ARC Review: Hard Rhythm (Secrets of a Rock Star #3) by Cecilia Tan


Title: Hard Rhythm
Author: Cecelia Tan
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 1/31/17
Length:   336 Pages
Series:  Secrets of a Rock Star #3


Are they ready to go all the way?

Maddie Rofel has seen it all. Even the kinkiest games she witnesses working as a hostess in L.A.’s most exclusive private sex club fail to shock her, much less turn her on. Until the night she has a very personal encounter with drummer Chino Garcia, and the two discover an intimate connection neither can deny. Suddenly the jaded hostess is softening under Chino’s touch, and submitting in ways she never expected . . .

All his life, Chino has been running from something. Normally he beats back his demons by losing himself in his music. Now he’s losing himself in Maddie. And, while it drives Chino wild when Maddie bares her body to him, what he really wants is for Maddie to bare her soul. For that, Chino will have to push Maddie past her furthest limits-and share his own dark secrets.

My Thoughts

First off i should thank the folks at NetGalley for providing me with access to the ARC since i’m always a huge fan of getting my hands on a book a little early and this series is definitely one that i’ve found myself really intrigued by.  I may not have had perfect reviews all the time, but the story is solid and you all should realize by now that i’m a fan of Ms Tan.

So in this third installment, we get to focus on Maddie, one of the hostesses at TGC.  We don’t know much about her going into this story and while we learn more, there are still a bunch of things that are shrouded in mystery.  We do know that she’s been in the lifestyle for a while and was chosen by the girls grandfather years ago to work at the club.  She’s bounced from job to job, all in the less than savory genre along with bouncing from relationship to relationship since the men she’s chosen haven’t been right for her.

Enter in Chino – one of the members of The Rough, the band that we know Axel and Mal from.  We don’t know hardly anything about him either except that he seems to keep to himself a lot.  He’s a little older than the other guys and that means of course tons more life experience.

Where this story takes us in on a journey of letting go, letting someone in, and coming to terms with your past.  We learn through scenes that Maddie has her limitations in the BDSM lifestyle and that she’s never considered herself to have been in a true D/s relationship which causes her to wonder if she truly can.  Chino on the other hand is into a lot of stuff and that comes through more and more as we see trust develop.  Maddie is able to open up more to Chino than ever and that gives us a chance to see what’s inside her mind and heart.

Then there’s the complexity known as Chino’s past.  We quickly learn that he left home when he was sixteen because it wasn’t a good place for him, and he left behind his mother, sister brother and awful stepfather.  They were raised so religiously that everything that Chino is now is something that they consider to be the work of the devil and a sin.  That’s where the story takes us though, on a journey of trying to get his family back together and into a safe place.

The nice thing about this installment is that it’s really playful while pulling at your heartstrings.  Each one of the bandmates stories gives us something else and it’s good timing to get this type of plot line.  I think that there’s something sweet about two people who want to save each other but who want to save themselves as well.

We get a few interesting surprises with folks popping up when no one expected and then we get the added bonus of angst and anxiety when someone threatens to out the club without the girls being able to control it.  It’s a big question now of when the truth of the club will come out and what it will mean, but everyone’s always known it would happen so we’ll see who gets to make the announcement.

Anyhow – a great third book to the series and i can’t wait to read more.  Enjoy!

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