I believe it was Mrs. Julien who Malin once said that billionaires and/or rock stars are the Dukes of contemporary romance. That is to say, that there seems to be an endless supply of young, handsome Dukes, rock stars, and billionaires in romance, an abundance which was not and is not supported in real life. (To be pedantic, of course there are still young, handsome musicians, but the rock stars in these books are of the arena sell-out variety that evokes images of the Beatles and their screaming fans. Perhaps the true 2010-era parallel are EDM DJs, but something about this:
does not exactly scream “romantic hero.”)
Nalini Singh’s Rock Addiction was included in a recent free-on-Kindle promotion. I like free, and I am not averse to rock star romances, AND I had not yet read Singh, so I went for it. Goodreads says this about it: “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…”
Mrs. Julien recently hated it. Her points are 100% valid. I did NOT hate it, but, truthfully, that may be because I was too unmoved by it in any particular direction to feel that strongly about it. Malin cuts closer to my bottom line, which is that this is not a book about a relationship, it’s a book about two fuckbuddies who think that oxytocin is the same as true love. All that Molly and Fox do is have great sex, and kudos to them, but there is nothing in this book that indicates that they are building a foundation toward a lasting romantic partnership. If this were marketed as erotica, I would have no problem with the content, but in a proper romance, I like a little bit more than instalove vis-à-vis sex.
I still rented Rock Courtship, the follow-up novella, from the library, because it features Molly’s sister Thea and the band’s drummer David. Their relationship had been heavily foreshadowed in Rock Addiction and I found myself thinking I might like their story better than the chronicle of Molly and Fox’s eternal heavy petting. Regarding Courtship, Goodreads says: “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.”
Technically, it’s not altogether different from its predecessor. Once the couple has sex, that’s all she wrote. The cheat here, of course, is that it’s a novella, so for the sake of brevity Singh has given them the background of already knowing each other and working together, thereby giving David a reasonable amount of time to realize he’s already in love with Thea before we the reader are even involved. For some reason, even just knowing that, without actually reading the backstory, is enough to make this more successful. It’s just more believable. On top of that, David’s method of wooing Thea is much more charming than Fox’s alpha male shtick.
Neither book is particularly memorable, and I don’t feel the need to continue with the remaining band members and read the rest of the series. However, it’s worth noting for the record that Rock Courtship is the better of these two.