Archive for December, 2014


So what happens when it’s the rocker doing the chasing? That’s what Taming the Country Star is all about, to judge by the reviews. By the back cover, not so much:

He’ll do anything to win her heart. She’ll do anything to keep him away.

Country star Cole Grayson is in town, and Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled. As if months of changing the radio station and tearing down his posters weren’t bad enough, now she has to deal with a town of fans swarming toward the man who deceived her the year before. But when Kylie’s eyes meet Cole’s again, she can’t deny the electric chemistry that drew her to him the first time around.

Cole Grayson is on a mission. Ever since Kylie left him, he hasn’t been able to forget her sweet country smile. After writing a song just for her, he sets off for her hometown to prove he’s not the player she thinks he is. But as much as Cole can’t forget her, Kylie wonders if she can forgive him.

[note from Susan: Anyone else catch the typos I fixed? Go check it on GoodReads and see if you spot them.]

Yeah, ignore the fanatic there. You think about what all a rocker’s day consists of and you know right off that this is one special chick. And since it’s a romance, you know she’ll come around in the end. It’s the HOW that is the fun, and I want to know HOW!


Actually, it was the third book in this series that caught my eye, but when a series is called Love and Music, you know it’s worth checking out the whole thing.

From the first glance, I’m glad I did. There are some different themes running through all three books, especially broken marriages: one divorce, one widower. A couple of kids. But definitely, definitely rocker men who’ve been brokenhearted in the not-too-distant past. They gotta learn to love again.

It’s worth noting that it doesn’t look like all the rockers are in the same band. So there’s another trend Hassett is ducking.

I’m interested. I’m intrigued. I need a review copy or three.


ANOTHER Rock Fiction from Nalini Singh? Susan wasn’t keen on the plot of the last one, and I have to say that this one, the start of a new series, doesn’t exactly set my pyro aflame. You know what I mean?

Here. See why.

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

What this doesn’t tell you is that Molly is a librarian. Back to that old trope again! I told Susan she has to write a good librarian book. She said she has a librarian character in mind and needs the time; can I do more over here? Like I don’t do enough already?

So we’ve got the one-night stand that turns into forever, the tattooed bad boy rocker… at least we don’t have the groupies.

Reviews for this are mixed over at GoodReads, and the bad ones are really entertaining. One mentions a fifteen-million dollar trust fund that will triple in ten years. Wow. That’s an awful lot of disposable income there, a hell of a way to make sure she’s not a gold-digger, and a financial planner who’s so good, Susan’s drooling and hoping he’d be helpful to someone with fifty cents to her name.

I gotta read this one, for sure. And I’m dying to know where the rest of the series goes. ‘Cause based on these two, it’s looking like maybe Nalini needs to go back to her paranormal stuff.


Rock fiction is HOT right now, and I’m loving it. I swear, every day, Susan’s sending me more links to check out. Some of them get lost when my browser crashes, which happens way too fast. If you want to get rich, don’t work for a non-profit.

Today’s pick is the seventh in a series. It’s weird because half the series is Rock Fiction and the other half is … not. There’s some sports and some generic romances. Kinda weird, but I’ve seen this before. It’s almost these authors dabble in Rock Fiction but are happy to leave it behind. That just doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, here’s what the book’s about:

Addiction was something Krit Corbin accepted as part of his nature a long time ago. He decided to embrace it and flip his finger at the rules. Women had always been the number one thing on his list of addictions. He couldn’t get enough. Being the lead singer in a rock band had only made access to his favorite addiction that much easier.

Being alone was the only thing Blythe Denton understood. The small town minister’s family that raised her hadn’t accepted her as their own. The minister’s wife had always made sure Blythe understood just how unworthy she was of love. When Blythe is sent away to college and given a chance to finally be free of living as an unwanted burden, she looks forward to having peace in her life. Being alone isn’t something that bothers her. She escapes reality in the stories she writes.

However, the ridiculously sexy tattooed guy who keeps throwing parties in the apartment above hers is driving her crazy. For starters, he doesn’t treat her like she would expect a guy with a different woman always hanging on his arm to treat someone as uninteresting as her. She looks nothing like the gorgeous women she sees parading in and out of his apartment, but for some strange reason he keeps showing up at her door.

During a party at his apartment, Krit’s new neighbor comes to the door with her long brown hair pulled up in a messy knot and a pair of glasses perched on her cute little nose. She wants him to turn down the music, but he convinces her to stay.

Krit Corbin may have just found his biggest addiction yet. And Blythe Denton realizes too late that she’s finally been claimed.

Now, I gotta tell you, that second-to-last paragraph? Threw me off. First, we’re talking about the dude showing up at the girl’s door. Then all of a sudden, the girl shows up at the guy’s, and how she misses that a party’s going on — is the place that soundproof? — and that she shows up looking her worst and sparks fly…

Yeah, I’m hoping the rest of the book rises above that. Isn’t romance full of this stuff? The geeky girl showing up at the hottie’s door in the middle of his party/hot date/family gathering.

I’m more interested to see why the hottie shows up at the chick’s door. A cup of sugar only works once when we’re talking about the granulated stuff, you know? So what other reasons are there? (this kinda reminds me of that other Rock Fiction book where the musician-type became totally co-dependent on the girl, so I’m hoping this guy has better reasons than being screwed up and needing to be taken care of. What WAS that book called?)

Let’s see what those reasons are. I need a copy. Gotta find this one out for myself.

