BOOK REVIEW ⎜Rise by Karina Bliss

MY RATING

Phenomenal banter and so much verbal foreplay, I actually died a little when Elizabeth and Zander toppled over.
This Rockstar romance was a definite slow burner, steering away from the usual clichés by focusing in depth on two mature adults dealing with reminders of sins from the past and insecurities issues.
A great balance of humor, heartwarming romance, intense feelings and portraying of a rock legend.
I didn’t want this book to end, ever!

Book Infos

Acclaimed literary biographer Elizabeth Winston writes about long-dead heroes. So bad-boy rock icon Zander Freedman couldn’t possibly tempt her to write his memoir. Except the man is a mass of fascinating contradictions–manipulative, honest, gifted, charismatic and morally ambiguous. In short, everything she seeks in a biography subject. When in her life will she get another chance to work with a living legend? But saying yes to one temptation soon leads to another. Suddenly she’s having heated fantasies about her subject, fantasies this blue-eyed devil is only too willing to stoke. She thought self-control was in her DNA; after all, she grew up a minister’s daughter. She thought wrong.

Rock star Zander Freedman has been an outlier–many would say an outcast–for most of his life. But there’s no disaster he can’t overcome, from the breakup of his band to the inevitable damage to his reputation. His Resurrection Tour is shaping up to be his greatest triumph–if his golden voice holds out. Contracting a respected biographer is simply about creating more buzz. Elizabeth’s integrity is the key to consolidating his legacy as one of rock’s greats. All the damn woman has to do is write down what he tells her. Not force him to think. Or encourage the good guy struggling to get out. And certainly not make him fall in love for the first time in his life. Turns out he is scared of something: being known.

Author : Karina Bliss
Title : Rise
Series : Rock Solid #1

Number of pages : 340
Publisher : Self Published
Release Date :  January 28th, 2015
Genre : Contemporary, Erotica.

My Review

I DID NOT WANT THIS BOOK TO END. EVER.

Fascinating. This book fascinated me. The writing—so good, the complex and in depth portraying of two opposites, the growth of characters, the peculiar dynamic of the slow burn romance, the realistic representation of a burnt out rockstar trying with all his might and arrogance to resurrect what was once at the top, the amazing banter and the heartfelt romance! I’m in love with this book!

I know it’s bad form to compare books, although I’m not truly comparing here but Rise gave me the same vibes I had when I first read Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper. (LOVED this one HARD)

He’s a manipulative, arrogant and selfish rockstar, she’s an esteemed historical biographer with good-doer looks he admires, so he hires (traps/tricks/lures works too) her into writing his memoirs.

This book is nothing like what I first think of when I think “Rockstar Romance“.

If you’re looking for the stereotypical asshole fighting his way through groupies and depravity untils he finds the one, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Zander Freedman already done all this. Twenty years ago.

Today at forty years old, stripped-down of all the rock god stigmas, —save a massive ego and well placed tattoos— Zander is focused on trying to revive his band, Rage, secretly sacrifying a lot to do so. Hoarding twenty years worth of demons and sins, it’s with half-truths he’s trying to keep Elizabeth at arm length, underestimating her acute boldness and determination to see this project through.

-How many people you need to love you?
-A stadium feels about right.

I loved the heroine something fierce and I adored how the author portrayed this thirty-six years old woman. Elizabeth Winston is smart, genuinely nice, caring and not —totally— intimidated by her Rock God of a boss. Sure, she’ll admit—even to herselfZander is hot and holds a gravitational power, but she’s sensible and rational enough to smash these inconsequential zings of awareness for a hot body.

I come offstage charged with the love of seventy thousand people, a conductor of pure energy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re immune. I could tempt even you, Doc.

Level-headed and driven, incisive but never intrusive with her questions to Zander, Elizabeth gives as good as she gets from his biting retorts and provocative come-ons. She may be a nice and caring human at heart, she’s isn’t less cunning when it comes to verbal sparring.

-Doc, I’ve slept with a lot of women—
-Be still my beating heart.
-and I’ve never wanted a woman like I want you.”

The banter between them was phenomenal. Sarcasm, cynicism and irony all bundled  into something SHARP, intelligent and entertaining. Karina Bliss delivered smart dialogues, giving perspective and depth to her characters, main and secondary.

Rise is defintely a slow burner, and I enjoyed every second of it. How Elizabeth and Zander relationship builds over their professional exchanges, respect for each other, initiating admiration and surprise each and every time they both stripped off a new layer of self-preservation to reveal a new facet of themselves. The playful and daring teasing from Zander, the spirited rebukes from Elizabeth, all of this gave such a light-hearted feel to the book. I couldn’t get enough of their interactions. It was an amazing foreplay to their romance and perfect tool to build a sexual tension in concert with their blatant chemistry.

The moment they both let themselves vulnerable to feels, sent me straight to cloud nine. Entirely worth the wait, the relentless teasing and more! Zander and Elizabeth together are everything!

-How many people do you need to love you?
-Just one. This one.

This book was insanely good, I couldn’t put it down, it holds a good amount of drama, minor angst, and deals with mature characters. Despite being real opposites in their lifestyle, Zander and Elizabeth are both carrying emotional baggage, the two of them careful with their affections and reluctant to lower their emotional walls.

The the time taken by the author to give the reader an extended viewpoint into both main characters’ lives —as well as the secondary characters I cannot wait to read about in the next books, was a real treat.

Delicious read all around. Highly recommend!

I want you because of this. Because you set up a hum in my blood like a tune I keep trying to catch. I want to know how you feel against me naked, whether your skin smells of cinnamon and vanilla everywhere. I want to hear the sounds you make when you’re having good sex.

Last of all, thank you to Camille for mentioning this book yesterday, me telling her I had never heard of the author, until I discovered I had the book on my kindle since January 2017… LOL! #BookHoarder #TooManyBooks

Author Bio & Links

New Zealander Karina Bliss has written a biography for a rock star, swapped identities with her twin, raised three orphaned children with her ex husband, worn a cow costume to a Bachelor and Spinster ball, considered marriage for the sake of a baby, and been mayor of a small town.

Oh wait, that’s her characters.

Outside her imagination, she’s always been a professional writer, first as a travel journalist and then as a romance author. Her deeply held convictions include: love conquers all; yoga pants are daywear; and what a woman really wants is a man who cleans. Unfortunately, she does not live with one, (nor indeed has raised one). Please buy her books so she can pay for one.

She has also swum with sharks. They were very small. Babies, really. But still count.

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