Sunday, March 12, 2017

Book Spotlight on Beautiful Mess by Kasey Lane (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a reader obsessed with rock star romances I was immediately drawn to the deliciously tatted-up drummer who tries to rekindle the connection he once had with a woman who seems his exact opposite.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of Beautiful Mess by Kasey Lane, with its scorching romance weighed down by parental judgements and self-doubts, while learning my impressions of it before adding it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this second installment in the Rock 'n' Ink series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 3 copies of the first book in this series too!

When attorney Jami Dillon strides into the conference room to meet her new client, she’s stopped in her tracks by an all-too familiar figure. Jackson Paige. He’s her tall, tattooed, and sexy as hell hook up from law school—who also broke her heart.
Hell’s bells.
Jackson Paige was, in fact, Jax Pain, the drummer of Manix Curse.
That thing in Jami’s chest tightened, making it hard to breathe.
Jackson Paige, aka Jax Pain, has worked hard to put that unfor-frickin-gettable fling behind him and the nasty secret that made him leave her. Truth is, life as the playboy drummer of Portland’s hottest metal band hasn’t helped him to forget the fiery, sexy woman who stole his heart. Lucky for him, Jami was just hired as his band’s new attorney. But when he sees the look on her face when she realizes who her new client is, Jax wonders if maybe being this close to her again isn’t such a great idea. The explosive chemistry is there, but so are the dark secrets…


And for once she didnt resist as he dragged her into the back part of the house where he knew there was a guest bedroom and en suite bathroom. She didnt pull away when he tugged her into the empty room and pushed her up against the closed door. Instead she dropped that annoying in-control mask she wore like a shield every day, and she smiled. It was small, but it was a real smile. The kind where cartoon animals started singing and butterflies circled around their heads. Zip-a-dee-fucking-do-dah-day.
You still have a thing for pushing me up against doors, Jackson."
When his already hard dick somehow grew harder at the way she called him by his given name, he realized he must really be a sick fucker. Because he got hard, like concrete, as the image of the last time hed had her up against her bedroom door flitted through his brain. They had finished studying for an exam she had the next day and stopped for bagels and coffee. Halfway back across the Oregon State campus to her apartment, the sky had opened up and dumped buckets on them. He’d caught sight of the wet T-shirt molded to her curvy breasts, and their waterlogged breakfast had been forgotten on the entryway floor.
Flashes of legs wrapped around his waist, pulling him, fingers kneading his damp shoulders, teeth biting her neck. Her cry as she came all around his cock. Fuck. How had he let all that fall apart?
“So why me and not one of the dozen or so women following you around today?"
He snorted. She was jealous. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that kiss. Now hands above your head, sunshine.She started to say something. Then her eyes grew wild and her mouth fell open, her body unable to resist the familiar command. She hesitated, a look of vulnerability flitting across her face. Try to trust me."
When she scrunched her brows and tilted her head, he smiled and cupped her cheek. “Trust me for now. Please."
He could sense the quiet battle going on in her busy head. She was listing the pros and cons as well as every possible outcome to every scenario. Her big brain was always burning bright, which was why he loved the challenge of getting her to stop thinking and just feel.
Dont think, do."
She sighed deeply, maybe giving in to the battle in her head. Slowly her fingers crawled up his abs and over his chest, each tap of her fingertips burning through his T-shirt and straight to his cock. He loved it when she let go and gave in. When she lifted her hands from his chest and clasped them over her head against the door, he was simultaneously filled with regret at losing her touch and relief that she had allowed him back in. Then she dropped her eyes. Slightly, but enough to send him the consent he needed.
So many years passed, and yet they could still communicate without words.
His hands traced her hips and small waist before he dragged his hands up, outlining her ribs through the soft material of her dress. He caressed her curves as his thumbs grazed her nipples, sweeping back and forth against the hard buds he could feel tightening through her sundress. With one hand he reached up and gripped her thin wrists. With the other he kneaded one ample breast, marveling at how perfect her tits were for his hands.
Her hips jutted and pushed against him. God, he wanted to lift her up and take her against that damn door. But he wouldnt do that here, even if he sure as hell wanted to. Hed already messed with her head enough for one day.
Jami, Im not having sex with you."
Her face dropped. Why not?"
He lifted her chin with his finger and dropped a quick kiss on her nose. Because we’re at an engagement party."
Oh my God, I hate you so much right now. She pouted, her plump bottom lip poking out. That was new. “We could just forget the past for right now and hump like bunnies. We can deal with the regret tomorrow.” She pressed her hips into his.
Yeah? He smiled.
“Nope.” She huffed and pulled her chin from his fingersWithout warning, he picked her up.
She squealed, laughing. What are you doing?"
Taking the edge off, he said as he placed her on the daybed against the wall and spread her legs wide. Reaching for the elastic band on her lace panties, he laughed, Thank God you wore a dress.



