Here’s a series that’s not too old; I know I’ve been finding a lot of gems that have slipped past our careful watch. But this one came out in November, it looks like the second is already out, and there are two more scheduled, although as I’m writing this, there’s not a lot of detail about them.

The first in the series is called All the Ways You Saved Me, and other than guitar-roughened fingers, I’m not sure how much Rock Fiction this really is. But I’m curious to read it and find out! Here’s why:

Bianca Easton is the perfect senator’s daughter.

Law school? Check.

Camera-ready smile? Check.

A dull and boring existence? Double check.

But that was before. Before she lost her best and only friend in a tragic accident. Before she found that friend’s unfinished bucket list. Definitely before she turned her life upside-down by deciding to stay in New York for six months to finish it.

It’s while she’s checking off her first item on the list–buy coffee for a stranger–that she meets Ian Mathis. Between the tattoo sleeve curling up his right arm, his guitar-roughened fingertips, and the secrets shadowing his past, he’s a complication Bianca doesn’t need but desperately wants.

With every item they cross off the list together, Bianca uncovers a piece of herself that she’s buried under what’s expected, all the while breaking her own rules by falling hard for Ian. But when her six months run out, Bianca has to decide if she’s willing to risk her empty but picture-perfect life for a chance at real, messy love.

I like the idea of the friend’s list, and the need to finish it, and how it pulls Bianca out of her staid life. And I’m curious about this Ian dude, too.

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This is the fourth in a series, but hey, who said we had to start at the beginning? Besides, this is the required Rock Fiction entry into a series about brothers, so why NOT start in the middle? After all, we do Rock Fiction over here, not series fiction.

Here’s what This Is Our Song is about:

She knows him by reputation
Riley Shaughnessy knew that to stand out in his large family, he’d have to go big. Making a name for himself as a musician wasn’t easy, but he followed his dreams to rock-star success. But the relentless expectations of fans is not helping the slump he’s in now. So of course the person who attracts him is the woman who is not impressed by fame.

Which gives Riley Shaughnessy a lot to prove
Entertainment reporter Savannah Daly is completely unfazed by pretty-boy rock stars. She’s just here to get her interview and write her story. But spending an entire month with the Shaughnessys is going to show Savannah a side of Riley she never could have guessed.

On the surface, this is familiar stuff. Guy finds inspiration. She’s not interested. She’s a reporter, sent to get her story.

So what’s the attraction? HOW it’s done, of course. And this series has good reviews — I looked at numbers but didn’t read any — so you’d think the execution’s going to be good.

Bring it on.

Here’s the Rock Fiction entry into an otherwise not-Rock Fiction series. It’s the third in the series, and I don’t think you have to have read the earlier books to pick this one up. The descriptions seem, from a quick glance, to all be about different people.

Can a love built on secrets survive?

Rugged, hot, and rock hard, Dred Zander is exactly the type of man that normally sends Pixie running. Not dreaming about running her hands down his washboard abs…and lower. The lead singer and guitarist for the band Preload embodies trouble behind his quick smile and guarded eyes, and Pixie left trouble behind her years ago along with the name Sarah Jane Travers and the pathetic trailer her mom called home. With her abusive past in her past, she has a new life, a new family at Second Circle, and a dream of opening her own business. She needs capital and time. What she doesn’t need is a tempting long-haired rocker or the paparazzi that follow him around.

But Dred has other ideas. Pixie’s sweet hazel eyes, purple hair and kaleidoscopic tattoo of exotic flowers that swirl up her arm haunt his dreams, and he knows she wants him too. He just has to convince her. But as a juicy exposé threatens to expose their pasts, and a blackmailer terrorizes their present, Pixie and Dred have to decide what really matters and fight like hell to keep it.

This one’s gonna come down to how well the characters are drawn, so… let’s see how well the characters are drawn. Bring it on!

First in a series alert!

This is actually a new edition that was previously published. I don’t know if it was revised since the old publisher gave up the rights (and we won’t lay bets about why. Let’s just be glad the author got her rights back and was able to put her book back out into the world), but I’d hope it was.

As an aside, you guys know if you contact Susan when you get a book’s rights back, she’ll cut you a break on the price, right? Or if you’ve got an old book that needs a quick copy edit?

Anyway, here’s what Crash and Burn, the first in the Walker Brothers series, is about:

Some love songs are just waiting to be written.

The guitar in his grip revives a childhood promise, but he needs sexy Erin Michaelson as his music teacher. When he sees her on stage using another name — and seducing an entire audience — she brings more back to life than just his music.

