Total Love. Domestic Discipline. He takes her world firmly in hand…
Alice Grove owes her brother a lot. After all, he adopted her after their parents died and worked several jobs just to keep food on the table. When he asks for her help keeping a musician from the band he manages happy until the end of their tour, Alice is more than willing. She’ll do just about anything to please the enigmatic drummer she’s had a crush on since they were kids.
Andy Steel detests life in the limelight. Touring for weeks on end with no company besides his fellow band members, trashy girls, and an endless supply of booze doesn’t suit his old-fashioned ideals. He aches to have a long-lasting relationship with just one woman–but not just any relationship. He expects obedience inside and outside of the bedroom, and he won’t hesitate to enforce his rules by giving his woman a good spanking. When he meets up with his childhood friend Alice in Chicago, all grown up and aiming to please, Andy knows the heat they generate is something special. Until he hears about Alice’s real reasons for joining the tour, and until she skips town without so much as a good-bye. Andy has no qualms about chasing after her, but he may not like what he discovers along the way.
I really enjoyed this book and thought that it worked really well for the most part.
What brought my enjoyment down (and thus the rating) was the brevity. There was just so much material that the author could have developed to make this into a longer book.
The heroine, Alice, was a bit of a wild child while growing up after her parents died. Her older brother Rich – her guardian and caretaker – was distant so she was watched over by Rich’s friend Andy. Now adults, Rich manages the mega hit rock band comprised of Andy and three other childhood friends.
Andy is “old fashioned.” He is not interested in the party lifestyle of booze and groupies. Since Andy enjoys domestic discipline, he wants to have one woman who he dominates. He thought he’d found that woman recently but she disappeared, taking several hundred dollars from his wallet with her. This severely depresses Andy and magnifies his dislike of being famous, recognizable and on the road. He wants to quit the band and change his life so he can live quietly with a good woman. Rich becomes frantic and calls Alice. He begs her to come on tour with the band for a few weeks to distract Andy from his depression and thoughts of leaving.
And here is where my problems start. The portion with Rich asking for Alice to come visit is one of the few moments that Rich is on page. Even though Alice is on a tight tour bus and ends up sleeping with Andy for weeks…the book mentions no interaction between them (Rich and Alice).
The other members of the band all know Alice well, too. They also watched her grow up. These guys have no words on page at all (IIRC). They are simply mentioned in passing several times – since Andy is in a band. I would have loved the author to explore the possible tension that could evolved as these men watch a much younger Alice get involved with Andy. It would have been impossible to avoid. Andy hoovers over Alice whenever he is not onstage and the tour bus living/sleeping quarters are very tight.
The book is written almost as if Alice and Andy are completely alone all the time. There is very little mention of the concerts that they are playing – they are on tour! – and there’s no mention of how Alice is treated or received by the band members, her brother or any of the other of (what has to be hundreds) of people who would need to be around a tour of a hot rock band. Then there’s the media – or should I say that there’s not the media. It’s never mentioned either. The only thing mentioned is that the groupies who were with the rest of the band members (and Rich) were suspicious of Alice and refused to speak to her.
But as much as I’m complaining about, I have to admit that I really enjoyed this book would definitely recommend it – with the warning about its brevity. The writing felt really “cozy” (if that makes sense in an erotic romance, lol) and felt very close. I loved both of the characters and could see how much they both loved and needed each other. I felt that all of the interaction between Alice and Andy was pretty hot and filled with tension. So my biggest issue is that it was too short. That’s not a bad problem to have as an author. 😉