Sunday, July 17, 2016

Book Review for Manhandled by Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott

My name is Faith Keystone, but my friends call me Keys.
I’m the piano player for Hammered.
Did I mention I'm the only female in my band?
That means I technically have five older brothers.
Can't forget my manager and security team, too.
Alone time is nonexistent.
I escaped an overbearing family to join this happy circus, and most of the time it's awesome. 
Except now, because of one teensy little incident at a show.
Now I have this hulking bodyguard shadowing me like a freaking puppy.
Only this puppy is more like a Doberman with an attitude problem.
And he only knows one word—NO.
I hate that word.
And I hate Quinn Alexander.
The one thing I do like is giving him the slip. Is it wrong that I kinda like when he growls at me after he finds me?
Because he always finds me.
Worst of all? I want him so bad that I keep forgetting I hate him.


After reading the first installments in the Hammered series (Book 1Book 1.5), and becoming captivated by the sexy and compelling members of this rock band, I knew I had to come back for more. When it comes to rockstars you always think of the glamour and decadence of their lifestyle, but in this story there's a bit of danger and suspense courtesy of a crazed fan who feels a familial bond to Hammered's female keyboardist, Faith "Keys" Keystone. To keep her safe, a bodyguard with some emotional baggage of his own, is brought in and the two of them are soon butting heads in a sensual tug-of-war. Before long they're butting more than heads in a burgeoning relationship that has him feeling conflicted and out of control and her on edge and afraid to admit her true feelings. Keys isn't the only one whose life is in chaos as Reed "Bats" appears to be spiraling further out of control over Hunter's ex, Victoria. He's secretive, is often missing, and it's causing a widening rift between him and the rest of the band. With his actions still unexplained and an exciting and jaw-dropping confrontation between Keys, her crazed fan, and Quinn in the last few pages of this book, readers will be on the edge of their seats and breathless for more.

Keys is a bundle of energy, open and kindhearted to their fans. She lives her life without fear, sharing every facet as she sees only the best in people. Music is her life, and the boys of Hammered her family, and she's only truly happy when she's surrounded herself with these favorite things. Having Quinn in her life is stifling early on and the fear he engenders in her is disillusioning. Despite all that she can't help being drawn to his intensity and longs to ruffle his feathers in a subtle seduction that tempts him at every turn. From start to finish Keys is an immensely appealing character, larger than life, and her connection to Quinn crackles with sensuality. I was captivated by their combustible yet playful interactions and their occasional desperate encounters never let you forget that there's a crazed fan who wants to hurt Faith.

Quinn's a strong-willed and loyal man who's been a friend of Hunter's brother since their military years and who now works for him in the security business. He likes order and routine and butts heads with Keys the moment he meets her in a connection teeming with sexual tension. Quinn's immediately tempted by her but he's got some emotional baggage holding him back that adds to his control issues and it's Faith's support and open honesty that finally cracks his emotional wall and sets them on a path to HEA. Quinn's rugged and sexy but extremely serious and very opposite in his personality to Keys, but I enjoyed them together and the balancing out their different personalities brought their relationship. I enjoyed her earning his rare smiles and I enjoyed him going outside his comfort zone to show his love as those three little words were hard for him to say.

This was a nice addition to the series with a delightful pairing of two very different personalities. The fear the stalker creates is always bubbling beneath the surface but their identity is never revealed outright and I wish it had been someone close to the band as that would've had greater impact. The romance between Quinn and Faith starts out slowly but the more time they spend together the more tempting they are to each other and the more scorching their encounters become. As Quinn enjoys control over his clients so too does he enjoy control in his interludes with Faith which has him taking on a more dominant role in scenes bordering on bdsm-lite. While Quinn and Faith are the heart of this story I loved seeing Faith and Owen's friendship and their playful encounters that give a hint to deeper feelings on his part that he'll never act on as she only sees him in a brotherly light. The other band mates also made appearances to further stress Reed's ever-increasing erratic behavior and the affect it's having on all of them. It's a mystery that intrigues me and has me hating Victoria more and more. When the last page is turned I feel satisfied yet longing for more of the deliciously sexy men of Hammered and am counting down the days until the sensual Irishman, Owen, takes center stage.

My rating for this is an A-

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

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