Monday, March 28, 2011

ARC Review: Rock Hard

Rock Hard
Olivia Cunning
Erotic Romance
Sinners on Tour/Book 2
Sourcebooks Casablanca/April 1, 2011

From Goodreads ~

An ultimatum can break your heart....

Every night lead singer, Sed Lionheart whips thousands of women into a frenzy with his voice alone. But the stage is the only place Sed feels any passion since he lost Jessica...

If you’re not willing to break all the rules...

It shattered her heart, but law student Jessica broke off her engagement to Sed, determined to be successful on her own terms. But no other man can ever hold a candle to Sed...

Then a chance meeting and tortuously close quarters lead to uncontrollable flares of passion and rediscovery of their unique penchant for public encounters. Now, in addition to the risk of mutual heartbreak every time they get together, they’re in danger of truly scandalous public exposure...

Who doesn't love a rock star? I love music and rock stars, and yeah - they are the basis of many fantasies. In Olivia Cunning's second book in her rock star based series, the readers get a closer look at Sed Lionheart, lead singer and uber sexy groupie magnet. Sed starts off as an ass - I was not impressed. I knew this guy would need to put in some serious redemption time if I was to give a damn about him. Sed got off to a rocky start, but the reality is, bad boys are hot. Jerks, not so much. Good thing for Sed, and me, he went from a jerk to a bad boy and I actually gave a damn about him.

The life a rock star is a hard one. The endless days and nights on the road, the cramped quarters of a tour bus, constant adoration of the fans, the groupies offering up everything from a BJ to multi-partner sex. Yep, definitely a hard lifestyle. It's a lifestyle that Sedric Lionheart has embraced. As the lead singer for the band, Sinners, Sed is the band's sexy front man and extremely popular with the groupies. He can pick and choose who and how many he wants. While Sed was trying to fill his need with empty sexcapades, his ex was trying to fulfill her dream of law school. Both of these characters have some serious flaws, showing up in their very turbulent relationship. Sed's big fault is that he is very protective and has a habit of making decisions for everyone that he cares about, regardless of what they want. While his intentions are good, the execution can leave something to be desired.

Jessica is madly in love with Sed, until he goes too far and she walks. Two years later, things are not going as well as Jessica had hoped. Her problem - her looks. She is a sexy, beautiful woman. Men want her and women are jealous of her, making it hard for anyone to take her seriously in law school. Jessica finds herself working as a stripper in a Vegas club when Sed crashes back into her life. He still has his protective streak as well as his asshatness. A chain reaction is set off and Jessica finds herself back on the road with the band. They continue to clash, both hurt from their previous breakup but both still very attracted to the other. When Jessica decides that only she will be warming Sed's bed, her motives don't come from the heart. I had expected Jessica to act more mature when dealing with Sed. She knew how he was and for her to turn angry and jealous, declaring him off-limits from the groupies, wasn't an example of someone who didn't want Sed back.

Sed and Jessica together are burning up the sheets. Or not, because they get turned on by having sex in public without getting caught. There were times when they seemed like this happy, loving couple, then they would argue and Jessica was back to saying she hated Sed. It's as if she was bi-polar. The sex scenes are sizzling with both Jessica and Sed letting going, not holding back. I don't think they knew how to hold back! And they're not shy around the other band members. The tour bus has one bedroom along with individual bunks so they guys take turns using the bedroom. It's like calling shotgun. LOL It wasn't uncommon for one or more of the band members to be on the tour bus with a groupie(s) or in the case of lead guitarist Brian, his wife. Lots of sexing going on here.

The behind the scenes of the band were fascinating and I loved reading about the choreography of the shows. How each member of the band plays off the others. How they get so juiced from the audience. How they look out for each other, taking up any slack in the playing. It's an alluring world of excess, talent, addiction and temptation with the closeness that make these characters a family. That closeness plays an important role when one of the band members needs the support of his band mates. I really loved seeing the bond these guys had played out on the page.

They really are a family. Cunning does a terrific job showing how the five men who make up the band are as close as brothers - with the arguing, teasing and love they have for each other. I think they are the strongest element of the story. Cunning has written each of them as very unique individuals, all with their own distinct personalities. The romance of Sed and Jessica, while not as strong as I would have liked, was still a compelling look at the complications of having a relationship when one of the members is famous.

Rock Hard proved to be a seductive look at the life of a rock star and the woman who took a chance on loving him. Rock Hard left me wanting more of this world of Rock 'n Roll. I can't wait to get my next Sinners fix. All five band members get their own books and I'm undecided whose I'm looking forward to the most.

Rating: B+

Books in this series ~

Backstage Pass
Rock Hard
Hot Ticket
Double Time


  1. Leslie, this sounds good! I'm going to look for this series. Thanks for the review. :)

  2. Hils ~ This is one I can see re-reading certain parts. ;) Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Hmmm, I've heard some good about the first book... probably need to check it out :)