Love Romance Passion * Alpha Reader
Fiction Vixen * Loves Romances * smexy Books
Top Sex Scenes of 2010 Awards
Good Books, Good Coffee, Good Life * Smokin' Hot Books
Trapped together on the Sinners tour bus for the summer, Sed and Jessica will rediscover the millions of steamy reasons they never should have called it quits in the first place...
Praise for Backstage Pass:
"Olivia Cunning's erotic romance debut is phenomenal."
-Love Romance Passion
"A sizzling mix of sex, love, and rock 'n' roll...The characters are irresistible. Can't wait for the second book!"
-DforDarla's Definite Reads, 5 Stars
"These guys are so sensual, sexual, and yummy. This series...will give readers another wild ride..."
-Night Owl Romance, 5/5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick
Topics: Rock 'n' Roll, Scandal, and Old Flames
One of the things that impressed me about BACKSTAGE PASS was how many little details Cunning got RIGHT - the mechanics of Brian's performances on stage, Myrna's grant applications, her worry about tenure. The same cannot be said of ROCK HARD.
Jessica is supposed to be in law school, but it's really hard to believe. She's at the end of her 2L year, when she should be working as a summer associate with the firm she hopes to end up with permanently. She acts like it's not a big deal that she didn't get a paying summer job, but she's the valedictorian of her class or close to it - she ought to be FREAKING OUT.
Instead of doing a summer law job, she decides to work as a *stripper*. When I read about Jessica's stripper job I started to wonder if Cunning had found ANY lawyers to vet this book, because the Bar isn't just a test. You also have to prove that you have good "moral character." You can know every law in the book backwards, forwards and upside down but if you don't have the "moral character", you don't get to be a lawyer. So I'm sitting there thinking, "I don't know, Jessica, I think it might be a bad idea for your future as a lawyer to work as a stripper..." but she's not going to cross paths with Sed in a corporate office so, whatever, I'll buy that. But when Jessica and Sed get caught on tape having sex IN PUBLIC and the video is posted to YouTube, I stopped being able to suspend disbelief. She's upset, but she doesn't seem to realize the full consequences...and, indeed, through the rest of the book this YouTube video exists only as a humiliating incident, not as a foolish act that will prevent her from ever passing the Bar.
Maybe this sounds like a really small, irrelevant issue - but it's not! All the main conflict in ROCK HARD revolves around Jessica's career-minded determination to become a lawyer. She and Sed broke up, two years before the book begins, because she wants to be a lawyer. A big part of the reason why she takes the job as a stripper - and later as Myrna's assistant - is because her scholarship to her law school is threatened by a vindictive professor. The YouTube video causes a huge crisis for her, making her re-think her future as a lawyer. Sed's major challenge is mastering his protective instinct so that he can nurture Jessica's independence (as a lawyer). Jessica's external conflict involves a professor who's sexually harassing her. And yet, at no point in the book, does Jessica ever ACT like a lawyer.
Actually, Jessica is kind of...stupid and mean. She hates Sed but wants to have an NSA fling with him. She doesn't think he cares about her at all but wants to torture him by breaking his heart all over again (and doesn't see the contradiction there). She tells him to go away but can't leave him alone. She feels sorry for herself all the time, which is strange because she's calling all the shots.
The only thing about Jessica that I really believed is that she's someone who'd suffered for being beautiful. I know that a lot of reviewers find that to be the most ridiculous aspect of her character, but at least it was authentic.
So. Yeah. It's a bummer that Sed's book turned out to be a dud because all the Sinners are dreamy and I want all their books to be amazing. Here's hoping that the next book in the series is up to the standard set by BACKSTAGE PASS.read more
Originally, I figured I'd just read the two freebies in the series I had received. This book as convinced me but the rest of the series on my wish list.read more
Now the real horror - waiting for what will seem like eternity for the next one!read more
(3/15/12): I wanted to re-read ROCK HARD because of some of the rough housing scenes between the boys, and I didn't find much more than than enjoyable on the second time around. I just don't click with Sed and Jessica, their issues have a lot to do with insecurities and immaturirites that I don't really like working through along side them. While I applaud how Cunning is willing to give even beloved characters weaknesses (Brian and Myrna definitively don't save the day in this book), Jessica's vacilation on her profession seemed like a plot juke that I didn't quite follow. Realistic, yes, necessary to include? Maybe not... Still eager to read book three, I'm still looking for the Sinners' couple that I really relate to.read more