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!

Review: Wild Licks (Secrets of a Rock Star #2) by Cecilia Tan


Title: Wild Licks
Author: Cecilia Tan
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 8/2/16
Length:   352 Pages
Series:  Secrets of a Rock Star #2


Pleasure knows no bounds . . .

Gwen Hamilton is always looking for a thrill. Not even running a secret BDSM club can fulfill her true desires. It’s only when she’s backstage at a rock concert and attracts the eye—and experienced hands—of guitarist Mal Kennealy that she finds that perfect combination of danger and excitement she’s been craving. Calling herself “Excrucia,” she revels in his uncompromising dominance each night. And yet by day, he knows her only as Gwen, his new escort for public appearances.

Excrucia blows Mal’s mind with her enthusiastic submission to his harshest commands. Even though he has a reputation for never seeing the same woman twice, he can’t help being tempted by the woman willing to fulfill his every fantasy. And when Mal discovers that Gwen—the sweet arm candy designed to soften his surly public image—is really Excrucia, he never wants to let her go. Finally he can indulge his absolute power. But dancing too recklessly on the razor’s edge could cut deeper than he bargained for . . .

My Thoughts

So we met Ricki and Axel and went through their story in the first book of the series and we knew that Ricki’s sister Gwen was the one that was really more involved in the BDSM lifestyle so it’s nice that we get to see her get her own story next.

Gwen as you will remember is just a few years younger than Ricki and she’s trying to make her way in Hollywood where she really wants to break into acting.  As all struggling actors in the world, she’s having a tough time getting her big break, and it’s at the suggestion of Axel’s management that she gets more visibility as being on the arm of Mal, one of the members of his band.  Being seen with Mal will get her face out there which is good for Gwen, and will also keep the Rough (their band) relevant since Axel is out in public with Ricki a lot and Mal will now have someone attractive on his arm.

The story from there though takes a very dark and naughty turn.  We know that Gwen’s not really that new to the BDSM world, but she’s never been in a full D/s relationship because the one that she was in years ago wasn’t really anything more than a guy using her for his pleasure.  So the irony of things here is that Mal is very heavily into the lifestyle and when they come together, it’s explosive.

Mal on the other hand has some very dark and twisted tastes even for some of those who are really into kinky things.  He’s a pain fiend and he also exerts such control and dominance over his partner that you have to be fully obedient and open to be with him.  When Gwen gets selected to be an after concert groupie for Mal to use as he wants, we see that things get heated fast.  There’s a chemistry between them that makes Mal question his rules from the very beginning since he’s so intrigued by her.

Where we go from there is kind of frustrating, yet really exciting nonetheless.  We see that Gwen really feels something for Mal and wants to have a reality relationship with him, yet Mal isn’t willing to go down that path since he’s been burned in the past by many women.  The thing is though that there’s something about Gwen that makes him take pause and wonder if it’s possible to be happy and when he’s stressed and horrible to be around (especially how his band feels while they are recording their new album), Gwen is the only one who’s able to give him piece and make him come back down to earth.

The lesson that we learn in this book though is that sometimes it’s just not enough – and that sometimes no matter how hard you want something, you won’t get to see it come to fruition.  That seems to be the case here with these 2 since there’s just too much against them, and even with the help of Axel and Ricki, it’s just not something that seems like it’s likely to happen.

All in all though, a great second installment to the series.  We’re starting to get some of the exciting bits that Ms Tan is known for, so taking this a step up from where i was with the first book.  There are still a lot of aspects of the BDSM relationship that i’m a bit off on since i feel like her style is a bit off from what i’ve read by other authors but that could just be style and nuance.  In any event, i have to wait a bit for the next book since it’s not out yet but at least then we’ll get to see how Madison and Chino get along since we saw them meet in this book and i think there’s something to be said for their interesting chemistry.  Have a great day!

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!

Launch Day Blitz: Taking the Lead by Cecilia Tan



Taking the Lead

TAKING THE LEAD by Cecilia Tan (January 26, 2016; Forever Trade Paperback; 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 . . .

Buy the book!







And don’t miss WILD LICKS, book two in the Secrets of a Rock Star series, on sale August 2, 2016!

Gwen Hamilton’s family is Hollywood royalty—and they have a family secret. She and her sister are the heirs to a secret BDSM club. Gwen thought it would be difficult adjusting to her surprise inheritance, but soon she finds the environment more liberating and carnal than anything she’s ever experienced. She’s dying to try out the ropes but is struggling to accept the idea of a having a dominant…until she meets sexy guitarist Mal Kennealy. The brooding rock star is everything Gwen thought she didn’t want. But with each seductive command, Gwen starts to realize that being bound to Mal could mean fulfilling her heart’s deepest desires…

Buy the book!







About the author:  No-Brainer

Cecilia Tan writes about her many passions, from erotic fantasy to baseball. Not only is she an author, but she has also edited over 50 erotic anthologies and founded her own publishing house, Circlet Press. In 2015, Tan was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in erotic romance. She currently resides in Cambridge, MA.

