A Shattered God

Midnight Blue by L. J. Shen

Once upon a time a mere mortal fell in love with a rock god. You probably know this is not a fairytale by now. Mortals and gods don’t mix.

Midnight Blue is raw, emotive and sparkles with life.

I’m not sure who I’m more in love with British rocker Alex Winslow or L.J. Shen. Maybe Ms Shen, her writing is superlative, truly beautiful. I couldn’t stop highlighting parts of the book. Quote after quote spoke to me.

“…we’re all vases. And you’re the one scattered on the floor, shattered beyond repair. So I’ll let someone else pick you up. It’s really that simple.

Alex is so broken it’s like he can never be put back together. His hurt eeks out of him. I don’t think Indie believes for a moment she can fix him and I loved that. She saw the addict, the cruel bastard who lashes out and the boy the world thinks it owns. It hurt her (and me), but she wasn’t going to fix him. And knowing him, she didn’t intend to fall in love. But best intentions and all that.

Even though there’s not much innocent about Alex, his connection with Indie was child like. He was so curious about her, she inspired him. She seemed so shiny to him, and yet he knew he would ruin her. It was hard knowing he would do it. But that was the point at which I knew they needed each other. This wasn’t just about the broken rock star but also the grief fuelled Stardust.

The author pits the beauty of creating music, of artistically expressing yourself with the price of fame. Alex can no longer trust his life. He can’t trust anyone because they all want something. And so he fails to see love and friendship, even though it’s there. I veered between wanting to shake him or hug him.

Ms Shen’s writing is extraordinary, her characters are complex and the story is so compelling. Even for an angst ridden romance, this is far from your typical fare. I think you will love it. I know I did.

Searching for normal

Kozart by J. Nathan

You read a rockstar romance like this one, because you want to take a step, or many steps, away from normal life. But in J. Nathan’s Kozart, said rockstar falls for the girl who provides him with normalcy.

J. Nathan’s hero exudes a jadedness that feels real but without the angst I expected. He’s worked for his success and he’s enjoyed all the trappings, yet he’s never had normal, so much so that he doesn’t realise what he craves.

The set up for this book is cracking, it’s such a sweet fun intro. Right from the start he’s a bit of an accidental hero. He saves her that night from a real humiliation and yet you know he needs saving too.

I loved the development of their relationship. If you like the slow burn you will not put this book down!

In Aubrey he has a love interest who has plenty of sass and spirit but without that hard edge. I’m starting to feel I’ve had enough of ball busting heroines.

Kozart starts off as your typical rock god, and I guess he is. And so you do have to give into creative licence a bit. J. Nathan definitely has the skill to let you do that.

It gave me all the feels, in all the right places. Wonderful

driving Back

Drive by Kate Stewart 

Good God where do I start?!  I loved this book sooooo much.

I read it by the pool, and as I looked left and right I was gobsmacked to see that people were reading other books.  What was wrong with these people? It was as if life was going on outside of this book.  How was this possible?!

‘Drive’ is the story of Stella’s journey.  After a bit of unexpected news she gets in her car and drives.  But that’s not really the journey she takes the reader on.  It’s the exploration of how she moves from young adulthood into womanhood and the people who make that journey with her.  It’s their journey too.

This is the past told purely from Stella’s perspective, looking at the choices she made, the good, the bad and the really ugly.  It’s about how life happens to you, how you can’t control so much and sometimes no matter what, destiny is out to get you. Or is it?

It reminded me of the John Lennon quote:  “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

It’s kind of appropriate to make a music quote, as music is the backdrop to Stella’s life.  Ms Stewart totally nails the playlist.

‘Drive’ messed with my emotions.  Even writing this review has me in tears.  He was far from a rockstar but I had my own Reid, and Ms Stewart’s writing twisted my heart and stomach as I fought to focus on Stella and not wallow in my own history.

As you travel back through Stella’s past you not only question her choices but you’ll find your past seeping into your conscience.  What could or should you have done differently?!

An emotional, challenging and intriguing read. Bravo Ms Stewart!

Car crash reading

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Untamed by S C Stephens out November 3rd

Delicious cover?  One of my recent favourites.  It has hidden depths and gets better the more you look at it, bit like the book itself. Never judge a book by it’s cover?  Umm, well when they look this good I’m happy to!

I wasn’t wild about it to start with. In fact if netgalley hadn’t given me a copy I probably wouldn’t have finished it.  Griffin was a bore, totally full of himself and with zero self awareness.  And Anna? She was a typical rock star wife – gorgeous but bland.

