Book Critique: Rock Courtship (Rock Kiss Series #1.5)
For review of all books in this series: Go here.
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: Fantasy erotic 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 Courtship is the first novella in the Rock Kiss Series by Nalini Singh originally published in September of 2014, right after the release of the first book Rock Addiction. The central plot revolves around David Rivera - Drummer of the famous band Schoolboy Choir - and Thea Alice Arsana - 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.
Having read the first book, Rock Addiction, way back in January, although it was filled with a lot more of erotic scenes than the actual plot that is woven around; I did like the story line up though so wanted to continue with the series. However, her next book is a novella, which unfortunately doesn’t come in paper format anymore, just as an e-book.
Not being a huge fan of e-books, I had continued on to read the next two books in the series. But never got around to post my review for them since I wanted to read this novella first before I do that. Finally I picked it up now. And hence the review.
In the first book, we did see that David Rivera, the drummer of the Schoolboy Choir Band, was very much interested in Thea, their publicist. And voila! Nalini spins a novella for David and Thea.
David had fallen hard and fast for Thea. But Thea has a terrible past that makes her hard to trust another man in her life. The only way David could show that Thea could trust him was to be with her and make her feel it. But, she had rejected his request for a dinner or a coffee out rightly. Now using his skills of writing and romantic ideas, he uses all things in his arsenal to lure Thea to him. How do they take it from there is what the rest of the plot is about.
Dashing David and Charming Thea form a really cute couple, complementing each other in a well-balanced way. By coupling them, Nalini takes the reader further into the behind the scenes activities that publicists work on to keep their celebrities in good light or save them from bad light; the dynamics of the rock stars' lives while battling the very public persona and keeping their private lives sealed.
The various memos that David and Thea exchange, reminded me of the formal art writing of letters. Though the memos were all electronic, it did certainly bring back the charm of writing lengthy letters as opposed to abbreviated versions of messages over phone or emails. In the world where one abbreviates even words as small as "be", and convey through brisk and short lines on phones, this email memo-ing hit a spot in my heart.
All through the plot I had been waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, when it had begun with no under currents and going on smooth as silk. And when the shoe did drop finally, it was totally different than what I had expected it to be. And which tested their trust and faith in their relationship a lot.
Novella opens with a preface titled "Shatter" but again has the book divided into Parts - Part I gives the readers the initial mating between David and Thea; Part II brings up the culmination of their relationship and the roadblocks they weather through. Nalini put in a lot of meat for a mere 200 pages of the book, enough to have a few more books in the series.
Again we see a bit of repeat paraphrasing. Yet, it has been a pleasure and easy read with few surprising turns. Interesting that if we place a timeline, Nalini had set this book in parallel to Rock Addiction where we see Molly and Fox's story. Now I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series.
1. Plot Reveals:
a. Abe has an ex-wife and a bitter past as well.
b. David's family includes - his parents Vincente and Alicia Rivera; his brothers, Zeke and ??? (Nalini doesn’t name the second brother anywhere)
c. Thea's family included - her mother Lily and step-father Wayan, step-sister Molly Webster (shared same father, Molly's father), two own sisters, Marjorie and Ella.
d. More about Noah is told in this plot making me think it is a clean segue into her next plot for Nalini - perhaps a story for Noah.
2. Sub Plots:
a. Members of the Schoolboy Choir Band:
i. Zachary Fox - lead singer. Engaged to be married to Molly Webster. Story told in Rock Addiction.
ii. David Rivera - drummer.
iii. Noah (guitarist of the band)
iv. Abe (the keyboardist)
b. Extended Friends and Family of the Band and their better halves:
i. Justin Chan (Attorney for the band).
ii. Charlotte "Charlie" Baird - Molly's 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. Gabriel Bishop - Charlie's new boss.
iv. Kathleen "Kit" Devingy - famous Hollywood actress, comes with her own share of past that involves a stalker.
c. Charlotte shows interest in her new boss Gabriel Bishop in the first book. So a story of her own in future perhaps by Nalini Singh.
d. Noah is shown to be interested in Kathleen in the first book. Another potential book in future for the series.