Title: Rock My Heart
Author: Jean Haus
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 6, 2015
This story can be read as a standalone.
Raised in poverty and violence, Gabe Reed wears a could-care-less attitude like a shield. He expects life to suck. It always has, and he is usually the one to screw it up even more. Drumming for the college band Luminescent Juliet started as a way to release the built up rage inside of him. But when the band signs with a label, Gabe begins to envision a different life. He just needs to stay out of trouble and follow the court orders of his probation.
April Tanner knows most people view her as perfect. From her icy looks to her college four point, she cultivates the persona since it helps keep people at a distance. Because behind her perfection, April constantly struggles with a past that she is trying to atone for but can’t face.
Though Gabe and April seem worlds apart, fate throws them together and forces them to see beyond the fronts they each present. But even an emerging friendship mixed with a growing lust might not be able to overcome the walls built of guilt and insecurity and abuse that stand between them.
*New Adult for language and sexual situations.
Anyone that knows me can attest to how huge a fan I am of music/musicians. So I absolutely love books that tell the stories of the colorful life I presume most artist live. The Luminescent Juliet series is one of my favorites. Each book tells the story of a band member: lead guitar, lead singer, bassist, and drummer. This is Gabe the drummers story. Lord knows I love the drummer.
Gabe doesn't try to hide or sugarcoat the hell he was raised in. His mother left him when he was just six years old with an abusive father. His father's girlfriend Sharon is the closest he's ever had to a mother and when Gabe is old enough and big enough to stand up to his dad it's no surprise it's to protect her. He became hugely protective of woman in general .Never able to stand by and watch a man take out his aggressions on a lady. In his attempt to avoid confrontation with his dad, Gabe has always had girlfriends that could give him a place to stay. I'd add selfless and generous to his list of admirable qualities. His pride may be his most notable flaw but I'd prefer that over an egotistical man-whore.
April happens to be really good friends with Riley who was the lead female character in book one and at one time she even dated Romeo, the bands lead guitarist. Gabe has made it pretty clear he doesn't like her. She is his complete opposite. She tells no one about her self imposed punishment or what drives her to be a psychologist. She keeps her talents and family life very private. She is close to graduating with a degree in psychology but her very insightful professor pushes her to participate in group therapy and now April and Gabe's paths outside of the band have crossed and neither are very happy about it.
One of the biggest surprises about Gabe is how self aware he is. He's super smart and intuitive. When he joins group therapy to try and get control of his temper and aggressive behavior, he's afraid that April could make it difficult for him to openly participate. His biggest fear of being kicked out of the band could become a reality. I found myself often thinking that Gabe had more potential to be a counselor than April. She can't be completely honest with anyone including herself and that's like a prerequisite for someone who wants to counsel others.
The magic happens as they gradually become friends and their mutual attraction gets harder to hide. Gabe leads April to her truth and she becomes the calm in his storm. My wish for this story would be that it had continued with an epilogue that went a little further into their future. Or even better would be a novella that gives us a look at where the whole band ends up in a couple of years. My point is that I can't get enough of these characters. 5 stars across the board for Luminescent Juliet.
Author Bio & Links
When Jean Haus isn't writing, she's usually reading. Anything from young adult to historical fiction as long as there’s at least a bit of romance, she'll load it on her Kindle. She also loves to cook. And someday she will create the world’s best potsticker.