Posts Tagged ‘one in a series’

Jett-300x300

So WHAT if it’s the end of February and the next holiday to look forward to celebrating is St. Patrick’s Day? And so what if we’re all tired of winter and ready for spring and green? Let’s take a step back a couple months and talk about a Christmas book. Because, you know, you’ll read about it now and go out and buy it, and it’ll sit around until you rediscover it before next Christmas, and then you’ll be in the mood.

Mark my words. That’s how these things work.

So the book is Rockin’ Little Christmas and it’s branded as being a True Mated Romance, although the first book doesn’t have a lick of Rock Fiction in it, if I go by its description. Which, for lack of other information, is what I’m using.

Here’s what it’s about:

When her parents’ rock band The Pack performs at Zach’s bar, Mandy discovers her True Mate, Joe Blackwolf, the band’s lead singer and guitarist. All she has to do now is convince Joe that she told a little white lie to make her mom happy, her father that rock musicians aren’t all alike, and her new mate’s family that rockers aren’t all that different from classical musicians.

Joe Blackwolf is celebrating his fortieth birthday. And what he wishes for when he blows out the candles is to find his True Mate. He succeeds when he meets Mandy Goldwolf. Problem is…he thinks she belongs to someone else. Finding out the truth leaves him free to explore every inch of her smokin’ hot curves, but now Joe and Mandy are neck deep in overbearing relatives and everyone is in for a Rockin’ Little Christmas.

Note: This book was previously published elsewhere but has been revised and updated.
Formerly titled: Cupid Rocks.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting: Cupid Rocks is the fourth in the True Mated series. But this isn’t part of that series, even though it has a new title? Color me confused! Francesca, stop in and explain it, will ya? Help a girl out here!

I love the line about “All she has to do now is convince Joe that she told a little white lie to make her mom happy, her father that rock musicians aren’t all alike, and her new mate’s family that rockers aren’t all that different from classical musicians.”

That is a LOADED statement, even though Susan looked at it funny and said she wasn’t sure it made sense. Too bad. I get the jist of it and sometimes, you need to go by the jist. And that? That jist just grabbed me. Hard.

So there ya go. If you’ve read this under either of its titles, or you know Francesca and can tell her we’re talking about her and have questions about the whys of things in her world, we’d love you for it. Or I will. Susan’s… well, she can be sparing with the love. It’s not you. It’s her. I think she needs some romance in her life, don’t you?

Jett-300x300

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.

Jett-300x300

Maybe six months ago, I was all excited to read Kristen Callihan’s Idol. Now I’m excited to read the next in the series, Managed. Here’s why:

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big…ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

So he’s an arrogant manager… man, we see a lot of those. Think it’s because arrogance comes easily to the successful? They get too much of themselves?

But I’m curious what this “only in a way I didn’t see coming” means. You’d think it’s sexual, right? Except… this is a romance, so we readers see it a million miles off. Doesn’t mean the lead doesn’t, just that she’s maybe not as smart as we are.

All in all, it sounds like Gabriel’s music ties are there for color, making this Not Rock Fiction. But I need to read it to see. Which means… I need to read it.

Jett-300x300

So Susan read a Maya Banks book a couple years ago. She was disappointed in it.

But I’m not Susan, so I’m going to try to track this one down, and her review isn’t going to bug me at all. Mostly because I didn’t bother to read it.

Here’s what Kept is about:

From the author of Mastered and Dominated comes the third Enforcers novel—the searing story of a woman who finds sanctuary in surrender…

He can’t change who he is…

A horrific childhood has made Silas the man he is today: dangerous, distrustful, and demanding. He’s lived in self-imposed solitude, convinced that no woman could ever accept his need for absolute control—in business and pleasure. That is, until a young violinist walks into one of his buildings and into his life.

She can’t change what she wants…

Haley has been struggling to fulfill her father’s dying wish: to attend a prestigious music school in New York City. But even working two jobs, she can’t afford the tiniest of apartments. Seeing her hopeless and near tears, Silas vows to help and protect her, no matter the cost to himself. But when Haley meets his every demand with unwavering acceptance and love, he is overwhelmed by her goodness and gentle spirit. He knows that the dark stain on his soul can never be erased—and rather than risk destroying the most beautiful thing he’s ever experienced, he knows he’ll have to do the hardest thing he’s ever had to face. Let her go. But he’s totally unprepared for the lengths Haley will go to fight for his love and a future brighter than the sun…

So how much of this has to do with music? That’s the number one question I have.

I’m a little leery of the “absolute control–in business and pleasure” part because that just seems cruel to me and not my thing, but Maya Banks has such a good reputation (and Susan met her once and said she’s awesome in person) and honestly, I’m curious. This guy knows he could destroy his love. He’s got hard choices, but what a chance to open up and grow into someone new.

I’m intrigued. Totally. Even though none of that plot seems like it’s Rock Fiction at all.

Hey, every now and then, one reaches out and grabs me. What can I say?

(btw, for those of you who care, this is the third in a series, and I have no idea if they are related, or if you have to read the first two, or what. If you know, let’s hear from you!)

