about to learn what you don’t know can hurt you.

Umm… wow, this is a departure! Why are these two books in the same series? They seem totally unrelated beyond the fact that they’re going to be pretty hard to challenge for their Rock Fiction qualities. What am I missing?

Like Jett so often says, I need to read this to see for myself. All of it: the setting, the stories, the whys and hows of this two-book series.

If you’ve read it and have a review you’d like to share, send it on. I’m always glad to post reviews for anything Rock Fiction.

Jett-300x300

I love being able to covet a whole trilogy at once. I really do. And have I got a cool sounding one today!

It’s actually interesting because books 1 and 3 feature the same guy. Who’s maybe a loser and maybe not. He’s definitely a drunk, an alcoholic, if I gotta use the proper terms. He loses it all over these two books… is there redemption for him? I hope so. I like redemption stories.

And the second book, Zenith Rising, is the one that makes me a bit nervous. It’s about a former member of the band, and it may not be Rock Fiction even though the dude’s a rocker. I’m going to have to spend some time with my nose in a book to be able to tell.

So anyway, here’s the description of book one, Zenith Falling:

Joelle married Rob Williams, lead singer of the rock band Zenith, before she was old enough to know better. She has spent years following Zenith around while they struggle to become rock stars. Only now, alcoholism has replaced the talent that once was going to make Rob a legend, leaving Joelle’s life spiraling out of control. The problem is there isn’t a soul in the world that cares, including her husband.

Nick Lassiter is a powerful business magnate in Seattle, Washington, and was acquainted with Joelle long ago, before she became Joelle Williams. Nick’s return to Joelle’s life gives her a link to a world outside of Zenith. A world that starts to become far more appealing than the crazy, alcohol dominated one she lives in. Until the fateful night when her entire life implodes and Nick is the only person she has to run to. Joelle soon sees only one thing clearly: Nick Lassiter has become so much more than just a friend who can save her.

When Zenith disbands and Rob tries to get sober, Joelle begins to discover her own identity outside of Zenith, and the person she finds is nothing like the young, fragile girl who needed rescuing when Nick first met her. Who she discovers just might be a woman worth loving.

I like this concept; it’s fresh, although it seems harrowing. This could be a real keeper.

But then we get to the second book. Like I said, it’s maybe not Rock Fiction…

Dr. Erica Heathersby is the last person Spencer Mattox, ex-band member of Zenith, should ever be attracted to. When Erica offers Spencer a job, he resents her for it, because she is successful in her career, her life, and as a person, in ways Spencer believes he can never be. But Erica soon finds her medical practice the target of political debate, and herself the target of someone’s violent desires. Erica turns to Spencer for protection, which develops into a relationship that neither of them is prepared for. Erica knows that in order to keep Spencer from destroying what they have built together; she has to overcome the devastating past he tries to hide. But then again, none of it will matter, if Erica doesn’t survive what is fast becoming someone’s deadly intention towards her.

Sounds like a thriller, not a romance. And I have a lot of questions, like why an ex-rocker provides protection.

The third book brings us back to Joelle and Rob. Or only Rob.

Rob Williams used to be the lead singer of his band, Zenith, before his alcoholism destroyed his career, his marriage and his life. Now, writer, Rebecca Randall wants to chronicle his recovery and in the process, establish herself as a successful author. What this mother of three young girls doesn’t realize is how well the tattooed, former rocker, Rob fits into her small town, country life. That is until Rebecca’s estranged husband comes home and wants to rebuild their relationship. As Rob leaves and attempts to make his dreams of Zenith come true, Rebecca’s life falls into a depression that nothing, short of divorce, will end. But how can Rob, now lead singer of Zenith, ever return to Rebecca’s ordinary life?

I guess what gets me here is that this is almost about the people *around* the band and not the rockers themselves. Which is fine; we’ve seen that done in other books before. The question remains if it’s Rock Fiction or not, and how all of this is handled and like I said, color me curious.

Does anyone know what color curious really is? Anyone got a 64 color that’s called curious?