Posts Tagged ‘standalone’

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Well, THAT title pulls no punches, now does it? No one better complain they don’t know what they are getting when they pick this one up. And no one better complain about the detailed sex, either. It’s right there, in the title.

So what’s this erotic romance about? Let’s consult its description:

Evan: She has no idea who I really am. It’s the perfect situation. After an incident that causes me to re-evaluate my life, I’ve come here to escape the demands of my career. The last thing I expect to find is someone who doesn’t see me through the prism of my fame. But then I meet Audrey, who allows me to unleash lustful desires I’ve suppressed for years.

Audrey: He’s uncommonly sexy and brazenly confident. He’s exactly who I don’t need to meet at this point in my life, but I have no choice. Drawn in by his relentless seduction, I’m soon taking chances I never thought I’d take, shedding my fears and letting him over my protective walls. And there’s his unusual “rider list,” always surprising me, testing my limits, exploring our fantasies, leading to the most sensual experiences of my life.

What starts as a perfect distraction for both of us quickly becomes an entanglement of scorching hot sex, closely held secrets that could tear it all apart, and moments that will shape us for the rest of our lives.

So this is kinda familiar, in that rockers who are escaping and reevaluating are common heroes, and heroines who are drawn in by his magnetic pull. But what it doesn’t give us in this description is the assumption of the Happily Ever After. In fact, I kinda get the drift they’re gonna part at the end, happy and sexed up, but ready to go their own ways.

And I’m cool with that.

Of course, I’m also cool with the sex. Bring it ON, baby. I love good erotic fiction. I really do.

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Michelle A Valentine is another author who’s got a huge backlist of Rock Fiction but has yet to stop in and see us. Someone, invite her over! And if you’ve read something she’s written, we’d love to hear from you, too. Write up a review and be a guest around here. We promise no dancing kitchen utensils, although Susan thinks they were a nice touch.

(Susan’s weird.)

Anyway, this is a new standalone that was supposed to come out in 2016, but GoodReads doesn’t make it clear if it did or not. There are a couple reviews (no, Susan, I didn’t read them. Yet.), but… only a few. Hey, Michelle: if you’re struggling, Susan’s a great freelance editor!

(She pays me to say that.)

Here’s the book description:

Fame can disappear in an instant…

Fortune is a fleeting fantasy…

Laz Rawlings had them both, until he lost it all…

Laz, a former world-famous music producer screwed up everything thanks to his rock-n-roll lifestyle, but he’s been given an opportunity to prove his genius in the music industry wasn’t a fluke, and he’s hell-bent on not letting history repeat itself. But that’s proving difficult when the young singer he’s tasked with grooming has become the object of his every desire.

Life has been an uphill battle for Aundrea Newton, so when a sexy, tattooed stranger hand delivers her dream of a music career, she’s skeptical. Nothing ever comes easy, and she knows Laz has the power to crush both her career and her heart with his undeniable sex appeal and charismatic swagger.

When the line between mentor and student blurs, both begin to question what’s more important: Love, sex or the music.

Laz? Definitely a blog post in the making ’cause you know one of my favorite topics is How did your rocker get his name?

And hey, I can answer the question about what’s most important: music first, then sex, then love. But maybe I’m jaded?

Michelle! We want review copies when this is out! And we want you to come visit with us, too.

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I can’t tell if this series ended at two books, or what. GoodReads doesn’t provide a helpful publication date for the second book, and the reviews are full of comments about how long it took to come out. (That’s not a great reason to give a book one or two stars, folks. Read it again: not a GREAT reason, before you start bitching at me ’cause that’s what the Internet is for.)

But anyway, since there’s two, let’s take a look at both of ’em. Here’s the write-up of Book 1, Savor You:

Kylie Wolfe and bassist Wyatt McCrae have been bad for each other for the last several years, but it’s impossible for them to end their toxic push and pull. Not when their attraction is constantly fueled by lust and proximity—she’s her older brother’s Lucas’s assistant and Wyatt is his best friend and band mate.

