Insider, Olivia Cunning, (Exodus End 1)
Insider, Olivia Cunning, (Exodus End 1)
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Erotica
I love Olivia’s Sinners series, and the Sole Regret novellas ( though I do prefer the longer books, so SR aren’t re readers for me) so have been waiting eagerly for this. As readers of Sinners will know the two bands are connected in that Dare from EE and Trey from Sinners are brothers and very close, and of course EE’s new guitarist Reagan is Trey’s lover ( and bodyguard Ethan too – they share a hot ménage!) This book starts when the two bands are touring together.
Toni has spent much of her teens and early twenties at home, working for her mum’s publishing company and looking after her younger sister who has Downs. Now she’s got the chance of a lifetime, to live with the band for four weeks, and write a book featuring them, but not just any book, a new type, an interactive video one, showing everyday life in the Band and the members. It’s something she’s been working on for a while, and if she can pull it off successfully it will be ground breaking and hopefully lead to more for her. Her editor though, the awful Susan always belittles her, and is really scathing about Toni getting this job. She wanted it for herself and she’s such a bitch to Toni about it, waiting for her to fail, constantly asking if she’s ready to give up and let Susan take over. Usually Toni gives way to her, she’s not a confrontational person which is why both Susan and her mum walk all over her….this time though she wants to stick with her dream.
After finally convincing security she’s legit and not a deranged fan – a) seems they forgot she was coming and b) they were expecting a man..she’s ensconced on the bus with a bunch of hot and sexy rock guys. She’s like a lamb to the slaughter. Poor Toni is sweet and innocent, still a virgin at twenty four, and dropped in a group where sex is simply treated as another enjoyable form of recreation. There’s a spark between her and Logan right from the first touch, but she’s Miss Innocent and he’s – well, frankly a manwhore, though not the only one of the group. Nevertheless things heat up between them incredibly quickly.
I loved Toni, loved the way she finally stood up to her pushy mum and the awful Susan, and the way she was so naive, so bewildered by some of the things that were said. She’s got such a kind heart its easy to see how others would dump on her. Logan finds he has a protective side, much to his surprise, and sort of becomes possessive over her. The guys rib him for it and of course he says they are just friends, but even so he can’t bear anyone to get too close to Toni. Its a tough time for him, and though I thought I’d dislike him – and he was a jerk some of the time – I understood why he acts as he does. I did find it a bit slow to start, but by 25% was hooked to the story in that way I’d hoped. I think its just a new series, new band, and though we’d met some of them briefly in other books, it took time to get to know all of them. Its a lovely long read too at a massive 487 pages on kindle, and I was happily engrossed in another world for several hours.
I could see what was going to go wrong, but not how and even then I still got a shock over it. Things aren’t always as they seem….and that’s what I enjoy best, being taken down one track only to find I’ve taken a wrong turn and the plot went in another direction. There were a couple of incidents too that I thought might develop into more but they didn’t. It makes reading it more fun and unpredictable when that happens.
What I love about Olivia’s books is that they show all angles of band life, from the writing lyrics and music, the touring and the backstage stuff, the dreariness of living on a bus, and of course the fans which range from the (over)excited and eager the the dangerous and deranged…I feel I’m living life with them, the characters are so very open and well written that they feel alive and as if they are people I know. I feel cheated when I read band books where its an “in name only” read, with them never doing anything band related. Living so closely as when touring makes for a hot house of extremes and leads to some great dramas, and the whole touring spectrum is so different from normal life that it makes for some great fiction when done well. Olivia and Kylie Scott are my two personal favourites for rock band reads. We see a bit of Sinners in this book in a kind of cameo role, mostly Trey and Ethan and references to the others. The participants are all older too – mid to late twenties and early thirties, that makes such a change from the usual late teens early twenties this genre too often spans.
Stars: Five, a fabulous intro to a new series for rock Band book lovers
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers