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Title: Wicked White
Author: Michelle A. Valentine
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
After his mother dies, rock star Ace White—lead singer of the red-hot band Wicked White—is done with the celebrity game. The phony people, the meaningless one-night stands: he doesn’t want any of it anymore. Quitting in the middle of a sold-out tour, Ace sets out to find some place—any place—where he can be alone.
Aspiring singer Iris Easton’s life has never been easy. First, her mother walked out on her when she was a kid. Now she’s buried in debt, weeks after losing her beloved grandmother. When a mysterious and sexy new guy moves in next door, Iris can’t help but be drawn to his soulful gaze. She can tell there’s something from his past haunting him—something he’s not telling her.
Just as Ace starts falling for Iris, the media go on a worldwide hunt to find the missing rocker. Will true love conquer all, or will the truth be the very thing that tears the couple apart?
“Iris…that was amazing. You’ve got so much talent,” I praise.
Her green eyes light up with excitement like a child’s do on Christmas morning. “You really think so? You’re not just saying that?”
“No. I never bullshit about music. You’ve definitely got the chops for Broadway, it’s just…” I hesitate, not wanting to hurt her feelings, but I know that in order for her to get better, she has to be told what she’s doing wrong.
She lays her hand on my forearm. “Please, tell me. I can take it. Promise.”
I stand beside her, so close that my chest nearly touches her shoulder. I’m itching to touch her, but I won’t do it without permission. “May I touch you?”
She draws in a ragged breath and then nods. “Yes.”
I curl the fingers of my right hand around her right shoulder and pull back a little so that her posture is perpendicular to the floor. At this angle, I can’t help but notice her heaving chest and how her perky tits move in sync with each breath she takes.
I slide my left hand against her toned stomach and my pinkie grazes the warm patch of skin that’s exposed between her T-shirt and the waistband of her jeans.
Our contact is fucking electric, and my own breathing picks up speed as I attempt to fight back the arousal I feel for her boiling beneath my surface.
“Everything about you is magnetic,” I whisper in her ear, and she shivers at the words. “Don’t be afraid to open your eyes and watch your audience enjoy you. Be confident and project. Let go.”
I let go of her shoulder, and move to face her before pressing the repeat button on the machine. As the intro of the song plays, I say, “Do it again, but this time I want you to look at me.”
This time when she opens her mouth to sing, when she begins to tip her head down, I slide my index finger under her chin and angle her head so that she’s forced to peer into my eyes.
Her words are just barely above a whisper, so I slip my hand back on her abdomen and say, “Project--from here. Sing it like you mean it.”
It’s like lightening strikes this beautiful woman in my arms as she sings to me without fear. The words of the song come out effortlessly, and her voice could rival any of the greatest female vocalists of all time.
She’s that damn stunning.
I nod approvingly and smile. “Yes!”
With that little bit of encouragement, she shocks me even more when she pushes herself to hit notes that are above and beyond what she reached the first time.
Only on the last lyric does she close her eyes while she holds the note there until the music stops. She releases a contented sigh as soon as the music ends, and when her beautiful eyes meet mine again, they swirl with emotion.
Completely blown away, I fumble with the words to tell her just how impressed I am. “Iris, that was--”
Without warning, she throws her arms around my neck and crushes her lips against mine. I know kissing her back is wrong, but I’ll be damned if I don’t want her so badly at this point that I can’t stop myself from giving in. I’ve been so good with restraining myself when it comes to Iris, because protecting her from the chaos that I’ll bring her is what’s always been on the forefront of my mind.
Her fingers thrust into my hair, and I reach down and curl my hands around her thighs before hoisting her into the air. Instinctively she wraps her legs around my waist, and I thread one of my hands into her tousled curls while the other is busy cupping that perfect ass of hers.
“I’ve wanted you since you walked into my trailer,” she breathes against my lips.
A thrill shoots through me at her admission of how long she’s wanted me. “You’ve been driving me out of my mind from the moment I first saw you.”
“Then take me.”
I was really excited to read this book after it's announce was released. Books featuring rock stars are a particular weakness of mine. The badder the rock star, the harder they fall. I was looking forward to another bad boy of rock being tamed, instead I fell for a rocker who wasn't bad to the bone. Ace is definitely not the average rock star. He's different and doesn't need much to remind him what's important.
I fell for Ace in the opening chapter of the book when he decided to do what was right for him and not what was best for his label. I fell for Iris soon after I met her too. It really did seem like Iris and Ace were made for each other. Of course they had a very strong initial reaction to seeing each other for the first time and I thought, "Not the insta-lust!" However I need not have worried, as their chemistry led to a relationship between them took time to develop.
Both Iris and Ace have strong personalities. Ace is determined not to bring Iris into his crazy world and in turn thinks he can't let Iris in. Iris is fiercely independent. She's recently been handed new challenges and she's set on handling them on her own. She's also decided she and Ace are going to be friends, if not more, and she's going to do whatever it takes to make that happen. I really admired that about her. I enjoyed seeing Ace and Iris's walls come down.
My emotions were fully engaged; I laughed and cried. It was hard not to. I felt like the story was good but incomplete, especially in regards to events happening where Ace was hiding out and what was going on with his label. I read the story quickly and it flowed well. I hope to see Ace and Iris again in the future and I'm looking forward to the next story in the series!
*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
Michelle A. Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Rock the Heart. Wicked White is the first novel in her Wicked White romance series. She attended college as a drafting and design major, but her love of people soon persuaded her to join the nursing field. It wasn’t until after the birth of her son that she began her love affair with romance novels, and she hasn’t looked back since. When she’s not writing, she feeds her music addiction, dabbles in party planning, and expresses herself by working with arts and crafts. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, son, and two beloved dogs.
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