Rockin’ it Forever (PrinCkhera’s Review)

Rockin' it Forever
Title: Rockin’ it Forever (What’s His Passion?)
Author: Morticia Knight
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: June 14th, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Page Count: 202
Reviewed by: PrinCkhera
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 1 star out of 5
Blurb:

Can the touch of a rock god last forever?

Music journalist Bryan Gallagher’s life has completely changed in an unexpected way. Not only has he snagged a dream assignment as the memoirist to alternative music’s rock superstar Aubrey King, but he’s also promised to give the beautiful and enigmatic musician a chance for them to forge a relationship. It’s all very overwhelming for Bryan since, up until he spent a sexually charged day and night with Aubrey, Bryan has never even dreamed of being with a man.

Aubrey is completely smitten with the boyishly handsome, young rock writer, Bryan. After their instant spark grows into something more, Aubrey is desperate to keep Bryan by his side for always. He’s promised Bryan that their love is for real, that Bryan isn’t simply one of his rock star conquests.

Their road isn’t an easy one, though. Despite their deepening bond and growing need for each other, other factors intrude. Neither Aubrey nor Bryan is ready to come out, and their relationship needs to remain a carefully guarded secret. In addition, Aubrey has to answer to the demands of his profession and Bryan has to traverse the shifting waters between his personal and business relationship with his famous lover.

Then a secret is revealed and everything in their joint world implodes. When a love is so strong that two men can barely take a breath without thinking of the other, will that be enough to bridge the loss of trust? The only way they can rock their love forever is if Aubrey can reach Bryan before it’s too late.


Warning: Dissenting Opinion ahead. (Also, it may be helpful to read the review to the first part before reading this one because they kind of go hand in hand together – CLICK)

I can honestly tell you that I had a lot of trouble finishing this book.

Starting it, getting through it, and then finishing it.

It took me over 2 months, and I took breaks in-between.

Writing a review for it was this niggling thought in the back of my mind which wouldn’t really leave me alone. But, to do that I first had to finish the book. And it was such a chore.

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Honestly, the sheer amount of time, energy and effort it took me to get through this series is ridiculous.

Did I miss a tag? Did I miss something that others saw and I didn’t?

Their story started out with a book in which within 24 hours (less) a supposedly “tough” reporter lost his gay-virginity to his idol whom he shares a “connection” with.

The problem is not the idea that started out the story though. The idea of a young man who greatly admired a legend, someone who changed his life once and upon meeting did so again.

Rather, it is the lackluster execution.

Give me something believable; something realistic. Don’t tell me that’s how it is, show me.

I dreaded reading the second part in the series, but I’d received the book in order to review and I was going to review. If anything I wanted to give Ms. Knight another chance after her first book, I wanted to give these two a chance though I knew that this was not for me. At all. Let me tell you then the only reason I proceeded to read and finish this book is because it was my responsibility to do so.

Yes. It took me 2 and a half months.

Yes. I hated every single minute.

Yes. Next time I will not do that to myself.

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God! There was so much telling going on and so little showing. Every single time the word “connection” came up I rolled my eyes, banged my head against any surface within reach.

This book rubbed me the wrong way, time and again. I failed to comprehend, every single step of the way, how the author expected me to 1) like the characters, 2) understand their struggle and 3) root for them.

I honestly couldn’t have cared less. Every single time I started writing this review in my mind, it started off negatively. Borderline rude (no, it was most definitely very very rude), and that is something I consciously had to tone down while actually writing the review. Give proper reasoning for my dislike of what I had to suffer through. Because that’s the feeling this brought within me, of suffering. The bad kind, not the “omg, it’s done, what am I going to do with my life now” kind.

You know a book is bad when the author fails to accomplish the above mentioned three points.

So.

Where do I begin?

Let’s start with the connection – the one I so thoroughly failed to see.

They have things in common. Sure. Aubrey has been Bryan’s man-crush for decades, since he was a kid. He’s the reason Bryan went into the Rock Music business. He’s the reason that Bryan is the person he is.

So, yeah. They have this in common. But both Bryan and Audrey are such one-dimensional characters, so flat, and them saying that there was so much more to them? It felt fake. So very much.

They were like three-dimensional wannabes. Really wanting to get in with the cool crowd, but failing to blend in enough to even be accepted.

Like High School, now that I think about it.

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Ok, maybe not the kindest comparison.

Regardless, it feels like – and I don’t want to be offensive so please don’t take it that way – as though both Bryan and Audrey are a bunch of teenaged girls. The stereotype of what we consider teenaged girls, anyways. And when I made the offensive comment – I was talking to teenaged girls everywhere.

