Ahhh….the bliss and enjoyment that i find in sequels to stories that are actually good! Rock Hard is the follow up to Backstage Pass – and it didn’t let me down. In book 1 we are introduced to Sinners – a rock band that is of course made up of 5 of the hottest sexiest men around.
We already know the story around Brian and Myrna since book 1 centered around them and their budding relationship. We also got to know a bit more about Trey, Sed, Jace and even Eric – but not tooooooo much.
So book 2, Rock Hard starts in a bit of a confusing place. We’re introduced to Jessica and Sed – they are clearly in a relationship and that’s what threw me off since it was my understanding that Sed was single in BP. Then i had to remember after a few minutes that there was a scene in book 1 where Sed is sitting at a table on the bus and Myr catches him looking at a picture of a girl. So…this means that this intro scene is a little bit of a flashback.
That being the case, we meet Jess when she’s breaking up with Sed since he’s not entirely all that supportive of her goal of becoming a lawyer. He basically wants to take care of her and have her just be there for him. She’s not having that, so she returns the engagement ring that he had just given her and we are then fast fowarded into present day.
Sed is the womanizer and sex addict that we came to love and appreciate in BP, and Jess is trying to pay for school with a summer stint as a stripper in Vegas. Ironically, the Sinners are in Vegas for a show and decide that for Brian’s bachelor party they are going to go to a strip club, and of all the clubs in Vegas, they go to the ONE that Jess is working at.
Shock, surprise, lust and a bit of brawling all get rolled up into this scene, leaving the sinners all bruised and battered, and Jess w/o a job. Sed finds out that Jess has been fired, tries to give her money to make up for it, she goes to return the money, and ends up working for Myr on tour w/ the Sinners.
One thing that we all know from a deep emotion like ‘Hate’ is that it comes from a true place, usually love. Well, Sed and Jess clearly HATE each other, yet they quite obviously love each other as well, even if they aren’t ready to admit it to themselves or each other. The story that ensues from here takes us on a roller coaster with both of them, with their lives together and separately, and with all the paths that they go down, it’s hard to picture exactly where they are going to end up.
In the middle of all this, there’s a medical emergency that comes into play, not for either Sed or Jess, but for Trey, as a result of the brawl at the strip club that first reunion night. that alone adds in enough drama and suspense to keep the story going in a completely different way.
There are times when i hoped for a happy ending and times when i thought that it would be too cliche. the good news is that Olivia Cunning did a great job and gave us less of what we’d expect and more of what readers really want. Now i can’t wait to finish Double Time the 3rd installment of the series.