Posts Tagged ‘bad boy rocker’

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Winter is still hanging on and maybe we’re not ready for a refreshing blast of winter yet, but we can always use some Christmas joy, can’t we?

Here’s some, compliments of author Heather Hiestand:

Twelve years ago, Bax Connolly left his small town behind to find fame and fortune with his guitar. Now the legendary, tattooed rock star is back and has purchased a home. The bad boy of the music industry wants to reconnect with his estranged family by throwing a huge Christmas party. But his tough, working class relatives have no clue how to deal with their ultra-wealthy and famous prodigal son and want nothing to do with him.

Yakima Wannassay’s catering company needs a Christmas miracle to keep from going under, but she never expected Santa to deliver her the perfect holiday client—her former next door neighbor Bax. A recommendation from him could take her business to a whole new level. And when she steps under the mistletoe with the irresistible Bax, she finds herself wanting to mix business with pleasure. Too bad a long ago told little white lie could blow up in her face and ruin both Christmas and her future.

The Rock Star’s Christmas Reunion reunites a couple who were never together except in rumor, adds some music industry edge, and mixes in the joy of the holidays!

At first, I rolled an eye at the whole bad boy rocker thing. But then I kept reading and boy howdy, am I glad I did! Trying to figure out how to get along with family whose values you may not share anymore — or maybe you do, but the veneer over everything has changed, so there’s no trust for who’s underneath? Yes. Yes.

It’s fresh. It’s something to think about. I’m SO there.

Even the employer-employee trope gets a twist here.

Yes.

Bring it. And if someone sends it now, I just might get it read in time to post the review in time for real Christmas prep.

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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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Rafe Rider is the lead singer of Destiny Fades to Blue, the “it boys” of rock. He is living the dream… traveling the country with his band, sharing his bed with the occasional groupie, and just living large… while their singles climb the charts.

Daisy Anderson is the lead singer of Sweet Southern Sass, the sweethearts and most famous female group of the last decade in country. Their sold out tour has ended and they are enjoying the down time while they prepare their next hit album.

Signed under the same label, a cross-over tour between the sweethearts of country and the bad boys of rock is just the thing to gather fans from both genres.
As the tour rolls out and the bands are thrust together… passion and tempers ignite as the “good” girl and the “bad” boy realize they aren’t quite as different as they imagined.

Can two people from different worlds find love on the road with the person they least expect? When the sweethearts of country meet the bad boys of rock… more than the charts heat up.

So much good stuff here… two singers. Whew, what will happen when THOSE egos collide? Oh, that’ll be fun to watch.

Yeah, okay, we’ve got some cliches. The easy time getting singles up the charts. The idea of a rock/country crossover tour. (do those really happen? I can’t think of any, but if you can, share what you know in the comments.) And, of course, the easy characterization: good girl, bad boy.

Still. Bring this ON.

Note from Susan: Is that REALLY a Donny and Marie reference in the series title? “A Lil Bit Country & A Lil Bit Rock & Roll”? REALLY?)

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I’ve coveted Kylie Scott’s books before but haven’t yet read any of them (ahem. Maybe I oughta check the library. Wait. I’ve got a pile of stuff here. Nevermind).

Here’s the latest in her world:

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it’s booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.

Lena’s not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

This one’s gonna come down to if the writing’s as good as I’ve heard it is, because we’ve seen all this before. Diva singer. PR problem. Rehab. And then the employee who rescues him but winds up in his bed.

I get it. There are only so many plots. But do we have to throw this many of the same elements into one book?

Still. Maybe the author redeems it all. She’s sure got a lot of reviews over at GoodReads and no, I didn’t read them.

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First in a series! First in a series!

They can’t resist each other, but their secret romance might tear their band apart…

Classical musician Maddie Taylor secretly dreams of a louder life, but geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they’re forced to keep their relationship secret.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

So much of this seems familiar, doesn’t it? The sad thing is that this one has a real nice ring of truth to it — that’s not the sad part, so hold your horses for a minute here. It’s the whole “the show pressures them to stay single” part. I know people this has happened to. I know a guy who showed up backstage and wasn’t allowed past security. “But I’m her boyfriend” was met with a lot of laughs. What a crappy way to break up with someone, especially when the people in the couple don’t want to.

I doubt this turned out the way real life did, with a lot of pain and broken hearts and really really hard decisions. It seems so easy on the page. You love ’em? Go for it. Love conquers all. But when it’s real and it’s in your face and there’s millions to be made and dreams to be realized and experienced handlers who know more than you do, and maybe you can be a flash-in-the-pan pop artist and make the cash and get out and be with him again…

Well, it’s just not that easy. On any level. Including the getting out. And that’s assuming he hasn’t moved on.