And then it twigged forget TV (a la Geordie Shore) this was car crash reading.  Slowly disaster loomed.  I knew I should look away, yet how could I? I kept on reading and it kept getting worse.  How dim can one man be?! Now I know – seriously dim! Yet, it was so obviously real. We’ve all made something worse by trying to fix it.  Poor Griffin is just the world champion.

So, having struggled for a couple of days to get into it, this morning at 2.11am, I finally finished it!  By the end I was gripped by Griffin and Anna’s story.  I couldn’t put it down. So thanks Ms Stephens for making me a zombie today!

The storyline is a refreshing change from the endless focus on childhood misery.  Griffin has only himself to blame and he is most definitely the master of his own destiny. He might start off a complete bore but he ends up a proper hero and totally gorgeous. I just might be in love!

As for Anna, she isn’t the girl she first seems. She has steel or perhaps balls of steel. Seeing the dynamic of their relationship was compelling and a brave move by the author.

As for the ending with Liam – I didn’t see that coming. Fab!

So, my only issue with this book was how badly I struggled with it at first. That might be because this is a series and having not read any of the earlier books I simply didn’t get it to start with.  Whilst it’s definitely stand alone, I think I would have loved it more easily had I read the rest of the series. No matter, I got there in the end.

Thank you to netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.

 

It’s all about the girl


Rock-Redemption-186x300

Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh out Oct 6th

This is Kit’s story. Sure the blurb will tell you its Noah’s story, but its not.  It’s all about Kit and wow is she a heroine and a half!

I didn’t immediately love this series.  Fox and Molly’s chemistry didn’t quite do it for me. David and Thea were cute and sweet but it was only a novella. Then I got T-Rex’d and I loved it!  I’m watching Sonny Bill Williams play in the rugby world cup and dreaming of Gabriel (its the shirt story!).

I’ve read Rock Hard four times now.  Three on the first weekend.  So, perhaps its not surprising that this didn’t quite reach those dizzy heights. Maybe I wouldn’t have cope if it had!  But its a great read and Kit kills it.  She’s strong but vulnerable.  She’s funny but serious.  She’s passionate but practical.  She’s simply my kind of girl, the fact that she’s a super amazing actress just endears her that much more.

Noah’s issues are difficult and I wasn’t always convinced about why he didn’t seek help before or indeed get help now.  But his desire to be a better man and friend to Kit are so heartfelt that you want him to succeed.  The line that Kit draws for him seemed to me insurmountable but yet not.  I kind of knew he’d do it. Or maybe i just hoped!

We get to see lots of David and Fox in this and the relationship between the four is genuine and gorgeous.  Fox and Noah are the ultimate bromance boys!  Divine!  So, we wait for Abe and Sarah’s story – that was very well trailed and I think its going to be a complicated roller coaster.  Can’t wait!

Thanks to netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.

Rock chick not author

Stage Dive Series – Kylie Scott

To see her author pic you’d think Kylie Scott was a bit of a sweetie, definitely maybe a romantic.  But to read her Stage Dive series you know the woman is all rock chick.  And by that I don’t mean groupie.  No, she’s not with the band – she’s the real deal!  Or at the very least she has done her homework!

This is a lady that knows a rock star and delivers.  In all she delivers four rock gods and their ladies.  Each relationship explores a different aspect of love in such an intense public arena.  Ms Scott develops each character beautifully.  I can’t say that Mal and Jimmy warmed my heart in quite the same way as David or Ben, but they were great characters.

Unusually for a rock star romance, I think Jimmy and Mal were deliberately hard to like.  But boy did she nail Jimmy (the character not the man, obviously!) – talented, self centred, addicted, handsome, immature, confident, angry, bitter, scared.  All up a gorgeous problematic man.

As for Mal – if you had a ridiculously cheeky class clown then you’ve got Mal’s starting point.  It was interesting to see how this persona panned out as a grown man who, thanks to his career hasn’t been limited like any of the kids I knew at school.  Nope, for Mal it takes two special ladies to rein him in.

Clearly, David is the favourite – he’s sweet, achy and just yummy!  And its interesting that he’s the one who falls first and who has to convince his lady a bit more.  I really like David and knowing that most people (me included) would choose his brother just made me want to watch out for him a bit more.

I’ve already blogged about Ben, so I won’t repeat myself, but definitely the last story wasn’t the least!

As you’d expect from an Aussie Kylie this series has plenty of glitz and glamour, exquisitely delicious complicated but loveable men and ladies who can kick like a roo when they need, to but have hearts of gold shimmer!