Archive for October, 2016


Uh-oh. It’s a works for the band book. My least favorite plot!

Kaylee Miles works as an assistant to her brother’s band, Miles of Pleasure. Ashton, the hard living lead singer, is intrigued by her, but they don’t get along. This situation changes when he must come to Kaylee’s rescue and prove his bravery. As Kaylee joins the band on the road, she is forced to make some life-changing decisions. Could one of them involve Ashton?

Ashton (and that makes me think of Kutcher, and I don’t know why. What’s he done lately?) has to prove his bravery? And come to Kaylee’s rescue? But… he’s a hard-living lead singer. That’s got nothing to do with rescuing your bandmate’s little sister and being brave. So color me curious now how all this fits together.

Oh, and apparently, buyer beware because this book was published under a different title, and under a different nom de plume. So you have one person passing off two books as originals.

That doesn’t give me warm fuzzies, along with the other issues I’ve got.


Anyone got feedback on this one?


I wrote yesterday’s post awhile ago, and it’s funny that it’s running this week, the week after McCarthy’s second book in the series, Dream Maker, was released. Let me tell you, after reading Dream Maker, I gotta go find that first book.

Here’s the review I wrote before I realized we had two days of Erin McCarthy. Think it’s enough to convince her to come hang out here a bit and talk about this Nashville Nights series of hers?

Can I gush about how much fun this book was? It’s such a simple, familiar setup, one I’ve been seeing a lot lately.
Avery’s lost on a street corner – the why is important, so I won’t spoil it, even though if you’ve read the first chapter, you know – and gets picked up by Shane Hart, music producer extraordinare and brother to Jolene Hart, country music darling.

Throwing caution to the wind and needing to be wild for just one night, Avery takes Shane to a hotel room and screws him silly. It, of course, is wonderful, but Avery promised herself it would be one time, one night, and she leaves a note and sneaks out while Shane snores on. If romance heroes snore.

Fast forward three months. Avery’s found herself a new footing and a job as a songwriter. She’s messing around with a new tune and freezes. That’s Shane in the hallway, loving her song. Or is it her?

It doesn’t really matter. It takes her co-workers about zero time to figure out that there’s some unresolved heat between Shane and Avery, and that’s pretty much it. That’s the plot. Oh, there’s a subplot about Avery’s father, too, and it’s resolved super fast and with zero angst. I wish there’d been more angst about this part of the book.

But the romance is a fun read. It’s charming, it’s cute, it’s heartwarming. And yes, it’s hot, so don’t think that words like cute and charming and heartwarming don’t mean there’s not some explicit loving happening.

And yes, it’s Rock Fiction. I mean, hello? He’s a music producer. She’s a songwriter. And there’s Jolene running around, too, since she and Shane are some of romance’s almost typical brother-sister loving duos.

This is part of a series, the second book. The first featured Jolene and her love, and we get to see them in this book. I’m not sure where McCarthy’s going to head next, but it’s listed as upcoming and man, I hope I get to read it. I also need to read Jolene’s story. This is some good stuff. Fun, frothy, and… just perfect.


New Series Alert!! New Series Alert!

This one’s called Nashville Nights, so maybe it’s going to be set in the world of country music — but is that even fair to say anymore? I mean, they have a symphony.

So here’s the description:

They’re perfectly in tune—but only when it comes to their music. This sizzling romance from New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy follows Nashville’s hottest country music duo as they fight for love in a city where dreams often cost a broken heart.

Self-made singer/songwriter Jolene Hart loves everything about being on top in Nashville. Well, everything except her very public breakup with Chance Rivers, her sexy masculine other half. Once the hottest duo on the scene, they turned Music City on its ear. Now their careers are as cold as their relationship. Which is why their manager has practically locked them in a remote cabin with nothing but a guitar, a bed, and time to do what they do best: make some beautiful music together.

As Nashville royalty, Chance has big boots to fill—and the pressure that comes with ’em. He fell hard for Jolene, but he couldn’t handle the spotlight, the crowds, and the fights that made headlines and killed any notion that love and success could go hand-in-hand. Still, Chance is more than willing to rekindle the one thing that worked: the wild passion behind their hit songs. Soon they’re making up for lost time, in the steamiest ways possible. But Chance finds himself wishing for the impossible: that their intimate hideaway could last forever.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Well. This one’s not beating around the bush when it comes to the sex metaphor of making beautiful music, is it?

This plot kinda reminds me of the recent Melissa Foster release, Chased by Love. Lock ’em up, let ’em work it out, and let’s all be voyeurs in the loving part.

Admit it. We like being voyeurs.

I do.

