Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
(Sinners on Tour #1)
Erotica/Romance
October 1/2010
Trade Paperback, 394 Pages
Source: Purchased ebook through Amazon Kindle
First Line: "A stack of handouts tumbled from Myrna's laptop case to the floral-patterend carpet."

Ever since I first began reading more "adult" books, I have been searching high and low for a series centered around musicians/rockstars. Maybe it's the tween in me who still has an unshakable love for Trent Reznor, but having the hero be a rockstar is one of my biggest literary fantasies. Unfortunately, I was soon dismayed to find that having the hero be a rockstar is not a popular theme in romance/erotica. Other than Lauren Dane’s Laid Bare and Adrian Phoenix’s The Maker’s Song series, I really cannot think of many books where one of the main characters is a musician. Is it because authors think it is too clich√©? I certainly can't be the only romance lover out there who has a thing for rockstars, am I!?! Well, who knows. All I can say is thank goodness for Olivia Cunning. Without her, I would still be scouring the shelves of my local bookstore looking for those elusive rockstar heroes.

First of all, let me say that Backstage Pass is one sizzling read. However, the book is not for the faint of heart. Let's just say that Brian and Myrna engage in pretty much everything and I mean EVERYTHING. It's safe to say that all my rockstars fantasies were played out in this book. Although the sexual content of the book may prevent some readers from giving the book a chance, it is important to note that Backstage Pass has a creditable and surprisingly sweet love story underneath all the sex.

Where Backstage Pass draws its strength from is the characters. From the beginning, Brian "Master" Sinclair is described as a hopeless romantic falling in love with pretty much every girl he hooks-up with. As the lead guitarist for the fictional band The Sinners, he is depicted as being very skilled with fingers *cough cough*. However, Cunning does a remarkable job in making Brain's character multi-dimensional. So while Brain might be a super hot rockstar, he also has numerous layers to his personality that the reader has the privilege of slowly peeling back throughout the book.

Myrna is also an interesting character. While she isn't as flushed out as Brain, Myrna is just as complex. Although, she is a Psychologist specializing in human sexuality, Myrna struggles in distancing herself from the verbal and physical abuse inflicted on her by her ex-husband. The only thing I wish would have been better explained is Myrna's background. There is little to no explanation as to why Myrna became a Psychologist specializing in human sexuality, other than wanting to stick it to her parents. With such an interesting profession, I would have at least expected a longer explanation as to why human sexuality is her forte.

The best part of the book for me, however, was the band. All the members of The Sinners had such dynamic personalities that they jumped off the page. Usually when an author puts too much emphasis on the secondary characters, it detracts from the main couple. In Backstage Pass, I found that I wanted to spend more time with the band! Cunning creates such a unique relationship between all the members, that I actually felt the comradery among the guys. Somehow, Cunning made the idea of sharing everything, including girls, less creepy than I originally thought it would be. She just makes it work!

Backstage Pass is one hot and sultry read. Certainly those who harbour a rockstar fantasy or two will appreciate Cunning's vivid portrayal of life for a fictionalized metal band. However, the degree of sexual content in the book made me somewhat squeamish at times and the lack of explanation of Myrna's past left me confused on her motives. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I personally cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. Why oh why does April have to be so far away!?!?


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