Review: Taking the Lead (Secrets of a Rock Star #1) by Cecilia Tan


Title: Taking the Lead
Author: Cecilia Tan
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 1/26/16
Length:   277 Pages
Series:  Secrets of a Rock Star #1


When the rich and famous come out to play, nothing is off-limits . . .

Everyone knows Ricki Hamilton as the icy heiress living in a billion-dollar mansion, high up in the Hollywood Hills. But few realize that behind the gilded gates, Ricki is the mistress of LA’s most exclusive private club. A place where no fantasy is forbidden and no one goes unsatisfied-except for Ricki. If she had her way, she’d leave the business behind . . . until she meets the one man with the power to change her mind.

The hottest rock star in the world, Axel Hawke, has the requisite sexy look and bad-boy reputation. Yet even his biggest fans have no clue just how decadently dangerous he can be. From the moment he meets Ricki, he knows there is no other woman who will satisfy him. He can feel the heat hiding beneath her cool demeanor and he’s determined to stoke her flame.

Together Ricki and Axel indulge their every desire. The deeper they go, the more she craves. Submitting to Axel opens her eyes, and for the first time Ricki knows exactly what she wants. All she has to do is take it . . .

My Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of Ms Tan and i think that i had higher hopes for this first introduction to a new series than what it delivered.  The story is sweet and definitely in the right direction, but the depth and complexity that we have seen in Sweet Surrender and like just wasn’t here.

What we have here is a story of Ricki – a 24 yr old who has come into authority and power after the passing of her grandfather, and being young and a woman means that she’s got so much to prove for herself even though she’s incredibly smart and capable.  the other bit is that in her grandfather’s will, there are stipulations on things that she and her sister need to do in order to gain control – so that’s another problem to deal with.  On top of the fact that their family has a few secrets, the cause of the death of her mother, and the secret exclusive BDSM club in their basement.

enter in our leading man though, appropriately rocker like star named Axel.  He’s up for ‘New Artist of the Year’ at the Grammy’s and that’s where he and Ricki cross paths.  A stunt that he decides to change mid stride brings these two together and shows that there’s insane chemistry and a hint of BDSM, but where they will take it is an big question since Ricki isn’t into BDSM at all and wants nothing to do with it.

The course of the story is one of will they / won’t they ,since we know that Ricki is so afraid of anyone having anything bad to say about her in the press, and how she just wants to be able to prove her self professionally.  Axel is in the peak of his career and all he wants is Ricki.  So the question is whether their friends will be able to bring them together, or if fear will tear them apart.

In true Cecilia Tan fashion, there are some pretty racy scenes between them.  I think that they are more ‘erotica’ than BDSM although it seems like the intention was to skew BDSM given the theme of the book.  While i’m not an expert by any means, from all that i’ve read in the genre, i think that this was the biggest miss – since there’s so much more that could have been done to build up the intro to the lifestyle and the nature of the club and what goes on in there.

There are a few characters that make you question what’s going to happen.  Schmitt, one of their grandfather’s best friends has his own agenda and is trying to undermine the girls at every turn.  Paul (Ricki’s assistant) personally gives me pause since i feel like there’s something else there but that could be my paranoia, and then there’s Sakura and Gwen (the friend and the sister) who all definitely need their own installments, and i think that we’ll likely get them in the coming books.  That or we’ll get to see a lot more of Axel’s band.  Who…hopefully will give us more of the BDSM that i was expecting since one of his friends has been in the lifestyle longer.

Anyhow – decent read – and it won’t keep me from continuing on with the series.  Have a great day all!

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