  1. They crushed on each other
  2. Audrey basically “stalked” Bryan before locking in on him.
  3. Before Bryan, Audrey was a typical go-after-the-straight-guy kind of guy, but Bryan’s sweetness changed him within a day?
  4. Because the emotions, they’re so high
  5. We feel for one another so much *eyeROLL so much it hurts*
  6. I know it’s only been 2 hours, three minutes and 45 seconds. But, dude – I know that the only hole I ever want to fill is yours. Because. Feelings. (these are my own words, it quite definitely sounds crude and this is just me being dramatic, this was never actually said by any of the characters, but they may as well have)
  7. So. Much. Crying.

It’s just. Neither of the characters were likeable.

Don’t get me wrong again. It’s okay to have unlikable characters, if that’s what you’re going for. If this was you doing this on purpose, if this was some satire of a typical chick flick (the really really bad kind, not the awesome ones) being turned into its “gay-version”… Sure. Bravo. But, that wasn’t really the plan now, was it?

Bryan. Oh, Bryan. Oh sweet sweet Bryan. You see, he has this problem. He’s living under the illusion that he is a hard-assed reporter that doesn’t take shit from no one. Nu-uh.

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There was absolutely no indication, while I was reading this book and from my memory, that proved this delusion of his that substantiated him saying that he’s Bryan – A hard-knuckled reporter that got the scoop, that didn’t lose focus. No. He slept with the client before he became a client, while he was supposed to be scoping him out and entering a partnership.

While he was working for Aubrey, it didn’t really feel as though he was getting any work done. The one time, somewhere in the middle, he seems halfway professional, his inadequacy as a “hard-ass” reporter is so thoroughly highlighted because in all of the rest of the book he just says he’s a “hard-ass” reporter. So much tell, so little show. Don’t tell me you’re a capable reporter, show me by your actions that you’re one.

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Literally, because this is one of the points that bothered me most.

I get sensitivity, but Audrey just rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn’t emphatize with him, and frankly just found him whiny. Because, he was. If he doesn’t get what he wants? Hell hath no fury like a rock-star crying into his sofa. Doesn’t work. But, it’s just so completely TV-sitcom ish, it’s ridiculous.

He is an emotionally unstable person that really needs another outlet than music and Bryan in his life. Like, professional help because obviously those 10 years away from the “corporate machine” did not help as much as he’d like to think they did.

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Seriously.

Their struggle, wasn’t really a struggle. Let me rephrase that. They put roadblocks in their own way, then proceeded to whine about them, despite knowing that these blocks shouldn’t be there in the first place.

That’s basically what Bryan and Aubrey kept doing. Constantly. Whine-whine-whine. So much. Bryan was judgmental, a drama queen, completely oblivious, borderline idiotic and the sheer level of lying to oneself was ridiculous. He didn’t grow as a character.

This story was very superficial, and usually superficial stories still end up working. This one didn’t, because it was (trying to) masquarade as something deep. With feelings that should bring tears to your eyes.

Maybe the problem then is that Ms. Knight was trying too hard.

Imagine you’re in a relationship, but the other person is so much more into you than you really are into them. It’s a very one-sided relationship. You can see them, they’re trying so hard to make you fall for them, but in doing so they’re actually pushing you away because it shouldn’t be so hard. Also, instead of actually doing things to make you think “Huh, that’s actually kind of sweet”, you get annoyed by the constant “telling”. They’re saying things like:

This date was so awesome. Though in reality it was meh.

Wasn’t that so romantic? Wait. What?

It’s like they’re oblivious to the actual state of affairs. They’re living in their own world, and fail to understand that hello, there’s another person here with different ideas, ideals, and things they like standing right in front of you.

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That’s what this book was like. So much telling of how it is. Instead of showing us, making us realise on our own how much these two people truly mean to each other.

That realization of holy fuck I’m in love that creeps up on you. It was attempted but so poorly executed that I’m not even going to go there.

The climax?

God. Saw it coming the moment Chuck was mentioned. So predictable, it was ridiculous. Even the twist… Really wasn’t that shocking.

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It was all so obvious that not only was Chuck just there to 1) stir drama, but he was also there to lead to 2) the “problem” of the book. See, I get that every book kind of needs their characters to hit a stumbling block that puts everything into question. I do. But, this one was so preventable, and so easily solvable that it was absolutely pathetic. It’s the characters, their lacking of communication even through their BS of “no secrets”?! <- Though I absolutely understand that this is like the case for stories 80% of the time.

