Posts Tagged ‘romance’

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Last summer, I was on about the first in this series, Riff. And now I’m back to drool over the second in the series. It’s called Harmony. So we’ve had Riff and Harmony.

You know, these could be character names. They’re certainly music terms. And now, they’re book titles.

Damn, I’m perceptive.

Here’s what the book’s about:

Sean Scott, lead guitarist of Destiny Fades to Blue, the “it” boys of rock, is used to having any woman he wants. He’s never at a loss for companionship and his philandering ways are frequently on the front page of the tabloids. Summer Anderson, one of the founding members of Sweet Southern Sass, the platinum selling sweethearts of country, has never had much time for romance with her busy touring schedule and all that living the life of a country superstar entails. While on a crossover tour with both bands, Summer finds herself wildly attracted to the tattooed, bad boy of rock, but the close proximity also gives her a front row seat to Sean’s revolving door of bedmates. Sean knows that Summer is attracted to him. He’s interested but knows that she isn’t the type of woman he goes for though he loves the attention… until she suddenly treats him no differently than anyone else. When another man enters the picture and Summer seems interested, Sean must make a choice. Is he willing to forego his womanizing ways for a chance with Summer? Can Summer trust that he’s sincere in his affection? Will the sweetheart of country decide that the only relationship she needs with the bad boy of rock be as a tour mate or can these two find success in the rhythm of love? When the sweethearts of country meet the bad boys of rock… more than the charts heat up.

So we’ve got some cliches here right off the bat… sweethearts of country and the bad boys of rock. I just wanna gag.

But you know what I really like that’s happening here? That Sean’s given some competition that makes him stop and reevaluate. It’s not that his johnson decides it’s a one-woman body part. Nope. This is a decision that gets made with the sexiest body part of all: the brain.

Okay, sexiest after a great set of abs. Sheesh.

A couple points to note here: like I said, this is the second in a series. The first book involved people from the same two bands, so there’s gonna be stuff that repeats. If that’s not your thing, know that now. But for some people, they like having the foundation already laid for them. (Hey! I said laid in a post about an erotic read!) It lets them jump in and focus on the story, not the set-up. I get that. I can respect it.

If you’re reading this series, or if you know Skye Turner, we’d love to hear from you!

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I hope big long paragraphs don’t make your head explode ’cause that’s what the description on this box set is. One big long paragraph. The good news is that it’s informative.

Get the first three stories in USA Today Bestselling Author Diane Rinella’s, Visionary Fiction, Rock and Roll Fantasy Collection at a special price. It’s A Marshmallow World (novella) Once upon a time, Darla was given a mystical gift, along with an ominous message. Now, meeting Chris puts her head in a spin. Could it be that gift from long ago holds the key to their happiness? Scary Modsters…and Creepy Freaks (novel) “A fantastical romance involving a woman, the music that fuels her, and her Ouija board.” Rosalyn seeks acceptance, but is always ridiculed for her eclectic wardrobe and unconventional music collection. One fateful night, Rosalyn bewitches Niles, a stylish man whose quirky character is the perfect complement to her own. Unfortunately, Niles has a secret flaw that always ensures relationship suicide-and he can’t hide it much longer. During a tango with a Ouija board, Rosalyn summons the ghost of Rock and Roll deity Peter Lane. Peter entices Niles with the key to saving his relationship with Rosalyn. When Niles hears the price is avenging Peter’s murder, how far will he go to secure Rosalyn’s heart? Queen Midas in Reverse (extended novella) For Jacqueline, a second date is as rare as a unicorn. She’s beautiful. She’s intelligent. So why is she experiencing a string of first dates that leaves her ducking behind bushes and running for buses? Contrary to her nature, trading in her heels and curling iron for an easy chair surrounded by cats sounds appealing. Is she cursed, or can she find the man who will steal her heart? The Rock and Roll Fantasy Collection takes place in a mystical world where rock and roll will save your soul. Although the books can be read in any order, the collection begins with It’s A Marshmallow World before moving on to Scary Modsters … and Creepy Freaks, Queen Midas In Reverse, (all found here in Pretty Things) and then Voices Carry and Moonlight Serenade (also found in the special set Forever Changes).

So these don’t all sound like Rock Fiction until the end here, when we’re told it’s a “mystical world where rock and roll will save your soul.”

But that’s a pretty cool premise. Even though we music fans know that yes, rock and roll will save our souls, no mystical world needed.

But the idea of a mystical world? I am SO there. What a fun, fresh approach to our favorite category!

Bring this. Bring it soon. I gotta see what the mystical is all about.

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This is the second in a series, but it’s the only Rock Fiction entry (so far; the third was just released on Valentine’s Day, so who knows how many more there will be?). Sounds pretty solid.

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

This reminds me of something else I read recently, Dream Maker — but only because we have new kids to Nashville who want to be songwriters, not performers. After that, the stories each take their own path.

