Oh, Manaconda, I had such high hopes for you. I wanted a cocky (ha ha) rock star with a sense of humor, but instead I got an arrogant rock star with a “poor me, nobody cares about my mind” complex. Let me break it down.
Hunter is the lead singer of a band releasing their fifth album. He’s led the famous lifestyle for a decade, and he’s tired of the users and the groupies and the paparazzi. He finally landed the cover of Rolling Stone, but the cover picture shows his tight pants outlining his impressive manliness. The headline is “Manaconda.” The magazine sold out, and everyone is now obsessing about his cock, rather than the insightful interview inside. Here’s what we’re not told: Who wrote that headline? Did it come up in the interview? Has Hunter’s manaconda been Of Interest before? The whole article (and the book!) is based on that word, but all we get is Hunter moping about all the attention he gets, no backstory. It’s an attention-grabber that doesn’t follow through (yes, I’m speaking about the book).
On to Kennedy. She’s some kind of PR person who has been brought to the album release party at the last minute to spin the buzz surrounding Hunter’s manaconda. She stalks up all tough and hard, and then she takes it upon herself to find Hunter, who is hiding in a hotel kitchen. Kennedy believes that guys call girls by nicknames because they’re too lazy to remember the name. Hunter immediately calls her Kenny. Then she orders him back to the party, and they get stuck in a secret corridor (of course) where they start kissing (of course).
There’s a concert, and more making out, and Hunter demanding Kennedy to sleep with him. “She punched my chest and kicked my shin. Freaking hellcat. Just as I was about to step back, she hooked her arm around my neck and kissed me back.” They finally manage to be alone so Hunter can get started on the seven orgasms he’s promised her. Somewhere during all that, some management people think that Kennedy should be Hunter’s fake girlfriend (so professional!) and Kennedy leads a press conference. I swear that was the only work thing she did, besides telling people what’s trending on Twitter.
Seventy percent of the book is that first day/night/morning. A lot of talk about sexual tension, and some actual sex. Somehow Hunter feels different around Kennedy. Somehow Kennedy, who has professional rules, gets jealous over his past girlfriends. And then there’s a party where Hunter has to beat up his bandmate over his ex-fiancee, and Kennedy has concerns about it, and Hunter wonders why he wants her when she’s part of the publicity machine that he hates so much. But then they go to a pet adoption fundraiser and cuddle puppies.
I just didn’t care. Kennedy raked/grazed/dragged her fingernails all over his body. Hunter liked her taste and her smell. They briefly wondered whether they knew each other well enough to be in a relationship. I wondered the same thing, but I was willing to overlook it to see how they planned to move forward. But then there was a cliffhanger. The sequel is out now, and it’s free, but I’m not invested in their relationship enough to care what happens next.
*ARC provided for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Rainbow Rage Publishing