Tag Archives: Music

Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh

Overview
Rock Wedding (Rock Kiss, #4) by Nalini Singh

Title: Rock Wedding
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceMusic
Dates read: 16th August 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: “Sparrow” wasn’t a song for keyboards or fancy arrangements.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought sh’ed finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellam, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love… even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

Thoughts

This was such a perfect ending to the Rock Kiss quartet. It managed to not only be incredibly cute and sweet. But it rounded out the stories of the other three band members and just gave this great feeling of happily ever after. The fact that it didn’t just feature one wedding (expected from the title), but FOUR… well, that just hit me in ALL of my happy literary places.

From Sarah’s appearance in Rock Redemption, I was quite keen to see what her journey and experiences were all about. But I didn’t expect to feel so keenly for her so damn quickly. The journey that she goes on and the tragedies that she’s faced… they were completely heart rending and, honestly, some of it was exactly what my nightmares are made of. It was seriously tragic and difficult to read in moments.

What I think I loved most about this novel is the fact that Abe took responsibility for his own actions. Not many characters tend to do that in stories. At least, not to this degree, and not when they’re an alpha male. Less so in real life, but still… just having a literary character that is able to go “Yup. I fucked up. And I’m going to fix it.” That was weirdly important and made me seriously love him as a character (particularly one that you don’t really get to know throughout the rest of the series).

Both Abe and Sarah have kind of tragic and seriously tough backstories. Yet, even though there was knowledge of these throughout the novel. It was a story that was more about moving on and forgiving one another the past. Finding a way to be happy and finding a bright and cheerful future. Which is probably why I found this book pretty much impossible to put down and seriously, seriously fun and enjoyable.

<- Rock RedemptionMore Nalini Singh ->

Image source: Goodreads

A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing by Jessie Tu

Overview
A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing - Jessie Tu - 9781760877194 ...

Title: A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing
Author: Jessie Tu
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Mental health, Music
Dates read: 11th – 22nd June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: He smiles and opens it.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Jena Chung plays the violin. She was once a child prodigy and is now addicted to sex. She’s struggling a little. Her professional life comprises rehearsals, concerts, auditions and relentless practice; her personal life is spent managing family demands, those of her creative friends, and lots of sex. Jena is selfish, impulsive and often behaves badly, though mostly only to her own detriment. And then she meets Mark – much older and worldly-wise – who bewitches her. Could this be love?

When Jena wins an internship with the New York Philharmonic, she thinks the life she has dreamed of is about to begin. But when Trump is elected New York changes irrevocably, and Jena along with it. Is the dream over? With echoes of Frances Ha, Jena’s favourite film, truths are gradually revealed to her. Jena comes to learn that there are many different ways to live and love and that no one has the how-to guide for any of it – not even her indomitable mother.

A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing unflinchingly explores the confusion of having expectations upturned, and the awkwardness and pain of being human in our increasingly dislocated world – and how, in spite of all this, we still try to become the person we want to be. It is a dazzling, original and astounding debut from a young writer with a fierce, intelligent and fearless new voice.

Thoughts

I was expecting a bit more of an uplifting journey when I read the blurb for this book. It’s not a happy book. It’s not uplifting and it probably won’t help you find meaning in your life. What this book is – is amazing. It is impossible to forget, impossible to put down and very, very difficult to get out of your mind. Tu manages to take you on a journey that will have you squirming and questioning all of your assumptions. It will make you seriously think about not only our own actions, but the actions of others. And it will make you reflect on your own relationships and childhood, and the scars that have been left behind…

About halfway through this book, I had to pause and take a breath, put it aside for a little while. There were a few emotions that Jen experienced that were just a little too close to home. And a few moments when I was genuinely fearful for her surviving into the future. I was so quickly attached to this character, that eve though she makes multiple bad decisions throughout this story, I really, really couldn’t handle the idea of anything bad actually happening to her. Hence, the having to take a break a few times and pick up a lighter, fluffier book. It’s been a very long time since a book has had the ability to make me feel this strongly. This quickly.

