Posts Tagged ‘Rock Star PR’

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I’d heard a lot of great things about Melissa Foster’s books, so when she wrote a potential Rock Fiction entry into one of her series, I was all over it.

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I’m not sure what the fuss is.

Now, if you like those books where things don’t ever really go wrong, where people communicate and work through small problems super easy, where it’s a love fest from the second new people meet and families come together, this is totally your thing.

And I’m not one of those people who wallows in angst, but I’d like a little bit of tension and darkness in my books, you know? But when even the truffles are described as delicious after we’ve watched more than one character talk about how good they are, you know this isn’t the world’s most realistic version of reality.

By the end, it totally grated on my nerves. And I couldn’t tell anyone apart in the huge families of Trish and Boone.
So here’s the deal: Trish is an actress who expects this version of Sid and Nancy to get her an Oscar. And she fully expects this despite the fact that she’s going to be starring opposite Boone, who’s never acted and comes off as more than a boor. We’re told he’s a rock star, but there’s nothing rock star about him, despite the fact that he plays guitar a few times. It takes more than that. More than never-voiced worries about how a rocker and an actress can make it work.

So it’s got no real conflict and it’s not Rock Fiction. We’re striking out here.

Except it’s readable and until the end, when it goes over the top in family insta-love for each other, it’s a fun and good read. Perfect for the beach or for a day in a hammock in the backyard (thanks for buying that, Dad) when you don’t want to think or do anything but go along for the ride.

Bring your own delicious truffles, though.

Pick up your copy, and as always, thanks to Rock Star Lit for the review copy. If you’ve read it and want to share your own views, drop Susan a line!

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
B&N Nook
Kobo
iBooks
Google Play
Smashwords

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Guess I’m 0 for 2 with this weekend’s set of blog tour reviews. Both books said they featured music-focused characters. Both wound up being characters who could have had any other job.

What a letdown.

Hiatus

In Hiatus, we’ve got a story of a committed threesome. Cam and Theo are married. Rocker Nate is their pampered puppy—really, he seems like little more than that. He’s not an equal in this relationship and when Cam and Theo start to fall apart, they squeeze him out of… well, everything but their beds. This is problematic because the way the description’s written, you expect Nate to do whatever it takes to keep his lovers together. But he doesn’t. He’s not the catalyst for what happens to bring us to our HEA. Not even close!

So no Rock Fiction here. Nate could be any other guy with a job that takes him on the road.

And a story without enough at stake or enough reasons to care about Cam and Theo.

If you want to give it a try, go for it. Here are the buy links:

Available From


If you pick it up and read it, send a review on! Susan says she’s glad to post up to three reviews of a single book, so hold her to that!

Thanks to Rock Star PR for letting us be part of the tour. Wish Susan had better luck picking books for me!

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This isn’t the sort of book I’d have picked up, except Susan said there was a record producer character, and that means the possibility of Rock Fiction. So… here I am. Reading Susan Mallery, who is a best-selling romance author. And… I’m not sure why.

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Let’s start with Quinn, the record producer, since he’s the reason we picked this up. Like a lot of so-called music people, he could be anyone. He has a charisma, sure, but he’s sickly perfect. There are no rough edges to this guy, nothing that suggests he knows how to handle the egos who cross his path—even when a few do cross his path in the pages. He’s more like a shrink, able to read people and understand who they are and what they need. But as for him, his wants, his desires, his needs? We know very little except he’s got an insta-crush on Courtney, one of the three daughters of the bride.

So there’s a major disappointment, right off the bat. This ain’t Rock Fiction, despite the guy’s career. And, of course, there’s this magic timeline where Quinn comes to town, finds a property, buys it, outfits it, and has it up and running in the span of the days and weeks leading up to the wedding that’s in the title. Somehow, I don’t think it’s that easy.

Now, I read more than Rock Fiction, believe it or not. And I like a lot of books. But this one? Didn’t do it for me in the least. The first third was full of the story screeching to a stop so the author could inform us of stuff. Backstory, Susan calls it. Boring, I call it. And this isn’t the first big-name author I’ve seen doing this, either. I want to yell at these people to stop it. It’s boring as anything.

There are three sisters in this story, and for too long, it’s hard to keep them straight and tell them apart. But then the cliches begin. Sienna, who has a string of broken engagements, finds herself engaged to a buffoon who she has no feelings for. Good thing, too, because he’s teetering on abusive, making all sorts of assumptions about how she’s going to live once they are married, telling her she has cold feet and not real concerns about their relationship, and devaluing her work. Oh, and he picks a horribly inappropriate time and place for the proposal, effectively trapping her into saying yes so she doesn’t rain on her mother’s engagement party or have to turn him down in a public forum. Manipulative much? Like I said: bordering on abusive.