A single, sizzling backstage kiss will change both of their lives forever. Chance soon realizes that Erin is not just an itch, she’s an obsession he refuses to live without.

So we don’t know much about this, and it took me a few reads to figure out that Chance is the hero’s name, that the author wasn’t using some wide-sweeping language. But we don’t know what he does, why he put the guitar away, and why he needs this woman so bad. Or even what she thinks of it all.

I’m intrigued. You? Send me your reviews and I’ll see that Susan gets ’em up.

First in a series alert! I doubt the rest of the series is Rock Fiction, since it’s more about the security team than the rockers, but, well, we’ll have to figure it out somehow. Which means either you or I (or Susan) will read it and see.

Here’s what the first one is about:

He’s been chasing a memory . . .

It was just supposed to be a regular Thursday afternoon…and then he saw her. Sitting in seat L214, one seat over from his at the baseball game, right next to her douche of a soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. An impromptu kiss for the kiss cam, and Jax knew his life would never be the same. Five years and a tour in Afghanistan later, Jax is back stateside running his own private security firm, Iron-Clad, with his best friend. He isn’t the man he used to be… but Megan isn’t the sexy and sweet, though sheltered, twenty-two-year-old he left behind, either. And she’s in trouble.

…but now they’re on the run.

Megan Cruz has made something of herself. She’s turned her dreams of pop stardom into a reality. But when a deadly stalker breaks into her home claiming to be her number-one fan, the only person she can turn to is the boy who got away. But Jax isn’t the same carefree charmer who stole her heart, then broke it when he joined the military. This man is seductive, hard, guarded. And he’ll do anything to protect what’s his.

So really it’s a bodyguard trope, right? Except there’s history, however small, and baggage.

This has potential to be more than just the bodyguard trope. (I just hope there’s enough Rock in this Rock Fiction.)

I’m drooling.

First in a series alert! And from the looks of it, this isn’t the author’s only Rock Fiction series, either.

How’d she escape my notice for so long?

Here’s what Sing Your Heart Out is about:

Good girls don’t date rock stars.
They certainly don’t have rock star friends with benefits.

Still a virgin at 21, Meg Smart walks a straight and narrow path. She aces her classes, excels at her part time job, and carefully avoids trouble–no drinks, no drugs, and especially, no boyfriends.

Rock star Miles Webb doesn’t do “boyfriend.” He skips over intimacy and love in favor of easy distraction–a beautiful woman under him, screaming his name.

Meg is drawn to the pain in his gorgeous, tortured voice. But the man she hears on the radio is nothing like the player she meets at a mutual friend’s house party. When she walks in on one of his trysts, she’s embarrassed enough to die. His merciless teasing leaves her blushed and frustrated, but she’s intrigued by his wit, his confidence, his casual offer to give her a night she’ll never forget.

Neither of them wants a relationship, so they strike up an arrangement: They’ll be friends with benefits, nothing more, nothing less. There are only three rules: no secrets, no feelings, no falling in love.

Only neither one of them can quite abide by the terms.

Ooh, he’s a rock star with benefits. Not bad!

There’s both nothing new here and yet I can’t stop myself from totally drooling and thinking this is some fresh fun. What the heck?

I don’t know. Only that I’m hooked and I’ve got to read this.

I know I’ve ranted about this one before. It’s not rockstar. It’s rock star. Two words. (Susan’s rubbing off on me, and not in good ways.) Actually, I’ve ranted twice.

SO glad people bother to care. Not over what I say, but over what’s RIGHT. Because when you get the basic shit wrong, you just look dumb. Or sloppy. Lazy.

Nothing good.

Anyway, on to today’s coveting book. Rockstar Daddy, by Taryn Quinn. Yes, the title’s going to make me go batshit every time I have to face it.

Badass rockstar hiding out in his isolated cabin in his hometown before his career blows up…biggest cliché ever.

Hot as hell chick who wrecks her car in my ditch? Ditto.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and we’re trapped together in a snowstorm. Hot chick is the small town sweetheart, but she’s honest and fun in a way I never expected.

She doesn’t know I’m a rockstar. So I lie to her. Because she’s seeing me for me, not the money or fame.

We end up naked. The night is incredible, the best of my life. Until I break her heart.

I’m not good enough for her. Not even close. But she makes me yearn…for everything.

Now this badass rockstar is going to be a daddy. And I need to convince the good girl to be mine.

For keeps.

Is that a metaphor? Hot as hell chick who wrecks her car in my ditch?

