This is my first story by Stephanie Julian and what an enjoyable read it was. This is Julian’s first in the ‘Baseline Sins’ which is a spin-off from her ‘Salon Games’ series. Now, as I’ve not read any of the Salon Games, I don’t know if the writing style is similar. But what I can tell you is this – I’m not a fan of stories about rock bands. I find most of them full of sex, sex and more sex without any character development or decent plot lines. I didn’t find that with this story. I found this story engaging, quick and witty with some of the funniest dialogue I’ve read all year.
It’s rare when I like a heroine who’s as young as Trudeau Morrison is; she’s 26, but man-o-man did I like her. She’s got a bit of an old soul and has always known what she wanted out of life. She left her small town determined to succeed in Hollywood of all places, not as an actress but as someone in the business. Thinking back on that – there’s not an explanation on why Hollywood, but then again, I really wasn’t fretting over that too much. Trudeau’s still close to her parents, especially her Dad. And more interestingly, she’s antagonistic towards her sister which was a part of Trudeau’s personality that showed her true age.
Musician Sebastian ‘Baz’ Valenti is on a hiatus from his band. He’s had an accidental overdose and was out of commission for a few months but has since been living at Haven. I’m not sure how he ended up there or how he got involved with Greg and Sabrina –and in turn Trudeau– but I didn’t feel too left out not knowing. While he’s living at Haven (which I’m not sure is a hotel, compound, studio building, or what) he’s scoring a movie for Greg’s company – ManDown Productions.
So because I don’t know the Salon Games history, I have no clue if these two are in any of those stories so I can only speak of what this story tells me. Baz is actually a nice guy. He’s trying not to be a jerk to Tru, but some days are harder than others, especially when Tru doesn’t pull the punches when she’s talking to him. That becomes one of the things that he ends up liking about her – she doesn’t protect him from either his past or his current choices. Hey, he overdosed. It’s a fact that he went to rehab for it, and she doesn’t sugarcoat that for him.
Once he and Tru get over their childhood bickering, the relationship starts unfolding. One thing that bothered me was that they seemed to spend a lot of time having sex when in each other’s presence. We, the audience, finds out about their growing mutual affection not through their communication with each other, but their communication with other people talking about each other. I would have rather read about them discussing their feelings with one another and developing that bond of vulnerability with each other. There’s quite a bit of ‘facial’ reading that went on, and I didn’t understand how you can know someone for a few months and read them so well. But, oh well.
The chemistry was good between these two. The face swallowing, panting breaths and steamy looks were frequent and there was no shortage of sex. This didn’t read as an HEA to me, more an HFN so if you’re okay with that – I’d give this one a go.
Happy Reading Folks!
*ARC Provided by publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Stephanie Julian
Release Date: November 17, 2015