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Count on my friend Mary at BookHounds to find me some cool Rock Fiction. And this time, it’s from an unlikely source: author Wendy Wax, who seems to write more chick lit/comedy/fun stuff than Rock Fiction. Maybe she’s given a rocker some grand humor … but maybe not. After all, his role seems mostly secondary, a vehicle for whatever lead character Maddie is up to. In fact, I think the three women in this book have been in other books written by Wax.

Here’s the description:

Maddie, Avery, and Nikki first got to know one another—perhaps all too well—while desperately restoring a beachfront mansion to its former grandeur. Now they’re putting that experience to professional use. But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn’t have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies—although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie’s wildest fantasy once . . .

Rock-and-roll legend “William the Wild” Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he’s still worshiped by fans—which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys. He’s not thrilled about letting this crew turn his piece of paradise into a bed-and-breakfast for a reality show . . . though he is intrigued by Maddie. Hard as that is for her to believe as a newly single woman who can barely manage a dog paddle in the dating pool.

But whether it’s an unexpected flirtation with a bona fide rock star, a strained mother-daughter relationship, or a sudden tragedy, these women are in it together. The only thing that might drive them apart is being trapped on a houseboat with one bathroom . . .

So maybe not much of a departure for our rocker. He’s petulant. He likes his privacy (reminds me of the hero in Hot Rock, actually, and I’m sure there are more; this is a familiar trope).

I like women’s fiction. I like buddy fiction. If this rocker dude’s realistically painted, I will probably like this book.


Just in time for a Christmas read! Perfect timing!

It’s called Spirits of Christmas and it’s about… well, take a look for yourself.

At one time, up-and-coming rock singer Jude had it all: a great band, a platinum record, a loving girlfriend. This Christmas, however, he is well down the road towards spontaneous self-destruction. Unwitting at first, Jude has progressively alienated his band and driven away the love of his life. Tonight, the night before Christmas Eve, he has broken the final taboo during a disastrous gig. Yet Jude doesn’t see how badly his life has derailed, not until a ghostly procession of legends passes through his bedroom with a series of vivid and powerful wake-up calls. Will the Spirits help Jude put the friendship, love, and rock music back into his Christmas?

Spirits of Christmas is a modern-day rock’n’roll adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This novella will enchant romance readers, rock lovers, fans of ghost stories, and everybody who adores the festive season.


Yep, sounds exactly like a Dickens tale, and probably with the wake-up call at the end. Ever notice how we never get to see if they actually take the lessons to heart the next day or a week later or a  month or a year?

Just sayin’.

This guy sounds like a train wreck, though, and if anyone can find redemption, it’s a train wreck. Bring it on.


Another Rock Fiction series to make me drool! I love series, and when the three books in it are all about the same characters, well… if there’s enough to make three books work without falling into cliches and stupid plot twists, I’m all for them.

This one is the Heartbeat series, and it’s by Renee Lee Fisher, who I’ve never heard of before now. It’s about Madison and Rand (what is it with rockers whose name starts with R? Does it secretly stand for Rocker?), and their story.

But wait! There’s a fourth book, with two more promised, and they feature Madison’s best friend and Rand’s drummer, whose name also starts with R. Raeford, which might be a Southern name ’cause it sure sounds like it but isn’t anything I’ve ever run across. This half of the series starts with the dark secrets that’ll pull them apart idea.

I may like this Renee Lee Fisher lady, even if her other series is a fantasy series (Susan says that’s okay. She likes fantasy. I don’t. Susan can read those.).

Definitely gotta find out what these are all about… two more are set to be published, and I’m going to guess they’ll be about Jillian and The Second R-Named Guy.

Really, what’s with all the letter Rs?


I don’t get why you’d start writing a Rock Fiction series and then change it up halfway through. Just start another series!

So I don’t know what Kim Karr was thinking, teasing us with three of the first four entries in her Connections series being  Rock Fiction. The rest… not so much, it doesn’t look like. But I’ll tell you something: the book descriptions themselves become more and more vague as the series progresses. Weird.

So the first two novels — there’s an epilogue to book #2 called 2.1 and a novella tie-in that doesn’t feature River and Dahlia — feature the same two folk. Like I said: River and Dahlia. But beyond that, I can’t really tell what the books are about. He wants to heal her.

Buddy, didn’t anyone tell you that’s one of the worst things you can try to do to a person? You can’t heal someone. You can help them heal, but you can’t do it for them.

Still, it’s Rock Fiction, and then there’s Book Three, which is about another dude in the band and is also Rock Fiction. After that, the category blurs. So let’s focus on these three, which have a bunch of common themes: characters who have a past before they connect on the page, and secrets that can destroy everyone and everything.

There are other storylines in fiction, you know? But maybe that’s part of what makes this series able to stretch beyond Rock Fiction — besides stretching to encompass the friends and family of River and Dahlia. I don’t know. I don’t know if the same elements would make the books after the first lose something.

I don’t know. Gonna have to read them to find out.


Usually, with Rock Fiction, there’s only one character around who’s the musician. That’s kinda been the norm, unless you have members of the same band all running around. But they’re usually not the focus of the story, the romantic lead and all. Usually.

That’s the first thing about Colleen Hoover’s Maybe Someday that caught my eye. The second thing is the title. It’s not a title that screams Rock Fiction.

From the description, this sounds less like a romance, too, although there’s definitely romance involved. But it sounds like this woman’s catalyst is music. As it should be.

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance—and the enchanting music that inspires one young woman to put her life back together.

Okay, so the boyfriend cheating with the best friend/roommate is a bit more familiar. I suppose they all can’t be totally original and different.

This isn’t one I gotta say, “Only one way to find out if the author handles it well.” This is an out-and-out “I gotta read this. Now.”