Like I said, this is the first in a series. Most of the rest are Rock Fiction, although they don’t seem to be about the same band. I’m curious. Got no issues admitting that.

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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 told me to look it up. She said her friend Jessica Topper said Erika Kelly’s the real deal. Let’s see, shall we?

The first book in Erika’s series is You Really Got Me.

Emmie Valencia has what it takes to be the music industry’s hottest band manager. She just needs to prove it. Determined to discover a killer new band, Emmie is ready to make her move. First stop: Austin, Texas.

As a sizzling-hot lead singer, Slater Vaughn has no trouble raising heart rates—but his band’s been flat-lining for years. When Emmie, his bandmate’s sister, crashes with them in exchange for some free management, her industry know-how lands them a spot in the biggest music festival in Texas. But it isn’t just her business acumen that catches Slater’s attention. Emmie is sexy and warm, and—for the first time in his life—he wants more.

But as irresistible as Slater is, Emmie is done with musicians. In her experience, a man can’t be a rock star and someone to trust with your heart—but Slater is determined to show her he’s both.

Lots to like here: the manager is actually managing, not tour managing, and she’s not some chick in a fluffy job. She seems to know her stuff. The hot singer can’t get his band to break through.

We’re off to a good start. Okay, so Emmie’s been with musicians before. Live and learn… but does she have a groupie rep she needs to shed before she’ll be taken seriously as a manager? That would make a cool story. Yeah, we’ve seen it before, but redemption stories don’t get old (I hope). And the idea of finding professional redemption in an industry already tough for women…

Someone tell Susan to start writing again, will ya? She needs to tell that one.

Anyway, here’s the second book’s description:

Derek Valencia finally has the success he’s worked so hard for. His band is touring its debut album and great reviews are rolling in. But when pictures of him tossing naked groupies off a balcony go viral, it’s damage-control time. He’s assigned a “babysitter” whose sole job is to keep him out of trouble.

Violet Davis swore she’d never work in the music industry again, but being a minder for a rock star will earn her enough to pay off the mortgage on her wildflower farm. And for a girl brought up in the foster care system, owning her own home means more to her than anything.

Though at first the two bang heads, the rocker and the farm girl soon grow close and realize that they make sweet music together. But can a girl who craves the stability of life on a farm really make it work with a man whose life is spent on the road with his band?

Throwing naked groupies off a balcony? I am SO there.

I guess I’m getting tired, though, of the “I want to resist the rock star but can’t” — and that’s a big problem on my end. That’s what romance is ABOUT, Jett. Get it together.

Maybe I need to find some Rock Fiction that’s not romance for a bit. Anyone got suggestions?

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Aaaaand… it’s the first in a series again. Series are hot stuff! Even I’ve gotten to the point where I see a standalone and I scrunch up my nose and wonder what the problem is.

It’s Toni Kenyon, though, and I want to say her books are amazing because I recognize her name, but when I looked at her website, she doesn’t have nearly as many books out as I’d thought. So how do I know your name, Toni?

Name recognition’s a good thing ’cause I want to read this. Really really want to read this. Here’s why:

Mags O’Brien lives on the alcohol-soaked, drug-enhanced concert circuit, managing out-of-control rocker Julian MacAvoy. She helps him spread his musical gospel to his adoring followers, despite the fast-spinning turnstile on his bedroom door, and the broken hearts he leaves in his wake.

Mags believes she’s immune to Julian’s magnetic personality but when controversy hits the tour, she finds herself in danger of falling at his feet, slave to his appetites and her own desire and need.

Julian refuses to be tamed, but the pressure of the ravenous crowds clamps tighter and tighter around him. His chaotic world starts to crumble when he realizes his motivation to continue touring comes from an unobtainable woman. Can he force her to make the agonizing choice between himself and her estranged husband?

An erotic and candid look at life on the road.

Of course, I’m a bit let down. We’ve got some familiar things going on — the manager who hangs out on the road, who clearly has no other clients than this one guy she’s trying to save. The male slut rocker.

Here’s where the power of name recognition comes in handy: I want to see how Toni handles it. I want to know if she can make me believe this setup. The description calls this a candid look at life on the road… will Toni have the authority in the details to pull that off?

Only one way to find out…

Oh, and the other two in the series are interesting. The Fan is a 1/2 novella — you know: those in-between stories that aren’t long enough to deserve their own book. It’s about a tryst in a bathroom. Sounds … short on plot but hot and steamy. And the second in the series has Julian trying to be anonymous until he gets Mags pregnant. Again, we’ve seen the ideas. What’s going to make the difference is the execution.

So I’m curious as anything. I’ve seen Toni’s name. I want these to be really good. But are they? I gotta read ’em to find out.

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Yep, it’s another first in a series today. I swear, series are the new book crack.

