Category/Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Sisters Price Publishing
Publication Date: 2/19/13
Source: Received from author for review.
Rhys Bellamy is the front man for the wildly successful 13 Shades of Red, a band hailing from New Orleans that is just a bit more then they appear. He’s sexy, caustic and on a path of self destruction that has everything to do with the fact that he can speak to the dead. A man hounded by the death of his fiancée, Rhys is a lothario of the highest caliber. His life, his band, and his agony celebrates his lost love, Phaedra, and it has made him a very popular man with the ladies, even if they will never mean anything to him. Too bad Phaedra has never and will never contact him.
When the band’s first US tour meets with some unforeseen management issues, Saffron Richards is brought in to take care of it. A veteran of the business, Saffron knows all about Rhys and his reputation and doesn’t want to become another notch on his belt. Too bad fate has it in for the both of them, and gives them an attraction neither can deny.
But life on the road with an up and coming band has its problems, from bosses to groupies to just plain old flat tires. And Phaedra, who has been watching from the mists and reveling in the misery of her lost lover doesn’t want to see him happy. Being together is harder than it sounds, especially when Phaedra crosses the veils on All Hallows Eve to reignite the love that Saffron has set to ash in Rhys. And Phaedra is not giving him up without a fight. Not because she loves him, but because she doesn’t ever want him to forget.
Warning: this is considered a New Adult genre release. Reader discretion is advised.
I'm going to start by saying that Giving Up the Ghost was a cool story with an interesting concept. Now, it is no surprise that I wanted to read this because of the rock band aspect. There are so many rocker books these days, though, that a lot of the books are starting to blend together and that's left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. What gives Giving Up the Ghost an advantage is the supernatural element.
I feel a bit torn over this review, because there were aspects to the story that worked well for me, and others that didn't work so much. Let me start with what I liked.
The Supernatural. I'm not much for really scary stories, but I do love a good story with ghosts. In this story, you have Necromancers, Demons, Witches, Goddesses, and I'm sure more that aren't really touched on.
The rock band lifestyle, starting with the band's name 13 Shades of Red. The band was comprised of very compelling characters, led by Rhys Bellamy. Their music was described as hard-driving, yet intense and soulful. The band members were a fun group to follow. There was Chandler, who we don't see much of, but I liked what I got. There is also Tosh, whom apparently is extremely blessed in the "danger zone" (that's a nod to MadTV, if you didn't catch it), and his girlfriend Nyx. I liked that they were a couple within the band, but it's not really clear how their relationship works. Nyx was very cool and was so good to Saffron when she joins as their tour manager. Rounding out the group is the studly Winter, who's deceased sister was Rhys former love.
So that leaves us with Rhys and Saffron, a rock star and his tour manager. These two had such a great chemistry. The instant attraction was burning up, and I loved that they didn't pull any punches and play the tired "should I or shouldn't I?" game. These two move fast, and holy crap, the sex was hot. Way, way, way hotter than I had anticipated. I loved, as did Rhys, how she didn't let Rhys' status and studliness bowl her over. Saffron was one tough chick. She didn't do jealousy, doens't let the groupies get her down, and doesn't let a little thing like her boyfriend's dead girlfriend stand between them. And I loved that Rhys recognizes the potential he and Saffron had, and doesn't let that slip away.
Okay, so as I said, not everything about Giving Up the Ghost was a hit for me.
I know I said I like the Supernatural Element, and I did, but a lot of it wasn't explained well, and I was left wondering what was going on, who these people/creatures were. I looked to see if this was a series, but couldn't find any info. It wasn't until I got to the back of the book that I found there was another book You Burn Me, that introduces the supernatural. If I had been able to find that first, and realize that yes, I was missing something, I wouldn't have tried to find what I was missing.
And though I liked Rhys and Saffron's relationship, something about it felt off to me. I think it's that I felt that things on that front were rushed through. It was fun and hot, but I wasn't feeling that undying devotion so quickly.
Giving Up the Ghost was a fast read, and one that I did enjoy, despite the couple of hang-ups I had. I'm very curious about the other members of the band, and am definitely interested in reading their stories.
The attraction had nothing to do with who he was with the mic in his hand; it had to do with the man he was when the lights went down on the stage. The sad, lonely man that needed to be shown that his life was what we did when the ones we loved left us. ~80%
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