Although I was constantly fearful for Jen throughout this story, it did end in a much better place than I had expected. It wasn’t a happily ever after moment, which I really don’t think would have suited this story in the slightest, but it was a great, optimistic for the future ending. You finish with hope that the future will be better and that Jena would be able to find her own Zen and happily ever after moment. It creates a great coming-of-age story that happens a little later in life and is a little darker than you would normally expect. But that ending… if just gives you so much hope. Even for all of the tragedies that you experience in your own life.

This may not be a happy, chirpy coming of age story. But it is one that we all need to read. It is powerful, intense and fills your head and heart with information and feelings. Feelings that I really wasn’t expecting. Tu has managed to create a world that we all know on some level, a lead character who is drastically flawed, but impossible not to get attached to. And a narrative that will leave you in awe. Definitely a book that I will be suggesting to others and rereading.

<- More Jessie TuMore Australian authors ->

Image source: Allen and Unwin

Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh

Overview
Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss) (Volume 3): Nalini Singh ...

Title: Rock Redemption
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceMusic
Dates read: 16th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: No photographers, no stalkers, nothing but a wild beauty that would suit Kit’s grounded nature.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

From New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh comes the next contemporary romance in the Rock Kiss series…

Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness… until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting – needing – to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful… and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

Thoughts

Even when I sit down to write this review a few days after I finished reading Rock Redemption, I still don’t quite have the words for the absolute awesomeness that is this novel. I loved the first three Rock Kiss stories, but there was just something… extra wow about this novel. It is brilliant, complex and kind of beautiful. But also incredibly heart-rending and serious. A perfect mix in a contemporary romance novel if you ask me (which you probably didn’t, but I’m still going to give you my opinion…).

Throughout this story, my heart broke multiple times. Not just because of Kit and Noah’s different issues, but there were moments I wasn’t even sure if a happily ever after was going to be reached. Although Kit’s issues were there… it was, in particular, Noah’s that were really tragic. I kept guessing and hoping I was wrong about his past (I wasn’t). But even that moment of reveal made me gasp out loud and cover my mouth with my hand. Even when expected… that moment of reveal was so heart breaking and tragic. And enough that you truly wondered whether or not they would actually get the happy ending…

The first three Rock Kiss books have got much smaller stakes compared to this one. Not only is Noah’s past WAY more screwed up and dark, but Kit also has to contend with a stalker and someone threatening her very life. The raising of the stakes is intense and made it completely impossible to remove my nose from this book. It also made my heart palpitate in ways that I wasn’t quite expecting. But, honestly, that is just what made this story so damn good… the stakes were raised, but the eventual happily ever after moment was just that much sweeter.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel was the way in which Kit figures out how to help Noah sleep at night. The construction of the outside bed is such a great, picturesque detail. And it kind of made me want an outside bed too…

<- Rock HardRock Wedding ->

Image source: Amazon

Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh

Overview
Rock Courtship (Rock Kiss, #1.5) by Nalini Singh

Title: Rock Courtship
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #1.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceMusic
Dates read: 15th – 16th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: I’ll be your wingman.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s new contemporary romance novella is pure hard rock and scorching heat…

What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients–or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man…and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

Thoughts

David and Thea’s relationship begins to blossom and be heavily hinted at throughout Rock Addiction. But it isn’t until this novella that you get to find out the truth. Mostly, I was seriously curious about the “bad thing” that happened at some point in the timeline and their need to be together, alone for a while. Now I know. And it was a brilliant little side point in the story line.

This novella, like the first novel in this series was seriously just so damn sweet! My heart completely skipped a beat while reading this. It made me all gushy and melting-in-a-puddle. Which is exactly why I love Singh’s writing. Although, her contemporary romances are a little less conspiracy-driven (at least thus far) and the sweetness just exudes from the pages of my Kobo in this novella.

In Rock Addiction, Molly suggests to David that he use a memo to get Thea’s attention. I laughed at the idea, but honestly, wasn’t really sure how it would work out… but now… now, I also want to be seduced by a memo. They were professional, cute, and seriously hot and steamy. Exactly what I would love in a seduction… even though I can’t imagine my other half being able to write that professionally…

Alongside a great romance, this novella shows you wonderful aspects of both David and Thea’s pasts. They don’t have the issues that the other couples in this series have, but they do have a number of little hang ups that they need to get over. And that they find a great way to overcome. It’s sweet, it’s beautiful and it will definitely make you believe in true love.