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Interview & Author Spotlight: Cecilia Tan author of Slow Satisfaction


As you guys saw a short while ago, I was able to get my hands on an ARC of Slow Satisfaction, book 3 in the ‘Struck by Lightening’ Series, and I was fortunate enough to chat with the author Cecilia Tan for a bit.

Me:  Thank you so much for the time today – now that we’ve come even further in the journey with James and Karina, I wanted to talk a bit more about you and what you do.  How did you get started writing in this genre and when did you decide that it was something that you wanted to do? (write and write the style)

Cecilia:  I’ve literally always written erotic stories and stories about love, from my earliest childhood attempts to write. Long before I ever read any erotic fiction, I was writing the sex scenes I thought were missing from books. I didn’t read my first romance until I was in college and I didn’t start reading erotica until after I had published my first book of erotic short stories, Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, back in 1992. I thought I was going to be a science fiction writer, and I tried writing a lot of stories in that genre, but when I wrote Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords I knew I was doing the right thing. I’ve never looked back. That was 22 years ago and I’ve been writing erotic BDSM fiction ever since.

Me: That’s quite a jump from sci-fi to erotica, but i can see why one category is more enticing for lack of a better word to write.  I’m thankful for the change in direction at least, and I’m sure a lot of readers are.  Where did you get your inspiration from for the characters? The Artist who wants to get away from it all and the Girl trying to find herself?

Cecilia:  When you put it that way, they’re both aspects of me! The Artist wants freedom to create but he’s always trying to figure out how much of himself to reveal through his art, how much to give to the fans who love him. James guards his heart very fiercely but ultimately comes to decide that the reason he’s been doing that is he’s been waiting for someone like Karina to give it to, someone who can love him for who he is inside. The Girl trying to find herself is trying to find that balance between pleasing others and pleasing herself. Ultimately she finds she can’t do a good job of pleasing others unless she knows her own preferences first. That’s not only true in the bedroom (and the dungeon) but in other aspects of life, as well. As a romance writer I’m always balancing how much of my own heart to put into my books and what things I like with the needs and expectations of readers.
Me:  I certainly follow you on that one, with the dichotomy of both characters -and being able to pull something of yourself really shows in the way that you wrote both characters, since they have a depth and personalization that makes it seem more real than fantasy.  Are any of the other characters based loosely on yourself or friends/family?

Cecilia:  My friends and family are great but they don’t make good characters. Every character springs into my mind with a lot of backstory and baggage ready to be unpacked. Each one represents something in my subconscious, not in my real life.

Me:  I’m sure a few folks that you are close to are breathing a sigh of relief on that one. that could lead to trouble either for someone taking a scene the wrong way or being overly complemented. Looking outside of inspiration, let’s go to motivation and advice.  What advice would you give someone who wants to be an author?

Cecilia: Write, and then get feedback on what you write. Whether that’s through a class or MFA program or writers group or fanfic community, use that feedback to find out for yourself what effect your words have on people. Your craft is about mastering those words so that the effect you create in the reader is the one you intend. You can only learn that part of the craft by getting feedback. That’s how you’ll refine your unique voice.

Me:  Well thanks again for taking the time to chat with me, and I’m sure that my readers appreciate it as well.  I can’t wait to see what’s next and I wish you the best of luck.  Congrats with this latest installment in the Struck by Lightening’ Series, and I have to say, you gave us exactly what we were hoping for as things come to a head with the characters.

To my readers- make sure to pick up a copy of ‘Slow Satisfaction’



and don’t forget to Enter the Giveaway Here for a signed copy of the trilogy!

ARC Review: Slow Satisfaction (Struck by Lightening #3) by Cecilia Tan


Title: Slow Satisfaction
Author: Cecilia Tan
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 8/26/14
Length: 336 Pages
Series: Struck by Lightening #3


James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit–not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them?

James offers Karina not only the truth but a place at his side… onstage. He wants Karina to star in his final musical production and enter his life and his world fully and completely. As the two work together, they rekindle the trust and love they’d lost. But James’s world is full of deceit. When he is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, James must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina’s secret sex life.

Will Karina and James’s love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way?

My Thoughts

SOOOOO thankful that i got my hands on this book a little bit early since this has become one of my favorite series to date.  We have been taken on such a roller coaster and the games that they play are so intricate that i don’t know about anyone else, but i’ve been really excited to see where it goes.

If you’ll all remember, at the end of book 2, we see Karina and James almost getting on the same page, except that Ferrara – a women who claims to be James’ wife comes into play and shakes things up again.  We had gone on a journey where we saw Karina so in love with James that she went across the world to search for him and went to great lengths to stage an exhibit to get his interest directed towards her, and when it was just about to work out, it all falls short because now Karina doesn’t trust him and doesn’t know if she wants to put her love in him.

So that’s where we pick up in book 3.  Karina had been called back to the US because her mother had an accident and Karina needs to be at the hospital with her.  That meant that she and James never had time to talk through things and it’s probably better for her that she’s gone since she doesn’t know what to even say to him.  He of course isn’t ready to give up on them so he continues to call and text in the hopes that she’ll come around and talk.

