This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on January 6, 2015
Hot new rocker romance grabbed me up in its turbulent story and carried me along so that I was not ready for it all to end when I reached the last page. I felt so drained, but in a good way. This was a new to me author and a new to me series and I will definitely be going back to rock out with this group of guys and their special heroines the moment the next book releases.
Story opens with Emmie learning that her boss at a big music industry record label doesn’t think she has what it takes to be promoted from her job as his assistant to the one who goes out with him to discover new talent. Her famous musician dad never thought she had what it took and her recent cheating ex-rocker boyfriend definitely found her wanting and said so. Now this! Emmie delivers an ultimatum to her boss and shucks out for Texas and her brother. She’ll crash with Derek and ‘discover’ a band and that will show her boss that she can do it and then he’ll give her the coveted promotion that will be her proof that she has finally arrived in the music industry and isn’t still the little girl on the outside of the door.
When she arrives, she finds out that Derek’s band has driven off a half dozen managers that aren’t good fits for them. There’s nothing wrong with his band that is popular locally and just needs a break to hit it big. One night watching them perform or better yet getting dry mouthed and squirmy over the lead singer, Slade, is enough to convince her to work with them in her off time between looking at band talent. She’ll help them connect with a big local concert and maybe get on as the opening band to a touring singer. Meanwhile, she will convince herself to keep that strong reaction to Slade under wraps and just work with the band on improvements to get them noticed. After the experience with Alex and the rocker lifestyle, never again. She will find a guy who will love her faithfully and that she can be with and raise a family instead of wondering what he’s doing out on the road. Easier said than done. Why can’t Slade just be the shallow manwhore stuck on himself that he lets the world see him as?
Slade is curious about the buttoned up woman with the spark of secrets and naughty just under the surface. He knows Emmie is Derek’s sister and she’s the relationship type so definitely not for the likes of him. He has to focus on his career and succeed where his dad had failed. He works hard on his songwriting and improving his music. He will do whatever Emmie offers for advice. Emmie has gotten past his walls. She is the first woman friend he has ever had. He wants her so badly, but she doesn’t seem to want him and he continues to tell himself that he shouldn’t want her because she’s returning to NYC and if her work for them goes where he thinks it will, he’ll be on tour and focusing on the band. But as time goes by, he wonders more if a long distance relationship can work because he really wants to go for it with Emmie. Can he convince her to give them a chance?
Alright, so this was a rocker romance and I have to say that it felt like a rocker romance. I’ve read quite a few and many of them felt like the music world was just backdrop and sometimes distantly at that. This author wrote a wonderful conflicted romance that was immersed in the world. In fact, I imagine that much of the activities, emotions, and thoughts were very much what it must be like. Authenticism was a definite plus.
Then there was the characters. Man alive! Slade, Emmie, the guys in the band, her boss, Ben’s girlfriend, and heck the groupies, and the headliner star were all so marvelously written. I had a strong emotional response to all of them. Slade and the guys had the brotherhood dynamic going. Emmie and her boss, Irving, just cracked me up the way they went back and forth in that playful non-sexual flirty way. Derek and Emmie as siblings, Slade and his mom. Such wonderful connections! And the vixen of the piece? I totally wanted to snatch her bald and do other mean, painful things to her.
But the two main characters profoundly worked on me. They were both so messed up growing up as children of musicians. Emmie especially just broke my heart the way she struggled so hard to find herself, to please her jerk of a dad, to protect her wounded heart by holding off Slade with all that she had deluding herself that it was because he couldn’t be trusted. She wanted him, but she wouldn’t believe in his love and kept one foot out the door to run off. She was a beautiful, talented loveable woman and she couldn’t see it. Slade was off track too, but unlike Emmie, after a while he got past things at least with her and gave her his all. He was incredible the way he stuck with Emmie when her jealousy and insecurity would have driven most guys away. He didn’t play around and was honest. He gave her his all through his words, his songs, and his actions. This guy was just…sigh. The passion for his music and for Emmie was just incredible to read. Let’s just say Emmie has a real treasure there.
All in all, this was a fantastic book and beginning of a series. I really hope Derek’s story is next. This series is definitely worth the read for rocker romance lovers and other contemporary romance fans who don’t mind two flawed characters who make the reader get the feels for both them and the music world they inhabit.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.