Jett-300x300

You know, I can’t decide how I feel about books that wind up being the token Rock Fiction entry into a series. On the one hand, it’s a great way to expose non-Rock Fiction readers to our amazing category. But on the other, they have a greater chance of not breathing music the way the best Rock Fiction does. So are these books really showing the magic and pull of Rock Fiction?

Today’s Coveting entry is Anne Calhoun’s Going Deep. Check the description:

After weeks on a sold-out tour, singer Cady Ward is coming home for the holidays. But after one too many episodes of fan-craziness, Cady’s manager decides that she needs protection—in the form of muscled cop Conn McCormick. Longing for peace and quiet to prepare before her next album drops, Cady doesn’t need a bodyguard just to deal with some vague email threats…though she can’t deny that close proximity to Conn’s body is a very nice place to be.

Conn is in the midst of a career scandal when his boss assigns him to pop-star guard duty. It’s a poor use of his skills, even though Cady’s feisty nature proves the perfect distraction for Conn while Internal Affairs investigates his case. What begins as a sizzling attraction becomes something deeper than either Conn or Cady could have expected. But when Conn uncovers the sinister plan behind the threats to Cady, he’s faced with a professional dilemma: To save her life, will he risk having a future with the only woman who’s ever touched his soul?

Ahh, the bodyguard trope. You guys know that I think it’s hard to touch this one, given how well Lorelei James did it a few years back.

But this book might be coming at it from a different angle. After all, Cady isn’t on the road (or so the back cover says), so that takes that element out of the picture. And the series is about the Black Ops dudes, so that suggests this is more the hero’s story than the heroine’s. Which is also cool. I mean, I love men. Why wouldn’t I love reading about them?

As always, it’s all about the execution, so bring this one on and let’s see how it executes. Or better yet, represents Rock Fiction. AND makes my knees weak. I love it when a good romance can make my knees weak.

Jett-300x300

I’ve been turned into a Cecilia Tan fangirl, and let me tell how excited I was when Susan let me know that Hard Rhythm, the third in Tan’s Secrets of a Rock Star series, was on its way to me. Whee!

Turns out, this one is the story of one of Ricki and Gwen’s employees, Madison. She hooks up with a member of Axel and Mal’s band, Chino. He’s the drummer.

Like I said in my other reviews of the earlier books, I don’t see a lot of rocker in Chino. He’s very much an everyman, and that is disappointing. In fact, we see so little of Chino’s rocker side that I hesitate to call this Rock Fiction.

I gotta admit, of the three books in the series, this is my least favorite. The guys—Axel, Mal, and now Chino—aren’t quite distinctive enough, and their personalities are all sorta blending together. They’re dudes in bands and they’re all doms – how’s that affect your band dynamics there, guys? – and they support their successful women… but what sets them apart from each other? I need more.

The other thing that totally squicks me out is the Daddy-baby stuff. Ugh. Age play just isn’t my catnip.

A few other things and man, I hate to rip on Cecilia, but… this one just didn’t hit the mark. The ending felt rushed and the situation with Chino’s family was too simple, too fast. There was real meat in that subplot, and I really wanted to see more of the struggles and the intricacies and all of it. It came on too slow, resolved too easy, and just wasn’t satisfying. Same for the subplot that occupies Ricki and Gwen, and I’m not going to spoil that except to say what I just did: came on too slow, resolved too easy, and just wasn’t satisfying.

So I dunno. This one didn’t hit the mark. It felt rushed, and almost scattered. Like, what’s really the story here? Is it really Chino and Maddie? If so, focus on that. Or is it Chino and his family? If so, focus on THAT. I’d dig both stories, separately, and in fact, Chino’s family’s story could be some really positive, helpful fiction if Cecilia would develop all that stuff out. It’s important stuff and could really help others. I want that for her, to write something really ground-breaking.

I’m writing this one off as a mis-step in an otherwise really awesome series. I love the first two in this series, and I love how Cecilia makes me bring new eyes to sex dungeons and submission and what it all means. She’s still writing incredible scenes and still teaching me new things and sometimes, it can be hard to expand your world in all directions at once. Cecilia’s not the first author who’s struggled with that as I watched. She probably won’t be the last. But she’s one I’m hoping gets it under control ASAP. And, of course, if she needs help, Susan’s just an e-mail away.

Jett-300x300

Here’s one for the Vaguebookers among you all…

My name is Scarlett, but most call me Lett. Well, everyone except the man I’ve been in love with for as long as I can remember.

It wasn’t difficult growing up the daughter of a rock star. I loved the attention and the music so the decision to follow my dad’s career path was an easy one.

Trouble always seemed to be my shadow and keeping out of mischief sometimes seemed impossible. The social life always kept me busy. However, recently I just long for a bit of privacy, a little anonymity just for a little while.

Singing and music are my lively-hood and my passion; I need to find my balance. Little did I know, my life was about to be turned upside down and finding someone to trust in my line of work was difficult; I learned that the hard way. But there has always been one man who has been by my side throughout it all, my best friend. It’s a shame he doesn’t feel the same, will he ever love me back?

