Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata

Synopsis: Twenty-six-year-old Gaby Barreto might be a lot of things (loyal, sarcastic, one of the guys and a pain in the butt depending on which family member you ask), but dumb isn’t one of them. When her twin brother invites her to go on tour as his band’s merch girl, she isn’t exactly screaming at the top of her lungs with joy.

With no job opportunities pounding on her door, an ex-boyfriend she would still like to castrate, and no end in sight to moving out of her parents’ house in Dallas… it would be dumb to say no to the chance of a lifetime. Two bands, three continents, one tour. Spending the next ninety-plus days with three beloved idiots and eight complete strangers shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

If only the singer of the headlining band didn’t have tattoos… a great personality… a fantastic body… and if he wasn’t so funny….

Let’s be real: Gaby never had a chance against Sacha Malykhin.

Review: In romances, there are two worlds that I like when I’m tired, (I have my little obsessions!), music, and princes. Yes, princes, I had to keep a little Disney side despite my white hair…. Here, no princes, but a rock band, and music. So an ideal read for my neurons on pause (or in danger of extinction given my condition…).

This story has at least the merit of breaking out of the usual patterns found in the romances that take place in the world of music. Everything goes fast, too fast, the singer/bassist/guitarist is a rutting alpha male who jumps on anything that moves and, miraculously, hooks up with the heroine, because she is unique. Be careful, I like this scheme, but I especially like variety. Here, no Alpha male, Sacha is… normal. Well, okay, not quite normal, he’s handsome as a god (he’s still the singer of a rock band), as soon as he opens his mouth to sing, the panties fall off, but he doesn’t take advantage of it. It is… nice. Yes, nice. The nice, well-behaved, respectful guy.

Gaby is a gross formwork stripper. She grew up with her twin brother and friends, it builds her character. She’s the right girlfriend, with wit, a sometimes limited sense of humour, naturalness, and that’s perfect for her. Until she met Sacha.

Their story is gradually taking shape – friendship, first emotions, first feelings – and it’s very pleasant. Sacha and Gabi are both really cute. Eli, Mason are endearing behind their painful “sides”, they form a real family, united, around Gabi, and their relationship is blatantly true.

So what’s the assessment? Did I have a great time reading it? Yes, without a doubt. I didn’t love it, some deeper subjects could have been better exploited, and I some passages were lacking.

But hey, maybe it’s due to my neurons in the process of extinction….

Celine

Rythme, Accords & Malykhin de Mariana Zapata

Résumé : Gaby Barreto, vingt-six ans, peut être qualifiée de beaucoup de choses (loyale, sarcastique, banale et casse-pied, en fonction du membre de sa famille à qui vous posez la question), mais pas d’idiote. Quand son frère jumeau l’invite à partir en tournée avec son groupe en tant que vendeuse de produits dérivés, elle ne saute pas vraiment de joie.

Sans perspective d’emploi, avec un ex-petit ami qu’elle aimerait bien castrer et sans la possibilité de partir de la maison de ses parents à Dallas… il serait idiot de dire non à la chance de sa vie.

Deux groupes, trois continents, une tournée.
Passer les quatre-vingt-dix prochains jours avec trois crétins qu’elle adore et huit parfaits inconnus, ce n’est pas la mer à boire, si ?
Si seulement le chanteur du groupe en tête d’affiche n’avait pas de tatouages… une forte personnalité… un corps fantastique… et s’il n’était pas si drôle… Soyons réalistes : Gaby n’a jamais fait le poids face à Sacha Malykhin.

Avis : Dans les romances, il y a deux univers qui me plaisent quand je suis hs, (j’ai mes petites manies !), la musique, et les princes. Eh oui, les princes, j’ai dû garder un petit côté Disney malgré mes cheveux blancs… Ici, pas de princes, mais un groupe de rock, et de la musique. Donc lecture idéale pour mes neurones en pause (ou en voie d’extinction vu mon état… ).

Cette histoire a au moins le mérite de sortir des trames habituelles que l’on retrouve dans les romances qui se déroulent dans le monde de la musique. Tout va vite, trop vite, le chanteur/ bassiste/ guitariste est un mâle alpha en rut qui saute sur tout ce qui bouge et qui, ô miracle, se case avec l’héroïne, car elle est unique. Attention, j’aime bien ce schéma, mais j’aime surtout la variété. Ici, pas de mâle Alpha, Sacha est… normal. Bon, ok, pas tout à fait normal, il est beau comme un dieu (c’est quand même le chanteur d’un groupe de rock), dès qu’il ouvre la bouche pour chanter, les petites culottes tombent, mais lui n’en profite pas. Il est… gentil. Oui, gentil. Le type sympa, bien élevé, respectueux.

Gaby est brute de décoffrage. Elle a grandi avec son frère jumeau et ses amis, ça forge le caractère. De la répartie, un humour parfois limite, du naturel, c’est la bonne copine, et ça lui convient parfaitement. Jusqu’à ce qu’elle rencontre Sacha.