But here’s a thing. In the first paragraph, she’s a songwriter — or so it seems. “to write music, not get famous.” That says to me she’s there to write songs, not get famous. The way to get famous is to sing those songs.

But in the next paragraph, she’s now a “feisty country singer.”

So which is it? And most important, does the Rock Fiction get lost when the love interest shows up?

So I’m confused and as usual, there’s only one way to find out… gotta read this puppy.

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Susan and I have talked about Lisa Marie Rice before, but it doesn’t look like either of us have ever read any of her, although I might be wrong. Susan reads more than I do (nice of her to do some reviews, huh?).

After a violent attack, Allegra Ennis lost everything—her father, her music career and her sight. Living in a world alone, full of darkness and fear, Allegra is haunted by nightmares that don’t end when she opens her eyes.

When she is stalked by an unknown killer, Allegra must trust her life—and her heart—to former Navy SEAL Douglas Kowalski, a fearsome warrior who bears the scars of war. But Kowalski fears that someone as beautiful and talented as Allegra could never love a disfigured and mutilated war hero like him. He can protect her against danger, but can he protect his heart?

It’s not what you see
…it’s what you feel..

**Note: This book was previously published by Ellora’s Cave. The new edition has been lightly edited and updated.**

So… this guy doesn’t think the blind woman can love him ’cause he’s disfigured? Oh, please tell me his nose is at the top of his head or he’s been turned into an octopus or something. Because hello? Blind people? They ain’t exactly repulsed by what they see when they look at you…

But this is one of those stories that makes me wonder how much Rock Fiction this is, and how much is just a detail thrown in to give the character some oomph. And to catch the eye of suckers like me, too.

Only one way to find out, so bring it, will someone?

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Winter is still hanging on and maybe we’re not ready for a refreshing blast of winter yet, but we can always use some Christmas joy, can’t we?

Here’s some, compliments of author Heather Hiestand:

Twelve years ago, Bax Connolly left his small town behind to find fame and fortune with his guitar. Now the legendary, tattooed rock star is back and has purchased a home. The bad boy of the music industry wants to reconnect with his estranged family by throwing a huge Christmas party. But his tough, working class relatives have no clue how to deal with their ultra-wealthy and famous prodigal son and want nothing to do with him.

Yakima Wannassay’s catering company needs a Christmas miracle to keep from going under, but she never expected Santa to deliver her the perfect holiday client—her former next door neighbor Bax. A recommendation from him could take her business to a whole new level. And when she steps under the mistletoe with the irresistible Bax, she finds herself wanting to mix business with pleasure. Too bad a long ago told little white lie could blow up in her face and ruin both Christmas and her future.

The Rock Star’s Christmas Reunion reunites a couple who were never together except in rumor, adds some music industry edge, and mixes in the joy of the holidays!

At first, I rolled an eye at the whole bad boy rocker thing. But then I kept reading and boy howdy, am I glad I did! Trying to figure out how to get along with family whose values you may not share anymore — or maybe you do, but the veneer over everything has changed, so there’s no trust for who’s underneath? Yes. Yes.

It’s fresh. It’s something to think about. I’m SO there.

Even the employer-employee trope gets a twist here.

Yes.

Bring it. And if someone sends it now, I just might get it read in time to post the review in time for real Christmas prep.

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I think it was Entangled who published that box set I didn’t like awhile back, so no real surprise to see they don’t realize that ROCK STAR is two words. See what I mean:

Never fall for a rockstar…

Julian Wheaton views the world through a kaleidoscope of synesthesia, seeing the colors of every sound he hears. His life as an iconic rock guitarist was a stressful psychedelic trip that nearly destroyed him. Now he’s abandoned the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle for the peaceful sanctity of his recording studio, but when fiery Cleo Compton comes to work for him, she brings chaos with her.

Cleo Compton has had her flings with rockstars—and it’s left her wary and bruised. Julian may have those sexy bedroom eyes and drool-worthy tattoos, but Cleo is determined to keep things strictly professional—until Julian turns out to be every dream she’s ever chased. When he risks it all to hit the road with a band again, Cleo fears he’ll return as the one thing she can no longer abide—a rockstar.

And that’s too bad, because this is a cool idea, with the synesthesia. Wendy Mass wrote a great book about synesthesia.

The rest? We’ve seen it. Burned out rocker who locks himself away from the world. Employee who knows she shouldn’t sleep with yet another rocker. But does.

I’d read this for the synesthesia — and yes, I like saying that — alone, but a major publisher making that sort of typo not just once, but three times in the description, plus the mess that box set was…

Well, if a copy falls on me, I’ll read it with an open mind ’cause I’ll probably forget to check the publisher and just remember the synesthesia (one more for the win!), but if it lets me down for the same bad fact checking, all bets are off.

