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We’ve had Tracy Wolff’s first two books in her Shaken Dirty series on our List for a long time, but this is the first time either Susan or I have openly wanted to read her. Which is stupid; who wants to start a series with the third book? But I’m going to write about that one today because I’m in a mood and feeling stubborn. Why does the first always get the love?

Here’s what the third, Fade Into You, is about.

Wyatt Jennings has been called a lot of things by the media. Bad-boy rocker. Intense drummer. Addict.

Finally out of rehab and desperate for a fresh start, Wyatt rejoins his mega-platinum rock band Shaken Dirty as they prepare for their world tour. But Wyatt’s demons are never far behind, always nipping at his heels for one. More. Fix.

Enter Poppy Germaine, the band’s new social media consultant. A beautiful bombshell who somehow manages to get underneath Wyatt’s skin, Poppy’s an addiction Wyatt can get behind. And even though she’s with the label—and therefore off-limits—he craves her. Needs her.

Except Poppy isn’t actually a social media consultant. She’s the daughter of the label’s CEO, sent undercover to babysit Wyatt and keep him from falling off the wagon again. Proving herself to her father is Poppy’s only goal—until she finds herself in Wyatt’s bed. But if Wyatt discovers the truth, it could send him spiraling all over again…

So my first thought was that here we go, into stuff we’ve seen and read before. Yawn.

And then the twists showed up. And dude, I’m hooked. Yeah, it’s clear we still have an employee in the rocker’s bed. I see that. Believe me, I see it. And believe me, I still hate it.

But I like the awareness here, the idea that the label head is so committed to this band (because, let’s face it, that’s rarely the case. The A&R guy? The manager? The people who work directly with the band? Absolutely. But a label head? Says something about the drawing power of this band — or it says the author doesn’t know her stuff, but let’s be positive here.) that he’ll take such drastic steps. I’m not sure of the wisdom of sending his beautiful daughter into the thick of things, but… I’m not a parent. Maybe it’d be different if I was in this guy’s shoes, so I hope we get to really understand his thinking here. I mean, doesn’t he know that there’s always this chance of chemistry?

Anyway, bring this one, and the rest of the series, on! It looks like at least two more are scheduled, as well, with titles listed at GoodReads. Let’s see where this one goes.

And hey, if you’ve read any of these books, send your reviews over and I’ll make Susan post them! We’d love help shouldering the burden around here and spreading the Rock Fiction love.

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Well, THAT title pulls no punches, now does it? No one better complain they don’t know what they are getting when they pick this one up. And no one better complain about the detailed sex, either. It’s right there, in the title.

So what’s this erotic romance about? Let’s consult its description:

Evan: She has no idea who I really am. It’s the perfect situation. After an incident that causes me to re-evaluate my life, I’ve come here to escape the demands of my career. The last thing I expect to find is someone who doesn’t see me through the prism of my fame. But then I meet Audrey, who allows me to unleash lustful desires I’ve suppressed for years.

Audrey: He’s uncommonly sexy and brazenly confident. He’s exactly who I don’t need to meet at this point in my life, but I have no choice. Drawn in by his relentless seduction, I’m soon taking chances I never thought I’d take, shedding my fears and letting him over my protective walls. And there’s his unusual “rider list,” always surprising me, testing my limits, exploring our fantasies, leading to the most sensual experiences of my life.

What starts as a perfect distraction for both of us quickly becomes an entanglement of scorching hot sex, closely held secrets that could tear it all apart, and moments that will shape us for the rest of our lives.

So this is kinda familiar, in that rockers who are escaping and reevaluating are common heroes, and heroines who are drawn in by his magnetic pull. But what it doesn’t give us in this description is the assumption of the Happily Ever After. In fact, I kinda get the drift they’re gonna part at the end, happy and sexed up, but ready to go their own ways.

And I’m cool with that.

Of course, I’m also cool with the sex. Bring it ON, baby. I love good erotic fiction. I really do.

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It was almost a year ago that Michelle reviewed Girl with Guitar (come back, Michelle! We miss you!), and now it’s my turn to drool over something Caisey has written. Even though it’s almost 2 years old, I still want to read it! Here’s why:

Nashville meets New Adult in Neon Dreams, a dramatic, sexy series from bestselling author Caisey Quinn, about a country band’s rocky road to fame—and the ambition, dreams, and love of the people who make the music.

Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

Little sister trope! If this is your catnip, here you go.

If you’re just here for the Rock Fiction, get in line. In front of me. Behind me. I don’t care. Review this before I do. Still don’t care.

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Michelle A Valentine is another author who’s got a huge backlist of Rock Fiction but has yet to stop in and see us. Someone, invite her over! And if you’ve read something she’s written, we’d love to hear from you, too. Write up a review and be a guest around here. We promise no dancing kitchen utensils, although Susan thinks they were a nice touch.

(Susan’s weird.)

Anyway, this is a new standalone that was supposed to come out in 2016, but GoodReads doesn’t make it clear if it did or not. There are a couple reviews (no, Susan, I didn’t read them. Yet.), but… only a few. Hey, Michelle: if you’re struggling, Susan’s a great freelance editor!

