This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on April 5, 2015
This third book in the Rockstar Romance series turns it’s attentions to the newest member of the Blue Fire band, Calix Bourbon, and to the heroine of book two’s best friend, Mimi. Like the stories before it, this one grabs the emotions and offers a tough won romance story.
The story opens with Mimi getting into a TV cooking contest hoping it will impress her workaholic dad who never puts Mimi first and also hoping that it will open up hiring prospects since she has been unable to get a job out of college. Being the chef for Blue Fire while they rusticate on her mom’s Long Island farm has been great. This is especially good because she gets to secretly crush on the temporary keyboardist, Calix Bourbon. Calix is a brilliant musician and the guys would snatch him up as a permanent member in a heartbeat, but Calix keeps his distance and doesn’t take Blue Fire up on their offer. Mimi knows that a guy with no ambitions and who doesn’t do relationships can’t be her special someone.
Calix noticed Mimi right away, but he has a lot on his plate and has nothing to give a special woman like that. But then Mimi needs help practicing for the cooking contest. It is his plan that helping Mimi will draw his mom out of her funk. His whole family has been in a holding pattern for three years since his brother’s death. The guilt weighs heavily on him especially. He is drawn to Mimi, but he has to resist. Family first. Even if it means pushing away a chance at love and a chance at his dreams with the band.
This was a unique situation. I didn’t know what to make of it at first. The story pushes the band and rockstar backdrop to the side and focuses on the farms and small town setting there on Long Island. The band is doing studio work and there is quite a bit of that, but the greater focus is Mimi’s cooking contest, her need to get her dad’s attention and approval, Calix and his family coming to life again with Mimi around, Calix working through his grief and guilt, and some extra drama to make the pot boil over.
As before, I found the characters a blend of flaws and strengths. Calix does this hot and cold thing that made me want to do physical violence to him. But yet, I got it. His head was screwed up and he was thinking wrong and making mistakes right and left. His world had to fall apart around him before he could heal.
As to Mimi, she seems to be the one that’s well-adjusted and has it all together, but the reader can anticipate that she has a big choice to make. Her whole life has been spent jumping through hoops to make her dad happy. That is her end goal and it is only spending time with the band and Calix that she is made to realize that her ambitions do not make her happy like her time cooking for the band and being with her friends. I wanted to hate her dad. He was hard on her, but then the insight comes and even his issues make sense- wrong, but makes sense.
And, for all the hot and cold and wrong-headedness, this is a rock musician so Calix helps Mimi let her inner woman out. He was one sexy guy whether it was rocking out with the guys, cooking up good things in the kitchen, free-spirited lifestyle epitomized by grabbing his surfboard and heading out with friends, or his intense focus on Mimi as her mentor and cheerleader with the contest. Mimi is this warm-hearted person who wants people to be filled and happy. She can’t see a person hurting or in need without trying to help. Calix’s family needs her particularly Calix. He is hard on her because he doesn’t want to hear the truth and he can’t accept some of it. She had so much to give and it broke my heart when her dad rejected it and Calix pushed her away. They get hot and passionate. I loved seeing these moments and even the quiet ones, but it was like the sun with a dark storm on the horizon. I knew Calix had big problems and Mimi had one or two so it was hard to enjoy their slow build romance knowing that hard times were a comin’.
The angst is high and generally not my thing, but with this series, I think the difference is that I believe in the emotion. It doesn’t feel manipulative or a device, but real and raw.
Loved seeing the previous storylines continue into this one and progress. Slater and Emmie and Derek and Violet, and even Mimi’s mom and Irving were great. Weddings, babies, new deals, and camaraderie. All great stuff. Can’t wait to see who gets their story next. Saw a little something with a certain rocker and Calix’s sister.
All in all, this was fantastic. I devoured it and got the feels while cheering on Calix and Mimi. Definitely would recommend this to those who enjoy spicy, hard fought rocker romance.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #125 CR