So when Your Toxic Sequel makes a move to record a new album in Nashville, Kylie decides to make the latest break with Wyatt official by getting the hell out of town. She’ll spend a week in New Orleans. A week to immerse herself in the Mardi Gras scene. One week to not think about the last time she was in New Orleans, seven years ago with Wyatt. Seven days where she won’t have to see Wyatt every day just to fall ridiculously in love with him all over again—where, if she wants to, she can have a normal, no-strings attached fling that won’t end in heartbreak.

Too bad Wyatt ruins everything by showing up, as gorgeous and demanding and awful for her as ever.

Wyatt refuses to let Kylie give up on him. Not without reminding her why they both fell so far and hard in the first place. Not without making her savor the good memories and what could be their last chance with each other.

My first thought is that this guy’s action proves he’s not good for her. She takes off to clear her head and look at things from a new perspective but guess what? Here he is! Ready and waiting!

But maybe it’s romantic, his arrival. Maybe he’s decided he can’t live without her, not in the sick, controlling way but in the hugely romantic gesture that I think we all want, deep down inside. Although maybe some of us know better than to trust those big gestures.

And here’s the second book. It’s billed as a standalone (although it’s the second book in this series) although it features characters from Emily’s other books and series. So her world is all messed up in each other and I like that ’cause why keep reinventing the wheel when you can just expand the existing universe, at least until it gets too big and too unwieldy? (and no, I’m not being sarcastic there!):

Useless.
Brilliant.
Sexy.
Uncontrollable.

From the childhood foster homes he was bounced around to, the one love he lost and hordes of nameless groupies, even his own bandmates—Your Toxic Sequel’s drummer, Sinjin Fields, has been called it all. That doesn’t include the names he calls himself. He knows he’s an addict—knows he’s damaged goods. He doesn’t care, though; drowning out the world numbs him. And for Sin, that’s the closest he’ll get to happiness.

When a drug-fueled confrontation nearly costs him his closest friend and bandmate, Sinjin is faced with no other choice but to confront each screwed-up facet of who he is and how he got there. What he never expected to encounter was Zoe—an over-achieving, fresh-faced violin prodigy who can’t seem to stay away from him. Not that Sinjin wants her to. She reminds him of the undamaged part of himself. Makes him feel emotions he didn’t know he could feel.

Possessive.
Protective.
Love?

And Sinjin will battle every demon haunting him so he doesn’t have to let that go.

Is this junkie fiction? Could be, but it’s also a romance so we know the drugs don’t win in the end. Or they shouldn’t. Who wants to read about a romance with a chemical? Yeah, yeah, there’s a band all about chemical romances but really. A band name and a book are different things, although the two totally can and should inspire each other.

So it seems to be all about Your Toxic Sequel… interesting band name, huh? Especially when the first book’s all about a toxic relationship and this one’s about a toxic affair with drugs…

Lots of toxicity. I bet these need trigger warnings. But I know I’ll read ’em to see if they live up to their own hype.

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We’ve seen me drool over the series Ann Lister’s written. How about her standalone?

Sydney Willows, a professional photographer boasts a long list of world famous musicians as clients. She’s blond, ambitious, and about to shoot the most lucrative job of her career when she meets Ben Gallo, lead singer and guitarist for his band, Reckless. Tall, handsome, and with enough rock swagger to melt any woman’s heart, Ben plays to win. Will he be the one to show her that the path to ‘happily-ever-after’ is possible with a music man, or will a juvenile bet made between brothers prove stronger than a bond of love? For All The Right Reasons is ribboned with deception, lust and love and will leave you aching for an encore.”

So far, it sounds like familiar stuff. Photographer falls for the band she’s photographing. (Why do I doubt this ever happened to Ross Halfin?)

I wish this description told us more. What’s at stake, beyond “a juvenile bet”?

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The title of this makes me think of John Stamos, not Rock Fiction, but I know there’s some people who think the two are more related than I give them credit for being.

Anyway, what’s this book got to do with John Stamos and my sick, twisted brain? Let’s see. Probably nothing, which goes back to my comment that I don’t think of John Stamos and Rock Fiction in the same breath.

