This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Intermix
Released on January 20, 2015
This book united two of my favorite types of characters- a rocker and a military vet. Had my name on it. Then I started reading and discovered that whew-boy, this was most definitely a match made in reader-girl land. I enjoy when an author puts a twist in the ordinary order of things and explores so rarely ventured into territory with me. In this case, I was given a submissive bi-sexual hero fighting addictions and a dominant ex-combat medic with a case of survivor’s guilt and a wound that knocked her out of the service. Lots to keep me occupied there even before we toss in a rock tour, a stalker, an ex, and a whole lotta opposites attracts razzle dazzle. Seriously? This was a debut book? Keep ’em coming, sister!
The story opens with Gwen Tennison camped out on her sister’s couch mourning the loss of her career due to an injury to her shoulder, mourning the loss of her friend and fellow soldier with a heap of guilt feeling and scared to think of what the future has in store for her since being a combat medic was what she lived for. Sam is done coddling her and knows just what Gwen needs to get her back in the game. Gwen is going to take over as tour manager for a rocker who likes his fun and is tough on his long string of managers. Oh and he’s recently out of detox and he’s on a short leash with his record company. No pressure there especially for a person who knows nothing about the music industry. However, she does know a little something about organization, logistics, motivating her men and pushing through adversity. It all seemed tough and improbable for success until she meets Lucas Wheeler. Okay move things from improbable to impossible. He’s now her charge and it would be all sorts of wrong to start something up with him as enticing as he is.
Lucas doesn’t know what to make of the woman he has been saddled with for his new tour manager. That one night at the club when she didn’t know who he was and she danced with such fire and sensuality showed that there is something more than the tough no-nonsense creature in the suit who is unmoved by his brattiness or his come-ons. No one has resisted him before. Guys and women both rush to have him so why not Gwen? He knows she isn’t indifferent. His attraction and need grows even more powerful when she restrains him and barks orders at him. He wants her to have control and has images in his mind of her doing so. His overbearing, powerful and perfect twin, Lee, enters the picture and for the first time he worries that his stuffy brother might hold more appeal to the woman he wants. Then he acquires a stalker and Gwen is more babysitting bodyguard than potential lover. But that is hot too in its way. Lucas will wear her down and convince her that he’s changed and is ready for something new- he’s ready for Gwen.
This story kept me buried in the pages from the beginning and I read it rapidly through to the end. It wasn’t perfect, but my issues were small. There were a few things I wanted to see teased out better after they were introduced and maybe they will be since I noticed that Lucas’ brother, Lee, gets his own book. I felt that Lucas leaving home and not coming back, trouble with the dad and mom and the antagonism toward Lee were left hanging. And on a lesser scale, Gwen’s thing about her folks was the same way. There was some explanation, but I just wanted more. The focus stays right on the present and on the two main players for the most part though dynamics within the tour company are written with depth and I loved the secondary romance for two others.
This was hot and sensual in its build up for the romance and a wonderful tension-filled twisting plot for the suspense caused by the stalker. I had my suspicions and I was right about who it was, but that didn’t lessen the excitement. The story switches back and forth between Gwen and Lucas’ perspectives and I enjoyed getting both of their thoughts. Gwen feels older and more mature- confident and sure of herself while Lucas is working through his issues and finding his way. He is practiced in the sexual side and knows how to live it up in true rocker style. Lucas is supremely talented as a musician, but ignorant of relationships and responsibilities. It was fascinating to see the gender bending in their relationship as a result. Lucas willingly hands over the control to Gwen, but he’s no doormat. He trusts her and respects her, but he has no trouble making it clear that he is capable and strong too in spite of his struggle with addiction and to embrace a relationship.
As to that power exchange aspect, Gwen is dominant and Lucas is submissive. Gwen has charge of Lucas as his manager so its part of their daily public life and it seeps into their growing private life. They explore it a bit in a few bedroom scenes, but its mild kink at the most. It left the door open for more in their future.
I liked how the author explored the dynamic of having Lucas be bi-sexual and Gwen be mono-sexual. It wasn’t a huge issue in the story. Lucas is attracted to men and women and has been with both and sometimes at the same time. Gwen fears that she won’t be enough even though she is a strong, sexual woman. Being Bi can be tough on that individual and the person/s with them. I loved that it was there and not glossed over, but didn’t turn into some overblown angst-fest.
To wrap this up, this story was abso-fab in all its components and facets. I really enjoyed the intro to a new to me author and look forward to what is to come with Lee’s story. I would recommend this one for those who enjoy a hot romance, behind the scenes rock tour-style setting, engaging suspense and intriguing characters. New Adult, Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense lovers should take a look.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Literary Pickers #90 Drums
Romance Roundabout #88 NA
New to Me #50 Author
Cliché Klatch #25 ‘herding cats’ *had to pick that one in honor of Anna’s blog
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