Normally I might find it strange when the main characters of a book are named after rock and roll figures. But you know what? It totally works for this one. This book is the second in a series, each one centering around one of 3 brothers….wait for it: Hendrix, Morrison, and Jagger. I feel like I should find this silly, but I absolutely love it!
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A high roller in Vegas falls for a cocktail waitress who’s trying to get away from the emotionally abusive man who “owns” her. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
Each of the Caldwell brothers have their own “thing.” Hendrix owns the family bar, Jagger is a fighter, and Morrison…known as Aces when he’s in Vegas…can read people’s tells, thus making him a very successful poker player.
He comes across as an alpha male, but he’s actually a good guy who wants to help people, something that comes from his mother telling him to do good in the world when she died. Okay, so he’s a player who likes to pick up women and doesn’t necessarily want a relationship, but really…he’s a good guy.
Modern Day Pimps
Hailey’s story makes me wonder if this is really a thing. Her mother was a prostitute, owned by a pimp (who was incidentally also Hailey’s father). Things went bad when she tried to help her mother when she was a teen, and she ended up being sold to a sleazy Vegas card player who was also sort of a big name pimp…or something? The guy is a douche who controls Hailey and their daughter, so when he tells her she can leave, she does. But it comes with a huge price tag.
Rock is Not Dead
Besides the whole named after rockers thing, I felt like the dialogue and dialect was often very reflective of the genre. There’s also the reference to Detroit Rock City being where the boys were raised. It’s hard to explain this kind of feel, but the feel was there. The book was rock and roll and it was a lot of fun.
When Morrison and Hailey first meet, Hailey introduces herself and they exchange names. But right before she leaves him, he asks for her name and then spends their next interaction trying to get it out of her. I’m not sure if this was an actual continuity error or if Morrison wasn’t paying attention because OMG AROUSAL and Hailey never called him on it.
The Romance Factor
For as much of a player Morrison is before he meets Hailey, he becomes a really good guy. Hailey doesn’t want to be owned, but considering her upbringing, she truly feels that if someone does something for her, it’s because they want her to owe them something. Even though it kind of kills him to do it, Morrison gives her space to prove that he’s not trying to control her life. And of course Hailey has to get beyond that and learn to really trust him. There’s a lot of chemistry, but a lot of personal development too, and the angst gets super high. 4/5
The Steam Factor (or Come On Baby Light My Fire)
There’s a lot of detail and some pretty dirty stuff happening in Morrison’s awesome car. Definitely one to make you blush. 5/5
Though sweet and steamy, there was also some really heavy stuff in this book and there seems to be a mystery that might come up again. The book was gritty and at times disturbing, and yet I still really enjoyed it and thought it was a fun read.