Posts Tagged ‘familiar tropes’


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.


Not sure what I think of this ’cause I think it could be more about the erotica than the music.

Ruby Scott is a beautiful, quiet event planner who leads an oh-so-respectable life. Yet the things that go on in her secret fantasies are anything but. She has every intention of keeping her hidden desires under wraps-until she meets a gorgeous, hard-muscled man ten years her junior. Mark St. Crow is a gifted, up-and-coming musician who collects erotic art and loves to “play” women as much as his piano. After one night of uninhibited passion, Ruby realizes there’s no turning back. But as she surrenders to her deepest needs and lets Mark control every forbidden thrill, her passion for him builds. Can the wild, intoxicating nights they share lead to a love that will last forever?

Of course she’s beautiful but quiet and falls for him and one night is all she needs… yeah. This is familiar stuff. What’s going to set it apart is the music, if there is any. And the sex. Can’t get tired of the sex (can you?). And, of course, the how of the story. How it’s handled. How it’s written. How strong the characters are.


Who doesn’t need a maid? I bet even maids need maids. (Susan says “housekeeper” or “cleaning help” is what our society has evolved into, but the heck with that. The book we’re talking about has a maid in the title. Deal.)

A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their mess and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There’s just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.

Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what’s a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can’t have?

Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren’t all that’s surging under the surface.

Lots of familiar stuff in here, of course. The rock star who goes into hiding. The “no sleeping with rock stars” rule that gets broken. The unattainable girl.

So what’s the attraction? I’m not sure. Maybe that it’s a fun idea. Maybe that I like knowing that women who do jobs like being a maid are still pretty and attractive, even if the job isn’t. We see so many glamour jobs for our heroines in rock fiction — the managers, the photographers, the publicists — that seeing someone sexy but doing the grunt work of life… yeah. I like that idea.

Bring it on. Let’s see if it can rise above the familiar stuff and make me break the budget to hire some cute man maid. Because like I said, everyone needs a maid.


I loved the first line here. We don’t see a lot of siblings in Rock Fiction (unless they each get a book in a series); it’s just not a family thing, rock and roll. And I like that family plays a part in a different way in this one. That Stella thinks about her sister.

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.

Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Ali Novak wrote her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys when she was just 15 years old, and has since penned her next book, The Heartbreakers. First a hit on the online community Wattpad, her second novel has over 38 million reads and is loved by readers around the world.

But the insta-lust, the usual tropes… it’s not bad stuff. Just… I’m still looking for something different, I guess.


On the Goodreads page for the series, there’s a whole introduction! Look!

The four men who make up the rock band, Wicked, the hottest act to hit the scene in years, have earned their wicked status without much help. They’re bad, sinfully delicious, and a temptation to every woman they meet.

Gearing up for a worldwide tour, the guys are about to come face to face with the only women strong enough to tame them. But it’ll take more than a few smooth words to win the hearts of these ladies. When you can have any woman you want, how do you convince the one you can’t live without her?

Okay, I know. It doesn’t say a heck of a lot… except it does. The series is about how each man finds his woman. That says romance, it says fun, it says… well, it says it’s kinda typical, but sometimes, typical is good. There’s something about this that has energy and makes me want to read.

Take the first book, and ignore the bad comma in front of the band name (Susan pointed it out. She said it makes her sad, but even worse, a friend did it in an article the other day and she’s sad. Everyone, send Susan chocolate to shut her up cheer her up.)

Devin Shaw, front man for the band, Wicked, is forced into seclusion by his manager after his destructive behavior almost destroys the band. Sent to a remote cabin alone isn’t Devin’s idea of fun, but to save his career, he’ll do what it takes.

Holly Baker, escaping the hassles of her big city life, arrives in the mountains of Tennessee and awaits the arrival of her friend, Roxy, to start their two-week vacation. Their plans change drastically when Roxy is called away at the last minute, leaving Holly to fend for herself.

Devin and Holly’s worlds collide when a mix up strands them in the same cabin. Alone with nothing but each other for companionship, how will Holly react when she realizes she’s trapped with none other than the hottest lead singer the country has seen in years? Will Devin be able to work with a constant distraction the pretty brunette offers? Or will the two discover that sometimes temptation is a wicked dessert best served hot!

Okay, we’re going to ignore the whole, “You’re my cash cow, man, so I’m sending your self-destructive ass all alone, by itself, to an isolated cabin and don’t die or burn it down or anything else that’s dumb.” Why be realistic when there’s love at stake?

Yeah, okay. Maybe we’re NOT going to ignore it. Instead, join me in hoping the manager (who I really hope isn’t on the road full-time) has someone covertly looking in.

There are four books in the series, so let’s look at the second book, Leather and Lace. It’s description also gave Susan fits — apparently, it goes from present to past. I got a bigger issue, though.

Roxy Carlisle is on a mission. She’s been in lust with Luke Harris, lead guitarist for the band Wicked, for two years. When her best friend, Holly, hooks up with the bands lead singer, and asks her to tag along to New York with her to meet the band, Roxy couldn’t pack her bags fast enough. The chance to meet Luke in person was a dream come true. Even better if her ultimate fantasy of finding herself in his bed were to happen. One way or another, she was determined to have him. That is, if Holly’s hair-brained idea of playing hard to get doesn’t backfire in her face.

Luke Harris loves women and they love him. All he ever has to do is speak to them and they fall all over themselves to be the lucky lady of the night. That all changes though when a feisty brunette comes barreling into his life and changes all the rules. She’s immune to his usual charm, or so it seems, but something in her eyes tells him otherwise.

Has Luke finally met a woman he can’t seduce? Can Roxy follow her plan and not give in when Luke sets his sights on her? When sex is all you’re after, can you walk away when your heart demands more?

Know what the issue is? Been here, done that.

But the third book… oh, the third book turns a familiar trope on its head in a good way, the way I am hoping the second book does, too.

It’s the Ugly Ducking, and the rocker’s the duck.

Come ON. You gotta love this! How often do we see a rocker who’s NOT the be-all, end-all? Yeah, we’ll see the shy guy and yeah, he’s usually the bass player, but THIS bad?

LOVE it. I want more.

Which is the last in the series, Sweet Temptation.

Mick Sheppard, drummer for the band Wicked, has sworn off women after his whirlwind romance with a fan cost him thousands in legal fees and a years worth of gossip in every trash magazine known to man. So, imagine his surprise when he wakes from an alcohol induced haze in Vegas, hung over, and married to a woman he knows next to nothing about.

Faith Weston is your typical good girl. Or so her father thinks. The daughter of a minister, she’s lived her life on the straight and narrow. A trip to Sin City brings reality to a screeching halt when she discovers her week of reckless abandon has left her married to a rock star. One of the bad boys her father warned her about.

Will Mick and Faith find a way out of their drunk-induced marriage or will they both discover some things were just meant to be? When love is the last thing you’re looking for, how do you turn your back on it when it finally finds you?

And let’s all give a heavy sigh. Back to the tried and true. This one is actually pretty familiar in romance novels, and it’s always the bad guy and the good girl. I do really like that this guy’s been seriously burned by some groupie/fan/random chick who wasn’t in it for the sex but for what she could get after.

So… mixed bag here, but I think (barring the typos in the book descriptions) there’s enough promise that my initial excitement hasn’t faded yet. This is a must-read series for Jett. How about it? Anyone got a copy a girl can read and review? Anyone got a review or two they’d like to see get posted?