(Rock-Hard Beautiful, #1)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
“Can one of these five rockstars fill the hole in my heart? Or will I stay broken forever?”
Young, dumb, and broke.
That’s what started everything. With five dollars in her pocket, and everything she owns stuffed in the back of her car, Lilith Goode’s life is over. Done. Destroyed.
Ten words. One text. That’s what it took to change the whole world.
A crumpled concert ticket. A chance encounter. That’s what it takes to start all over again.
Five rockstars. One girl. Six dark hearts, six withered souls.
But can one broken person really put another back together again?
C.M. Stunich is a self-admitted bibliophile with a love for exotic teas and a whole host of characters who live full time inside the strange, swirling vortex of her thoughts. Some folks might call this crazy, but Caitlin Morgan doesn’t mind – especially considering she has to write biographies in the third person. Oh, and half the host of characters in her head are searing hot bad boys with dirty mouths and skillful hands (among other things). If being crazy means hanging out with them everyday, C.M. has decided to have herself committed.
She hates tapioca pudding, loves to binge on cheesy horror movies, and is a slave to many cats. When she’s not vacuuming fur off of her couch, C.M. can be found with her nose buried in a book or her eyes glued to a computer screen. She’s the author of over thirty novels – romance, new adult, fantasy, and young adult included. Please, come and join her inside her crazy. There’s a heck of a lot to do there.
Oh, and Caitlin loves to chat (incessantly), so feel free to e-mail her, send her a Facebook message, or put up smoke signals. She’s already looking forward to it.
Usually, reverse harem romances aren’t my thing. (The best sentence I’ve written for a review, ever.) When it comes to real life situations, I truly prefer monogamy overall. However, when it comes to the action within the pages of C.M. Stunich’s Groupie, I didn’t mind it at all. The way the scenes are presented in the book makes this rockstar scenario almost…desirable. However, I had a few gripes about the rest of the story that made me lose a bit of the buy-in, despite the steaminess.
The first of a series of rockstar reverse harem romances, Groupie follows Lilith Goode, a young woman who’s recently found herself unemployed, homeless, and orphaned after dad passes. Through a chance meeting in the parking lot of a concert by rock band Beauty in Lies, Lilith finds herself a semi-permanent fixture on the band’s tour bus. However, it’s almost impossible to live in such close quarters with sexy, sultry men such as those in the band and not want to take a tumble in the sheets. But with such physical closeness comes the emotional vulnerability, too. Lilith’s got her own problems to handle; can she handle that of five total strangers?
Look, this book teeters on the whole “porn without plot” thing, so I’m going to talk about the porn first. Hope y’all are okay with that.
As mentioned previously, reverse harems generally do not get me excited as a genre. There are a lot of physical complications that can arise (heh) from trying to finagle the positioning of five bodies in that kind of situation, let alone writing about finagling the positioning of five bodies. However, I must say that Stunich did a great job during these scenes to make it believable, like it was something easy that everyone could just get down and do on the regular. (If they were into that sort of thing, of course.) Granted, not all of the sex scenes in this book are group sex — there’s a lot of one-on-one action that occurs that definitely, uh, inspired me in my real life. I also generally worry, in these books, that it’s going to list way more into the “woman is degrading herself” territory, but often, Lilith was the one in control of the whole scene. That far exceeded my expectations.
When it came to the blossoming relationships between Lilith and some of her boys, I really enjoyed that Stunich made an effort to make sure her characters developed real, substantial bonds. Some of these bonds were easily created rather than others, but there was always a sense of respect and admiration between Lilith and any other member of the band. These weren’t always just folks fuckin’ for the sake of fuckin’ — there was emotion behind it that made these characters feel far more tangible, and I enjoyed that.
What I did not enjoy, however, were a few plot points that felt extremely convoluted. While the whole premise in itself is contrived (come on, a whole band just deciding that they’re going to adopt a live-in groupie after she wins a contest?), there were other elements that made me roll my eyes. The band manager trying to sabotage Lilith’s every action? The stereotypical evil step-mom with a ton of random contempt for her step-daughter with no real reasoning as to why? Evil ex-boyfriend conveniently showing up across the country and being abusive? I know this is a romance novel and the whole genre is pretty hokey, but even those elements are so ridiculously overplayed, they’re predictable.
Another, smaller thing that made me feel weird was this habit of Lilith’s to switch into omniscient mode at the end of the chapter to allude to events that would happen later in the book. There’s foreshadowing by subtly weaving in some hints as to what may happen, and then there’s foreshadowing by straight up announcing “AND LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT I’D HAVE ALL FIVE OF THEM BY THE END OF THE TOUR.” at the end of one of the first two chapters. Don’t do that, don’t talk down to your readers; we knew she’d be fuckin’ them all when we picked up the book.
Overall, Groupie is definitely a heavy dose of rockstar wish fulfillment, which isn’t a bad thing! It’s filled with some boiling-hot scenes between some attractive folks that are almost necessary for readers to slip into when they just want an escape from their everyday lives. Who doesn’t want that? But what the book gains in awesome NSFW scenes, it loses in some aspects of the storytelling. I have to give it credit, though: who reads these books for the storytelling?
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