So… I guess my big question about this one is where the series is going to head after this. Will it be the continuing adventures of Jolene and Chance, or will it expand to other members of their bands and the larger community?

In the meantime, bring this one on. I like watching couples work out their problems. And I love me rockers. That’s why I hang out here.


Here’s another oldie that slipped through the cracks. I swear, what did Susan do before I joined her here? Let everything get past her?

Feels that way. *

This oldie and hopefully goodie is the first in a series, but is the only one of the three that’s Rock Fiction. THAT is the way to start off a series!

Here’s the description:

Music journalist Kyra Martin faces the toughest assignment of her career-to write a cover story about enigmatic heartthrob David Tallis. Deadline looming, Kyra plans to go undercover. When she ends up under the covers with the sexy superstar instead, can both her career and their budding relationship survive?

With a closet full of skeletons to hide, and a paparazzi-fueled divorce behind him, David Tallis despises the press. When Kyra Martin bribes her way into his life, her sexy assets have him composing a duplicitous seduction. Ensnared in a media maelstrom of his own making, can David face the music? Or will he lose Kyra, along with another piece of himself?

Now, I gotta wonder why there’s not more erotic fiction (’cause that’s what this is) with this title. It’s a good pun. Maybe it’s because rockers usually can’t read music, let alone use sheet music?

But it’s a good pun!

This isn’t a terribly original plot. I think I’ve written about it before — this isn’t the first time I’ve used the “journalist trope” tag, so maybe I need to do more than think. Clearly, it’s happened.

But like all good books, what matters isn’t necessarily the plot. It’s the details that make the characters, the situations, the everything come alive. And for that reason, just like every other book that makes me drool, I’m aching to get my hands on this one.

Bring it.

* If you come across any Rock Fiction you’re coveting, or have read something you’d like to post your thoughts about, or are an author who’d like to write a guest post… anything! We’re always glad to accept contributions from the Rock of Pages family.


Maybe part of me was looking for heebie-jeebies when I said I’d read Tess Gerritsen’s Playing with Fire. And maybe part of me is disappointed at what I got.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This starts off creepy. Julia finds this music and every time she plays it, weird things start happening. Things that she blames on her daughter. And yeah, maybe this could be happening. It makes sense.
It’s not as creepy as I’d hoped. Or maybe wanted.

In fact, it’s kind of disappointingly familiar. We have the set-up in the present, then the flashbacks to the past, so we the reader get the full story behind this piece of music although the characters never do. And like a lot of books that follow this structure, the part set in the past is the stronger part.

The present-day story ought to be creepy. It ought to make us question what’s real, what’s possible. But it doesn’t make sense. Mom blames the kid for doing things. Mom and Dad subject the kid to a battery of tests even though no one believes the mom. And then, next thing, Mom is off, obsessed with finding the origins of the music while everyone around her decides she needs to be locked up in a mental facility because, hey, we put the kid through all these tests and she’s fine so Mom is clearly crazy. So Mom runs away with her friend, who winds up betraying her because hey, the whole world is stacked against our Julia. And things get violent, as they do when you’re trying to get someone to involuntarily commit herself, or maybe it’s as they do when you’re digging up a past no one wants you to remember. And then we find out what’s up with the music. Only it’s not the music at all.

Remember those tests they ran on the kid? Why the hell didn’t they run them on the mom and save us all the hassle?
So that brings us to the story of the past. This turns out to be a Holocaust story, with the main character, Lorenzo, a promising violinist whose career and life are cut short by the horrors that wind up unfolding. Pity, too, because he and cellist Laura had a real thing going.

As I said, that was the more interesting part of the book, but in the end, this one was a bit of a disappointment. Predictable. Kinda stupid, actually. And most upsetting, the promise of the premise, of this haunting piece of music with demonic abilities, never came to be.


Wasn’t that long ago that I was coveting a different series from Ann Lister. And now I’m back with another series, this one with two books but they’re both on the kinda old side, 2009 and 2012. I’d bet this one is holding at a two-book series, but if anyone knows Ann, ask her, will ya? Hello? Let’s get some answers!

So this is the Sheet Music series. The first book shares the series title. Both books feature Annie Logan, who’s in a band, and the second book introduces another “rock queen,” as well. Lots of rock, lots of romance, and… well, why didn’t this go any further than two books?

Still, it’s nice to go into a series knowing it’ll be easy to first catch up and then finish it. A quick obligation, as it is. And that’s always a good thing, especially when they’re good books. (but man, if they are good, it’ll suck that there’s only two of them. So… mixed bag of goodies, maybe?)

I’m off to track these down.


