Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Tour for Back to Good by Laura Benson (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of rock star romances I was excited by the premise of this book, and its roller coaster of emotions that kept me on edge from the first page to the last, which has me wanting to celebrate its release with you today.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Back to Good by Laura Benson, along with my impressions of it, then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this angst-fueled romance make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win one of five signed copies of this book too!

Charlotte Banks (Charlie) is newly graduated from college and working in public relations. She is given a case that is just a bit too close to the heart. Joey Carino is a rock god, but now with his life spinning out of control, it's up to Charlie to try and save his reputation with his record label and his fans. However, dealing with Joey means dealing with Matthew Johns, Joey's best friend and Charlie's worst nightmare.



As a reader obsessed with rock star romances there are a few elements I always look for when choosing which book to read while applauding those few authors who forge some unexpected paths.  With Back to Good there was the expected angst when past lovers reunite, along with glimpses of the downside of fame, but from there Ms. Benson took a dramatic turn that left me frustrated, a bit angry, but applauding nonetheless.  Throw in a heroine whose actions left me conflicted, along with the two sexy men fighting over her like a dog with a bone and you end with a twisty read that kept me on edge, turning the pages furiously to see what would happen next.

Charlie was once the love of Joey Carino's life until long distances and his burgeoning fame, with all its inherent vices, tore them apart.  When she's unexpectedly brought back into his life as his record label's new publicist though, old feelings and anger are dredged up in a complicated connection made more volatile by a close friend.  While Charlie still cares for Joey she's frightened by the changes the rock star world has wrought on him leading to lots of heart-rending angst and moments of weakness on her part.  Her emotions are in further disarray by her unexpected attraction to Matthew, Joey's life-long friend and manager, and nemesis to Charlie while she was dating Joey. It all makes for a frustrating love triangle that put all of them in a bad light at one time or another.  Charlie especially made me angry as I felt she was leading both of them on, showing a sexual interest in both while finding excuses to justify her actions.  In her work world she was strong-willed while she was a bit immature when it came to feelings which added more unnecessary melodrama when it came to the romance.

The two men in her life further complicated things as they were both sexy and commanding and I can understand why she's torn between the two.  History and sentimentality draws her to Joey while her battles with Matthew crackle with sexual tension.  Joey and Matthew are long-time friends who have enjoyed the vices of rock star living but for Joey it's becoming too much.  The drug use and women are tarnishing his image and jeopardizing his career but it's clear he's lost and lonely and seeing Charlie again gives him hope in all his attempts to get her back.  Matthew has always had a thing for Charlie but her being with his best friend had him lashing out and hurting her feelings through the deeds he did when they were younger.  He's all grown up now and tempts her every chance he gets leading to a few very scorching encounters.  Both men have issues that make her leery and doubt their ability to commit as the rock star life makes it far too easy to indulge in sex and drugs, which Ms. Benson doesn't shy away from.  Matthew's emotions were intense, when he raged spit flew and when he cared he was endearing.  When he loved it was erotic with bits of dirty talk alongside his usual commanding nature.  When he was hurt though he tended to withdrawal which made his burgeoning romance with Charlie difficult to define.  In contrast Joey was charming, playful, and outgoing with sensuality oozing out of every pore.  He wore his emotions on his sleeve when it came to Charlie which left him lost, lonely, and hurting and I was sympathetic to his pain.  I longed to learn his inner thoughts and see more than just those few flashes of joy when Charlie was nearby.  Learning about Charlie and Matthew was heartbreaking for him and had him spiraling out of control towards a conclusion that had my jaw hitting the floor.  It's definitely a rocky road to HEA when it's these two men fighting for Charlie's heart!

This was a steamy read full of angst, a lot of it unnecessary in my opinion as Charlie needed to be more decisive and honest in her well as drinking a lot less.  Her attempts in proving she could handle her ex just led to more heartache and frustration unfortunately.  The dual temptation of Joey and Matthew would give any girl fits though as both are sexy and drool-worthy. Neither are perfect men by any means as they've both let fame corrupt them at certain points.  The rock star world is vividly depicted with all its carnality and demonizing drug use which further immersed me in the story and had my heart breaking for Joey even more when witnessing how far he's fallen.  For the most part I found this a captivating romance but my issues with Charlie dimmed my overall enjoyment and had me pulling out my hair at times.  The narrative too is a bit rough around the edges with a big reveal never being fully addressed. Ultimately Ms. Benson didn't pull any punches and amped up the melodrama through some unexpected twists and turns that led to a heart-rending conclusion that too easily solved Charlie's problems. Overall though it was a memorable read that shows great promise for Ms. Benson's future works.

My rating for this is a B-/C+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Laura Benson was born in 1968, during a year of terrible strife.
She is a wife and the mother of two daughters, one stepson, and the grandmother of precocious 8- month old. With Two basset hounds and the Arizona dust, she can't seem to keep her floors clean.
Her penchant for wine has gotten her into more than trouble than necessary. Especially when she is with her friends.
Originally from Massachusetts, she made her way out west in 2013 and hasn't looked back. The lack of blizzards is big bonus to living in Arizona.
She started as a blogger in 2008, attended many book conventions and author signings and is ready for this new part of her life.


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  1. I don't read a lot of rock star romances but I do enjoy them.

  2. I appreciate your review and know my sister would enjoy this read. Thank You!