Tuesday 26 January 2016

★ Cecilia Tan ★ Taking The Lead ★ #SecretsOfARockstar1 ★

© Bianca Janeane


• release day: 26 January 2016
Secrets of a Rockstar Series #1
• 336 pages
  4 Stars

amazon blurb:

When the rich and famous come out to play, nothing is off-limits . . .

Everyone knows Ricki Hamilton as the icy heiress living in a billion-dollar mansion, high up in the Hollywood Hills. But few realize that behind the gilded gates, Ricki is the mistress of LA's most exclusive private club. A place where no fantasy is forbidden and no one goes unsatisfied-except for Ricki. If she had her way, she'd leave the business behind . . . until she meets the one man with the power to change her mind.

The hottest rock star in the world, Axel Hawke, has the requisite sexy look and bad-boy reputation. Yet even his biggest fans have no clue just how decadently dangerous he can be. From the moment he meets Ricki, he knows there is no other woman who will satisfy him. He can feel the heat hiding beneath her cool demeanor and he's determined to stoke her flame.

Together Ricki and Axel indulge their every desire. The deeper they go, the more she craves. Submitting to Axel opens her eyes, and for the first time Ricki knows exactly what she wants.
All she has to do is take it . . .

goodreads blurb:

The first book in a steamy new rockstar series that will appeal to fans of New York Times bestselling authors Sylvia Day and J. Kenner.

Ricki Hamilton and her sister have just inherited a vast estate in the Hollywood hills. Unfortunately, with that legacy comes the most exclusive club in Hollywood history, a secret BDSM establishment where only the rich and the naughty come to play. Ricki wants nothing to do with this business, and is trying to find ways to get out of having to run it . . . until she meets Axel
a sexy enigmatic rock star who makes her want to submit to needs she didn't know she had.

  Ricki and her sister Gwen are Hollywood royalty.
They inherited their grandfather's billions ...but the weirdest part of their inheritance is their grandpa's beloved secret BDSM sex club. A club where kinky Hollywood A-listers have been living out their fantasies for decades.
Besides trying to keep the club a secret, Ricki is busy working for a film company - she has to work somewhere else for three years, before she can take over her grandfather's movie empire.
No time for relationships.
That's when she meets Axel - Rockstar newcomer with his band The Rough.
Instant attraction. But her friend Sarah thinks Axel might be a possible client for her club. Not the kind of person Ricki is interested in. Or shouldn't be interested in.....

Axel is completely infatuated with this Ice-Queen, a name that doesn't fit her at all, he thinks.
She submits to him and his sexual fantasies, just like she was made for him.
But she can't admit that being submissive what she wants too.

What will happen with Ricki & Axel?
Will there be a kinky Happy Ever After?
Or will there be a horrible Cliffhanger?

I'm not telling you that of course ☺

ok - no Cliffy ☺ it's a standalone romance!!

I really enjoyed the book!

As soon as I read the word #ROCKSTAR in a blurb, I'm in.
Ever since Kellan Kyle, I'm the biggest #RockstarRomanceFangirl.

And I really enjoyed this book, BUT - there were so many things wrong with it too :/
The blurb sounded really interesting: sexy & rockstarish.
But the reality of the story wasn't as amazing as the blurb led me to believe.

I don't really want to get into what I hated, there are lots of points for me that didn't work, but that would be too much to write down, and I don't want to stop future readers from enjoying this book.... so let me tell you what I liked, other than the blurb.
Hm, now that I think about it, I don't know where the 4 stars come from. Because there's much more to hate than to like about this story. But I still give those 4 stars, because it was an okay rockstar-romance.
Lots of sexy and adorable and funny and interesting moments. And I'm excited to see what and who book #2 will be about. Maybe it will be a bit better than the first.

Now that I think about it - maybe I should mention what I hated....it's not that I hated everything about the book - I gave those 4 stars after all. It really had some good parts... ☺

OK, now about the negatives... and please remember that those are MY negatives. Most people probably won't have a problem with most of those things. ☺

The whole Hollywood royalty background could've made the book really amazing. But the way Cecilia did it, it just bubbles along in the background. Could've been anything, anywhere else. It gets a bit better toward the end though....