While Karina’s home, we see her relationship with her sister Jill grow a bit and that’s really nice – to see how Jill is getting a bit more self assured and come into her own professionally.  That puts trust in James a bit on the rocky side again since there’s a connection there that Karina’s uncertain about.

While we’re with the family, we begin to see that Jill and Karina question how their mother hurt herself which adds a nice twist to the story – adding someone into the mix that we have to question.  The boyfriend – well he’s the one that we feel like we can’t trust.  He seems like he’s praying on their mother to get her money and that maybe he’s the cause for the accident.  What i love about this bit of the story is that we think that there’s been a bit of a resolution but since it’s not tied up completely, you know that it’s going to come up again at a bad time.

In addition to this story line, we see the game that Karina and James play in how they decide what they will be to each other.  Karina decides to flip the Dom/Sub relationship a bit in the hopes that it will give her answers and we see that she’s pushing James to share more than he’s ever shared before.  this is were we get a LOT of passion and heat between these two.  If you don’t recall properly from the first 2 books, they have such a hot and steamy sexual relationship that you know that it will manifest in so many other ways.  Our author Ms. Tan does not let us down since the scening that they do is a bit BDSM and a LOT sexy.

Another side plot to this reconciliation trial is the fact that James is being pulled back into being a rock star since Ferrara has ulterior motives to get at him.  In addition to saying that they’re married, she won’t let him out of his contract even though he fulfilled it and things get dicey in Vegas where they are putting on another show.

So all in all, it’s a roller coaster and to see where it ends up is quite interesting.  we’re introduced to a bunch of characters who’s only motivation is to ruin what’s good, and then we are reunited with a few that we’ve met in other installments that really bring the story a new depth.  so…while i’m sad that the trilogy is over, i’m really happy with how it went.  I can’t wait to see what’s next from this author and i hope that you guys get a chance to read this in a couple weeks.  ENJOY!

ARC Review: Slow Seduction (Struck by Lightning #2) by Cecilia Tan


Title: Slow Seduction
Author: Cecilia Tan
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 1/28/14
Length:  272 pages
Series:  Struck by Lightning #2


Unforgettable passion . . .

Two months have passed since Karina’s painful departure from James, the mysterious lover who awakened her darkest desires, and she’ll do anything-anything-to locate him and win him back. Her search takes her to London, where she finds herself immersed in the world of fine art and forbidden pleasures. And soon, Karina meets another enigmatic man who promises to help her find James . . . for a price.

Unexpected pleasure . . .

Damon George is rich, gorgeous, and a member of a secret society that caters to the sensual thrills of the wealthy and powerful. Though Karina insists her heart will always belong to James, Damon is determined to have her, body and soul. By the time she finds James, Karina has been “trained” to please another. Will James reject her again . . . or find her more irresistible than ever?

My Thoughts

I had to re-read Slow Surrender so that I could refresh myself on this exciting and erotic game that James was playing with Karina, and boy was I happy that i did.  Where we left off with this couple is upon James flight from Karina after the first ‘society’ party that they had attended together, where they not only ‘consummated’ their relationship but Karina ‘forced’ James to reveal his full name and therefore his identity that he has been working SO hard to hide all this time.  Once that’s done, he up and leaves her at the party and she doesn’t hear from him again.

Where Slow Seduction picks up is a few months in the future where Karina has just taken a summer job at the Tate Britain through the connection that she made via James with Martindale who is the curator there.  Karina has the opportunity to be a guide through the pre-Raphaelite exhibit so that’s something to do until she finds out if she’ll be allowed to graduate (once the nonsense with Renault settles hopefully).  The other reason that she’s taken this job too is that she’s heard through the grapevine that James is in England and she’s trying to locate him and see what went wrong.

The path that this 2nd installment takes us is the journey of Karina searching for her love since she won’t give up hope that they can be together, and the people that cross her path in that journey are quite interesting.

Through her roommate Becky, she meets Paulina and Michel who put her up in their home in exchange for help in renovating and opening their own gallery.  There are interesting connections of this couple to others in the story as we learn throughout.

We also meet Damon George who in his own way is very much like James and is even a member of the London branch of the same society that James is, and Karina some how hopes that through the club she can find him, so she builds that relationship with Damon as a means to find him.  Of course though, we know that things aren’t quite that simple, and Damon has plans of his own, and intentions of his own, and plans to make Karina his if he can manage it.

So, we’re taking on a search and rescue excursion here that’s a great plot line, and peppered in with steamy sceneing between Karina and Damon and he works to train her.  It’s yet another introduction into the world of BDSM for her, which we saw in book 1, but certainly in more depth in this 2nd book.

I’m really pleased with this bridge in the series.  I think that we get everything that we were expecting and a little bit more with the way that it ended up.  There were a few unexpecteds that showed up towards the end, and that’s the lead in to what i hope will be an even better 3rd and final installment.  Now if only i didn’t have to wait so long for it!  I hope you guys enjoy!