Best of 2015: Rockstar Romance – Thriller

I apologize that I did not get an award posted yesterday – and I hope anyone who was waiting for it saw my note on the Facebook page.   Unfortunately sometimes things in real life interfere with me getting all the things I would like to accomplish done.   But, we will just continue with the awards as often as we can, and we will take as much time as we need to present all of these fantastic selections.   Every book was picked very carefully on its merits as not only falling into the “Rockstar Romance” genre, but as being a book that truly stands out in any crowd.

The book winning today’s award is rather hard to categorize as beyond the requisite rockstar appearance, it has some paranormal aspects and some definite psychological thriller/suspense elements as well.   I truly adore thrillers, probably at least as much as I love the rockstar related books.   I have read a few that are able to combine the factions, but one in particular truly stands out in every way.   I am proud to present the Best of 2015:  Rockstar Romance with Thriller Elements Award to the very deserving Wild Angel by Shari Copell.

RR - Thriller

Technically, this is the second book in a series, and I do adore the first book, Rock ‘n Tapestries, but I feel Wild Angel can be read as a standalone.   Rock ‘n Tapestries is a pretty quick read though, and it will give you some background that you won’t get just by reading the epic masterpiece Wild Angel.  Wild Angel takes place almost 18 years after the end of Rock ‘n Tapestries – so it is more the story of Nicks Sorensen’s parents and how she came into the world (and some of my favorite side characters of all time –  Willow and Marybeth – I still want a Marybeth in my life.)   Wild Angel is Nicks’ story.  Nicks is an 18 year old high school senior, a shredding guitar player in an up and coming band, and winds up in the middle of one of the most twisted psychological thriller plotlines in my memory.  Oh, and she also has a budding romance with the very hot Stone Jensen, lead guitarist of a rival band.   They both have some freaky stalkerish groupies as well to add a little more drama and thriller qualities to the book, but they are Sesame Street versions in comparison to the main psychological thriller element.   It’s probably obvious that I am stumbling all over myself trying to avoid spoilers yet convince you that this is one of the greatest books I have ever read.   Maybe I should just move on to sharing the synopsis and my review with you.

Wild Angel

New Adult romantic suspense with paranormal elements. Here are the usual warnings about sexual content, naughty language, and there’s also a bit of brutality and violence. I promised you all a happy ending after Rock’n Tapestries though, and I never break a promise. 🙂

“Hello, Pittsburgh! You ready to rock?”

Nicks Sorenson, guitarist extraordinaire for the band Wild Angel, has a lot going on during her last year of high school. In fact, she sometimes wonders if someone has painted a bull’s eye on her forehead.

Stone Jensen, lead guitarist for the band Heavy Remedy, shows up everywhere she plays despite the bad blood between them. The high school principal is targeting her with endless detentions for some reason. And she’s starting to wonder if her mother is losing her mind.

Life soon spins into chaos for the Sorenson family. It began when Nicks learned the name of the dead musician who’d willed her his four guitars. Then came the dreams of a man shrouded in mist. She doesn’t recognize him, but he seems to know her.

As the strange occurrences escalate, Nicks goes on an unexpected—and painful—journey into the past.

She’s about to learn what you don’t know can hurt you.

Author’s Note: I’m trying my best to make this a stand-alone read, but it really will make more sense if you read Rock’n Tapestries first.  (Backstage Books Note:  As I said above, I do believe it can be read as a stand alone, but it won’t hurt to read Rock ‘n Tapestries first.   When I first came across it I read it in one sitting, partially because it is not an epic length, and partially because I absolutely could not put it down, so I won’t dissuade anyone from reading it.)

5 Guitar Small

I really adored the first book in this series; I am totally and completely in love with this follow up. You would not have to read the first as this one takes place almost 19 years after the end of the last one, so while it may help, particularly to have sympathy for Nicks’ mother, it is definitely not a requirement.

As I try to think of what genre to think of this book as, I realize not only is it an enigma in that area, it really has a bit of something for everyone. There is romance, there is coming of age drama, there are touches of paranormal, there are definitely doses of mystery, psychological thriller, and horror. And, last but certainly not least, there are the rock stars.

The 528 pages of this absolutely fly by, and still leave you wanting more. Nicks Sorenson is the daughter born to Chels and Tage at the end of the first book. At almost 19, she is an adult though still in her senior year of high school, and beginning to set the Philadelphia rock scene on fire with her band, Wild Angel. Stone Jensen, guitarist and leader of their biggest rival, Heavy Remedy, turns out to be anything but the jerk Nicks had thought him to be. Creepy interactions with the school’s principal are offset by bringing in a favorite character from the first book, Willow. (And we also get a good dose of Marybeth from the first; everyone needs a Marybeth in their lives. I still want mine at 40!) Love the peeks we get at the four younger siblings in the Sorenson family. The ups and downs of being center stage, and of being in a relationship with someone center stage. Scary stalkers come in both male and female versions in this one.

Still adult reading for the language, sexual situations (though they are toned down from the first book – which at first disappointed me slightly because she writes them so well, but the story proves itself to be fantastic without the detail and will probably appeal to a wider audience based on that) and some violent situations.

It is really hard to write this review without spoilers, but definitely have your tissues ready. Several pages of my copy toward the end are wrinkled from the tear stains (and I am not one known to cry at books.) If the first one made you cry, as I remember several reviewers mentioning, this one will have you bawling. But I’ll give you a slight spoiler that this one has a much happier ending, and the resolution will give you chills of the happy kind.

In summary, 5 stars is nowhere near enough – this one is clear out of the ballpark. Absolutely love it, love the author, and hope that there will be at least a #3 in the series because there are still so many things I would like to know more about.

******

Shari – Congratulations on a well earned award.   I love this book so freaking much and I want everyone else to take the time to get to know and embrace all of these characters, and this amazing story!

 

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