Best of 2015: Rockstar Romance Trilogy

As promised, the categories are going to be pretty random – I had this one up on the screen ready to go after I completed updating what I wanted the awards to look like, so tonight we are presenting the best Rockstar Romance Trilogy.

Congratulations Marisa Oldham for the Falling Series!   Books 2 (The Falling of Grace)  and 3 (The Falling of Hope) were both published in 2015 and both were amazing (as well as the first book, The Falling of Love.)  I did actually read a number of Rockstar Trilogies this year – 3 seems to be a good number for telling stories I guess, even if I don’t fully understand the power of 3.   But I will admit this was an easy choice for me – it would be much harder for me to have to pick a single book in the series as my favorite  (No, Marisa, I simply will not – can not – do it.)   Never has a series of books touched me the way this did – sometimes I had to wonder if the author had somehow spied on my life the way certain parts came out.  The entire series is and emotional rollercoaster – I would have to say that The Falling of Grace, the second book in the trilogy, is probably the worst for toying with the emotions and going up, down, back, forth and round and round but there is no book in the series that doesn’t do some of that.   It is real and can be gritty, but can also be top of the world, and fate winds its cursed way through it as well.   Yes, there are rockstars – plenty of rockstars to go around (but keep your hands off Jaden.  I want Jaden!   LOL) Oh, and the sex scenes, though the books are far from being pure erotica, are written fantastically.   The series follows Grace Hathaway from high school, when she first falls for Rock ‘n Roll “bad boy” Ian Taylor (honestly, especially when she falls for him, he’s not that bad…) through her early thirties.   I feel I will give too much away if I say much more about it – no book in the series stands alone so you have to read them all (However, you can get started with The Falling of Hope for free…http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B00CHYP9ZI/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1452225542&sr=1-3&keywords=marisa+oldham or I just noticed you can pick up the entire series for just $5.98 http://www.amazon.com/Falling-3-Book/dp/B01A0UNMRM/ref=sr_1_1_ha?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1452225542&sr=1-1&keywords=marisa+oldham) – Whatever, just read them.   I can’t say enough good things about them.

Marisa, my dear, congratulations!

Trilogy

I suppose I should include my reviews here as well, if only so you can see the beautiful covers, which, by the way, the author shot herself.   She once had another life as a fashion photographer.   She does a great job with everything she shoots, but to keep the covers for this series flowing so beautifully was a job in and of itself, and I wanted to be sure and give her some kudos for those as well.

TFOL

Fantastic Potential in Author’s Debut Novel, January 14, 2015

Hmmm….I am honestly struggling with this review, as I did through at least the first half of this book. I picked this up wanting to absolutely love it, and by the end I think I did. I am definitely anxious to read The Falling of Grace, the next book in the series, and cannot wait for its upcoming release.

This is a coming of age/first love story of a good girl(family oriented, too responsible for her age, honor roll, cheerleader) falling hard for a bad boy (long haired, rockstar dreams, rough around the edges, tough home life) with a heart of gold. Sounds a bit cliche, but the story truly isn’t. The storyline throughout is honestly very good. Every time I would start to think it a bit ridiculous, I cringe to think of myself at that age and my long haired rockstar wannabe bad boys whose hearts were much more tarnished than Ian’s. Perspective definitely helped me see that this is exactly the kind of fairytale I craved at 17, and the darker parts of the book reflected closer to my realities with still a sweeter spin.

Keep in mind when reading this that it is the author’s debut novel. The author herself recommended to me that I read a more recent novella of hers in advance of reading this one, and now I understand a bit more why. She is really growing as a writer and finding her voice. Though the storyline held my interest throughout, I was a bit frustrated with at least the first third of the book. *** I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what the issues were, but the writing style seemed a bit off and I spotted a number of grammatical and/or editing errors. I am mentioning these mostly to encourage other readers not to give up, as the story is fantastic and whatever was missing early on is found later in the book. The overall flow gets better and better the further you get into it, and it definitely becomes a page turner that you wouldn’t want to put down if you could find yourself able to.

***  I want to make a note now, almost a year later, that a lot of it was my mood at the time I first read it, and a bit of it was getting used to Marisa’s style.  It is a bit unique and I suppose it does take a minute to get used to.  I always meant to go back and update the review, especially after I reread it, but since I never did, this is what you get.  I will also note, that parts that seem a bit slow as you are reading are some of the parts you truly need to pay attention to, because Marisa is the queen of slipping little things in that later become huge pieces of the storyline.  As an avid reader of hers, and frequent beta reader for her, I know there are times I am getting impatient with her about certain things – not once have I finished one of her books and thought I was right and she was wrong…just hang in there, she has reasons for everything she writes, and they totally pay off in the end.

I want to mention there are many fantastic supporting characters in addition to the hero and heroine, several who could definitely star in their own spinoffs and have me first in line to read, after The Falling of Grace, because Ms. Oldham left us on one heck of a cliffhanger at the end of this one! In some ways I am very glad that I only recently discovered her and this book so I don’t have to wait as long for the next book in the series! Ian and Gracie are not characters that will quickly leave my mind, and I can’t wait to see where she takes them next.