After reading the first installment in the Rock 'n' Ink book series I couldn't wait to return to the world of Manix Curse with the band's tattooed rockers looking for love.  In this story of opposites attracting Ms. Lane not only beautifully balances the sweet and sexy romance but also addresses the issue of domestic violence in a respectful yet deeply affecting way.  It all adds up to a compelling read with a delicious drummer who claimed my heart and a frustrating at times heroine trying to find herself.

Jackson Paige came from a family of money who expected him to be a good boy and become a lawyer to aid in their political aspirations.  What Jackson wanted though was to create art which made school a lonely place to be until he found Jami Dillon.  Their month-long relationship changed both of their lives irrevocably but her parent's machinations, and his belief that he's not good enough for her, had him vanishing without a word.  Fate drove him further away from her and towards a life of art and music, a music career that has his band on the cusp of fame.  Fate intervenes once again though by bringing Jami back which gives him the chance to make things up to her and claim her as he always wanted to in a story of putting the past behind you and fighting for your own HEA.  Jackson's a sexy beast, with his tatted-up body and sensual smirk, and I couldn't help being drawn to him.  He's flirty and a master at dirty talk which had me blushing during some of his and Jami's erotic encounters.  He's the quintessential book boyfriend for always saying the right thing and is quick to be there for Jami when she needs support.  He knows he let fear rule him their first time around but he's all-in now and proclaims his love loudly and often which endeared him to me.  He embraced the possibilities of what they could be as opposed to her, who felt their love was fleeting which left me frustrated by her oftentimes.

Jami Dillon's home life was one of towing the line, constant criticism, and fear of repercussions as her wealthy parents always found fault with her and her brother.  Her attraction to the inappropriate Jackson, followed by a painful and emotionally scarring relationship with another, brought her to a very low point that changed her completely.  Her once lively personality morphed into a buttoned-up and judgmental duplicate of her parents.  She fought to keep in control and make her parents proud despite how unhappy she was becoming. Her brother's unexpected connection to Jackson though reawakens all the emotions she once had for him in a sensual tug-of-war that leaves her questioning everything she thought was right.  Jami's a bit cold and condemning when readers first meet her, lonely with few friends as all she does is work on not disappointing her parents.  Her life is regimented along with a style that is severe and warns others to stay away.  Her only joy early on is her work at a domestic abuse shelter.  Being with Jackson though brings out a softer side, a playful side that has her becoming a part of his group of friends who are more like family.  She never wanted help or support before, but this edgy and eclectic group unselfishly help her at every turn which shows her that you can't judge a book by its cover.  Because of her fears and self-doubts though their relationship doesn't run smoothly.  She always assumes the worst and lets her parents manipulate her despite how loudly she proclaims herself to be a strong-willed woman.  I was often frustrated by her being ruled by her past, not wanting to commit fully out of fear, and felt that she didn't deserve the near-perfect Jackson.  It's not until very late in the story that she proves herself worthy of him, and even then he makes it very easy for her to make amends, which made me love him even more.  Ultimately she's not a perfect heroine, but one who's flawed and who learns to love through friendship and the unconditional acceptance of a drool-worthy drummer who wears his heart on his sleeve.

From start to finish I found myself fully immersed in this story for its engaging main couple and angsty journey to HEA.  I enjoyed their crackling connection and combustible encounters in and out of the bedroom and the straight forwardness of Jackson in dealing with their issues.  Once he committed to their being a couple he never ran, despite how hard she tried to push him away. Along with this appealing main couple came a delightful cast of secondary characters who were supportive and gave a unique definition to family.  The glimpses of the women who worked at the shelter showed women with painful pasts that they're still dealing with but not being defined by.  Seeing the other members of Manix Curse gives readers lots of delectable eye candy as they're a self-assured group of talented men, a bit cocky as well when it comes to Marco especially, and I look forward to them being brought down by love.  The character that most captivated me though was Bowen, a recovering addict trying to make amends for his past of hurting others.  He's more contemplative and quiet this time around, weighed down by his past with his pain and uncertainties palpable.  I look forward to seeing more of his road to recovery as he finds a worthy woman of his own.  This was a solid read that stands nicely on its own, but reading the previous installment will help in understanding the family dynamics that drive Jami.  Ms. Lane nicely balanced the serious issue of domestic abuse with an erotically-charged romance, and a delicious hero who I still see in my dreams, and I'm greatly anticipating the next installment set in the sensual world of tattoos and rock 'n' roll.

My rating for this is a B+

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


Award-winning debut author KASEY LANE writes sexy romances featuring music, hot guys with ink, kick ass women, and always a happily ever after. A California transplant, she lives with her high school crush turned husband, two smart, but devilish kids, two Papillions, three cats, and several chickens in the lush Oregon forest.


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