Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Review of Tell Me by Olivia Cunning

He had planned a perfect weekend for her…
Gabriel “Force” Banner has been unable to get a certain sexy accountant out of his head. Sole Regret’s inventive drummer has created big plans to keep sweet Melanie entertained all weekend long. Unfortunately, Melanie arrives for their rendezvous with a bit of baggage that just might ruin their fun.
She didn’t mean to make things difficult…
Melanie wouldn’t blame Gabe if he left her at the airport with her bit of baggage, but he’s determined to make their limited time together work. When they leave behind the bustle of New Orleans and the rock ‘n’ roll scene to visit his serene oasis outside of Austin, Texas, their romantic weekend seems to be back on track. But life has a way of butting in at the worst possible times.
Can they learn how to support each other in the face of adversity or will reality destroy their budding relationship before it even takes flight?


As a fan of Ms. Cunning's other rock star series of books I was immediately drawn to this series and taken on a rollercoaster ride of differing degrees of satisfaction throughout each of the installments so far.  This book left me equally torn as there were some great moments between the main characters and their crackling chemistry, with other moments leaving me irritated, mainly concerning the secondary characters of Lindsey and Nikki.

This story reunites Gabe and Melanie for a weekend of sexual delights and to see if their initial attraction can become something longer lasting.  After a rocky start due to Melanie's friend Nikki and her constant neediness, the two head off to the countryside to indulge in numerous erotic encounters and a sharing of intense emotions. There's a nice balance of steamy interludes and heartfelt talks during this section of the story as we learn about Gabe's sole regret which is truly heartbreaking and rears its ugly head when an accident befalls his beloved dog.  We get to see the non-famous side of Gabe which is just as charming and sexy as his on-stage persona.  We see a loving man happy to be seen for who he truly is inside as opposed to what he does for a living.  We also get to meet his parents who are endearing and who further show his average Joe personality with their typical parental meddling ways.  These moments of laid back happiness and scorching sexuality come grinding to a halt courtesy of the increasingly annoying Nikki who has once again been hurt and needs Melanie to make everything better.  Her issues and neediness cause the story to veer off into over-the-top misunderstandings and ruin the happy vibe the story had going.  Ultimately this speed bump brings them closer together in a conclusion leaning towards happiness that will change the band even more in future installments.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gabe and Melanie together and their time in the countryside was both sweet and super sexy.  Gabe is immensely hot, charming, and incredibly caring towards those he cares about.  He wants nothing more than Melanie and knows she's "the one" and seeks to prove it to her using many of his sexually satisfying toys.  Melanie left me conflicted in her dealings with Nikki.  Melanie's extremely caring and feels obligated to keep Nikki safe after all the horrors she endured as a child.  Melanie's smart but dumb when it comes to being manipulated by Nikki.  She lets herself be walked all over and almost ruins her relationship with Gabe because of Nikki's machinations.  In her interactions with Nikki she shows herself to be weak-willed and it's when I'm the most irritated with her.  When with Gabe she's carefree and playful and after everything Nikki puts her through she deserves every moment of happiness she can get.

Unfortunately other women in this story are shown in equally poor light.  Nikki is reckless and puts herself in positions where she can get hurt.  She's manipulative and cares only for herself and the attention she gleans for being flamboyant and I cringed every time she came on the scene.  She chases after men who don't want her for more than a moment and her over-the-top melodrama got in the way of my enjoyment of this story.  The equally grasping Lindsey returns again, clinging to Owen in hopes of convincing everyone that he's the father of her baby.  She's just as annoying as Nikki and I wanted to scream when she came on the scene demanding attention with one rub of her large pregnant belly.  These two characters single-handedly brought this story down from the pleasantly entertaining story it was whenever they weren't around.  I'm at a loss as to why Ms. Cunning continues to include these toxic characters in this series, but until they vanish permanently, this series will always be inferior to her Sinners on Tour series.  Ignoring their existence I enjoyed Gabe and Melanie's evolving romance and the heartfelt moments they shared nicely alongside some super sweaty scenes.  Even with my exasperation this is still a series I'm obsessed with as these rockers are to die for and I look forward to their continuing journey towards individual happiness.....and for Lindsey and Nikki getting kicked to the curb!

My rating for this is a C+

*I bought this with my own money for my personal bookshelf.

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