Title: One Kiss with a Rock Star (Half-Life #2)
Authors: Amber Lin, Shari Slade
Date of Publication: November 6th 2014
Half-Life bassist Krist Mellas is caught in a PR nightmare after his dirty sex video blew up online. His agent has the solution: a fake engagement with sultry pop princess Madeline Fox. Krist can’t think of anything worse than a charade with the bubblegum bombshell…except losing the band.
Madeline knows better than anyone what it means to live a lie in the spotlight. She’s determined to help Krist without ever letting him find out what it costs her—or about her girlhood crush on him. But after a smoking hot back alley encounter with him leaves her breathless, she can’t deny she wants the snarling bad-boy rocker.
In a world of glitter and diamonds where the kisses are fake but the climaxes are real, their facades start to crack. And the publicity storm may shatter them both.
WARNING: This book contains a scorching threesome, a dirty talking pop princess, and a surly rocker who hits all the right notes.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This is the second book in this series, although, I think it would also do fine as a stand-alone. Krist is the bassist of a very successful band. Recently a sex video has caused a lot of PR issues for him, but also has caused tension between the working relationship and friendship between he and his lead singer, Lock. Madeline Fox is an incredibly successful pop star who had a childhood crush on Krist, and is willing to use her name and status to help with his current problems. She's got some PR issues of her own so their record label concocts a scheme involving a fake engagement. While they share some intense sexual chemistry, Krist does not like Madison or her music and would not want anything to do with this lie, but he will do whatever he needs to do for the sake of his band. Madeline has been working hard and taking care of many people since she was a child. She has a desire to help Krist, and a desire to explore their sexual connection. They clash in many ways, but they also find that they connect on levels they never expected.
This story deals with some elements we have seen before in this genre, such as opposites attracting, fake relationship turning real, etc. I do feel like these characters were unique and their interactions with one another still felt fresh. Things definitely get messy as both Krist and Madeline are both under different kinds of pressure from their record label. It was tough at times to see Krist acting in ways that were hurtful to Madison, but it was rewarding to see them start to connect and show their real selves to one another. Their sexual chemistry was definitely hot, and I liked how accepting they were of each other's sexuality and needs. This story touched on some of the ways that even in modern society sexuality (especially anything outside of heterosexuality) is repressed and criticized. I do wish some more time would have been spent on this issue, and it would have been one of the issues that the characters stood up for a bit more. I have enjoyed this series, and would read more in the future. 3.5 stars
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
Book One in the Half-Life Series
Three Nights with a Rock Star (Half-Life #1)
When Hailey crashes a Half-Life after party, she expects to find the bastard who knocked up her little sister. Instead she meets the sexy front-man who agrees to give her access to his crew if she gives him access to her body.
All Lock demands in return is three days of complete control over the Sunday School teacher. With a contract, because he’s been burned before. One misstep could send the band—and his tenuous sobriety—up in flames.
Hailey and Lock push each other’s limits… Against the penthouse window. Backstage. In the limo and on the elevator. But as the contract counts down, neither are ready for the party to end.
Q&A with Shari Slade and Amber Lin!
What is it like to write a book with two authors?
Shari Slade: Co-writing with Amber is like call and response, or a really good game of ping pong. I have an idea and bounce it to Amber. She puts her spin on it and serves it back. Then Amber comes up with something and I whack it with my idea paddle. Fun. Bouncy. Whoa, where did that ball come from? Hey, watch out for my eye! Just kidding. It's a lot of really great back and forth. I don't know if I would say it's easier or harder writing with a partner—it has its own unique challenges—but it sure is a lot less lonely.
Amber Lin: Now I just want to play ping pong.
Do you come up with characters or story lines first?
Shari Slade: For me, I’ll get a big picture idea first and then the characters will start to take shape in my mind. Once the character is there I can start to excavate the story.
Is any part of the book inspired by real events or people?
Shari Slade: These books are 100% pure fun rock-and-roll fantasy. No reality allowed.
Amber Lin: Yeah, we love to send each other links of real life antics, but they are more to set the mood and get in the right headspace of a rock star (or in the case of One Kiss with a Rock Star, the headspace of a diva).
Amber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.
Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.
Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.
Shari Slade is a snarky optimist. A would-be academic with big dreams and very little means. When she isn’t toiling away in the non-profit sector, she’s writing gritty stories about identity and people who make terrible choices in the name of love (or lust). Somehow, it all works out in the end. If she had a patronus it would be a platypus.
He stood stock-still, a lighthouse in the stormy sea, his gaze locked on hers. The rigid lines of his body raged at her from twenty feet away. The hard set of his jaw mocked her desperate desire for a kiss. No wonder he’d accused her of masterminding Ward’s stupid engagement scheme. Other nineteen-year-old girls made moon eyes at their crush from across campus. Only Madeline Fox arranged for hers to kiss her on the set of her new music video.
She raised her eyebrow in challenge. Maybe she deserved his scorn, but she couldn’t take the hit without snapping back. This was the animal kingdom, and the one who fought hard was the one who survived.
It felt like an eternity as he considered whether to leave her hanging. It would be the tabloids’ lead story tomorrow. Jilted at her own birthday party. She held her breath, almost wanting him to leave.
Then she could hate him.
But he didn’t leave. He stalked toward her, every inch the rocker badass. The kind of badass who wasn’t interested in a pop princess—unless they were in a back room. A back alley. Unless he could hide his face in her hair and his dick in her cunt. She knew he wanted to have sex with her…but that’s where the attraction ended.
He had no respect for her as a person, an artist. A fake engagement would be humiliating for him. The other kids on the playground might think he had cooties. She leveled him with a cold look as he launched himself onto the stage.
“What the fuck?” he muttered.
She read the words on his lips more than heard him. It was impossible to hear over the rumble of the crowd, but she could fix that. She slipped two fingers into the waistband of his jeans and tugged. His eyes widened as he fell into her.
“Dance for me,” she whispered, her lips inches from his.
He scowled at her, yanking the microphone from her hand. He kept it low enough not to catch his voice in her ear. “I don’t dance.”
Liar. She’d seen him sway his hips. She’d watched him dip to the crowd. He was a magician and Mata Hari rolled into one, but telling him that would mean admitting she’d watched his career since his first record deal.
Instead she leaned close. “It’s easy. Like fucking. Just keep moving your hips until I scream your name.”
She’d said it to piss him off. He obviously hated the way his dick got hard for her.
But instead of getting angrier, the corner of his mouth tilted up in a crooked grin. Lord. If she’d thought his frown was hot, that smile was a fucking wildfire. It lit her nerve endings one after the other, spreading over her skin and stealing her air.
From ONE KISS WITH A ROCK STAR by Amber Lin and Shari Slade
What people are saying about Three Nights with a Rock Star
“This book will ROCK YOUR SOCKS RIGHT OFF!” – Red’s Hot Reads
“Three Nights with a Rock Star has the love story, the push you up against a door sex, and the holy hell I can’t believe they’re doing that ménage sex, but it also has the sweetness of family and the heartbreak of possible betrayals, broken friendships, and leaked sex tapes. I cannot wait to read Krist’s story, One Kiss with a Rock Star!” – Hines and Bingam’s Literary Tryst
“The chemistry between Lock and Hailey is blistering. Sparks flew the first time they saw each other. It was nice to see that both main characters had issues to work through to be able to maintain a relationship between them.” – Cocktails and Books
“Three Nights With A Rock Star was right up my ally, I loved every minute of it! From the sexy lead singer Lock, to the cute mousy Hailey. I’m more than looking forward to the next book One Kiss with a Rock Star.” – Books Unhinged