Posts Tagged ‘Olivia Cunning’

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Olivia Cunning’s got a new series!

Toni wants to be an insider.
Logan just wants inside her.

She’s finally ready to rock…
Toni Nichols set aside her dreams to raise her little sister, but now she’s reaching for the stars as the creator of a revolutionary interactive biography about Exodus End. She’s on tour with the rock band to immerse herself in their world, but how will she ever gain the trust of four veteran superstars who’ve been burned by the media before? Nobody said this was going to be easy. Then again, good things can come in hard packages.

He’s always ready to roll…
Adrenaline junkie Logan Schmidt lives for the rush of playing his bass guitar before thousands of screaming fans. When he’s not performing onstage or in the bedroom, he’s looking for his next thrill in extreme sports. So why does a sweet, innocent journalist get his heart pumping and capture his full attention? Is Toni the real deal or just digging up dirt on his band? Logan’s eager to rock Toni’s world and roll her in the sack, but when she starts to get too close to his heart, she takes her insider look to a place he may never be willing to go.

I’m not thrilled with the description of Logan. Typical, no? The rocker who loves a new girl in his bed every ten minutes falls for the quiet girl. Yawn. Seen this a million times.

BUT check out the rest of the premise. Trying to penetrate (ha!) beneath the cynicism of a band who’s been around long enough to know the media ain’t their friends the way journalists claim to be. Our girl’s got one heck of a challenge in front of her, and I really hope Cunning pulls this off well. I think she will. People rave about her series, especially the early books in each series, and this is a new series…

I mentioned it’s an Olivia Cunning, right? You’re guaranteed some good rock and roll and even better, hotter sex. Maybe we’ll let the rest go.

Let’s welcome guest reviewer Liz Ellyn to The Rock of Pages! She’s got more reviewing goodness to come, so give her a big Rock of Pages welcome!!

Olivia Cunning – One Starry Night

May 11, 2015 lizellyn.com

One Starry Night Cover

Extra, Extra, Read all about it … Sinners on Tour Extras … Extra Sinful, Extra Sex, Extra Hot Man

Fan of Olivia Cunning? YOU MUST READ! I realize the story is a bit tangential to the favorite core group of rockers, but Jake, a guitar technician and roadie for the band, certainly epitomizes the lovable sexy rock stars. He’s crass, crude, and says whatever is on his mind, which is mostly sex. The three-way between Jake, Devlin, and Michelle was UNBELIEVABLY HOT! This book may be short, but remember it’s quality that counts, not quantity.

Only $0.99 on Amazon

Thank You to Olivia Cunning!

This review was originally posted at West of Mars. It is being posted here, at its new permanent home.

I simply adored Olivia Cunning’s first Sinners on Tour book, Backstage Pass. And then I passed it off to a friend at the Hoity Toity Health Club, knowing she’d love it, too.

She did. So much that she kept it. Usually, she passes the books among other members and we all stand around and talk about them. Because, you know, that’s what you do at a health club. You talk books.

Even if she hadn’t desperately needed me to read Rock Hard, I did. How was Olivia going to follow up such a tour de force?

Well, in a sense, with more of the same. Oh, not in a negative sense. She uses the same structure: a lot of hot sex at the start, and then a taper off as the storyline takes precedence. It’s a smart move for an erotic book, as it ultimately deemphasizes the sex. And just like in Backstage Pass, there’s a lot of great sex. There’s also the Sinners. And Brian’s wife Myrna, the voice of reason and helpmeet to Jessica, Sed’s all-consuming passion.

The weaknesses – for me – come in the form of Jessica and Sed. In Backstage Passes, Sed wasn’t entirely likeable. That feeling lingered, especially when the brunt of his problems with Jessica became apparent: they don’t talk. They’re so busy protecting their pride and trying too hard, they miss out on the vital connections that make relationships work. This becomes frustrating to read, as I just wanted to reach out and grab them and shake sense into each of them. It gets worse when Sed, in particular, goes off half-cocked to fix situations he knows nothing about. It may be how some men in real life behave, but it doesn’t endear a reader to a fictional character.

As before, the details of the rock and roll lifestyle aren’t 100% accurate, but this time, it bothered me less – most likely because I was expecting it. I’d love to see Olivia find herself an expert and correct these inaccuracies in future books. It’ll make them that much stronger.

Of course, we have to talk about the sex. It’s hot, but Jessica likes it in public, and I wasn’t entirely buying the whole public sex thing. And when the video appears – like this is a spoiler? The only surprising thing is that Sed himself wasn’t behind it – the ways in which it’s handled, not by Jessica and the band, but as part of the external conflict in the book is simply not believable. The people involved really ought to know better. Their behavior is beneath them, and that’s putting it lightly.

In the end, this is a good entry in the series, but not quite as strong as its predecessor. Jessica and Sed need to talk and listen more. I hope Jessica will use that duct tape more liberally when she’s got serious situations to handle on her own, without his hot-headed interference.

This review was originally posted at West of Mars. It is being posted here, at its new permanent home.