So is Rachel’s ex-husband, who decides he’s going to win her back by showing up unannounced, doing things without her asking him to, and then telling her exactly what’s wrong with her and how she contributed to their divorce. If he talks about the affair he had – other than protesting that it only happened once! – it’s certainly not to work through the issues they had that tore them apart in the first place. Nope, it’s all on Rachel to change. Rachel, who so easily starts walking and gets her great shape back, which she let go in the aftermath of the divorce. Like it’s that easy? I had the easiest divorce in the world. We both agreed we’d been wrong to get married. We had nothing to split apart, just a bed and a TV, really, and I still put on twenty pounds that it took forever to get off. It’s just not that easy.

I guess this is why I like to stick to Rock Fiction. That’s not to say that these other issues wouldn’t have bothered me if Quinn had lived up to his rocker promise. But it’s to say that I see a lot of Rock Fiction authors working really hard at what they do and this one, with its long explanations in the beginning and the bland characters and problematic men and easy solutions just seemed kinda phoned in.

Still, Susan says I’m one of almost 60 reviewers on this tour, and I bet I’m the minority. That’s fine. Someone’s gotta be.

If I haven’t totally turned you off, here are the buy links — and if you read it and disagree with me, send Susan your review! She keeps saying she’d be glad to post reviews that show another opinion, so make her put up or shut up.

Amazon
BN
iBooks
Kobo

Thanks to Rock Star PR for this one. I’d really wanted to like it. I really had.

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Return of the Bad Boy

Turns out, Return of the Bad Boy is the fourth book in its series, although it’s the first one that stars rocker Asher Knight and agent of some sort, Gloria Shields. Since the characters had only been minor characters in the previous books, I’d thought I could jump into this one and know what’s going on.

Nope.

This was a hard book to get into at first. It opens with what ought to be a hot sex scene between our leads, Gloria and Asher, but right off the bat, because they’re total strangers, it’s not that hot. And it’s kinda confusing, as there are all these references to a robust past between them and this assumption that we know it and are up on it. But since I’m dropping into the series cold, it took forever to settle in. And not just with Asher and Gloria, but with the characters who’ve already had their own series, as well. Just… no backstory.

By the time the story ended, I still wasn’t sure what sort of agent Gloria really was, or what she really did for a living; I asked Susan, and she said Gloriad didn’t seem to act like the literary agents who blog about their lives and how they work.

But if you put all that aside –and it took about a third of the book, if not a little more, before I could – this is an interesting story. It’s more Asher’s than Gloria’s, but only sort of.

Neither character seems to change that much, as Asher has already bought the house and settled into a life with shared custody. His upheaval is over. There’s not a lot of conflict for him.
Just Gloria and how much he wants her.

She’s got more conflict in her life, needing to get over her trust issues so she can love Asher, but those issues seem almost downplayed next to a subplot about some sleaze who wants her to come work with him. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure what he does, other than being an agent, too, but they don’t seem to compete and there’s talk that they’d compliment each other, but I’m not sure how. Again, it’s not real clear. And it’s also not clear what he brings to her that would tempt her, other than the chance to run away and go back to where she came from, but hello? Wasn’t she running away when she left Chicago? I sort of got the impression she was. And if so, that’s not a lot of incentive to leave this place she’s just arrived in.

So most of the conflict really winds up settling around the mom of Asher’s kid, a young girl who’s really not prepared for motherhood. It’s a bad scene, and one that’s really kind of sad.

Of course, the attraction to us here at The Rock of Pages is the rocker, Asher. He’s… kind of tame as far as fictional rockers go. In some ways, he falls under the category of guys who could be anyone, he’s so normal. But there are times, details that set him apart, and it’s those details—his clothes, his hair, his bracelets and rings—that remind us who he is. Yes, he’s got a guitar and the band comes over and they have songwriting sessions in an idyllic setting. But more than anything, he’s a regular sort of guy. Almost interchangeable with any other strong male lead. But not quite. He’s got an edge, an electric vibe to him that defines him as a rocker. It’s a nice thing to see, particularly in Rock Fiction.

I guess what I’m looking for from him and Gloria both is more internal angst. He doesn’t really struggle with any resentments about this new life. He just goes about his business, organizing things the way he wants them organized and, in total rock star fashion, without taking no for an answer.

That lack of angst makes me think this is more of an easy, breezy book. One of those beach reads where nothing really goes wrong and life finds a way of working itself out and yeah, happily ever after really can happen.

But I don’t know. I want my fiction a little less lovely and a bit more harrowing when faced with hard choices. I want some pain, some tough choices, some internal struggle along with the easy-breezy beach read vibe. You may not, and if not, you’re going to find this one’s a keeper.

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26031222-return-of-the-bad-boy

Buy links:
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1U8X6X4
B&N Nook: http://bit.ly/1WhEq7y
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1T3RSa3
iBooks: http://apple.co/1YLr3M0
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1XNbMKx

Connect with Jessica:
Website: http://www.jessicalemmon.com/
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1SoTFqy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lemmony
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lemmony/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJessicaLemmon
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jlemmony
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2152knF

As always, thanks to the folk at Rock Star PR for providing a review copy and letting us here at The Rock of Pages join this book tour. Be sure to check out other reviews and opinions, and to leave your own, too! You can do it in the comments here, you can send Susan a full review for her to post, or you can post it somewhere else. Remember that next to buying a book, talking up a book you like is a great way to support an author.