The worst thing about the book is Axel's name. For me the name Axel is just horrible (no offense intended to all you Axel's out there!) Every time I read that name in the book, I automatically had a 2015 version of Axl Rose in my head....and that is not something you want in your head!!!!!
I can live with Axel's last name: Hawke. I just wish people would've called him that more often.
Also Ricki's name is not a real great heroine name for me :/ Sounds like a boring 1980's person.
Or for german people, Ricki immediately makes you think about the singer in Tic Tac Toe - and how Anke Engelke  - the comedian - always made fun of her!!! Hilarious by the way - you might want to youtube that. ☺

The sex-scenes! I'm a huge fan of sex scenes. I'm even a fan of too many sex scenes. I always hear people complaining about books with too much sex in them...pffff. I like that.
BUT - here - the sex.....
The first two sex scenes. Limo and bathroom sex.
They were just weird. There was nothing sexy about it for me. It wasn't disgusting or anything. But it was weird. Again, it gets a bit better with time.
And the whole BDSM thing. I don't know ... it just doesn't fit this book at all. Even though the main part should be about the secret sex club. But somehow the author just talks about it and the heroine is weirded out about it, even though she grew up with it. It's all so very weird in my opinion.

Axel the Dom!! Ridiculous. The way he talks, or thinks about things. He sounds like a shy 16-year-old high-school GIRL!!! Once the clothes come off, he's a bit the dom, but his weird romantic thoughts are so not dominant!

That brings me to the writing style of Cecilia.
It's my first Cecilia Tan book. And I'm sorry to say, but I don't like the writing.
Cecilia is supposed to be american. And the characters are too - and the story is set in Hollywood. But there are expressions and words in this book that scream british! And I hate that! I don't hate english stories, just british english in american stories!!!

Also, there are too many words in this story. Some good editor should've cut at least 50 pages. There's so much talk about nothing. Redundant repetitions...

But please don't let my weirdness about weird things stop you from enjoying this book.
Every reader has to make up their own mind about books!!!
I just went in with too high hopes. I normally don't do that, because you can only be disappointed that way...but I really hoped this #RockstarRomance would be rockstarish amazing... ☺

 TAKING THE LEAD was a nice, kinky Hollywood Rockstar Romance!
I'm excited to see what and who book #2 will be about!!!

(ok, I might already know that it will be about Ricki's sister and Axel's domish bandmate Mal!!!)

ARC received via Netgalley for an honest review
I admit it - I am the president of the Fictional Band Groupie Slut Club - tell me there is a book about a rock star, and I am there ready to party.
I was excited to get into Taking The Lead - but for me, it just fell flat.  There were just things that to me just felt unnecessary.
Axel just didn't feel the rock star to me.  In the bedroom (or bathroom, or back seat of limo) he came across dom...ish, but other than that, he felt like a lovestruck teenager.
Rickanna - Ricki - just.. what?  The terms of her employment/will were just weird.  The big, bad secret sex club she runs with her sister just didn't feel at all necessary for the story, but we kept getting drawn back there.  We never really find out why Ricki hates it so much, why it weirds her out.
At times (most the times, when she is not having sexy times) Ricki was just.... meh.  She didn't stand out for me.  I wanted to shake her to tell her to snap out of it, her flip-flopping with Axel, do I or don't I got a little tiresome for me.
I feel that there was just too many different storylines in the book - Ricki and Axel, Ricki's mother, the Hollywood movie scene - that is made everything feel a little glossed over. Perhaps some of these things could have been left for another book, or a novella to give us more details.
Now, all these things might just be me, and you might absolutely love these things about our MC's.  It would be a boring world if we all liked the same things.
But for me, Taking The Lead just fell flat.  I wanted to really like it, but instead I just liked it.  The last 20% got better for me which saved it for me.
This is the first Cecelia Tan book I have read, and I will probably read the next book.



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Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. Her BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) won both the 2013 RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence, and Tan herself was awarded the RT Career Achievement Award in Erotic Fiction and the RT Pioneer Award in Genre Fiction for Erotica at the 2015 RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas.
Tan is the author of many books, including the ground-breaking erotic short story collections Black Feathers (HarperCollins), White Flames (Running Press), and Edge Plays (Circlet Press), and the erotic romances Slow Surrender, Slow Seduction, and Slow Satisfaction (Hachette/Forever), The Prince’s Boy (Circlet Press), The Hot Streak (Riverdale Avenue Books), and the Magic University series (Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2004, and won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for Best Fiction in 2010 for her crowdfunded web fiction serial Daron’s Guitar Chronicles.
She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats. Find out more at www.ceciliatan.com.