This one is called Back-Up, and here’s the description. It’s long, so get ready.

THERE’S A NEW ROCK STAR IN TOWN AND HIS NAME IS JACK LAIR…

Leila Marino’s biggest dream is to become a rock star. A lucky opportunity has her auditioning with an up & coming rock band named Devil’s Lair. The band hires Leila as their back-up singer, signing her up for months in the studio and touring on the road with the sexy bunch.

Jack is the quintessential rock star…gorgeous…sexy…a walking orgasm. Jack Lair is the lead singer of Devil’s Lair and his dreams are becoming reality as his band climbs the ladder of success. He’s living the perfect life, and enjoying every minute of it. With a steady stream of sexual conquests that satisfies his raging libido, he thinks he has all he needs in life…until Leila enters it.

Jack is not prepared for the sudden pull he feels towards Leila, and struggles daily to deny his attraction is anything more. Leila finds falling for her new boss is constant torment. Both convince themselves friendship is their only option.

An intimate moment causes their willpower to collapse, and their erotic love affair to begin. Finding love was a bonus that neither Jack nor Leila anticipated. As they begin their tour together professionally and personally, life couldn’t be any better for the couple. Until a mistake from Jack’s past threatens their new relationship, and their perfect future together.

A quick check with my buds who still work in rock and roll show it’s rare for an up-and-coming band to use backup singers. Established bands? Heck yeah, especially the dudes who’ve aged and can’t hit those high notes anymore. But a new band? Nope, not unless the singer’s a girlfriend.

So that’s the first problem. The second is that once again, the rocker is a manwhore who is reformed by the love of one good woman. Can’t we come up with rockers who are different, folks? They’re starting to be interchangeable, and that’s not a good thing.

Where it gets interesting is as the series rolls on. The third book, in particular, has the oddest description I’ve ever read. There’s no idea of the plot, just a note from the author that it’s a projection into the future and it sounds like the tone is very different from the first two.

And then we go to the fourth — how can there be a fourth after we’ve dived into a crystal ball? Oh, it makes sense when you realize the fourth book is about a different set of characters. At least we stay with the band.

Still, I’m curious, like usual. When aren’t I? This is why Susan keeps me around. Bring it on. I need to read it.

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I’m one of those people who doesn’t judge when I see a name that’s obviously fake. I mean, hello? I’m obviously fake.

But I gotta appreciate a clever name, and Ms. Marshall here has me smiling. Marshall, as in the famed amps most rockers use.

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See? That’s Corey Taylor, the hottie behind Slipknot and Stone Sour.  See that amp down there on his right? (btw, the picture? It’s from the Marshall website. Thanks for proving my point, cool people at Marshall amps!)

And then we get into the book description and find another name… well, this one’s not so clever. In fact, I kinda groaned at it.

Henley Hendrix has been a guitar prodigy since the age of 12, and has grown up in rock-n-roll her entire life. By the age of 22 she was the Queen of rock-n-roll, and lead singer/guitarist in her band Abandoned Shadow. Women wanted to be her, and men simply wanted her. Tragedy strikes and she walks away from music for four years. She spends four years attempting to pick up the pieces of her life, then she is slowly pulled back to the only things she has ever loved, music and Jagger Carlyle.

Jagger is People’s Sexiest Man Alive, and rock’s biggest bad boy, and every woman wants to bed him, while every man wants to be him. Jagger presses her to tour with his and her brother’s band, Broken Access, and sparks fly. Her eyes are opened back up to music, and to the boy she fell in love with in the sixth grade.

The journey is marked by Henley’s fears of her past, and how to proceed with her music career. She is surrounded by comic relief, and most of all love, but will the pressures of the rich and famous be too much after her sabbatical? Will the cameras and the women be too much for her?

Hendrix and Jagger, huh? Is our cleverly-named author maybe a 70s rock fan?

Now, I got a real gripe here, and that’s that once again, the rock stars. Women (and men) want to be her (and him) and members of the opposite sex want to bed them. Every. Single. Time.

C’mon, folks, can we dig a little deeper? That’s the whole point of rock stars. If you can’t do them, be them. But a book needs a more redeeming quality than that to put stars in my eyes. I’ve been around. I know. There are plenty of rockers I’ve met over the years who I don’t want to be or bed. Corey Taylor notwithstanding.

And to do it twice in the same book description? I’m sorta gagging over here, you know? That just drives it home.

But anyway. There’s been some tragedy and of course, it’s a man to the rescue to fix Henley. It’s a man she’s known for a long time now, too. That’s turning into a familiar trope, too.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s that even with a hot shot of Corey, I’m in a crummy mood. But maybe it’s that I want different. I want to see the boundaries pushed. Rock Fiction is such a fantastic category; there’s so much that can be done with it. C’mon, authors. Let’s do better.