Exodus End World Tour Series, book #1
by Olivia Cunning
Narrated by Joe Arden, Mackenzie Cartwright
Published by Tantor Media | Aug 28, 2015 | Running time 19 hrs
Also available as Paperback or E-Book | 486 pages | Vulpine Press | June 30, 2015
Audio files provided by Tantor Audio for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
She’s finally ready to rock…
Toni Nichols set aside her dreams to raise her little sister, but now she’s reaching for the stars as the creator of a revolutionary interactive biography about Exodus End.
She joined the rock band’s tour to immerse herself in their world, but how will she ever gain the trust of four veteran superstars who’ve been burned by the media before? Nobody said this was going to be easy. Then again, good things can come in hard packages.
He’s always ready to roll… Adrenaline junkie Logan Schmidt lives for the rush of playing his bass guitar before thousands of screaming fans. When he’s not performing onstage or in the bedroom, he’s looking for his next thrill in extreme sports.
So why does a sweet, innocent journalist get his heart pumping and capture his full attention like nothing else in his vast experience?
Is Toni the real deal or just digging up dirt on his band? She wants to be an insider. He wants to be inside her.
Toni innocence doesn’t last long once Logan set his sights on her. He’s worldly and wild, and she’s primed to embrace new experiences. Though Logan’s eager to rock Toni’s world and roll her in the sack, when she starts to get too close to his heart, she takes her insider look to a place he may never be willing to go.
This new series from Olivia Cunning ties into, and off of, her first rock and roll series: Sinners on Tour; One of the Exodus End musicians, Dare, is the brother of one of the musicians in Sinners, Trey.
In this series starter, Exodus End is on tour with a group of other bands and so Sinners and Exodus End are touring together. There is some character overlap.
A rock star at writing rock stars, Olivia does a great job providing an inside view of life on tour. Olivia doesn’t jsut show the excitement of performing and receiving the adulation of fans, but she also presents us with the mindless hours riding, poor sleeping conditions, constant road food, and the waiting: to perform, to practice and for inspiration to strike.
She reflects on how music touches fans’ lives, and even on how people make assumptions wrongly, and on how lonely it can be in a crowd of people.
This is a bit of a Cinderella tale in which the very virginal, self-sacrificing Toni meets her very own Prince Charming-ish in the form of Bass Player Logan Schmidt. Accustomed to loose groupies, he is not surprised when Toni gets taken over by his charm, but he is surprised by her virginity and by how he feels about her.
Yeah, most of the book has him denying and rejecting his feelings. Of course.
There is a breadcrumb trail about what is going to go wrong with this couple; with everything really. Those breadcrumbs start dropping from the start, but it is pretty subtle so you’ll have to pay attention to pick up the trail.
The crazy, off center character in this book is utterly believable in her sneaky nastiness. Toni’s selfish, career driven, and perpetually pissed off mom is complex. I didn’t know whether to keep hating on her or forgive her as she is rehabilitated.
I like how Toni is talented and technologically savvy. The character’s ideas for writing the book: mixing it with technology, are really interesting.
I did not get the male and female narrators – not that they did not each do a great job, but since the point of view did not change it seemed strange and arbitrary to change voices. Sometimes each character was on their own for the voice change, but they were also together in either narrator’s voice. It seemed like an unnecessary contrivance.
All in all, this is a promising start to an exciting new series with new rockers and new issues for those musicians and their love interests.
I liked the opposition of smart girl and bad boy and how the characters’ differences complement each other. The tour bus is a micro environment; a microcosm where everything is sort of contained and concentrated. It is the perfect little universe in which to conduct a condensed romance.
And, no one writes those bad rock stars like Olivia. If you like rock and roll erotic romance then you will like THE INSIDER.
I WILL BE GIVING AWAY My MP-3 CD in the ROCKING READS blog hop starting next Wednesday 9/23!