Michelle Reviews Rock by JA Huss

Posted: April 9, 2016 in Reviews
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Hey everyone! I’m back guest-blogging today because I just screamed through the pages of Rock by JA Huss—fast enough my Kindle froze twice from too-frequent page turns. As I said in my Coveting post about this book, I was really excited about this one, hoping it could finally be the rock fic book that grabbed a full five-star rating from me. So is this one the rocker book I’ve been waiting for? Yes and yes! And almost.

Rock cover

4.5 stars
ROCK was a whirlwind of suspense, sexy music-addicted rock star, heart-tugging love story, and a crazy rock-climbing and danger-filled climax!

This is the story of a rock star at the top of his game who loses his entire band to tragedy and returns to his hometown, where he once lost the love of his life as well. Once there, he encounters her identical twin sister and…I can’t tell you pretty much anything else without spoilers. But fear not, folks, I won’t leave you unsatisfied, and neither will JA Huss!

I look for two things in rock fic: the music (is it essential to the story, do the MCs feel like real rock stars, are the music details gobble-able?) and the love story.

So first, the music. This is a YES! Rock felt like a real rock star in all his battered glory. Music had hurt him so much, but you could feel the draw it had to him, how he was powerless to resist its magic, and I adored getting lost with him in the process of composing new songs. Music was a living, breathing, sobbing character in this book and I couldn’t get enough.

The romance: this was…tougher for me. In the beginning pages, I could feel Rock’s longing for his lost love as if it was my own arm that was missing. But once he and the heroine were together…I felt like I was in bed with a lot of great foreplay but I never quite got all the way there (hey, I’m a romance novelist. We can never resist a good sex simile). Rock and his girl were a four-star romance for me, and I think mostly it was because I was holding back, wary that at the very end there would be some horrible twin-swapping flip and the heroine wouldn’t be who I thought she was. I’m going to save the rest of you from this: the author doesn’t pull the romance rug out from under you at the end. It’s okay to relax and enjoy the love story! Perhaps if you go in with different expectations than me, it will sweep you away the way I wanted to be swept away.

Regardless of the romance, Rock himself took my heart. His POV felt like being inside the head of a real dude. Not a woman trying to convince you she’s writing from the male perspective by using the word dick and tits a lot (yes, I see this in romance all the time). Instead, Rock felt like an actual guy who was sometimes callous, sometimes self-centered, and had a deep decency and gentleness to his core. I could fall in love with a man like that (especially if he played the piano like Rock!). He could have carried the entire book just on the voice of the writing, but he didn’t have to, because holy crap, the plot!

The suspense and twists in this story are crazy. Huss kept me guessing on every page. I had no idea what was happening or what might come next. In the last half, the pacing was breakneck, but there was a lull for a while in the beginning. Still, I enjoyed the lull as a time to spend with the H/h, and it didn’t detract from the book. As for the supporting characters, there was such a great cast of people in this town, but I feel like I didn’t get to know them well enough to justify their importance in the story. They didn’t seem flat, like the author had half-assed them. Instead, it felt like they were real people but the author never gave them enough time on the page for us to really get to know them. Like this was a series and they were introduced in other books (which might be the case, but if so, I’m not aware of the rest of the series).

Another little bonus to this book was the rock climbing. It was kind of a subplot, but then the climax has lots of climbing action, which was fun for an old school climber like me. However, some of the smaller climbing details/terminology weren’t quite right. Not enough to spoil anything but just enough to tweak the eye of anybody who climbs a lot.

So my verdict? 4.5 stars. I was totally wrapped up in this character and this crazy, twisty story, and I snuggled up to all the beautiful music details and rock star atmostphere. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t far from it, and you better believe I’ll be snatching up more from this author ASAP.

As always, if you want to keep up with what’s new with me, and what I’m writing or reading, come find me at my website www.michellehazenbooks.com or on Twitter @michellehazen. I’d love to gab books with all you guys!

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