Asking for a friend, of course.

So is this really Rock Fiction, or is his career a convenient plot device?

This one looks like a standalone… let’s get to it.

One of America’s most reclusive rockers, Ryder Vaughn, gets an unusual sentence handed down to him. The judge, hoping to teach him the value of human life, sentences him to ten months of community service at Reach Within Centre for individuals with special needs. Ryder is convinced that, if he isn’t crazy already, he will be by the time his sentence ends. However, his only other option forfeits his band’s livelihood.
Five minutes after stepping into the centre, his entire life changes when he meets a gorgeous, little spitfire who will challenge everything he has ever believed about himself and the world around him.

Francesca’s devotion has always been to her family, friends, and the job she is passionate about. Her life hasn’t been easy. She sacrifices a lot for the ones she loves and for her dream to visit Italy.
Then Francesca finds herself in a desperate situation, and the tattooed beast who is serving his debt to society must save the headstrong woman from a secret that could destroy her. In turn, Francesca teaches Ryder, if you love something enough, it’s worth fighting for.
Ryder knows he isn’t worthy of love, but this incredible beauty makes him want it.
Ryder can save Francesca from her secrets, but can she save him from his? Is Ryder strong enough to endure the kids she loves and her crazy Italian family?
Ten months can fly by or it can last an eternity.

Okay, so first, if you go to Goodreads, check out the cover. Can’t say it does anything for me. Well, not true. It kinda turns me off. Like, a lot. So maybe no kinda involved in this one. Susan says I ought to own it, so here goes: this cover. Doesn’t do it for me.

Then we’ve got the comma problems in the description.

We’re not off to a good start.

We don’t know what Ryder did to wind up in court and need to be sentenced. Not a clue! Is it something unredeemable? Is it something minor? Is he getting a break ’cause he’s One of America’s most reclusive rockers?

And why the hell do these two have to save each other? Why can’t they find the strength to save themselves? Why can’t loving someone mean wanting to heal yourself?

Is this one of those reads where the characters’ professions don’t even matter?

Maybe I’m just in a crappy mood today. It happens. But all the reviews (and there aren’t many) are five-star, and that’s yet another red flag.

Just… I’ll read it, and with an open mind, at that. (Or, as open as my mind ever is)

But from what I see here, right now, I’m not optimistic.

This one’s for all you music history buffs!

The bestselling author of “White Collar Girl” and “What the Lady Wants” explores one woman’s journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of a musical and social revolution.
In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American History.

But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked…

Leeba doesn’t exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.

With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba’s Orthodox Jewish family, she and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.

There’s a joke about Jews and blacks, and it’s crass and it’s totally not PC and it’s totally wrong for this age we live in, but you know, there’s something there. Not a joke. A synergy that comes from being shunned — although these days, they’re only two groups out of many (and that really sucks).

But this makes me think about that. Because here, you’ve got two people who presumably find a way to love each other despite their huge differences, and despite the crap society’s going to give them. And it’s set against a historic background — The Chess Brothers were real! And I don’t doubt this actually happened, and I don’t doubt that there are people now as there were then who thought it was wrong, and really, what’s so horrible? We’re all humans at the end.

As Jacqueline Carey once so famously wrote, “Love as thou wilt.”

I’m reading this one as soon as I can.

A huge UGH at the title, but let’s see what it’s about. Because that’s what matters, not the name we give it. After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Grace Thompson didn’t want a student teacher. And she sure as hell didn’t want it to be Levi Mondez.

Let’s just say they got off to a rocky start.

To be fair, it wasn’t entirely her fault. How was she to know he was also the lead singer of local rock band, Mondez? How was she to know he got off on her short temper? And how was she to know her best friend, Riley would fall for him?

Hard.

If he wasn’t so damn gorgeous it might have made the whole mess easier for Grace to handle. If he didn’t transform her female parts into a blazing furnace, and if he hadn’t confused the hell out of her already bruised heart, life might have turned out a heck of a lot differently.

But he was, he did, and he had.

She was screwed.

So right off the bat, we’ve got a fun twist on a familiar trope: they work together. But she’s the boss, he’s a student. A STUDENT! Kudos to the rocker with a backup plan.

AND, to take it a fresh step further, she doesn’t work for the band or in the biz at all. Nope. She’s a TEACHER.

I love this already. Add in a love triangle and the potential to muck up a set of best friends and we’ve got fresh and fun all over the place.

Well, between the covers, anyway. And maybe that’s a pun and maybe it’s not. I won’t know until I’ve read this one.