Can be read as a standalone: Rock star romance
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Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
“Love doesn’t just evaporate.”
You Really Got Me was without doubt, one of our favourite rock star books this year. The romance between Slater Vaughan, Derek’s best mate, and Emmie Valencia, Derek’s sister completely and utterly stole our hearts! The relationship between the three was so sweet, we devoured that book and so you can imagine how eager we were to get our grabby hands on this one! We couldn’t wait to me meet the woman who would steal Derek’s heart and give him the type of love he witnessed and admired between Slater and Emmie.
“I love being with you. I could stay awake all night just to be with the Violet I get under the covers.”
Derek is pretty hard on himself as an artist. He’s spent most of his life feeling overshadowed by his father, the great virtuoso Eddie Valencia, a well-respected musician in his day who seems to take great delight in putting down his son at every opportunity he can muster and dismissing his son’s obvious talent vocally through the media. Derek can’t seem to win a trick with this guy!
In this instalment we meet Derek and the band at a time when they are finally getting the recognition and accolades they deserve. They’re exceptionally talented and have vowed not to become victims of the dreaded sex, drugs and rock and roll cliché that has destroyed so many before them.
When some members of the band begin to party a little too hard, its suspected drugs are involved and Emmie suggests her friend Violet tour with the band as a minder to shadow them, get to the bottom of the problem, cease the bad behaviour and nip the drug taking in the bud.
Violet appeared tough on the outside, but was vulnerable on the inside. After had lived her life in and out of the foster care system, Violet is convinced she lacks the ability to feel and love like most people, due to being deprived of affection as a child.
“You make me feel special. You make me feel. And I didn’t even know I could.”
The chemistry between Violet and Derek is immediate and there is no doubting the passion between them is sizzling. Sadly though, the emotion of their connection didn’t quite travel from the pages to our hearts with this one and we’re so utterly sad about that because we really wanted to love their story as much as we did Emmie and Slater. Instead we found ourselves becoming frustrated with the constant drama that eschewed between them.
It really does break our hearts to say that and for that reason we didn’t enjoy this book as much as its predecessor. The relationship between Violet and Derek felt forced at times and the back and forth so repetitive it became tedious instead of emotionally gripping. There were some shining moments throughout but there were a few misses too.
“You told me you don’t know how to love, but you’re wrong. You think there’s some chapter in the book of life that you missed out on, but that’s bullshit. Loving is just what we do. Just because you didn’t have it growing up, doesn’t mean you’re destined to a life without.”
The amount of ‘real life’ introduced to the story was a turn off for us both. In You Really Got Me, Erika Kelly crafted and created a beautiful and believable fantasy rock world. She had our pulses racing and every moment felt as though we were there, in the audience, awe struck watching the band. Sadly here the fantasy world was replaced with reality which took us completely out of the moment. There was band name dropping left, right and centre and the character of Jason Becker so obviously Justin Bieber felt as though we were reading snippets from a magazine rather than a fictional novel. However this is a personal thing and some readers will love this aspect of the story.
All was not lost though because we were once again completely swept away with the banter and camaraderie between the band members, a theme this author really does do well. These guys really are a family and the love and affection they share is mesmerising.
The highlight of this story was the considerable time we got to spend with Slater and Emmie again. They made this book for us. Their passion, their intense and consuming love for one another, despite this story not being primarily about them, stole our hearts at every turn and Slater’s heart to hearts with Derek made us MELT!
“Violet doesn’t give a rat’s ass about a Ferrari or a fancy law firm. She doesn’t want to summer in some gated mansion in East Hampton. Stability doesn’t mean the guy who can buy her shit……. Stability means the one guy who loves the shit out of her. It means knowing you’ve got the one person in the world who knows your crap, calls you on it, and still wakes up with you the next morning, every fuckin’ morning, until the day you die.”
So whilst this didn’t pack the emotional punch we had anticipated there was still much we enjoyed and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing where this series takes us next!
**ARC Copy provided, with thanks, by Berkley/Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.**
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The ROCK STAR ROMANCE SERIES by ERIKA KELLY