Rule Breakers #1
by Jennifer Chance
Loveswept/Random House March 04, 2014
eBook Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-553-39095-7
Genre: Steamy Rock n’ Roll New Adult Contemporary Romance
Disclosure: E-Galley provided by publisher via Netgalley.com for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Jennifer Chance unleashes her hot new series with the tale of a smoldering rock star and the fangirl who catches his eye—and finds herself living out her wildest dreams.
Lacey Dawes is a total pro at the talent agency where she works, and it doesn’t hurt that IMO Worldwide Media represents Dante Falcone. The rock god has starred in her fantasies since she was sixteen—and remains her secret crush to this day. So when Dante picks her to be the interim manager on his Dream It tour, Lacey can’t believe her luck. Handling Dante is sure to be the most exquisite, spine-tingling, nerve-wracking mix of business and pleasure ever.
Although Dante is grateful for the adoring fans who scream for one more of his full-throttle, soul-searing songs, being surrounded by a cadre of corporate types backstage is wearing thin. Then Lacey shows up. Yeah, she’s organized, smart, quick to get him what he wants before he knows he wants it—but Dante senses there’s something else going on with sweet, sexy Lacey. One kiss tells him what that “something” might be . . . and makes him hungry for more.
When new grad Lacey Dawes gets her dream job as a junior entertainment exec, she doesn’t expect it to come with her dream client. But Dante Falcone, former boy band superstar, is now an all grown-up rocker… and just maybe Lacey’s craziest fantasy come true. JenniferChance.com
I’ve read what I call “rockerotica” by several authors. This doesn’t quite fall into the erotica slot; it’s more steamy new adult romance centered on the music industry (my 22 year-old niece who works in the music industry might need a copy).
Characters: Lacey – not a wide-eyed ingenue, but a young woman who almost feels as if she’s playing “go to work” dress up and is not quite settled into the job she has taken. Obviously she isn’t totally inexperienced in the bedroom, but neither has she too much experience. She has a Chanel suit, and some Jimmy Choos, but borrows other shoes. Yet, she can barely afford her apartment.
Dante Falcone – This young man has been built from a lot of different characters and several rockstars: JT, Jared Leto and a little Eric Clapton were recognized by me as pieces of Dante. Thankfully, I haven’t found Justin Bieber anywhere! He has been performing since adolescence, but wants to get back to his original music which is more bluesy and less pop.
Brenda, the Barracuda is Lacey’s boss. She’s a conniving bitch on a good day and a dangerous conniving bitch when things don’t go her way. I actually didn’t much like the way Brenda is portrayed as I felt it fell back onto the aggressive women are bitches stereotype. She is also portrayed as a cougar. She’s drawn a bit too two dimensionally.
Other characters include Lacey’s friends and Dante’s band, especially Steve, and road manager, Harry.
Plot: Lacey’s company IMO (what does IMO stand for?) is an advertising agency/tour managing/talent managing company. Dante calls them his new advertising agency. I think they are more public relations and talent representation. This is partly because they title their employees as agents and they handle the publicity and sponsorship along with product and image development. IMO is handling his new tour and building a sponsorship/social media/product juggernaut around it. Lacey is the junior agent on the account and has had a crush on the star since they were both adolescents.
Normally a fan like this would grow out of the crush on the image or persona of the star, but it would appear that Lacey actually saw through that to the person under the image. Okay, I will believe that.
What’s harder to accept is the timeline which mostly takes place over a week to ten days in a two week period. There are just too many experiences alluded to or described for the time period. It felt more like months. I can offer this flaw up to the goddess of romance novel fantasy.
His personality is conflicted by a sense of ennui, jadedness, no longer being interested in the pulchritudinous bounty of female flesh offered to a rock star on tour. Yet, he seems plenty interested in that when he is in his hotel room and looking at the special array of sexy dancing women under the stage and only visible to the band. I did not get that at all.
In the end, it’s the chance to fulfill the crush and maybe find love versus her career. She has a lot of chutzpa and emotional resilience for one so young. But, I feel like the career choices she makes are more based in a relationship with a guy versus what’s smart. There are circumstances in her decisions that somewhat validate them, but she is taking a big risk.
His “real” musical style and charity work are somewhat too nebulously described for me as are why he fired his previous manager. His lack of advisors and entourage is refreshing (except for a doctor he has on staff).
Relationship: Quick for him, for her — half of her life. But, it is interesting that any reticence lies mostly on her side of the bed. How they feel about each other, how she and he feel about her stalker-ish fandom, confused me, as does a scheme to spin pubic relations following an incident. I felt like I needed an infographic to really “get” it. They do have a better handle on communicating their feelings than a lot of other characters in romance.
The characters and story in this story are not as well developed as others I’ve read with a rock n’ roll setting. I felt it was tentative and pale in comparison; like a test run. There were a lot of details missing, and uncommitted to. I did however enjoy the writer’s voice and the way she used language. For example near the 60% completion point in my copy:
These instruments had been built by masters, and they would only give up their songs if they were cherished and appreciated with a knowing, patient hand. He loved the feel of the guitars, the tautness of the strings, the energy caught tightly within perfectly crafted curves. location 1860/3211
So, I am a bit mixed on this one. I felt it got better as I went along. But, it is definitely about NEW adults; people just starting out and not from a perspective of looking back from a more mature period. I found it a little younger-feeling than I enjoy; perhaps I am envious of youth. It does feel at least that Dante is looking forward to where he wants to be down the road, where Lacey feels like she is still finding her footing. If you have a love of rock and romance then this could be for you.
Here’s some information on the next book in the series, FAKE IT, releasing in July of 2014:
As her sizzling new series continues, Jennifer Chance sparks some serious combustion between a sexy biker and a corporate go-getter who’s ready to let her hair down.
New grad Anna Richardson works hard—so hard that she’s given up having a romantic life. Anna has even convinced her friends that she’s dating an amazing guy—who they’ve simply never met. But now Anna has a wedding to attend and needs to produce the hottie she’s been lying about for the past six months. Enter Jake Flynn, her infuriating, motorcycle-riding, jaw-droppingly gorgeous neighbor, who’s more than willing to fake it for a weekend. In fact, Jake won’t be satisfied until things get real.
Though Jake is only playing the role of adoring boyfriend, he’s starting to feel the heat, and judging by Anna’s sweet blush, so is she. Letting chemistry this intense go to waste would be a real shame. Soon, though, the thin line between fantasy and reality fades. Jake may not be what every buttoned-up fast-tracker wants, but he’s sure as hell what Anna needs. And if she takes a ride with him, their adventure never has to end. www.randomhouse.com/book/240107/fake-it-by-jennifer-chance