(She pays me to say that.)

Here’s the book description:

Fame can disappear in an instant…

Fortune is a fleeting fantasy…

Laz Rawlings had them both, until he lost it all…

Laz, a former world-famous music producer screwed up everything thanks to his rock-n-roll lifestyle, but he’s been given an opportunity to prove his genius in the music industry wasn’t a fluke, and he’s hell-bent on not letting history repeat itself. But that’s proving difficult when the young singer he’s tasked with grooming has become the object of his every desire.

Life has been an uphill battle for Aundrea Newton, so when a sexy, tattooed stranger hand delivers her dream of a music career, she’s skeptical. Nothing ever comes easy, and she knows Laz has the power to crush both her career and her heart with his undeniable sex appeal and charismatic swagger.

When the line between mentor and student blurs, both begin to question what’s more important: Love, sex or the music.

Laz? Definitely a blog post in the making ’cause you know one of my favorite topics is How did your rocker get his name?

And hey, I can answer the question about what’s most important: music first, then sex, then love. But maybe I’m jaded?

Michelle! We want review copies when this is out! And we want you to come visit with us, too.

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Here’s another trilogy that I’ve heard so much about, I could have sworn I’d already drooled over it. But apparently not ’cause I can’t find it in the archives anywhere, which is weird because Lily Harlem is another author Susan follows.

The series is the Mattress Music series, and it’s three books, and it’s old. 2010 and 2011 release dates. Really, we are overdue to bring it to your attention!

So here goes.

The description of the first one sounds like it’s music-as-fan, which is fine. Look at Nick and Norah for how music can be a soundtrack. But given that the other two books in the series are more directly about men rockers and the women who encounter them, I’m kinda skeptical that the first book is so lacking rockers. I bet he’s there.

Book Two is an old flame trope, and Book Three is about a threesome (how fitting that it’s book three!). The only issue I have is in the last line of the third book, where it sounds like the woman is the band’s manager, but it’s a throwaway line, and maybe manage is meant differently. Only one way to find out!

These were originally published by Ellora’s Cave, and didn’t they close? If so, I hope Lily has the rights back and will republish them– and will share them with us here at The Rock of Pages. (hint!)

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Maybe six months ago, I was all excited to read Kristen Callihan’s Idol. Now I’m excited to read the next in the series, Managed. Here’s why:

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big…ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

So he’s an arrogant manager… man, we see a lot of those. Think it’s because arrogance comes easily to the successful? They get too much of themselves?

But I’m curious what this “only in a way I didn’t see coming” means. You’d think it’s sexual, right? Except… this is a romance, so we readers see it a million miles off. Doesn’t mean the lead doesn’t, just that she’s maybe not as smart as we are.

All in all, it sounds like Gabriel’s music ties are there for color, making this Not Rock Fiction. But I need to read it to see. Which means… I need to read it.

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So Susan read a Maya Banks book a couple years ago. She was disappointed in it.

But I’m not Susan, so I’m going to try to track this one down, and her review isn’t going to bug me at all. Mostly because I didn’t bother to read it.

Here’s what Kept is about:

From the author of Mastered and Dominated comes the third Enforcers novel—the searing story of a woman who finds sanctuary in surrender…

He can’t change who he is…

A horrific childhood has made Silas the man he is today: dangerous, distrustful, and demanding. He’s lived in self-imposed solitude, convinced that no woman could ever accept his need for absolute control—in business and pleasure. That is, until a young violinist walks into one of his buildings and into his life.

She can’t change what she wants…

Haley has been struggling to fulfill her father’s dying wish: to attend a prestigious music school in New York City. But even working two jobs, she can’t afford the tiniest of apartments. Seeing her hopeless and near tears, Silas vows to help and protect her, no matter the cost to himself. But when Haley meets his every demand with unwavering acceptance and love, he is overwhelmed by her goodness and gentle spirit. He knows that the dark stain on his soul can never be erased—and rather than risk destroying the most beautiful thing he’s ever experienced, he knows he’ll have to do the hardest thing he’s ever had to face. Let her go. But he’s totally unprepared for the lengths Haley will go to fight for his love and a future brighter than the sun…

So how much of this has to do with music? That’s the number one question I have.

I’m a little leery of the “absolute control–in business and pleasure” part because that just seems cruel to me and not my thing, but Maya Banks has such a good reputation (and Susan met her once and said she’s awesome in person) and honestly, I’m curious. This guy knows he could destroy his love. He’s got hard choices, but what a chance to open up and grow into someone new.

I’m intrigued. Totally. Even though none of that plot seems like it’s Rock Fiction at all.

Hey, every now and then, one reaches out and grabs me. What can I say?

(btw, for those of you who care, this is the third in a series, and I have no idea if they are related, or if you have to read the first two, or what. If you know, let’s hear from you!)

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You know, I can’t decide how I feel about books that wind up being the token Rock Fiction entry into a series. On the one hand, it’s a great way to expose non-Rock Fiction readers to our amazing category. But on the other, they have a greater chance of not breathing music the way the best Rock Fiction does. So are these books really showing the magic and pull of Rock Fiction?

