On rock stars and falling down

Falling For JackTime flies when you’re being a mom-taxi for two teens over school holidays, updating all your published eBooks, trying to squeeze in some writing time, getting woken up by a kitten cavorting on the rooftop having fun. I did try to post this on time — promise! — but our internet connection was so spotty it was an exercise in frustration. Still, better late than never, right?

So let’s talk books!

If you’re a fan of contemporaries featuring capable self-reliant heroines (Robyn) and flawed sexy heroes (Jack), then do check out Falling for Jack by Joanne Hill.

This one’s a heart-warming heart-wrencher, which was exactly what I felt like reading last month. Warning: there are young kids in this story… but they never cross over into “plot moppet” material; their scenes are very realistically depicted and are integral to the story. Bonus: it’s set in New Zealand – yay! And the secondary characters are wonderful — got my fingers crossed for a sequel featuring Ethan.

Next up, Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh.

Nalini’s famous for both her Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series and her Guild Hunter urban fantasy series — both of which I love with the same kind of passion I reserve for chocolate. But well before Slave to Sensation (the first Psy-Changeling book) rocked my world, Nalini published a number of sexy contemporaries for the Silhouette Desire line.  So, having read a few of her Desire books, I had every confidence that despite  what some fans perceived as a major switch in genre, Nalini could easily pull off an uber-sexy contemporary rock-star romance with nary a shapeshifter or angel in sight!

rock addiction coverAnd I wasn’t at all disappointed with first book of her Rock Kiss series, Rock Addiction. The chemistry between Fox and Molly is scorching, fan-yourself-wildly hot, and without getting all spoilery, the ending satisfied me in every way. Look, y’all know by now I suck at analyzing books (which is why I go for the “OMG I loved this so much you gotta read it!” type of “review”) but I’ll try to explain one of the things that for me, made Rock Addiction stand out, in words that will hopefully make sense.

I read romance because, goshdarnitall, I need the happy endings. And for a happy ending to really resonate with me, and push a book to my keeper list of books I’ll read over and over, I need to believe wholeheartedly in the happy ever after. I need to be able to picture the two main characters sticking it out and staying together through good times and bad. These days, privacy for celebs is pretty much non-existent and every little detail of their lives is considered ripe for public consumption, and sure, I’ll enjoy a story of a rock star falling for an ordinary girl, working through some shit, and living happily ever after, but more often than not I won’t truly believe it’d work out.

Yeah, I’m a cynic. Or maybe I’ve been smacked upside the head one too many times with sordid details of celeb breakups — I dunno. All I can say is this time, with this story, I do believe in the happy ever after. And I think it’s because Nalini is not only that good a writer, she also didn’t end the story with Molly putting aside her old life to choose Fox… and all the baggage that entails. Nalini didn’t leave me with an implied happy ever after and hope I’d believe Fox and Molly could make it. Instead, half of Rock Addiction (or so) centers around Molly dealing with the realities of Fox’s lifestyle and, above all odds, choosing to stay with him.

Bottom line? Let’s get real: Sometimes “love” isn’t enough. Sometimes loving someone with all your heart doesn’t mean you can live with them. But I can totally buy into Fox and Molly spending the rest of their lives together, so for me, Rock Addiction is an epic win.

The Year We Fell Down coverOoops! Almost forgot the third book I wanted to briefly discuss: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen.

I bought this one solely due to this review by Jane on Dear Author and another one (that I can’t for the life of me find!) where I seem to recall the reviewer offering to refund the cost of the book if readers didn’t love it as much as she did? High praise, indeed! And for me, a refund was not an option because this story was worth every penny I paid and more.

Warning: It’s New Adult and contains a gorgeously funny and heart-warming sex scene. How did I love this book? Let me count the ways…. Well, I would, but this blog post is already too long, so I’ll leave you with the blurb:

The sport she loves is out of reach. And the boy she loves has someone else. What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.

Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

And here’s the rest of my reading list for September 2014:

  • Before by Nicola Marsh
  • The Demon is in the Details by Harris Channing
  • Secrets In Time by Alison Stuart
  • Time Thief by Anna Hackett
  • Falling for Jack by Joanne Hill
  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  • Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh
  • Heaven’s Queen (Paradox 3) by Rachel Bach
  • The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
  • Tucker by Juliana Stone
  • The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison
  • Winter of the Passion Flower by Annie Seaton
  • Learning to Dharn by Ann Somerville
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran
  • A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
  • Maid For Love by Marie Force**
  • Fool For Love by Marie Force**
  • Ready For Love by Marie Force**

**McCarthys of Gansett Island Boxed Set

Happy reading!

:-)

M

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