<- Rock AddictionRock Hard ->

Image source: Goodreads

Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

Overview
Rock Addiction - Nalini Singh :: NYT bestselling author

Title: Rock Addiction
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceMusic
Dates read: 13th – 14th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Knuckling it away, she got up and found the phone as well as the chocolate-fudge icecream and took both back to the couch.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

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.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

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. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

Thoughts

There are certain authors that every time I pick up one of their books, I genuinely wonder how I forgot how damn good their writing is. And Singh is definitely one of these authors! I walk away from her books for a little while, but then I pick up the next one in my pile… and WA BAM! I just can’t forget about the story. And it makes me want to scour my shelves for all the other Singh books so that I can have that enjoyment again and again and again.

This is the first contemporary romance of Singh’s that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It is very different from her other two series; Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter. Yet, there is still that same sweetness and simplicity to the storyline that I absolutely adore. The fact that it was contemporary mostly just made it feel all that much more realistic and likely. Alright, it’s still a romance and that doesn’t mean that this is actually going to happen. But it’s still a little easier and nicer to imagine…

I love that this story combines the horrors of the past with issues in the present. That even though at the beginning it’s Molly’s issues that you think could cause issues, Fox’s also play a pretty major part in their relationship. It’s a great reminder that even if you are knee-deep, drowning in your own issues… a happily ever after is, in fact possible. And something that it is worth aspiring to. And I also love how they accept each other for those issues, and find ways to work with each other and around them. To me, that’s what true love is all about.

I’m now hanging out for the rest of these stories. I just can’t wait for the other band members to start falling head over heels in love! Actually, the moment I write the last letter of this review… I’m going to grab my Kobo and get started on Rock Courtship. Because I just have to know what happens to David and Thea…

<- More Nalini SinghRock Courtship ->

Image source: Nalini Singh

Each City by Ellen van Neerven

Overview
Image result for kindred 12 queer book cover

Title: Each City
Author: Ellen van Neerven
In: Kindred (Michael Earp)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Indigenous Australians, LGBTQI, Music
Dates read: 13th June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Walker Books
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: You’ll be like me.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

In a time and place not so different to our own, an Indigenous activist find that maybe her life and that of her lover are about to be irrevocably changed.

Thoughts

It turns out that I accidentally picked this up to read at a kind of perfect time – a time when the world is seriously starting to think (hopefully) about Black Lives Matter. So, reading a short story in which the focus in the lives and importance of equality and an acknowledgement of our privilege sat perfectly with me. Granted, this is in a world that is somewhat ahead of our time, and there are certain aspect which are both terrifying and intriguing. But definitely the perfect time for short stories like this to take centre stage.

This was a very powerful short story. It actually made me want to cry towards the end. I’m not entirely sure why, because it wasn’t as tragic as some of the other stories that I’ve read that have actually made me cry. It was powerful and intense. A reminder that it would be so easy to further marginalise those who are already living on the margins. And the traumas that this can inflict. Not just being part of a minority, but also the ways in which people can be governed due to this fact.

To further that feeling of wow and power that this short story lends, I found that the first person POV worked perfectly. It sunk you into the understanding and experiences of the narrative. You didn’t have to wonder about the feelings of marginalisation and fear that were being experienced – you experienced them alongside the narrative voice. Leaving you with this amazing, powerful and just… wow feeling once you turn that final page.

<- Laura Nyro at the WeddingAn Arab Werewolf in Liverpool ->

Image source: Bookdepository

The Sawing Boys by Howard Waldrop

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: The Sawing Boys
Author: Howard Waldrop
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Music, Retellings
Dates read: 15th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: It was well into the afternoon.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

They’re a surprising music group. One which will take all of the competitors by surprise.

Thoughts

I didn’t get hugely into this short story, but it was quaintly enjoyable. There was just something about it that felt comfortable and familiar. Although, I’m still not quite sure which fairy tale this was based on…

I love the idea of the saw boys as musicians. That the underdogs and those whom are generally considered as “tough” are the men who make some really nice music and ?I think? win the day. Like I said, I didn’t hugely get into this story, so it’s hard to recall the details when I’m writing this review.