The biggest problem with great books is that you never get around to reading them fast enough. That’s the case with Olivia Cunning’s Backstage Passes, the first in her Sinners on Tour series.

It’s the story of a woman we know as Myrna, a psychologist who happens to specialize in human sexuality. She’s also had a very private thing for sexy guitarist Brian Sinclair, a thing she never expects to come anywhere near fulfilling – until she runs into the band. She’s staying in the hotel for a conference. The band, sans security, is on tour. Myrna likes Brian. Brian, even in his drunken state, likes Myrna. He’s not too drunk, so off they go, embarking on a torrid affair that is really this book’s strength.

Now, I’ve read plenty of erotica. I have plenty of friends who write it. None handle the merge of sex scenes and storyline as adeptly as Ms. Cunning. The action doesn’t grind to a halt while Myrna and Brian to get it on, for pages at a time. It makes sense within the story, and even though it does last for pages – hey, he’s a rocker. What do we expect, if not longevity? – it’s inventive, hot, and just tawdry enough to let us see that Myrna’s not merely living out her fantasies featuring Brian Sinclair, she’s living out every fantasy every woman has ever had about a rock star.

Best of all, Cunning lets Myrna experiment with sex in a safe setting – and is brave enough to let her not like certain elements, at least on the first go-round. Brian is also evolved enough to accept her comfort level. Is it too idealistic? You read and decide.

For all the good, there are some issues. Brian’s parents are a bit too good to be true, and the good psychologist finds a solution to the estrangement from his father that doesn’t take any particular skill to work out. Myrna herself seems awfully unaware of sex, its ramifications, and other mental issues that you’d expect of an expert in human sexuality. Not that she should walk around spouting off sexual facts or commenting on what it means when Eric gets involved in an encounter with Brian without it turning into a threesome, but she should have more awareness of what’s at play here. And finally, the situation with her ex comes into play too late, almost as if it’s an afterthought, a spot where conflict via a subplot was called for, so something materialized out of thin air. While many romances would have Myrna more aware of the threat Jeremy posed to the point where it gets to be too much, some middle ground in the form of an inkling earlier on would have been better.

And then there’s the rock and roll details. The band drives its own tour bus? Roadies are enlisted to drive Myrna’s car? The bus seems more like a Winnebago, which is fine if you’re on the Warped Tour, but The Sinners aren’t doing Warped. They’re represented as being on a bus. Also, when you’re on a guest list, you need to show ID, which means you can’t have a cutsie last name given to you by an impertinent band member. There are other details that suggest this isn’t Ms. Cunning’s area of strength, but she redeems herself by creating a band full of characters who live and breathe. They aren’t cliché in the least.

Still, this is an erotic romance, and it’s there that Ms. Cunning shines. She’s smart enough to let her rockers have warts, and she lets Myrna not only see them, but accept them. The exception would be the conflict with his father, where it’s Myrna to the rescue so she can prove her love for her man.

I don’t know many people who read erotic romance for the storyline or the authenticity of the rock and roll lifestyle details. Not as their first desire, anyway. It’s about the sex, and I’ve read enough of the erotic stuff that I’ve got no issue saying that she’s one of the best out there—although I will apologize to my many friends who write erotic romance. This is by no means a cut to you guys. Rather, it’s high praise for Ms. Cunning, whose sex is inventive and creative. It fits the story – and best of all, as the relationship progresses, the sex scenes become mentions, nothing more. It’s a mirror for how a real-life relationship plays out: all hot at first, then tapering off into something comfortable and right. And while the loss of these wildly fun scenes is noted, the storyline is strong enough, despite its flaws, to keep our interest. And those characters? You just want to spend days more with them.

I can’t wait to pick up the second book in the series. It’s sitting on my shelf, waiting for me.

Like I said, you can never get to the great ones soon enough.

Yep, another work of Rock Fiction has crossed my radar. This one comes to us via small publisher 5 Prince Publishing, a house that’s new to me.

Most readers don’t care much about publishers, they care if a book is good or not, and so we’ll talk about Blissful Tragedy, Amy M. Gale’s entry into the genre. At first, I thought I’d already written this book because its main character, Lexie, works for an advertising agency. That doesn’t seem to be vital to the romance, though. Not the way it was in Michelle Valentine’s Rock the Heart.

Instead, this is the story of a woman crushed by a breakup who happens to hook up with the lead singer.

One warning: this is one of those stories where the singer does whatever he has to do to get his hands on Lexie’s phone number (“secretly obtains her cell number” is how the book description words it). Is anyone else squicked out by that? Just… dude. ASK. You have a mouth. Presumably, it’s good for more than singing and kissing the chicks. And if you ask and Lexie said no? Respect that.

Sheesh.

Of course, it’s hard to comment on what “secretly obtains her cell number” really means until I read the book — so there’s another reason I need to read this one.

Reviews that I’ve seen are mixed, so … another reason to read and pass along to Jett for a formal review. Fingers crossed I’ll get to see what this one’s like. One review mentioned that the sex scenes are super hot. Can they be hotter than Olivia Cunning’s?