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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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One day, I’m gonna sit down and make up a list of all the books titled Rock Hard. Even if they aren’t Rock Fiction and are erotica, or whatever else they might be about. Boulders. Volcanoes.

Of course, knowing me, I’ll go all drooly for the Rock Fiction titles and wind up coveting them all. I’m already abusing Susan’s GoodReads account like nothing doing.

Anyway, today’s Rock Hard entry is written by Kat Austen, and I know nothing about Kat, so someone besides me invite her over to introduce herself and talk about her love of Rock Fiction, or how she picked her rocker’s name, or anything else she might want to talk about.

There is ZERO description of this book over at GoodReads, in case you go looking for it like I did. It was an interesting search ’cause it seems our friend Kat isn’t Kat. She’s really a hidden, cloak-and-dagger author who sits on New York Times Best-Seller lists in her other persona. Frankly, I don’t feel like doing the sleuthing to figure out who she is. I just wish she’d put up a description of her book at GoodReads.

But I yanked it off Amazon:

First loves don’t last. Especially one as unlikely and turbulent as Elodie and Caspian’s.

It’s been years since she’s seen the rough rebel she fell in love with as a teen. She’s put him behind her and moved on. That’s the story she tries to sell her friends and family, but deep down, she knows it’s a lie. She hasn’t moved on from Caspian Cruz and she probably never will, but she has to finally give up hope they’ll ever reunite.

Or does she?

When her friends drag her to a sold-out rock concert, she comes face to face with the lead singer . . . who just so happens to be the boy she fell for all those years ago.

She never thought she’d see him again. She never realized he’d made it in the music world. And she never expected him to confess that he’s been waiting for her as long as she’s been waiting for him.

What will happen when their worlds collide again? A repeat of the past or a second chance to get things right?

ROCK HARD is a short and sexy read, chock-full of excessive sweetness and heaps of filthy talking. Not for the faint or square of heart.

I can live with the loved forever trope. It’s sweet. But you get dragged to a concert by your friends and you don’t research them to see who you’re going to see? What if they took you to some band you hated and you’d have known that going in, and your friends would have spared themselves your utter bitchiness at being made to listen to some Limp Bizkit wanna-be and could have taken someone who’d have liked what was going on, instead?

Well, then we wouldn’t have a story. Or we’d have a different one ’cause this whole thing hinges on the surprise of seeing each other. And that’s fine, too.

I’m curious. Why did they wait for each other? Will they like who the other has turned into over the years? I mean, yeah, this is a romance so we know there’s a HFN or an HEA in the works, but… does it really work like that?

But that’s what makes romance so great. Things like trusting your friends and not outgrowing the love you’ve waited for… those happen in fiction.

Too bad they don’t happen in real life.

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Shh. Don’t tell Susan that I picked this one up when it was free, so look for a review probably later than sooner ’cause she’s sent me a whole bunch of stuff. A lot of you authors are sending me stuff to read, and I love it! Keep it up!

Oh, wait. That means I have to keep reading and reviewing. Huh. Forgot about that part.

Anyway, here’s the book of the day. It’s the new one from Karina Bliss, who wrote What the Librarian Did, which Susan got to read and I haven’t had time to catch up with yet (see above for why).

This new one is called Rise. Here’s the description:

Rise – The redemption story of a rock star going straight(er) through the love of a good(ish) woman.

Acclaimed literary biographer Elizabeth Winston writes about long-dead heroes.
So bad-boy rock icon Zander Freedman couldn’t possibly tempt her to write his memoir.
Except the man is a mass of fascinating contradictions–manipulative, honest, gifted, charismatic and morally ambiguous.
In short, everything she seeks in a biography subject.
When in her life will she get another chance to work with a living legend? But saying yes to one temptation soon leads to another.
Suddenly she’s having heated fantasies about her subject, fantasies this blue-eyed devil is only too willing to stoke.
She thought self-control was in her DNA; after all, she grew up a minister’s daughter.
She thought wrong.

Rock star Zander Freedman has been an outlier–many would say an outcast–for most of his life.
But there’s no disaster he can’t overcome, from the breakup of his band to the inevitable damage to his reputation.
His Resurrection Tour is shaping up to be his greatest triumph–if his golden voice holds out.
Contracting a respected biographer is simply about creating more buzz. Elizabeth’s integrity is the key to consolidating his legacy as one of rock’s greats.
All the damn woman has to do is write down what he tells her. Not force him to think.
Or encourage the good guy struggling to get out.
And certainly not make him fall in love for the first time in his life.
Turns out he is scared of something: being known.

I like that our rocker, here, is feeling his power. And he doesn’t seem like much of an ass, although let’s face it: it’s part of the job description, and it’s part of the demands of the life, and it’s part of the structure of safety, too. It happens. But this guy?

Yeah, I’d like to spend time with him. Even though it’s yet another works-for-the-band trope. Sigh. I think it’s my least favorite because it’s the most used. Maybe it’s trope fatigue.

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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?