As a short, nice little break from life. This is a great break. As something that I will read again. Maybe not. It’s the kind of story that you enjoy while reading it, but don’t really remember afterwards. And honesty, there is nothing wrong with that.

<- Granny RumpleGodson ->

Image source: Goodreads

Blood Song by Lynda Hilburn

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: Blood Song
Author: Lynda Hilburn
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Music, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 6th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: What the hell, Ethan?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Ethan has roamed this earth, cursed for decades. Yet, when he accidentally stops a woman from being attacked, her song could change everything. If only he lets it.

Thoughts

The idea of healing someone through music and sound was a really fantastic idea. Weaving through this ideas of vampirism and the lore that tends to be associated with that was just that much better. Something about the story and the blending of some very unique ideas drew me in happily, completely and perfectly. It was just such a great idea. And I’m really disappointed that it was only a few pages (which tends to be a bit of a trend with me anyway).

I love that vampirism is something that can be “cured”. It’s not an idea that I come across very frequently. Normally the stories I read about vampirism make them out to be some superpowered human-types. I liked that this took a darker, more traditional take on this supernatural beast. It was a refreshing change.

My favourite message in this entire short story was the idea that to become different you have to want to be different. You can’t be cured without wanting to be. It’s quite a powerful little message there and one that I myself believe in strongly… so it was nice to read a story that also emphasised this.

 <- The Lighthouse Keeper and His Wife ReviewThe Princess and the Peas Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Ballad of Kate Eddowes by David Bishop

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of jack the ripper stories book cover

Title: The Ballad of Kate Eddowes
Author: David Bishop
In: The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories (Maxim Jakubowski)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Music
Dates read: 6th November 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: She could have sold them on her own, just by singing.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Kate Eddowes wasn’t just a victim, she was also a person. And one man is determined to make sure that she’s remembered for that.

Thoughts

This is a great flickering story – it jumps between the present and the past surrounding Kate Eddowes murder. And brings to life the woman who lost her life. By showing the before and after of her murder, The Ballad of Kate Eddowes brings to life a woman who is only normally considered as a victim, and not a being in her own right.

This short story is all about making the victims of Jack the Ripper REAL. They’re not just people who were killed, but they lived a life beforehand. They left behind lovers and friends, enemies and people who would miss them. It’s the most realistic and touching of the stories so far in The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories collection. Because it diminishes Jack’s acts and highlights what he destroyed…

There is music interspersed throughout this story. After all, it’s a ballad of love and loss. One that will make you stop and actually consider who was lost before you think about who did the taking.

 <- An Anatomically Inspired Tale ReviewThey All Love Jack Review ->
Image source: Amazon

“All Shook Up” by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Image result for my big fat supernatural wedding book cover

Title: “All Shook Up”
Author: P.N. Elrod
In: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Humour, Music, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 27th October 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Frankie looked at the Elvis guy, her jaw dropping.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

The Elvis impersonator at the wedding she’s catering gets a little bit too into his routine. But there is something deliciously attractive about him that makes her want to get to know the crazy a little better…

Thoughts

This story is a little crazy and different. It’s kind of intense, super fun and features Elvis. Which, of course, immediately makes me think of my Mum. Because she is completely Elvis obsessed. A bit like the Grandmother in this story… a woman who is just deliciously enthralled by the long-dead entertainer. I actually thought that in this story he had been bought back to life… but it was still just an impersonator.

Although this is a wedding story, it’s one that is about the caterer, not the bride. I’ve been to many, many weddings, but mostly as the wait staff. So it was nice to read a tale that I could relate to the lead a lot more. I’ve never been a bride, but I’m aware of all the difficulties and intricacies of working a wedding. Trying to feed the masses and (sometimes) not laugh at the amusing antics of the bridal party. It made this funny, cute and sweet story so, so, so much more relatable than most of the wedding stories I’ve read.

One of the parts I loved most about this story though was the fact that it featured the power of music. I’ve always found music to be an intense pathway through which to experience human emotion. And this story takes it just that little step further… in making it a pathway to help people adjust their emotions for the sake of others. For the sake of the marriage which is just about to begin.

 <- Dead Man’s Chest ReviewThe Wedding of Wylda Serene Review ->
Image source: Amazon