Posts Tagged ‘first in a series’

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.

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.

First in a series alert!

Here you go:

First book in the Magnolia Steele Mystery series by the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Denise Grover Swank.

Ten years ago, Magnolia Steele fled Franklin, Tennessee after an incident that left her with hazy memories and a horror of the place where she had been born and bred. Though her abrupt departure destroyed most of her treasured relationships, she vowed never to return . . . until she has no choice. When Magnolia’s breakout acting role in a Broadway musical ends in disgrace, there’s only one place she can go. She finds herself on her momma’s porch, suitcase in hand.

Drama follows Magnolia around like a long lost friend. She reluctantly agrees to help her momma’s catering company at a party for a country music star, only to find herself face-to-face with a sleazy music agent from her past. After a very public spat, Magnolia not only finds him dead but herself center stage in the police’s investigation. Now she must scramble to prove her innocence, relying on the help of acquaintances old and new.

But the longer Magnolia stays in Franklin, the more she remembers about the big bad incident that chased her away. The past might not be finished with her yet, and what she doesn’t remember could be her biggest danger.

Oooh, a mystery! Hooray for Rock Fiction mysteries!

One note, though: a glance at the other three titles in this four-book (as of when I drafted this) series shows that the others focus more on the Broadway actress theme and not so much on the Rock Fiction. Boo for that, but Give My Regards to Broadway!

(and really, is Broadway that far off? Hmm.)

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Looks like here’s the first in a series that’s been out for awhile… I’m totally on a tear with this older stuff that’s snuck past, aren’t I?

Here’s the description. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

Katie Logan has had a secret crush on her best friend Johnny Church since high school, but he’s never looked at her the same way. So when Johnny—now a famous rock star—comes home to visit, Katie can’t bring herself to tell him she’s engaged to be married. She should have, though, because she soon discovers that maybe the attraction is mutual…

Warning: Not for the faint of heart! This book contains explicit sex, drugs, and rock and roll, not to mention a few eff bombs here and there. Proceed with caution.

Looks like this one’s a novella, ’cause one of the first things I noticed was that it’s only 142 pages. So maybe that explains why the description is so short. Or else it’s so short because it says it all.

We’ve seen this trope before. Lots. So I’m guessing the fun’s gonna be the erotic stuff, and I’m all for that. I hear good things about Jade’s writing, so bring this ON and let’s have a hot time.

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It’s kinda cracking me up that I’m following a book named Harmony with one named Imperfect Harmony. Did something go south?

Nope. It’s a different book — the first in a series! — and written by a different author and everything. Here’s what Imperfect Harmony is about:

A rock band. A reality show. The opportunity of a lifetime.

As the front man for The Void, lead singer Dane Archer has yet to achieve the success he craves. He hopes that will change when he’s approached about filming a reality show called House of Archer. All he and the band have to do is get some juicy footage while on their upcoming tour.

The problem? Archer’s life is a snoozefest. His parents are happily married, he’s never done drugs or gotten arrested, and he doesn’t get into fights with his band mates. He knows the show will fizzle and die before it ever hits the air, taking his dreams of worldwide fame along with it.

Unless…

If Archer can convince his best friend Lily to be on the show, he’s sure they’ll get all the compelling footage they need. Her life is filled with drama. Hell, she’s practically a reality show in her own right.

Archer’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Lily on board, even if it means charming her into being more than just friends. But when he finds himself falling for her, his seemingly simple plan gets complicated. Soon the line between reality and Reality TV begins to blur, leaving him wondering if achieving his dreams is worth all it might cost him.

He’s so squeaky clean! So much that this almost comes off as New Adult or something, minus the angst and the horrible past.

But the premise is what’s fun here. Nothing wrong with a little bit of invented drama… This could be one heck of a fun ride, if Lily can cook up the sort of drama I’m hoping she can.

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This might be out there, even for us. And it’s the first in a series, so hopefully it’s out there in the fun sort of way that makes us want to keep reading and spending time and reminds us of some of the best crazy fun Rock Fiction we’ve come across.

Here’s the description:

Daisy Kirkwood has only just escaped her small-town life and run away to New York City, the land of last-minute secret gigs at famous musical venues, when she’s kidnapped by aliens. Unfortunately, no one ever writes about how to handle alien abduction in those fancy NYC guidebooks.

Griffin and Dev are supermassively sexy aliens from a politically and environmentally troubled planet who arrive on Earth with very little knowledge about human ways other than what they learned from a wayward E! News signal. Their mission is to pretend to be the most influential people on the planet—English pop stars, of course!—and gain the help of a powerful secret society. Upon arriving, they abduct Daisy Kirkwood, a nerdy young woman who loves music but could seriously use a bit of help in the love-life department. Though Griffin and Daisy initially squabble, neither can deny the intergalactic sparks whenever they’re too close to each other. Together, they must face murderous aliens, cultural misunderstandings, bad backup musicians, and the dark side of fame and the media, all set against a tight deadline…

Part High Fidelity, part Bridget Jones’ Diary, part Doctor Who, Dating an Alien Pop Star is a sexy romantic comedy.

Well. I wasn’t a big fan of High Fidelity, Bridget Jones wasn’t someone I could relate to, and Doctor Who is okay, but this description does sound like zany, crazy fun. It’s perfectly silly and goofy and has that feel of who really cares, we’re just gonna have a laugh at pop culture’s expense and let the reader share the joke and be there to catch all our winks.

Maybe that’s more wishful thinking than truth, but… I can wish. And I can want to read it based on my own delusions. So there.