Today’s Coveting entry is Anne Calhoun’s Going Deep. Check the description:

After weeks on a sold-out tour, singer Cady Ward is coming home for the holidays. But after one too many episodes of fan-craziness, Cady’s manager decides that she needs protection—in the form of muscled cop Conn McCormick. Longing for peace and quiet to prepare before her next album drops, Cady doesn’t need a bodyguard just to deal with some vague email threats…though she can’t deny that close proximity to Conn’s body is a very nice place to be.

Conn is in the midst of a career scandal when his boss assigns him to pop-star guard duty. It’s a poor use of his skills, even though Cady’s feisty nature proves the perfect distraction for Conn while Internal Affairs investigates his case. What begins as a sizzling attraction becomes something deeper than either Conn or Cady could have expected. But when Conn uncovers the sinister plan behind the threats to Cady, he’s faced with a professional dilemma: To save her life, will he risk having a future with the only woman who’s ever touched his soul?

Ahh, the bodyguard trope. You guys know that I think it’s hard to touch this one, given how well Lorelei James did it a few years back.

But this book might be coming at it from a different angle. After all, Cady isn’t on the road (or so the back cover says), so that takes that element out of the picture. And the series is about the Black Ops dudes, so that suggests this is more the hero’s story than the heroine’s. Which is also cool. I mean, I love men. Why wouldn’t I love reading about them?

As always, it’s all about the execution, so bring this one on and let’s see how it executes. Or better yet, represents Rock Fiction. AND makes my knees weak. I love it when a good romance can make my knees weak.

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I’ve been turned into a Cecilia Tan fangirl, and let me tell how excited I was when Susan let me know that Hard Rhythm, the third in Tan’s Secrets of a Rock Star series, was on its way to me. Whee!

Turns out, this one is the story of one of Ricki and Gwen’s employees, Madison. She hooks up with a member of Axel and Mal’s band, Chino. He’s the drummer.

Like I said in my other reviews of the earlier books, I don’t see a lot of rocker in Chino. He’s very much an everyman, and that is disappointing. In fact, we see so little of Chino’s rocker side that I hesitate to call this Rock Fiction.

I gotta admit, of the three books in the series, this is my least favorite. The guys—Axel, Mal, and now Chino—aren’t quite distinctive enough, and their personalities are all sorta blending together. They’re dudes in bands and they’re all doms – how’s that affect your band dynamics there, guys? – and they support their successful women… but what sets them apart from each other? I need more.

The other thing that totally squicks me out is the Daddy-baby stuff. Ugh. Age play just isn’t my catnip.

A few other things and man, I hate to rip on Cecilia, but… this one just didn’t hit the mark. The ending felt rushed and the situation with Chino’s family was too simple, too fast. There was real meat in that subplot, and I really wanted to see more of the struggles and the intricacies and all of it. It came on too slow, resolved too easy, and just wasn’t satisfying. Same for the subplot that occupies Ricki and Gwen, and I’m not going to spoil that except to say what I just did: came on too slow, resolved too easy, and just wasn’t satisfying.

So I dunno. This one didn’t hit the mark. It felt rushed, and almost scattered. Like, what’s really the story here? Is it really Chino and Maddie? If so, focus on that. Or is it Chino and his family? If so, focus on THAT. I’d dig both stories, separately, and in fact, Chino’s family’s story could be some really positive, helpful fiction if Cecilia would develop all that stuff out. It’s important stuff and could really help others. I want that for her, to write something really ground-breaking.

I’m writing this one off as a mis-step in an otherwise really awesome series. I love the first two in this series, and I love how Cecilia makes me bring new eyes to sex dungeons and submission and what it all means. She’s still writing incredible scenes and still teaching me new things and sometimes, it can be hard to expand your world in all directions at once. Cecilia’s not the first author who’s struggled with that as I watched. She probably won’t be the last. But she’s one I’m hoping gets it under control ASAP. And, of course, if she needs help, Susan’s just an e-mail away.

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Talk about an oldie! I wasn’t even alive when this one came out, but here it is, on my radar, so what the heck. Let’s talk about it. It’s got a listing on GoodReads, so that means you ought to be able to get a copy SOMEwhere, even if you may have to dig through some dark and dusty and spider-filled spots in questionable bookstores that look more like a hoarder’s heaven than your local indie shop.

The book is called A Song Begins, and it’s the first in a series written by Mary Burchell, which seems to be a pseudonym for a great woman named Ida Cook, who saved Jews during the Holocaust. With a resume like that, expectations for the book just went up.

So here’s what it’s about:

An unknown benefactor had sufficient faith in Anthea Benton’s singing voice to pay for her training under the celebrated operatic conductor, Oscar Warrender. She was ecstatic, but her joy was short-lived when she came face to face with the great man. Cold and forbidding, he proved to be a hard taskmaster. She felt her dreams can be coming true… but would she be tough enough to work under such and exacting taskmaster?

A quick glance shows that there’s more Rock Fiction in this series, so expect to hear more about it from me. I’m looking around for my socks, which just got knocked off. And entire 13-book series of Rock Fiction romances? Written and published before they were a Thing?

Ida Cook might be my new hero.