And then Bryan’s Drama Queen stunt. Wow.

headache

The whole thing was highly anti-climactic. Felt more like a hissy-fit. And then the drowning in sorrow?

No.

It was so melodramatic. So unnecessary. So OTT. It was so much of all of that that I was thanking whatever entity that be that there was only a bit left.

But, even that dragged.

Because of course, after the inevitable “bump in the road” (which anyone could have seen coming, because puhlease – you don’t need to be Sherlock to figure this one out) the whole coming to terms with their stupidity. The “I love him, I cannot live without him”.

You are grown ass men, with jobs, decades of life behind you, as well as people counting on you. Stop acting like a bunch of teenaged girls who just had their hearts broken by the boy next door. Grow the fuck up.

And then resolving said conflict. So cheesy, it hurt. That scene would work in a movie. Not in a book. It was dramatic and over the top.

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The thing is – I like cheese! A lot, actually. But I so thoroughly didn’t like the characters or the conflict that I couldn’t enjoy the cheese. It felt ridiculous.

Aubrey was a self-entitled sentimentalist. Really emotional. And just making this clear. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being emotional, or sentimental, or even crying. But, it can get old. It can get old really fast. I just couldn’t keep reading it because it was so damn ridiculous.

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I just wish I hadn’t read the interview by Ms. Morticia Knight at the end. Because I feel kind of sorry for her and towards her. What she described this book as being, I guess I see it if I squint my eyes, take off my glasses and throw chlorine in them. But honestly? No. I disagreed with every notion on how this book was described because I feel that even though the words of description are correct, the execution was just not there.

I will give Ms. Knight props for one little plot point. But, that’s it. Because even if it is clever, it is so thoroughly overshadowed by everything else, that there’s no saving it.

Spoiler
That Bryan’s family knew he was gay before he did.

I did feel though that being bi-sexual was treated kind of as a joke, because if I remember correctly the mention of being BI was isolated to that incident. The whole “I’m BI! Not GAY!” thing though, I get now why people go through biphobia after seeing Bryan act so defensively to being called gay. The whole you’re just figuring out stuff, you’re undecided, make up your mind bs. Bisexual is being attracted to both sexes, yes. But that also means being so attracted to the other that perhaps there’s a possibility of love on the horizon. The way Bryan was describing his previous girlfriends. They might as well have not been there for all Bryan seemed to care about. And yet, he dares call himself bi. Granted, I do not know much about the topic myself but this was just ridiculous.

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Also, what’s up with the music sentimentality?

I mean, of course there’d be music in the book – hello, it’s the “love-story” between a rock journalist and a rock star. But the whole “He’s the only one who gets me. My love for music” got on my nerves, fast.

Dude. Okay. Yes, I think it’s important that you should be able to share yourself with the person you’re dating. Yes. Pretty important actually. Yes, Bryan and Audrey share that passion for music. But, god. It just sounded so freaking pretentious that every time he talked about their connection through the language of music and all that – I can say with 90% surety that 9/10 times, that’s one of the times I just couldn’t keep reading.

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This book was not for me, on so many levels.

I am truly sorry, but you come across books you think are bad. Then you come across books that are worse.

Please take into consideration that perhaps the reason I ended up seeing whatever Bryan and Audrey did, with such a negative light, because I’d read the first book. The absolutely rdiculosity of it carried over to the second book in the series. Perhaps if you only read one of the two, you’ll have a (remotely) better experience, but because of book 1 I was already dreading book 2, and then book 2 met every one of my expectations. Not in a good way.

If you can handle a bunch of grown ass men acting like a bunch of teenaged girls, a lot of tell and no show, things being said without any basis/proof, and have the willingness to suspend your disbelief (infinitely), then by all means. Be my guest.

But, otherwise.

Obviously.

No.

Personally, I wouldn’t wish this book on anyone. But, then again this is just the opinion of one of many. And there has to obviously have been something I’d missed since others seem to find this display “adorable”. But, like I said, even if they were – it was so overshadowed by everything else that I literally dragged myself through the story, and forced myself to finish it.

Because I had a review to write.

I was honestly bored out of my mind.

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Also, even the sex had me cringing. Literally. I cringed. Oh, not because it’s gay sex – because it was kind of boring. Or maybe I just so thoroughly coloured this book negatively in my mind, that even the sex couldn’t salvage this sinking ship. It was also probably one (or many) of the many times I paused this book, and the reason it took me so long to finish.

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Galley copy of Rockin’ it Forever provided by Pride Publishing in exchange of an honest review.

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