Book 1 of The Rocker
Title: The Rocker Who Holds Me
Author: Terri Anne Browning
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First Published in 2013
Series: The Rocker
Rating: 4/5 stars
Warning: This book contains adult themes and language!
There are a lot of romance novels out there from the sweetest to the darkest. I’ve always wanted to read a rockstar romance, but I wasn’t sure what book to pick up until I came across The Rocker Who Holds Me, the first book in The Rocker series written by USA Today bestselling author Terri Anne Browning. Though the series is pretty long, the blurb for the first book blew me away and I couldn’t resist the urge to buy it.
In short, Ember Jameson had a rough start in life because she had to endure the recurrent beating of her alcoholic mother who made her days a living hell. But luckily for Emmie, she always found refuge in Nikolas Armstrong’s trailer. He took care of her and nursed her wounds like an older brother would along with his friends and members of the rock group, named Demon’s Wings. A few years later, Emmie became part of their extended family lived in their van and took the unofficial role of the band’s tour manager, which can be Ember’s act of gratitude for those years when the guys protected her and showed her the affection she never had at home. She loved all four men like they were her family, so she mothered them, arranged interviews and even managed the dirty work from backstage. If Emmie sees Jesse, Shane and Drake as her older brothers, she harbours distinct feelings for Nik and she ends up doing something pretty silly and desperate to quench her desire for the sinfully sexy singer. To be honest, that particular scene is one of my favourite scenes in the book, but I don’t want to enter into a spoilery territory. As if it wasn’t enough to be eaten by doubts regarding Nik’s feelings for her, something else happens along the way and somehow Emmie didn’t see it coming because of her busy schedule with the band and their tours. How will she explain everything to Nik and how will the singer face the music?
All characters are morally-grey which is a sign of authenticity because this is a rockstar romance and some celebs tend to ease the pressure of fame by indulging into addictions. In this case, the rockers tend to get drunk very often and enjoy one-night stands with groupies. Each member of the band is pretty well fleshed out and each one of them has a distinct voice and personality. For example, Drake loves booze and doesn’t like taking showers, Shane enjoys sex a lot more than his buddies, Jesse loves getting into fights because he has a bad temper and. Nik swings between caring for Emmie and making her suffer. As for Ember, she is a responsible person when it comes to her professional duties, but her desires make her act without thinking of the consequences and, later on, she regrets being selfish and taking advantage of Nik. Though Emmie is sometimes naive and unreliable, I loved her voice very much because it felt sincere and it pulled me into the story from the first page.
“Nik’s voice drives the female population crazy. The huskiness mixed with gravel and seduction is a caress to that dark place between a woman’s legs. I’m nowhere near immune to it and find myself letting my desire show as I stand there watching the band perform.” (Loc.270)
By reading The Rocker Who Holds Me, we break the barriers of the stage and take a sneak peek at the tumultuous lives of the four members of Demon’s Wings through Emmie’s eyes. We witness her happy moments and breaking points which make the reader cheer for her or feel sorry. This is not a sweet romance, but a story of ups and downs, abuse, music, lust, heartbreak, jealousy, but also humour, love and hope. There’s something in this book for every romance reader interested in this subgenre. The writing is simple, seasoned with f-bombs that suit the story well, the story is very visual and easy to follow and Emmie’s voice makes you root for her from the very start.