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Monday, January 29, 2018

Review: Forbidden Song by Brooklyn Ann

How do you give a womanizing rock star a hard time? By pairing him up with an innocent but feisty woman who happens to have an overprotective rock star brother.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Boroughs
Release Date: January 11, 2018

Womanizing rock star, Cliff Tracey represents everything that has been forbidden to Christine Mayne, which only makes him a greater temptation, especially since she discovers he’s so much more than he pretends to be.


After having one of the worst experiences a young teenager could endure at the hands of cruel musicians, Christine Mayne's rock star brother Quinn tried to lock her away from the world. She had to fight to live her life, go to college, get her master's and enter her PhD program. Now, she's determined to complete her research on group dynamics by touring with Bleeding Vengeance, even it means deceiving her brother and lying to the band's fabulous lead singer, Cliff Tracey.

Cliff Tracey hates being manipulated, lied to and deceived. He'd know, having gone through a string of exes who had done just that. When he thinks he's found a kindred spirit, and a beautiful babe to boot, imagine his surprise - and disappointment - when he learns she played him so she can tour with his band to complete her PhD. When he finds out why, he knows he's in double trouble because Quinn Mayne will kill anyone who touches his sister, and Cliff Tracey has all sorts of plans for Christine Mayne that involves more than either of them ever expected.

What’s it About? Christine Mayne’s rock star brother Quinn has basically kept her locked up like a princess in an ivory tower since the day she was attacked by his first band’s members. Now she’s determined to get out from under her brother’s thumb by finishing her research on group dynamics, completing her Ph.D program and becoming independent once and for all. So she lies to her brother in order to tour with rock group Bleeding Vengeance but since they also know her brother she lies to them too. While on tour she forms an unlikely connection with their womanizing lead singer Cliff Tracey. Meanwhile Cliff can’t figure out why Christine is different from all the women he’s met, all he knows is that he wants to get to know her, and be with her but when he finds out who she is he is angry and hurt. The few times he ever tried to have a relationship with a woman ended in lies, manipulations, and trust issues but his growing affection for Christine has him seriously considering something more with her, that is if her brother doesn’t kill him first.

Overall reaction to the story? I was rubbing my hands in glee when I found out that Forbidden Song was Cliff’s story cause I wanted that guy to fall in love so bad! Not because I hated him or anything but because he was the womanizer, the playboy who didn’t take much seriously and had a massive ego to go with his fame. By the time I was halfway through I was doing fist pumps because Brooklyn Ann gave me exactly what I wanted: The supreme humbling of one Cliff Tracey! There were hard times, good times, sexy times, and funny times in this book and honestly I didn’t want it to end but I’m glad that Cliff and Christine’s romance went down the way it did. The realness of the characters and plot is part of what attracts me to this author’s work and keeps me coming back for more.

Describe the hero in five words: Cocky. Smart. Charming. Empathetic. Fun.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Cliff has always been the cocky playboy that had it all but from the start of Forbidden Song there’s something different about him. With two of his band mates in love with each other, Cliff is a tad envious and confused since he was used to getting all the women. He’s never really been the guy to do “the feels” or even self reflection. He really let readers in and you get to see the surprisingly solid guy he is. For the first time he doubts himself and yes, I do love the moments where a normally arrogant character starts doubting their powers of persuasion. Cliff’s moments of seeing himself through other people’s eyes felt like he was in essence shedding his old, useless persona in order to tackle the next part of life where he had to grow up.

Describe the heroine in five words: Shy. Curious. Intelligent. Kind. Innocent.
Did you like her? Yes which surprised me.
Why? Christine was super innocent which should have annoyed the crap out of me since I can’t stand innocent women in contemporary romance. However, Christine’s innocence comes from her rock star brother locking her up and guarding her more than a dragon guards his treasure because of a horrifying experience at the hands of said brother’s first band. She immediately had my sympathy and my admiration for surviving something like that and for being determined enough to seize her freedom when her brother’s protectiveness was overwhelming. She had a mind that analyzed everything around her which I could relate to and it was nice to have a heroine that wasn’t directly involved in the music industry. I wanted to see how someone like Christine would affect the dynamics between the band and how her future profession would influence her relationship with Cliff.

Let’s talk about the romance: There was a big difference in the romance in Forbidden Song and it worked for me. Christine was not only the sister of a rock star who would beat anyone down for messing with her, she was sheltered and innocent, a direct contrast to Cliff’s more indiscriminate sex life. I love that the author didn’t make them jump into bed together because that would just seem like another one of Cliff’s hookups and if Christine was meant to be different from them and mean more to Cliff, then their romance had to play out differently. And it did. It was more emotionally driven than physically with Cliff having to get his head out of his butt in order to realize what was happening between them and Christine having to secure her inner strength and confidence before taking on someone with Cliff’s past. Christine may not have known how to handle Cliff as a man in the beginning but she knew how to handle emotions a lot better than him so while he was more experienced *cough* playboy *cough* she was the real adult. It put a different spin on the romance for me that I really enjoyed.

How about that supporting cast? Summing up Cliff’s band mates is pretty easy: They’re all nuts. But in a good way. They’re friends, they’re band mates, but more importantly, they’re human and the author has them react to situations in a very human way. They get on each other’s nerves, they get angry at each other, and they fight because it’s a natural reaction to being shoved on a bus for days on end with nothing to do but see each other’s faces. I enjoyed their dynamic and the different personalities of each member. It was also interesting to see the effect of having a new member of the band that happened to be a woman, I loved it because she was “one of the guys” while still maintaining her own identity. Her presence had a big impact on Cliff as well which was a very interesting development I didn’t see coming.

I will say that Christine’s brother Quinn needed a punch in the junk because dang was that guy over the top obsessive about keeping her safe. I could understand why Christine wanted to get out of his control ASAP. He did some not okay things in order to keep her compliant and really, he needed his butt kicked.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Forbidden Song handles the love story of notorious womanizer Cliff Tracey in a way that shows his emotional and mental growth but also shows the strength Christine Mayne has kept hidden for so long. They were worked beautifully together.

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