Book 3 in the Rock Kiss series
by Nalini Singh
Narrated by Justine O. Keef
TANTOR MEDIA: Publication date Oct 13, 2015
Running time 12 hrs
Print/e-book: 422 pages published by TKA Distribution (October 6, 2015)
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.
Noah knows that he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night.
When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers that her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful . . . and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John. https://tantor.com/rock-redemption-nalini-singh.html
This series has been an inconsistent one for me: I loved the first book, ROCK ADDICTION, but the second (which had nothing to do with rock’n roll) and the third left me feeling flat. But, I was still interested in the series and the fictive band, Schoolboy Choir. Isn’t that an amazing name for a band?
Interest aside, I was leery when I started this one, because if it sucked it would have killed my interest, even with that fabulous name. It got off to a somewhat rocky start with Noah’s bad behavior and his subsequent cry for help. But I liked how Kit put her personal feelings aside and just took care of him.
While Noah’s and Kit’s story is a little melodramatic, the characters were well-developed enough that I was interested in them. And, they are on nearly equal footing career-wise if not financially.
Kit has great self-confidence and isn’t really willing to take crap from anyone.
The other thing Kit has is a creepy stalker and the reveal was a great climax — it was a surprise, suspenseful and well-handled. But, it is the second stalker in the series, which is a little less than imaginative on Singh’s part. And, while the stalker aspect is interesting but is not the real crux of the story; the crux is Noah’s big secret which, like the relationship between Kit and Noah, has been alluded to since the first book.
Rock and Roll romance has a few things it can depend on in plotting, and they aren’t much different than other romance tropes: addiction (gambling, sex, drugs and alcohol), immature success leading to behavioral issues (a la Bieber), stalkers, failed relationships, family problems, including abuse, PTSD. More rarely is serious illness tackled – although in a couple of books Olivia Cunning has gone after that and Kylie Scott works it in PLAY. Of these, for rock romance the two biggest are addiction and family problems.
Nalini has pushed both of these in this series. Whether or not rock stars really suffer more from family issues and addiction or not because they must suffer for their art, or because of lifestyle choices, or due to the pressures of touring, I don’t know. But, it seems as though society perceives actors, artists and musicians as more likely to suffer from addiction or difficult family histories, and there are certainly many stories told about it.
At least Singh recognizes that not everyone has to be eff-ed up to succeed as an artist: In this series, some of the band members are pretty normal, and Kit’s upbringing, while unconventional had two self-centered but loving parents.
Unlike the second book which was only peripheral to the entire series and the third, which I felt was topsy-turvy in the sex versus relationship dimension, ROCK REDEMPTION strikes a balance between the music scene, acting, danger AND it builds a relationship between the characters for years before the waiting, pining and emotional crap can all come to fruition. I have to admit, though, that a man admitting he had paid for sex, would require extenuating circumstances for me to consider a relationship with him.
ROCK REDEMPTION was definitely more along the lines of what I would expect from a writer as skilled and prolific as Singh. The series is redeemed! I imagine the next book, an untitled and undated novella, will deal with the relationship with the band’s addict in recovery, Abe, and his ex-wife. I’m looking forward to it.