Book Critique: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss Series # 1)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation:  Fantasy romance that brings the glitzy world of fame and the ordinary pleasures a perfect mate can give, along with the darker undersides of both worlds. Easy read for those sunny warm days, or cuddly cool days.

Rock Addiction is the first book in the Rock Kiss Series by Nalini Singh originally published in September of 2014. The central plot revolves around Zachary Fox - lead singer of the famous band Schoolboy Choir - and Molly Webster - younger sister of Thea, the publicist for the band. The plot is set in Auckland, New Zealand.

The series revolves around the four members of the Schoolboy Choir rock band who met as school mates but form a family within themselves with music. Readers will share their personal and professional lives, their hard pasts making them the media's best bad wolves; and the leading ladies who capture the eyes of these bad wolves and like to get tamed; above all a sense of strong family, strength and support in every walk of life.

Molly Webster rebuilt her life in Auckland, NZ having a sedate life and planning for a dull future with an ordinary husband. However, when she goes to an event hosted by her sister, Thea, she meets Zachary Fox, the lead singer and guitarist of the band Schoolboy Choir; the very band her sister was publicist to. She had fantasies about him forever and now when his proposal of making a one-night stand into a one-month stand could make all her fantasies true, she hedges, but gives in. However, she hadn't counted on the fact that heart might get involved too.

Zachary Fox, always went after what he wanted from the time he was a child. Now he wanted Molly, all for himself. But Molly had made it clear that this cannot go anything beyond the stipulated one-month agreement they had. What he does to get her to be his forever, even if he has to use all of his sexual prowess, is what the rest of the plot is about.

I was hesitant to pick up this series by Nalini Singh although I love her Guild Hunter series. But finally I thought to give it a shot. It definitely opened with intensely erotic fantasy of the lead character, Zachary Fox. So it worried me if this would be just sexual and erotic tale between the two primary characters. However, as the plot progressed, the hidden shades from their past and present sneak up on the reader, building a story instead of just being a porn plot.

The sexual content is definitely blunter than her Guild Hunter Series, but no more than many of the other authors I have read. There are a lot of "F" bombs that reminded me of Christine Feehan's Shadow Series and Torpedo Ink Series books. But those are a bit gorier and grittier compared to what Nalini Singh has put forth.

The book opens with a shockingly erotic introduction from the hero's mind of view. Then the entire plot is set in two parts - Part 1 has the story flow between the hero and heroine touching on their backgrounds and the reasons why they are what they are including their past, while they are in Auckland, NZ. Part 2 shifts to Los Angeles, CA in USA where Molly gets to know Fox's world of fame and paparazzi, how they both deal with it and how she eventually blends into his life while he blends into hers.

Nalini found a perfect match for Zachary Fox in Molly Webster. But I am amazed at the sexual appetite that guy has, almost makes me feel he is not human but altogether another species. Is it even possible to be someone like him, I wonder. 

Nalini Singh gives the reader a front-row view of the life in the glitzy world of rock and roll, fame that follows with relentless paparazzi. The harsh reality of the glamour world, cyber bullying and invading privacy - some of the key points that Nalini touches upon makes a reader see the life of a famous person in a different light; not the light the media portrays but the one they actually live.

I am usually not a gossip magazine reader, but I have also made my own comments and drew on to conclusions on famous personalities based on what media throws at us. And I realize that many times I might have been totally wrong or judged them harshly. Nalini Singh gives us an opportunity to see their lives from a different lens making the reader take a softer look at these personalities next time when they pick a gossip magazine.

The other characters who join the plot add to the weave showing strong bond between each other who have come to become family not by blood but by the bond of music and heart. The way they support each other, strand behind each other, and at the same time love eternally no matter what, is shown quite strong all through the plot.

Nalini Singh painstakingly describes the tattoo inked on Fox's body, but doesn’t give explanation to what it means, like some of the lines inked or the dragons. She does mention that Molly had figured it out sometime closure to the end of the book. I would have loved to have her explain it to readers as well.

It must have been a huge coincidence though, of no deliberate part of mine, that I started reading this series that is set in New Zealand the week the Australian Open Tennis started. Must be some sign huh! :)

Although I was wondering if it would turn into another Fifty Shades of Grey kind of book (the only book that I hadn't finished and hated it), surprisingly it tamed well with a good story line too. I wish it would be a bit more powerful, but it fits very neatly right along-side the Harlequin Romance Novels that I pick once in a while.

Contrary to her Guild Hunter Series, this plot comes loaded with sexual content. There is a bit of repeat paraphrasing seen. Yet, it has been a pleasure and easy read with few surprising turns. I would definitely continue with the rest of the books in the series for now.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Molly's father Patrick Buchanan, a politician, was involved in a scandal with an underage student from Molly's school when she was 15.

b. Other characters that Nalini Singh introduces us, am guessing they will have their own stories pretty soon:

i. Thea - Molly's step-sister whom she has come to know of and become closer only recently.

ii. Charlotte "Charlie" Baird - Her best friend from her school, with a very tragic past of her own from her college days. Works as personal assistant to the CEO of the company she is employed for.

iii. Other band members of Schoolboy Choir - David Rivera (drummer of the band); Noah (guitarist of the band); Abe (the keyboardist); Justin Chan (Attorney for the band); 

iv. Gabriel Bishop - Charlie's new boss.

v. Kathleen "Kit" Devingy - famous Hollywood actress, comes with her own share of past that involves a stalker.

c. Nalini Singh sketches a scene where she has Kathleen and Noah playing chess, with all the sexual innuendos but not even a kiss between them, slightly different ending from the movie scene. It is the very same scene in the 1968 American heist film, The Thomas Crown Affair, were Fay Dunaway and Steve McQueen participate in a chess game that leads to the longest kiss ever on screen till that time. Here is scene for your view, but I had posted a review of that movie here. Did Nalini pick the scene right out of that movie?

2. Sub Plots:

a. David Rivera, the drummer of the band, is shown to be interested in Thea, alluding to a story for them in future plot by Nalini Singh. 

b. Charlotte seems to be interested in her new boss Gabriel Bishop, CEO of the company she is employed with. Another story for future I suppose, but Charlotte is not a band member. So I am curious if Nalini Singh would pen one for her.

c. Noah is shown to be interested in Kathleen. A preview of their story that for sure will come soon. 

3. Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:

a. On Pages 60 and 61, Nalini Singh describes in detail about the tattoo that Zachary Fox has on his body - on his left shoulder, left neck, left side of his back to his hip; a tattoo covering his left arm; a pattern at the top of right arm; line of characters on his inner wrist. However, the book cover has the model posing a detailed tattoo covering his right arm. Wonder why the model had the tattoos on the wrong arm?

b. On page 237, Line 19, it should be "…the remote to your ga…"


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