For adult audiences only for explicit sexual situations, drug use and abusive situations.

One other side note, I would like to thank the author for not having a pregnancy pop up anywhere in the story this far for the heroine. While I understand why romance authors often include pregnancies I am really appreciating romances without them, and especially in ones with already complicated storylines. Thank you!!

Overall, in the end, this is a great book and I will be recommending it. Now, what is the release date for The Falling of Grace again? Can I preorder it yet? 🙂

TFOG

2015’s NA Romance of the Year!!, January 27, 2015

(Okay, maybe I made my prediction a little early in the year, but I will stand by it was definitely top 5 material even as I read about 100 more books after it in 2015….)

I was honored to be a beta reader on this sequel to The Falling of Love, and I am honestly blown away by it. Marisa’s writing style has really grown and she has found her voice, loud and strong.

This is not a stand alone, so be sure and read The Falling of Love first. Then grab a box of tissue, and a bottle of Dramamine, (a case of wine and a bottle of Xanax may be helpful as well) because you will be on an emotional rollercoaster ride from the first page to the last.

The Falling of Love ends with Ian showing up at Grace’s table at a cafe in Paris, 5 years after she has last had any contact with him. Obviously we have already boarded the rollercoaster as we start this journey. Ms. Oldham does an incredible yet realistic job of portraying all the emotions that hit Grace after all this time. As the book synopsis alludes to, she finds a way to let him back in, but the fates don’t plan for happily ever after to last long for this couple, no matter how intense the chemistry is between the two.

This begins a downward spiral for Grace which not even her best friend, Jaden, or her sister, Michelle, can save her from herself. The depths of depravity she finds will shock and sicken you, but again, it all is almost too realistic. Marisa has given all of her characters such depth and personality they truly feel like people you have known for years, shared the joys and sorrows with, rather than just words on paper (or your screen in this digital age.)

And just what is Ian’s side of the story? Have he and Grace grown up enough to improve their communication skills? How does Grace’s behavior affect him?

But it is not all doom and gloom. Rollercoasters have highs and lows and there are many heartouching good times as well. Again, so realistic, and as in life, sometimes it storms and sometimes the sun shines brightly.

Once again, Marisa leaves us with a major cliffhanger – I am already antsy for the publication of book 3! I am so wrapped up in all of these fantastically flawed characters she has created and shared with us.

For adults only for explicit sexual situations, violence, drug usage.

Very highly recommended. I will be first in line for anything she writes, she has that kind of rare ability to suck me. In whatever the subject matter may be.

TFOH

I Refuse to Say Goodbye, August 28, 2015

I was very honored to be asked to be a beta reader for the final book in this trilogy, but I have been finding it difficult to write the review for a number of reasons. I read several books a week, and generally review everything I read, so why am I struggling with this one? The most likely theory is because I have simply become too attached.

The simple part is the stars – easily at least 6 stars, but since this site will only give me a maximum of 5, I guess I will have to settle for that.

From the trilogy’s start with The Falling of Love, continuing the emotional roller coaster ride through The Falling of Grace and now to the conclusion in The Falling of Hope, I have watched these characters grow, as well as had the joy to watch Marisa’s talents as an author grow as well. I mention all three books to point out that they are not stand alones; they do need to be read in order. I will also mention that these are three full length novels – you are not being teased along to shell out another $3 for another 100 pages. I don’t blame authors who do that, but I know it angers many readers. If you are just discovering this series, I want you to know that is not what you are getting into here.

So what are you getting? You are getting a very real story of love, loss, growth, struggles, pain and joy, from the time Grace and Ian meet in high school as idealistic teenagers through very realistic ups and downs of life into their 30’s, all told in the unique, prosaic voice that is Ms. Oldham’s style. I have become attached to these characters like no others I have ever read. They have become so much more to me than characters confined to the pages of a book, or books, that fade away when the last page is read and I move on to my next literary escape. Therein lies the crux of my struggle to review; I simply am not ready to say goodbye and move on.

As far as The Falling of Hope itself, I will have to say that it is my favorite book in the series. The author’s growth as an author truly shines and, as a fangirl, I have to say it is her best work yet. The emotional rollercoaster is not quite as bumpy of a ride as it was in The Falling of Grace, but that certainly isn’t to say this is all sunshine and roses. The maturity of the characters is quite evident, in soul searching (and sometimes soul crushing) ways. I don’t want to give away any of the storyline at all, because there is such beauty in all of it.

One thing I will point out that I found particularly brilliant and moving, are the many tie-ins to the first (and second) book(s). It is a lovely way to show that while the characters have grown and changed, and been to hell and back, they still retain some of that sweet innocence of the time when we first met them. It is woven perfectly to bring closure and to show how things in our lives can come full circle.

As with the other books in the series, it is for mature audiences only, for language, drug abuse and explicit sexual situations. Tissue warning as well since Ms. Oldham thrives on playing with readers emotions.

I still refuse to say goodbye.

5 Guitar Small

Obviously, I give the entire series 5 Guitars.   And I still refuse to say goodbye.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s