This book came from NetGalley, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
by C.D. Reiss
This is what I’m calling 1a in the Songs of Submission romance series. The couple focus is on Monica and Jonathan Drazen. There are three installments which make up the actual full-length novel, Sequence One.
I’m torn between giving this a “4” for the story as it is fairly well-written and a “3” simply because I’m pissed this is one of those shorty installment stories which the author uses to tease you into buying more. I hate that.
Right off the bat this is confusing as Reiss sets up the initial scene as a dream sequence but it turns into a real performance. I like that Monica has a goal and is working toward it, that she doesn’t want a relationship that will interfere with what she wants.
Where does Monica get the idea that Drazen just wants to hurt women? This is the first indication I’ve gotten; there was nothing before and nothing after this comment.
I do love how Reiss makes me feel what Monica is singing when she really gets her groove on, when she injects her voice with real feeling and passion. Very nice.
Spoken Not Stirred is struggling, like most bands, to perform. Mostly having to pay for the opportunity. But a lucky accident brings Monica to Drazen’s attention, and she’ll use it to file a harassment claim against his employee.
It’s that cheek, that nerve to stand up to him along with her looks that intrigues Drazen and sends him hot in pursuit.
Monica is the vocalist although she can play a variety of instruments. The rest of the band, Spoken Not Stirred, includes Harry on guitar, the suicidal Gabrielle on keyboard, and Darren, the drummer, Gabby’s brother. Vinny Mardigian is their jerk of a manager.
Yvonne is a waitress at Monica’s first job. Freddie is the jerk of a manager at the hotel owned by Jonathan.
Jonathan Drazen is a billionaire, known for his women chasing. He also teaches business at UCLA. Jessica Carnes, an artist, is his ex-wife with whom he’s still in love. Theresa is Jonathan’s sister. Sam is his friend and owns the Stock, a similar place of business where Monica gets another job. Debbie is her boss at the Stock and a real sweetheart.
Kevin Wainwright was Monica’s last boyfriend, a real control freak. Eugene Testarossa is the dream agent at WDE; Janet Terova is Testarossa’s boss; and, Arnie Sanderson owns WDE. The Frontage is one of the venues where Gabby and Monica perform.
The cover is clever with its splash of milk that morphs into a flower with a strong stamen. The background is also clever with its gray on black words of submission.
The title is the first installment of the overall story (Amazon is calling it “bundled”), and Beg is what Jonathan wants Monica to do.