Rock diva Emme Hayes already broke up one band after sleeping with the lead singer, and she swears she won’t let sex screw things up again. The problem is, her new bass player—a lean, muscular, tattooed mystery man who makes her want to demand his absolute attention—has her so worked up she can hardly carry a tune. Emme promises he’s off-limits. She just doesn’t know how she’ll be able to confine the heat to her love songs.

The moment Tom McKinney lays eyes on Emme strutting around the stage of his blues bar—all curves, eye liner, and teased blond hair—he knows she’s one of a kind. So when she offers him a two-month paid gig to tour with her band, Tom can’t say no, despite family troubles and the bar’s precarious finances. Onstage and off, the music they make thrums in his soul, but Tom has too much going on to get involved—even if he burns to let Emme play his body like a fine-tuned instrument.

So Emme’s trying to learn from past mistakes. We gotta give her kudos for that.

But… I’m kinda confused. Is Tom the bass player? How can he be if he owns a bar? Why does Emme offer him a two-month paid gig to tour with her band Isn’t the money a good reason to go, since it sounds like the bar’s struggling? (but how will it do without him?) How does she even know he’s a bass player? And why does it sound in the first paragraph like she had nothing to do with this new bass player’s arrival and … oh…

I just gotta read this one. Good book descriptions, Susan says, are hard to write. Maybe this one’s just victim of that.

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I think this is a journalist-rock star trope, but the description’s all about the heat between them and not so much about how she’s struggling to do her job or anything like that. See what I mean?

Summer 2001. Naomi Stein is just praying for a little peace from her son, her ex-husband and her boss. Instead, she is following surly Country singer Sam Rhodes across the USA, covering his breakout tour for Rolling Stone. Sam has had bad luck with women and Naomi is trouble from the start. Sam tries to keep the feisty, sexy blonde at arm’s length…until Naomi pushes him over the edge. The hottest tour of the summer has just caught on fire. The music gets better and the romance steamier as they criss-cross the country. Will their passion burn out as autumn approaches? Stubborn pride forces them apart until the tragedy of 9/11 compels them to face each other one more time.

Interesting twist at the end there, too. Bringing 9/11 into it? How? I’m curious about this, and how it changes their dynamic.

The whole journalist thing? Meh. Been there, done that. But… what other reason would this woman have for following the band around? A legit one, anyway.

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Well, if there was ever an excuse for full-on debauchery, this is it. The rock star’s wedding.

I mean, have you SEEN the November Rain video?

Although, to be honest, this doesn’t sound much like that. Excesses, debauchery, and all. See what I mean:

Kenzi’s vacation in St. Thomas becomes a lot more interesting when her high school sweetheart, rock star heartthrob Chaz turns up. If only he wasn’t there for his wedding…

Rumor has it the rock star is marrying his actress girlfriend. Yet when he sees Kenzi, it’s as if five years hasn’t passed.

Seeing Kenzi reminds Chaz how love ought to feel, which is nothing like he feels for his fiancée anymore. Since her well-publicized affair with her costar, he’s played the faithful lover giving her a second chance. Now he wishes for a way out, and the chance to get to know the grown-up version of the girl he once loved.

This actually sounds… better. Kinda like the storyline of Melody of Truth — but not so much the same that you’re gonna pick up this one expecting a clone of the other. It’s the idea of facing up to the truth of why you’re marrying someone and what love ought to be.

Pardon me while I sigh in longing.

So yeah, bring this one on. Best of all, while it’s the second in a series, the series looks like each book is a stand-alone. Different characters, and I’m guessing a different spot for the weddings, but when you only have the descriptions to go on, it’s hard to know for sure.

Definitely gotta read to find out. Bring it on!

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This one’s penned by a guy. A GUY.

You know, Rock Fiction might be one of the few areas where men authors are scarce. Think they’re too busy making music and the fantasy to actually write about it?

Catherine Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional – she’s a student at the PopArts Academy at Mount Hope High, where rock legends Allegiance to North got their start. The never-skipping-class Catherine part of her knows, though, that falling for the lead singer of her latest band is the least professional thing a manager can do. But Caleb Daniels isn’t an ordinary band boy – he’s a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. And he can do that thing. That thing when someone sings a song and it inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will.

