This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Rock Band Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on July 7, 2015
I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was chock-full of the music, the lifestyle, and a tough-fought feelsy romance. I was eager to see if this would be a repeat experience for me as the focus shifted to another member of the band and was the heroine’s brother from the last book. Yes, this book definitely went there again though the situation changed and the characters’ backgrounds were different. However, a lot was the same. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me for another turmoil-filled romance, but the author’s storytelling and ability to engage me helped power me through the angsty stuff. I really wanted this pair to break through the bonds their pasts had formed around them and get free and happy.
So yes, this is the second book in the series and it is a continuation story of sorts. There are different players in the limelight and the heroine is new as is most of the plot, but everyone else and their situations carry over from the last book. I was happy see the first couple, Jonny and Emmy, get some significant page time and their story continue on in the background.
Violet Davis thinks she’s the ice queen and isn’t capable of feelings or connecting with people because she grew up in foster care and some worker back when she was six predicted this for her. She does take satisfaction in fixing people so she has a unique career. She’s a people minder when it comes to being hired to help people clean up their lives of substance abuse and help set them on solid footing. She generally helps high-profile people so her presence has to be kept discreet so she assumes roles to be in those people’s lives. Now, her friend Em wants her to come work her magic on her brother’s rock band. The guys are on their first big tour and getting heavily into the temptations of the rock god scene. They can’t afford to self-destruct their big chance. Violet is leery of working with musicians, but can’t say no to a friend. Distance is the key even though for the first time in her life she is tempted to cross the professional line and break her own rules. Derek is everything dangerous and wrong, but he makes her feel, lordy, does he make her feel.
Derek Valencia is the bass player for Blue Fire and the default leader of his band. There is a lot riding on them successfully making it through this tour, but aside from Slater, the other three are out of control and then there is his dad, the famous Eddie Valencia publicly putting down Derek and predicting failure. What he does not need is a babysitter, but if that will keep them on their tour and under contract then he will go with it. Violet is nothing like the usual women in his life and her very difference is what gets his attention, but it is her caring that starts him having feelings and wanting something more. Too bad Violet doesn’t seem to want him as much as he wants her. He is determined and he will stick with her until she gives in, but how long can he leave his heart open and just how many rejections can he take?
Alright, so yes, this one had some tough moments. The story is one of personal growth and triumph as well as a romance. Derek’s dad has put him down all his life no matter how hard Derek tried just to get the man to love him and be proud of him. This left scars so that even though he’s talented and people say so, he doesn’t believe it. And worse, the only female he trusts with his heart is what he feels for his sister. He chooses to be with women who know the score. Violet crashes into his world and changes everything.
Now Violet has her own scarring that leaves her with relationship problems. She truly believes that she is incapable of feelings like love both receiving it and giving it. She overheard one remark by a caseworker to someone else when she was a kid and took it as gospel truth- makes a good point that we all need to watch what we say about kids that they can take to heart. She focuses on being really good at her job and her dream of her wildflower farm that will be her home if she can earn the money to buy it. It’s like her lodestone and the most important thing in her life. Violet’s way of pushing people away is to freeze them out. She was too freaked by her own issues to be ready to reciprocate what Derek was offering. So these two had bad timing and growing pains, big time. It was tough to read and trust me I had the urge to shake a couple of people until they came to their senses.
The romance was tempestuous because of their issues. There was this point in the middle of the book when all was easy, light, fun and loving. I took it for the breather it was because they had a lot unresolved still at that point. Whew! Derek is a hottie and he was totally zeroed in on Violet. He thawed out her ice and made her come a live. This guy was so impressive as he worked to conquer his feelings of inadequacy about his dad and stayed strong through the tough facade that Violet gave him. Yes, he stumbled a few times, but more times than not he was one impressive man and musician. I got Violet, I really did, but she drove me nuts the way she worked so hard to destroy her own chance at happiness. I guess its the tough-fought ones that make that romantic ending feel like a treasure.
In summary, it wrung me out, but left me wanting more. It was passionate, heartwrenching, tender, and euphoric, and a definite must-read for rocker romance lovers.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.