Review: Rock Me by Melody Lane

Posted: May 6, 2014 in Reviews
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This review was originally posted at West of Mars. It is being posted here, at its new permanent home.

When author Melody Lane sent me her book, Rock Me, it came with a caveat. It seems she had gotten zinged in other reviews by critics who felt the main character, Jenny Page, was too innocent to be believable.

As someone who was once an innocent spending a lot of time around the Pittsburgh heavy metal scene, I can relate. I was there once. And so, to me, Jenny was just fine. I liked her innocence, even. It fit her age, it fit her character. After all, Jenny is a woman who never dared to believe her fantasies concerning rocker Ian McAllister could ever possibly come true. She thought she’d forever be that girl in the front row, watching, flirting, and dreaming. And she was fine with it.

She’s able to make her dreams come true when the object of her lust winds up in the very hospital — on the very floor — that Jenny works in. She’s a nurse and it turns out that our bad boy rocker has a nurse fetish. The fact that he finds Jenny horribly attractive only makes the situation more perfect for them both.

Chemistry flares. Jenny is a champ at trying to stay professional, and the scenes in the hospital where Jenny is fighting Ian and her own temptation are some of the best in the book. At times, they are laugh out loud funny — and that’s a compliment. By the time Jenny was done helping Ian in the shower, I was thoroughly charmed by this couple, this scenario, and this book.

Of course, there’s a but. There are two, actually. One is that some of the prose feels like it was written by what I’ve heard called a “young writer.” This means the writer is still finding her voice. The narrative and the dialogue seems stilted, like it’s there for information only; once the writer is more seasoned, this will go away. I do believe this; Melody Lane can imagine a great story. All she needs is more chances to do it and this rough spot will go away.

The other isn’t so easy to deal with. It’s the subplot featuring the roadie and the unbalanced fan who is out to get Ian. Having worked crew, I find it hard to believe this Bill guy would have been hired in the first place. And then to sabotage the band the way he does? That’s hard to swallow, and then when we find out he’s doing on behalf of this deranged fan…

Yeah. It strains credibility too much. Bill is too much of a creep. There’s nothing redeeming about him; he’s 100% jerk. You can’t even like hating him.

Again, I’d write this off to being a young writer. As Ms. Lane grows and writes and firms up some respectable chops, this sort of quibble will vanish. She’ll dream up better bad guys, better conflict scenarios.

You know I can’t mention an Ellora’s Cave book without talking about the sex. It’s not as hot as Lex Valentine’s Rock My World, but it wouldn’t be believeable if that was the case. Instead, the sex has an innocence and newness to it. Given Jenny’s young age and relative inexperience, and given that Ian is opening himself up for the first time to sex with emotion, it works. And yep, it’s enough to rev the engines quite nicely.

All in all, Rock Me was a fun read. This book is, pure and simple, utterly charming.

I’d have to call this one a West of Mars recommended read — with a caveat. It’s not perfect. But, it doesn’t really have to be.

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