I noticed that we had part of this series on The List page already, but only books two and three. We had to fix that; can’t be too out of date. So I had Susan update it and while I was getting her the information she needed, I took a look around.

Seems that this series first focuses on one couple and in the fifth book, Untamed, focuses on another. I think they’re in the same band, but I’m doing this at work and gotta sneak and you know how that is. I can’t squee like a fangirl when I see the first four books (counting the installment numbered one-and-a-half) are all about the evolution of this couple’s relationship.

Doesn’t mean there aren’t problems that the author might fall into. We’ve seen series like this that wind up throwing the kitchen sink into the plot, and then things aren’t believable and it actually kinda hurts to read it.

But… there’s only one way to find out, and if this is a series you’ve been into and have written reviews for, drop us a line! We’d be glad to repost them (and Susan likes to give links to contributors. HINT). Or if you have a lead on them and want to review them, Susan’s glad to post whatever you’ve got. Well, within reason. She says no nudies of Hetfield; they’d make her blush.



So this was billed as a serial about the events leading up to a fatal shooting at a rock (pop) concert. But the bigger tease in all this is the mystery: five people are killed, but only four “go on record.” (Quotes because I’m not 100% certain what that means. Public record? Official record of the event? Or are they recording this for a live album?)

THAT is the story I want to read. Why’s one person’s death covered up? What’s going on here? Who died? Which of the five is it, and why?

And that’s my question. If the author’s going to tease us with this, he’s got to produce something more that leads up to it. He’s got to tie the mystery into what he gives us. But other than the opening, which is pretty cool and – again – sets us up for a story about the shooting and the mystery of what’s happened, that’s not what we get. We don’t even get that rich atmosphere full of the expectation and anticipation that we’re building up to something.

What we get is a short bit about a bunch of different people, few who come alive on the page and rise above stereotypes.

And ten percent at the beginning is the author’s… it feels like a defense. Telling us how long the whole thing is when put together. And other babble that, frankly, I don’t care about. I don’t care about how he struggled to write this, or get it published, or any of that. Save it for the blog tour, man. Don’t put it in your book, and most certainly, don’t start with it.

So that’s the first ten percent. And then the installment ends at 88%, so that we can be teased for the second one. Which we gotta download and pay for. Seven installments at roughly two or three bucks a pop… well, that’s a pretty slick marketing trick.

Except that this one, doesn’t really earn its $1.99 price tag. After all I’ve just pointed out that 22% of the whole thing has nothing to do with the actual story at hand. It’s fluff. And while the opening scene focuses on the mystery, that’s all that does. Which means something like five or ten percent is the story we’ve been promised – the mystery of the shootings and which dead body doesn’t go “on the record.” (Again, still not sure what that means.)

And there’s not a mosh pit in sight. In fact, there’s almost zero Rock Fiction in here. These are ordinary people, doing ordinary things. Which is fine, but what’s it got to do with the mystery? And how about the title? What’s a mosh pit got to do with anything? Melting pot might be a better term to use here ’cause I don’t see any moshing going on, either.

Just… I gotta throw my hands up on this one. We don’t see a lot of Rock Fiction written by men, so I’d had high hopes. And the whole idea of a mystery dead person is really appealing, especially when you factor in the setting. Five people turn up dead at a concert, but who’s that fifth person… what’s their story? Their mystery?

I don’t know. Maybe this just wasn’t told the right way. Maybe it unfolds all wrong. I don’t know. All I know is that it’s not something I’m going to follow up on.

Review copy provided by NetGalley. Thanks for the chance to explore something new.

Edited: Jett had the price wrong, which Michael himself kindly pointed out. I’ve fixed it. –Susan


This one sounds familiar, but I couldn’t pull it up on the site when I searched for it. And you’ll see why it’s familiar when you read the description, which you’re about to do right now:

Rafe Ranier was my boss and secret crush. A rock musician by night and head of a billion dollar empire by day, Rafe could have any woman he wanted. But I was just the shy secretary he never noticed. For years I obsessed over him, until I finally realized I had to walk away. I needed to leave my secure life behind to discover who I really was.I never expected Rafe to follow me.Now I’m on the road with his band, Savage Kiss, and all my secret fantasies are coming true. But I fear I’ve made a huge mistake, because if I get any more attached to a man I can never truly have, my heart will be broken beyond all repair.

HOW can you be a rock musician by night and a billion-dollar empire dude by day? HOW???

So anyway, this started out as a six-part serial but has now been put into one volume. I don’t know what the prices for any of these are, so spend your money wisely.

And feel free to explain how Rafe can have two huge, all-encompassing jobs at one time.