Tag Archives: rock star romance

Rock Kiss Series : Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

Inspiring a list of The Worst Romance Novels I Have Ever Read, I think sums up my opinion of the first book in Nalini Singh’s Rock Kiss series, but the long version is below anyway.

From Amazon: 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… 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.

There are a lot of hackneyed, poorly written elements in Rock Addiction, such as telling instead of showing us how the leads feel, the hero thinking of the heroine like a child that needs to be trained, but do you know what really bothered me? The hero uses his hand on the back of the heroine’s neck to steer her, and this…

“Gripping her jaw, he said, “You don’t get to treat me as disposable.””

“He gripped her chin to turn her back toward him.”

“He watched her close the door, then imprisoned her against it by slamming his hands palms-down on either side of her body.”

“Grabbing her wrists, he pinned her arms above her head with one big hand. He gripped her chin with the other, the green of his irises violent and his breath hot against her skin…His fingers tightened on her wrists, his other hand curling around her throat…”


It’s not sexy, it’s not passionate, it’s not romantic. The hero uses his physical strength to control and intimidate the heroine.  Take your rock star clichés, your trite writing, and your “BUT EVEN IN HIS ANGER, HE HADN’T HURT HER” and never darken my Kindle again, Nalini Singh.

Links to my other reviews (including books worth reading) can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.


Bleeding Stars Series: A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

I”m going to start this review with a quick plot summary, move on to a negative expostulation, and finish up with the notes I made while reading.

Sebastian (Baz) and his band members are in exile on Tybee Island, Georgia because he beat a powerful business contact “within an inch of his life” for serious non-specified harm done to his brother. Stepping out at night, Baz meets Shea waiting tables at her uncle’s local bar. They fight their attraction for 1.2 seconds… something, something,  I skipped ahead… her daughter nearly dies in a drowning accident and the press gets hold of the story. Two cops and a Child Protective Services agent show up at Shea’s house in the middle of the night to take temporary custody of her daughter and hand her over pending an investigation of the accident at the beach. In this case, and this is where  A Stone in the Sea ended on a cliffhanger, the little girl is turned over not to her mother’s uncle, but the man who happens to be the person Baz beat up before the book started. Apparently, he came to town, got the local police to pay a call in the middle of the night, and convinced Child Protective Services to surrender a four-year-old child to someone who would take her out-of-state and whom she had never met.


Presented without comment, the notes I took while reading:

  1. That is some seriously purple prose. Is it meant to be?
  2. Anger issues are not sexy.
  3. Fuck off
  4. privilege
  5. That’s cryptic.
  6. Oh, there’s gonna be some DRAMA.
  7. Goody! Everyone has secrets. Definitely lots of drama.
  8. Oh, dear.
  9. So, he’s a cliché. Excellent.
  10. There’s  a character named Lyrik?
  11. Inappropriate touching.
  12. Weird.
  13. He assaulted his brother, right? That’s the only excuse for this level of violence.
  14. No, you’ve served him drinks, like, four times and he’s invaded your personal space once.
  15. Not cool.
  16. How would you know?
  17. Rock star gives up career or divided family.
  18. BROKEN? (One comment: Referring to “She’s just beggin’ to be broken,” when a friend sees an attractive woman.)
  19. What if he gets mad at *her*?
  20. Oy vey.
  21. Boys will be boys?
  22. He’s still a stranger.
  23. Possessiveness
  24. Are we sure he’s not a vampire?
  25. Does he have a fear of first person pronouns?
  26. Thank you?
  27. Ewwwwwwwwwww.
  28. No, you don’t.
  29. Jesus Christ with the copy editing.
  30. Do people actually do that?
  31. If she didn’t correct it, how does she know?
  32. So she’s straight from Central Casting.
  33. After one date? Well, it is a romance.
  34. The root of her ass?

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.


Hammered Series: Manaconda by Taryn Elliott and Cari Quinn

I took great delight in telling people I had just bought/read a book called Manaconda. My husband very nearly injured himself with his frequent and violent eye rolling.

Contemporary romance characters often have supposedly glamourous professions and this Taryn Elliott and Cari Quinn series features rock stars which, it should be noted, is not the same as being musicians. Other occupations standing in for all those dukes and earls from historical romance include:

  1. successful actors
  2. professional football players
  3. professional hockey players
  4. billionaire business men (always non-specific and not particularly busy)
  5. former military elite force members (SEALs and the like)
  6. billionaire former military elite force member business men


Hunter Jordan is the lead singer of a quickly climbing rock band called Hammered. Recently, he was interviewed and featured in Rolling Stone magazine. (Sidebar: Do you suppose the rest of the band was irked not to be included?) In the cover photo, Hunter’s jeans and pose conspired to reveal that he is in possession very impressive wedding tackle and is receiving a lot of attention for it. His record label is thrilled and has added an extra PR person, Kennedy, to his band’s support team.

Manaconda got off to a pretty good start with excellent sizzle between the leads and a playful use of the heightened reality in romances. Hunter and Kennedy are enormously attracted to each other, but she is career focused and doesn’t want to get involved. Hunter has his charms, mostly related to his efficacious use of the aforementioned prodigious reproductive organ and his work with animal shelters, and Kennedy succumbs to them. This good start was undercut by a repetitive structure finding them having an amazing night, things falling  apart, another amazing encounter, things falling apart, and Hunter desperately trying to win Kennedy back.  I have no objection to the spark and conflagration approach to romance, but I thought it showed a lack of effort to have Kennedy and Hunter come together and apart in exactly the same way twice.

Most significantly, Manaconda lost what I saw as an opportunity for wry social commentary. Hunter is mortified by the attention his mascupython is garnering, but at no point does he acknowledge that this is the kind of attention women get and have been told to take as flattering for (likely) the entirety of recorded history. Pity the financially secure, powerful, successful, good-looking rock star having to endure a few weeks of teasing for something every other aspect of the book, and culture, rewards him for.

This book inspired my list of Romance Novel Tropes That Need to Be Put Out of Their Misery  and contains four of them. Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.