Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Sunday, October 31

Title:  Backstage Pass*
Author:  Olivia Cunning
Series: Sinners on Tour book #1
Genre:  Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Format:  Trade paperback
Date/Year: October 2010

*This book was provided to me by the publisher for review

Summary from the publisher:

Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance…

For him, life is all music and no play…

When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius…

She’s the one to call the tune…

When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on…

Then the two lovers’ wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory…and sin…

My Musings:

Backstage Pass is a great debut novel, for what promises to be a fantastic new series, by Olivia Cunning.  And when I say this book is HOT, I mean that it definitely belongs in the erotic romance category!

So what did I love about this book?  The characters!  I thought that Olivia Cunning did an absolute fantastic job of introducing each of the band members so that you can't wait for each of them to get their own stories, without detracting from Myrna and Brian's story.  And much of Brian and Myrna's story revolve around their adventurous sexual encounters (including a little bit of exhibitionism, BDSM, menage, and a few other things) without feeling gratuitous.  That's certainly not ALL that this story is about, but it plays a major part for both Myrna and Brian....Myrna overcoming the mental abuse she suffered while married to her ex-husband, and Brian finding his Muse in lovemaking to Myrna.

At first I didn't know how I would feel about a book about a Rock band.  I'm not much of a music junkie and didn't know if I would be able to connect with the lead characters and their lifestyle.  I'm happy to say this was not an issue for me, because even though the book revolves around the Rock band, very little of it's focus were the performances, but on the characters themselves.  It was about their life on the road, finding your Muse, the difficulties...and um, benefits that go along with that as well as the hardships of finding and having a lasting and loving relationship with a significant other while being on the road and being the focus of adoring obsessive fans. 

What didn't work for me?  There are just a few minor things that I wish would have been explored in more depth.  I wanted to understand Brian's frustration in not being able to write music without Myrna because the reader is lead to believe that he hadn't written any new music for quite some time, which is why him finding his Muse while making love to Myrna was so rejuvenating for him.  I wanted to know how his love for her influenced and inspired his music.  Because the scenes where he hears and composes his music were some of my favorite parts of the book.  Unfortunately, they were left by the wayside towards the end of the novel, much to my regret. 

I also wished that more would have been done with Myrna's inner dialogue that runs through her head telling her that her desires are abnormal, that she's not desirable, that being in a relationship with a younger man is wrong.  All of this stems from her failed marriage and the mental abuse that she suffered at the hands of her ex husband.  While the reader is made aware of what is going on in her head, she never really addresses them with Brian, nor does she ever really appear to overcome them...they just sort of disappear after a while with no apparent revelations. 

Overall, I wanted more emotion and baring of souls from them both that would have progressed their sexual explorations into making love...a connection that would make you believe that they could have a lasting and loving relationship despite the obstacles.  That being said, if you want a contemporary erotic romance that has both the sexual scenes as well as an actual plot and intriguing characters (characters that you grow to love similar to what I like about Maya Bank's "Sweet" series) then I think you will really enjoy Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning.


Overall:  4.0 stars
Sensuality level: 4.25

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