Will fate be on my side?

Was my destiny about to be rocked?

Okay, so we’re not going to mention the HUGE capital letters Susan used when she picked out lively-hood from that description. Because, umm, hey. I know that editors aren’t cheap, but on this one, I have to agree with her. Having that edited would have been money well spent. And Susan says she’ll edit a description like this super cheap. I’d say it’s totally worth it because even if she hadn’t pointed that out, I’d have caught it. That’s a pretty bad one.

So Lett is in love with this dude who may or may not know she’s alive. He doesn’t have a name, he’s THAT important to her. And something bad happens, but we don’t know what, which means anyone who needs trigger warnings is going to approach this one carefully.

And the author’s bio on Goodreads says this is a series, but the book isn’t linked to a series, so I don’t know what number it is, or if there are others or if this is just an intended series.

So lots of questions, and other than that huge typo in the description, nothing that I don’t think scares me off. It raises a lot of questions about what’s really going on here, and that’s not always a bad thing to start reading with, you know? So much better when you don’t know the plot. I mean, hello? It’s a romance. We know the plot, or at least the happily ever after (or happy for now, which seems to be a thing anymore). But that’s okay — with romances, it’s all about getting there, not how it ends. Romances are all about the falling in love, and that totally works for this single girl.

Jett-300x300

I wrote yesterday’s post awhile ago, and it’s funny that it’s running this week, the week after McCarthy’s second book in the series, Dream Maker, was released. Let me tell you, after reading Dream Maker, I gotta go find that first book.

Here’s the review I wrote before I realized we had two days of Erin McCarthy. Think it’s enough to convince her to come hang out here a bit and talk about this Nashville Nights series of hers?

Can I gush about how much fun this book was? It’s such a simple, familiar setup, one I’ve been seeing a lot lately.
Avery’s lost on a street corner – the why is important, so I won’t spoil it, even though if you’ve read the first chapter, you know – and gets picked up by Shane Hart, music producer extraordinare and brother to Jolene Hart, country music darling.

Throwing caution to the wind and needing to be wild for just one night, Avery takes Shane to a hotel room and screws him silly. It, of course, is wonderful, but Avery promised herself it would be one time, one night, and she leaves a note and sneaks out while Shane snores on. If romance heroes snore.

Fast forward three months. Avery’s found herself a new footing and a job as a songwriter. She’s messing around with a new tune and freezes. That’s Shane in the hallway, loving her song. Or is it her?

It doesn’t really matter. It takes her co-workers about zero time to figure out that there’s some unresolved heat between Shane and Avery, and that’s pretty much it. That’s the plot. Oh, there’s a subplot about Avery’s father, too, and it’s resolved super fast and with zero angst. I wish there’d been more angst about this part of the book.

But the romance is a fun read. It’s charming, it’s cute, it’s heartwarming. And yes, it’s hot, so don’t think that words like cute and charming and heartwarming don’t mean there’s not some explicit loving happening.

And yes, it’s Rock Fiction. I mean, hello? He’s a music producer. She’s a songwriter. And there’s Jolene running around, too, since she and Shane are some of romance’s almost typical brother-sister loving duos.

This is part of a series, the second book. The first featured Jolene and her love, and we get to see them in this book. I’m not sure where McCarthy’s going to head next, but it’s listed as upcoming and man, I hope I get to read it. I also need to read Jolene’s story. This is some good stuff. Fun, frothy, and… just perfect.

Jett-300x300

Okay, WHO let this one slip through the cracks? We’ve done multiple posts about wanting to read the first in this series, You Really Got Me. Susan and Michelle have read books One and Three. So why no love for Number Two?

Let’s fix that right now.

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?

This is the throwing-naked-groupies-off-balconies book and I haven’t given it its own time here at The Rock of Pages!

Really. If Susan wanted to fire me, she’s got a good reason to. A better than good reason.

So. What more do I need to say? Books One and Three have made it onto the Recommended List here at The Rock of Pages. This one has naked groupies being flung off balconies (take THAT, Led Zeppelin!).

I guess the only thing I need to say is that Michelle got to read the first book, and Susan read the third, so I get this one!

Jett-300x300

Susan and I were tossing e-mails back and forth the other day, talking about Nalini Singh and this series. We’ve been coveting it for a long time now, but neither of us has made a move to read it — and we should. We were debating who gets to do it, but we haven’t reached an agreement yet. At least we’re talking about picking it up!

So here’s the next in the series. The fourth or fifth, depending on how you count the one listed on Nalini’s website as 1.5. At any rate, it’s more than a trilogy. Sounds like this one can go long — although what’s that middle book doing there? The one that has nothing to do with rock stars?

Here’s the description:

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love…even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

We’ve seen second-chance romances before, but this one? Sounds… heavy. Angsty. And with a heaping dose of redemption.

I can’t speak for Susan, but I’m hoping I win the battle over who gets to read this series because man, this one sounds like it’s made for me.