If you know me IRL, then you know that in the past 6 months I’ve somehow become the go-to for “romantic erotica” books. I guess my openness to discussing 50 Shades of Gray has led me to this role – with friends and book publishers alike sending me titles to read and review. While I’ve mentioned a few here and there, I still hesitate to really go into details, but every once in awhile I come across a book or series that I think really deserves recognition.
Months ago I came across the book Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour #1) by Olivia Cunning, while actually searching for something else on iBooks. I ended up downloading it and WOAH-MY-GOD, it makes Christian Grey look downright virginal.
One of the reviews on Goodreads actually says “How much sex can one get into a book?” A question I found myself asking a few times. I’m not even sure what type of research this author did to be able to come up with some of these scenarios. But sex aside (which is hard to put aside with this book), I enjoyed all the books in this series because at their core, they are well-written, heart tugging, love stories.
The Sinners on Tour series chronicles a (fictional) famous, heavy metal rock band as they each individually find love and relationships in ways that work for them as individuals. While each book follows a different member of the 5-person band, the book’s point-of-views switch back and forth during the stories, showing the emotions of both (or in one case, *spoiler* all 3) of the main characters in the book. Each of the characters battle with past issues, intense emotions and the struggle of how to create a future while on tour.
The best part about these books is that I genuinely have grown to like each of the characters. While towards the end of other books you want to scream “If you can’t stop fighting just break the hell up!!!” in these books I found myself rooting for the characters to make it work. Yes, a few of the plot lines got a little silly, but if we’ve learned anything from Downton Abbey, it’s that one group of people can suffer through disaster after disaster in fictional situations.
One note – if you end up reading the whole series - read them 1, 2, 4 and then 3. For some reason the publisher released them in a different order than they were written.
If you are not sure you want to dedicate the time, or you want to see if this type of book appeals to you, Cunning also has recently released a few novellas of similar note in a series called “One Night With Sole Regret,” which highlights one (hot, steamy) night in each of the members of (another) rock group called Sole Regret. These short stories give you all the sex with not a lot of that fancy plot or character development crap - pretty much JUST enough of it to not make it read like a cheesy porno.
So tease up your hair, put on a mini-skirt and relive your high-school fantasy of falling in love with a rock star and get to reading.