Posts Tagged ‘employer-employee trope’


I think it was Entangled who published that box set I didn’t like awhile back, so no real surprise to see they don’t realize that ROCK STAR is two words. See what I mean:

Never fall for a rockstar…

Julian Wheaton views the world through a kaleidoscope of synesthesia, seeing the colors of every sound he hears. His life as an iconic rock guitarist was a stressful psychedelic trip that nearly destroyed him. Now he’s abandoned the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle for the peaceful sanctity of his recording studio, but when fiery Cleo Compton comes to work for him, she brings chaos with her.

Cleo Compton has had her flings with rockstars—and it’s left her wary and bruised. Julian may have those sexy bedroom eyes and drool-worthy tattoos, but Cleo is determined to keep things strictly professional—until Julian turns out to be every dream she’s ever chased. When he risks it all to hit the road with a band again, Cleo fears he’ll return as the one thing she can no longer abide—a rockstar.

And that’s too bad, because this is a cool idea, with the synesthesia. Wendy Mass wrote a great book about synesthesia.

The rest? We’ve seen it. Burned out rocker who locks himself away from the world. Employee who knows she shouldn’t sleep with yet another rocker. But does.

I’d read this for the synesthesia — and yes, I like saying that — alone, but a major publisher making that sort of typo not just once, but three times in the description, plus the mess that box set was…

Well, if a copy falls on me, I’ll read it with an open mind ’cause I’ll probably forget to check the publisher and just remember the synesthesia (one more for the win!), but if it lets me down for the same bad fact checking, all bets are off.


First in a series! And it’s the only book published so far, so who knows what the series will be like (Inquiring minds, man! The waiting is going to kill me. Until I get distracted by other Rock Fiction.)

Dreams aren’t real.


What if the person in your dreams is a real someone you are meant to meet when your life is unraveling faster than a buzzing guitar string? And what if your salvation comes packaged as a rock ‘n roll legend?

On stage, JT Blackwood, singer for the iconic band Slanker Knox, is all rock star dazzle and testosterone. But offstage… he’s had his fill of greedy girlfriends who want the star and not the man. Meaningless sex with nameless groupies has lost its luster. He knows that, someday, the spotlight will go dark and doesn’t want to find himself with only memories for company.

Part-time photographer Kori Connor is full-time frustrated that her life isn’t what she ordered. She doesn’t need another relationship. But now she’s juggling two ~ a real one, and the one that has her vacationing in some strange man’s head in her dreams.

When Kori agrees to pinch-hit for JT’s usual photographer, he doesn’t realize that her sight reaches further than just through the lens of her camera. When he learns her secret, can this rock star dream her off her feet?

So… rocker who’s reforming his man-slut ways. That’s a bonus. This guy’s immediately self-aware.

And we can ignore the fact he’s about to take up with an employee of a sort — it’s a temp, so all bets are off when it comes to professionalism, right? Hmm. I’m trying to think about what would happen if one of my musicians got it on with a temp. I think that so long as the temp didn’t come back and there was no sex while we were paying temp, people would look the other way. And I know: this is rock and roll. It’s supposed to be filled with sex.

Except how do we know that these photographers only do rock? If the “usual photographer” is of Ross Halfin quality, the band works around his schedule. The man’s a legend, and for good reason. He wouldn’t send a fill-in.

Anyway, the point I distracted myself from is that it’s one thing for the rocker to shag everyone who comes his way — even if, in this case, he’s leaving that lifestyle behind. We’re talking generalities people, not this story. And in general, it’s another thing entirely for the photographer to wind up with a reputation for putting the camera down with the same speed she drops her pants. That’s a super career killer.

And I have no idea what to make of these two relationships she’s got when the story opens. How does the rocker fit in? Is he a third? Does she dump the first two?

I was married once. We were young and stupid, but I think it still gives me firsthand knowledge that relationships are hard work. How the hell is she going to manage THREE at once? And do her job? AND be a pro about it?

Inquiring minds, people. This moral dilemma alone could carry the book. It doesn’t need to be a romance. Just the story of Kori trying to figure it all out.


We won’t snicker too much at this series title ’cause, you know, sometimes, simple things are best.

It’s the Rock Star series, a series that looks like it’s got four books and one interlude so far, but a few more seem to be planned.

So… Book One, Falling Down, starts with a familiar trope: been in love with him for years, chance meeting, and now a few years later, sparks are FLYING.

In Book Two, we have the blind-drunk Vegas wedding and groupies who proposition the star while she’s standing right there beside her doting hubby.

I have zero idea what the third book is about, based on its description. Can you say vague? Wow.

And the fourth book includes kids. I’m guessing they are the main couple’s kids, but the book descriptions for books five and six talk about other characters, so I’m … well confused and intrigued, both. Is this another series that follows one couple for a bunch of books and throws everything and the kitchen sink at them so they can overcome?

I do like the idea of kids on the road. How do most rockers deal with that, anyway? Heck, that could be a series unto itself.

Oh, Susan… get busy…

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I’m stealing the site back from Jett for a few minutes here because Nalini Singh has long been on my I need to read this author and see what the fuss is about list. I hear things about her structure, her talent, her ability… she’s like a goddess in certain circles. One of the best writers of the moment.

But as anyone who hangs at West of Mars knows, I’m a pretty busy camper, running a small business and being a single mom and all. So reading… often falls by the wayside. And even then, a number of years ago, I dug myself a sinkhole of books that I try not to add to. So I’m reading stuff that’s been waiting for me for years.

Sadly, Nalini’s books aren’t in that pile. (I don’t think. At 500+ books, it can be hard to keep straight. But you’d think I’d have looked and you’d think if any had been there, I’d have read them.)

But now I’ve got a reason to pick one up. Or at least a reason to pass it on to Jett, who I can hear whooping in the background. Yep, Nalini has written some Rock Fiction.

Rock Courtship is the name of it, and here’s the description:

What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man…and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

Oh, no! It’s the employee trope again! I gotta admit, I’m disappointed to see this from such a well-regarded author. And while I know there are only so many plots that exist in the world, the whole “I’m gonna sleep with my boss/employee” thing really irks me. Oh, I know it happens in the music biz. It happens on a daily basis. But in fiction, it bugs me; it’s too convenient and I continue to wonder, time and again, what sort of reputation these women — because it’s always the women who are the publicists and managers and whatnot — wind up with. Not among the public, but in the industry. “Oh, we just hired a new one. Figure she’ll be here for six months before she runs off with one of the clients. I’m already checking resumes for her replacement.”

THAT sort of reputation. Do you think band management ever says, “Hey, let’s hire firm so-and-so for our publicity/touring/insert-band-job-here because our guitarist needs to fall in love and settle down.”

And do you think we can EVER find a rocker who DOESN’T have groupies all over him? Again, I know: it’s part of the lifestyle, but on the other hand, in Rock Fiction, it’s almost like the two go hand in hand. The love interest always is dripping in girls. But look! He’s rarely the manwhore he lets the public think he is. He’s really a good guy and…

Well, I’m told if there’s anyone who can rise above, it’s Nalini, so bring it, girl. Set a new bar for Rock Fiction.