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Here’s one that needs attention. It’s only got a handful of reviews (which I haven’t read yet. I swear!), and we all know that books need reviews. Yes, even negative ones.

It’s a novella, so know that up front. It says so right there in the description. Right there. In that first line a lot of people skip over ’cause they think it’s all marketing hype.

Oh. That’s only me? Really?

Here’s the book description:

Max Rock, an erotic rock star novella.

Art conservator Catherine isn’t interested in casual sex, not until she meets a sexy stranger in a bar. Sneaking away from their one-night stand, she has no idea what his name is, only that she found him completely irresistible.

Max Craze is the lead singer for Australia’s hottest new rock band, Punch Sound. Women fall into his bed almost every night, but he never stays interested once he’s tasted their delights. Then he hooks up with a beautiful blonde and can’t get her out of his mind.

When their paths cross again, their mutual attraction is undeniable and things begin to get really hot.

Punch Sound. Four sexy rockers, as hot off the stage as they are on it.

Ooh, an Aussie! That’s a fun twist… is he an exotic, or just proof that it doesn’t matter where you come from ’cause we’re all the same underneath? Only one way to tell!

This is also the first in a series. I’ll see what more I can dig up, but if you know something, let’s hear it! I’m always glad to share space.

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Here’s the kickoff to another new series. I love the idea of series, when they’re done right, because we get to spend extra time in what becomes a familiar world. As the series goes on, each book turns into a comfort read (Sookie Stackhouse, I’m talking to you).

This one starts off with a fun vibe.

She stole his roses.

Fleeing the spotlight, burnt out rock star Layla—“Belle”—Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten heritage in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn’t expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.

He wants them back.

Matt didn’t mean to growl at her quite that loudly. But—his roses! She can’t have his roses. Even if she does have all those curls and green eyes and, and, and…what was he growling about again?

Or maybe he just wants her.

When an enemy invades his valley and threatens his home, heart, and livelihood, Matthieu Rosier really knows only one way to defend himself.

It might involve kissing.

So I bet this is more of a Rock Star Who Could Be Anyone than actual Rock Fiction, but it’s cute! The dude’s possessive about his flowers!

(and I can think of some other Rock Fiction that feature flower shops and/or greenery. Is that a thing?)

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It’s difficult to take a cast of unlikeable characters and make the reader care about them. Not all readers are willing to rise to the challenge, and that’s okay. The payout for those of us who are is bigger somehow.

Lisa Marie Perry has a cast of some tough characters. All of them are morally deficient in one way or another; all of them have seriously fatal flaws. In fact, it’s hard to believe this was published by one of the big houses, but it was. Good for them.

The set-up is pretty fascinating: the central player here isn’t a person so much as a record label. And we can argue the usefulness and relevance of record labels until the Spotify Premium’s up for renewal, but that’s not what Sin For Me is about. It’s about the people who used to control it (Dante and Delilah) and the people who currently do (Emma, Joshua, and Chelsea)—and the betrayals and baggage that remain as Delilah wants her family’s heritage back.

That’s the big story arc. There’s also a smaller one, in that it’s about the relationship between Dante and Chelsea. There was a betrayal between them as well, and it was part of the bigger betrayal that led to the leadership change at Devil’s Music. But it’s that betrayal between Dante and Chelsea that’s just as hard, if not harder, to get past. Dante copes by leaving town and starting life at the farthest point he can get to from the glitz and glamour of the record business. Chelsea, though, isn’t so lucky. She’s stuck in the executive offices, busy self-destructing and stuck in the guilt and anger of what she and Dante did to each other, surrounded by the constant reminders of him and the family legacy that she took from him.

This is enough for a single book, sure, but there’s a couple more subplots, as well: Delilah wants to make a play to get her label back and decides to use Dante to do it; one of the label’s artists is angry and turns first rogue and then violent; and a new talent comes into the fold. And, too, there’s something going on between married Emma and Joshua, something Chelsea doesn’t understand—and neither does the audience.

It’s almost too much, except there’s something soap opera-esque going on here, and the book certainly reads well. I found I had to read in small doses because the characters are so morally vapid, I’d have to resurface just to recalibrate myself. But at the same time, it was hard to put down (yes, it’s true: the famous editor loves trashy, soap opera-esque books as much as she loves everything else her clients throw at her. Maybe more? I’m not telling!).

This, friends, is the sign of a good book. It’s a train wreck you can’t look away from, a delicious taste of something forbidden. But best of all, the book itself isn’t a train wreck. It’s well crafted and constructed, the characters are beautifully drawn, and it’s well written. The various strands of the plot are well cared for in Perry’s experienced hands, and wow, does she do a great job with it.

But if there’s one area where the book isn’t as strong, it’s in the descriptions. I wanted a better view of what these people wear—telling me the sandals are diamond-studded doesn’t really show me much—as well as how this old house has become a record label, with stairs and offices and… just how does this place lay out and work? It was hard to visualize and I had a hard time making sense of what was where.

After all the rich plotting that happens here, I really missed the rich descriptions to go with the lushness of the characters. Here’s one book that demands more than just a broad brushstroke of description. It needs to breathe the way the rest of the story does.

Even before the cliffhanger ending—I hesitate to call it a cliffhanger because it doesn’t leave us on our toes at the edge of the world so much as it merely stops, the last page gets turned and you look up and wonder where the hell the rest of it is—I was hooked on this series. Morally absent or not, I’m dying to know what comes next for our salacious crew, and how they solve the problems that have been laid out in this first volume of The Devil’s Music.
October, when the second book is released, can’t come soon enough.

*Copy from NetGalley, and thanks for it! Can’t wait for #2*

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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.