Over tacos on lunch dates to far-off outlet-mall planets and during practices at the Hive with their new band, Dangerheart, Catherine – no, Summer – falls in love with Caleb.

She also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band’s past becomes another’s present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. She knows what the well-mannered Catherine side of her would do, but she also knows what her heart is telling her. Maybe it’s time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself…

Kevin Emerson’s Exile is a witty and passionate ode to love, rock and roll, and the freedom that comes in the moment when somebody believes in you, even if you’re not quite ready to believe in yourself.

Yeah, yeah, here we go again. The manager falls for the guy in the band she’s managing. REAL professional there, sweetheart.

I need a break from this one, but it seems that authors are still feeling it. I get it: it’s easy. It’s convenient. It’s a way to get them in the same orbit and make it believable. Except… it kind of isn’t. Because professionalism.

And then we have a bit of an ugly duckling story mixed in, too, and those, I like. So for that, bring it. But enough with the unprofessional managers already.

Band managers everywhere are plotting a revolt, you know. They’re offended that they keep getting portrayed as only there to screw the band because let’s face it: no matter how they deny it, that’s what they are doing there.

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This one’s a bit different, and it’s really hot right now. I’m seeing it talked about pretty much everywhere, so I guess I gotta get on the bandwagon. This does, after all, have serious Rock Fiction potential. Take a look:

Soul acquisition is a drag, but if Abaddon doesn’t catch up on his quota, he could be demoted to scooping poop for the Hounds of Hell. With a deadline hanging over him, he heads for the Bible Belt, looking for the perfect combination of sweetness and challenge.

Seth is a blind musician, part of a traveling tent revival. He’s cute, mystically talented, and quotes the Bible at every turn. His soul is pure enough to fill Abaddon’s quota for months to come, and Abaddon is determined to claim it.

The problem? There’s the revival foreman who watches Abaddon’s every move. Then there’s the mystery of Seth’s many unusual talents. Lastly, there’s Abaddon himself. He’s beginning to like Seth a bit too much. Maybe Seth deserves something better than damnation.

But Hell’s agenda isn’t negotiable, and time is running out. If Abaddon doesn’t play his cards right, he could condemn both of them to the worst fate of all—an eternity apart.

So Seth’s a blind musician. Kind of a cliche when you add in the traveling tent revival, but not so much of a cliche when you look at the body of Rock Fiction we talk about here.

The question, really, is how much music is in this story. Does it cross into Rock Fiction, or it just another near miss?

Okay, the other question is maybe a bigger one: can Jett stand an entire male-male story, or will I have to pass this off to Susan?

Only one way to find out. Even more than the male-male, which just isn’t my thing, I’m just not sure I can spend an entire book with a version of a devil named for a font. And not just any font, but the font Godsmack is currently using for their logo. And if it’s not Abbadon they’re using, it’s something close. Close enough that the idea of Abbadon the devil and a band named Godsmack… well, it kinda makes me giggle.

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Not sure what I think of this ’cause I think it could be more about the erotica than the music.

Ruby Scott is a beautiful, quiet event planner who leads an oh-so-respectable life. Yet the things that go on in her secret fantasies are anything but. She has every intention of keeping her hidden desires under wraps-until she meets a gorgeous, hard-muscled man ten years her junior. Mark St. Crow is a gifted, up-and-coming musician who collects erotic art and loves to “play” women as much as his piano. After one night of uninhibited passion, Ruby realizes there’s no turning back. But as she surrenders to her deepest needs and lets Mark control every forbidden thrill, her passion for him builds. Can the wild, intoxicating nights they share lead to a love that will last forever?

Of course she’s beautiful but quiet and falls for him and one night is all she needs… yeah. This is familiar stuff. What’s going to set it apart is the music, if there is any. And the sex. Can’t get tired of the sex (can you?). And, of course, the how of the story. How it’s handled. How it’s written. How strong the characters are.