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DESIGNED BY TOJ PUBLISHING SERVICES WWW.TOJPUBLISHING.COM

DESIGNED BY TOJ PUBLISHING SERVICES
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There’s something about the way Cecilia Tan writes. I love it. Just love it. So much that twenty pages into her newest book, Taking the Lead, I had to stop and send e-mails to half my book friends, telling them they needed to read this, too. Tan gets the world of the rich, famous, and rock star royalty. She knows how the power players work. And it shows in these books she’s turning out. If that’s your thing, don’t miss Tan’s books. Period. That should be my whole review.

Except, did I mention she knows how to write a sex scene? Hoo boy, she can write it hot. Susan thinks Lorelei James is the gold standard. For me, it’s Tan.

So. Taking the Lead is about two of these power players and what happens when they find each other. Ricki Hamilton is a movie production chick. I’m not exactly sure of her pedigree, but it seems to be there, and I’m really not sure of her passion for movies as opposed to her passion for going to the office. But we hear all about this secret dungeon she’s inherited from her beloved grandfather and she’s got to run it. Except, of course, there’s all sorts of problems including a possessive loser with holier-than-thou issues. He’s a charmer. I hope he gets chained to the Daisy wheel in the dungeon and left upside down for days.

Ricki’s partner in lust here is Axel, a rocker who… he just doesn’t seem like much of a rocker to me. He doesn’t have that special charisma and half the time, I had trouble remembering if he was a singer or a guitar player. Axel could have been any other Hollywood player. He just didn’t stick out as a musician/rocker type. And I wanted him to.

So Axel and Ricki get together and suddenly, his kinda sorta there dom tendencies show up and Ricki’s all too glad to be his sub even though this woman who owns a dungeon doesn’t know exactly what that means. Axel’s glad to teach her, and in the heat of the moment, she’s glad to learn. It’s when she thinks and gets into her head that the problems begin.

Pretty damn normal, if you ask me. I know an awful lot of people who overthink and no, I’m not looking at my Rock of Pages boss here. Nope.

That’s their biggest obstacle: Ricki. Not sure she wants this lifestyle, she and Axel talk about it a lot. And that’s a good thing, especially because this isn’t one of those books where they start off with the spanking and end with the anal and it all goes according to script. Nope. This is a new-to-me sort of submission and domination and I bet this is a good representation of it being done right. I love that Axel has some really dead-on instincts about Ricki and they talk about things—well, he talks and she listens—and instead of Axel being a total domineering idiot, he cares about Ricki in a way that most doms don’t—at least in the fiction I’ve read, and I’ve read more than I probably should have. At times, their dialogue doesn’t feel real, especially when they start talking about BDSM using that exact acronym, but what’s important here is that Ricki is open to it, and not just because of the dungeon she never knew about.

If anything, she seems to keep what she and Axel do very separate from the activities in the dungeon. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad or how I feel about it because they should be intertwined but they’re not. I’m also not sure how I feel about the idea that being into the scene is genetic, which is pretty much what Ricki learns as she comes to terms with the death of her mother. And, too, the ending, which mirrors what she learns about her mother, bugs me. It seems like too much too soon, more of a neat ending to a book than truth.

So I’ve got these gripes, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t the best book I’ve read in a long time. I love that there’s issues of Hollywood gender power games and the dungeon and the legacy Ricki’s grandfather left that she has to fight against. I love that the situation with her father isn’t cut-and-dry, and I doubt we’re done coming to understand that poor screwup of a man. I love the depth of this world that Ricki inhabits, although that’s part of why Axel falls a bit short. It’s a hard act to follow!

Like I said, I love that Axel cares about her, that he’s not always the barking-orders type of dom who ignores her needs and tries to bury who she is so that she can serve him better. I love that Ricki gets to be herself, not who Axel thinks she ought to be. I love the sex and how it’s hot and it’s different and I love that scene in the limo, when she puts her hands behind her back and I swear, that is hotter than almost any sex scene I’ve ever read anywhere else. I love how Axel comes to own her, I love that he’s a rocker who thinks and who does rise above most of the usual stereotypes (I just wish he felt more musical). I love that they’re going to be a power couple and this is the first in a series and I really hope we get to see how they evolve as that power couple and how the dungeon changes because of them and how Hollywood changes because of them and maybe somewhere along the way, Axel will rediscover what it is that made him join a band in the first place because right now, I’m just not feeling it and I’m all about Rock Fiction so as much as I like the kinky fiction, I’m even more about the Rock and Roll, so bring it, please.

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Thanks to the folk at Rock Star PR for letting us take part in Cecilia Tan’s tour. They handed the free copy out, we read it and decided to leave the varnish off our thoughts ’cause we have too much integrity to be bought like that. All opinions are Jett’s own and shouldn’t be confused with Susan’s ’cause Susan’s still down and out with an eye injury and isn’t reading much of anything right now. But don’t point that out. She’s kinda grumpy about it.