Leur histoire se met en place petit à petit – amitié, premières émotions, premières sensations– et c’est très agréable. Sacha et Gabi sont vraiment mignons tous les deux. Eli, Mason sont attachants derrières leurs « côtés » pénibles, ils forment une vraie famille, soudée et unie, autour de Gabi, et leur relation est criante de vérité.

Alors le bilan ? Ai-je passé un chouette moment de lecture ? Oui, sans aucun doute. Ce n’est pas un franc coup de cœur, certains sujets plus profonds auraient pu être mieux exploités, et m’ont fait passer à côté de certains passages.

Mais bon, peut-être est-ce dû à mes neurones en voie d’extinction…

Celine

Hold Me Today by Maria Luis

Put A Ring On It, Book 1

Synopsis: Rock bottom has never felt so good.

At least, that’s what I tell myself when I bargain with the enemy and score a renovation for my hair salon.

The enemy? Nick Stamos, my best friend’s older brother.

He’s got a body and face the Greek gods would envy but his personality needs a major overhaul.

He’s surly.
A rule-follower.
Did I mention he’s seen me naked?

I may have crushed on him for years, but the only place I want Nick swinging his hammer nowadays is at my salon.

Except, he needs something in return. . .

A fake girlfriend.

And I’m just reckless enough to say yes.

Review: I discovered Maria Luis with another one of her series with which I am having a good time. So when I saw that she was releasing the first volume of a brand new one, I admit that I jumped on it! I was really curious to find out what she was going to offer us!

If I had a little trouble getting into the story regarding the writing style at first, I quickly got attached to the characters and it was easy after that to get caught up in the story!

Mina has a dream in life and that’s to open her hair salon. But here, the worker she hired left with her money. She has only one choice left and that is to go see her best friend’s brother, the one she has always loved and who is her nemesis, the one who is driving her crazy. It is also the one who has a renovation company. Yet she didn’t expect him to offer her in return to be his fake best girlfriend! And even less to fall back under his spell. But here it is, Nick is a fervent romantic and is looking for the love of his life… As for Mina? Well, it’s not in her plans.

I really liked these two characters. They are both touching and I must admit that I have easily become attached to Mina. She hides many injuries that are difficult to overcome and we hope that she will succeed. And how can I resist the framework that the author set up with Greek characters, who have their culture at heart and I loved all the touches of language! And then there’s Effie, Nick’s sister and Mina’s best friend, and her wife, and I also really enjoyed discovering them! Effie is a great person!

It was a good discovery and I am curious to discover Dom’s story now.

Hold Me Today de Maria Luis (VO)

Put A Ring On It, Tome 1

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Toucher le fond n’a jamais été aussi bien.

Du moins, c’est ce que je me dis quand je négocie avec l’ennemi une rénovation de mon salon de coiffure.

L’ennemi ? Nick Stamos, le frère aîné de ma meilleure amie.

Il a un corps et un visage que les dieux grecs lui envieraient, mais sa personnalité a besoin d’une révision majeure.

Il est hargneux.

Un adepte des règles.

Ai-je mentionné qu’il m’a vue nue ?

J’ai peut-être craqué sur lui pendant des années, mais le seul endroit où je veux que Nick balance son marteau aujourd’hui, c’est dans mon salon.

Sauf qu’il a besoin de quelque chose en retour. . .

Une fausse petite amie.

Et je suis juste assez imprudente pour dire oui.

Avis : J’ai découvert Maria Luis avec une autre de ses séries avec laquelle je passe un bon moment. Alors quand j’ai vu qu’elle sortait le premier tome d’une toute nouvelle, j’avoue que j’ai sauté dessus ! J’étais vraiment curieuse de découvrir ce qu’elle allait nous proposer !

Si j’ai eu un peu de mal par rapport au style à rentrer dans l’histoire au début, je me suis vite attachée aux personnages et il a été facile après ça de me laisser entraîner par le récit !

Mina a un rêve dans la vie et c’est d’ouvrir son salon de coiffure. Mais voilà l’ouvrier qu’elle avait embauché est parti avec son argent. Il ne lui reste qu’un choix possible et c’est d’aller voir le frère de sa meilleure amie, celui qu’elle a toujours aimé et qui est sa némésis, celui qui la fait tourner en bourrique. C’est aussi celui qui a une entreprise de rénovation. Pourtant, elle ne s’attendait pas à ce qu’il lui propose en contrepartie d’être sa fausse petite meilleure amie ! Et encore moins à retomber sous son charme. Mais voilà, Nick est un fervent romantique et cherche l’amour de sa vie … Quant à Mina ? Eh bien, ce n’est pas dans ses projets.

J’ai vraiment bien aimé ces deux personnages. Ils sont tous les deux touchants et j’avoue que je me suis facilement attachée à Mina. Elle cache de nombreuses blessures qui sont difficiles à dépasser et on espère qu’elle y arrivera. Et comment résister au cadre que l’auteure a mis en place avec des personnages grecs, qui ont à cœur leur culture et j’ai adoré toutes les touches de langage ! Et puis, il y a Effie, la sœur de Nick et meilleure amie de Mina, ainsi que sa femme, et j’ai aussi beaucoup apprécié les découvrir ! Effie est une personne géniale !

C’était une bonne découverte et je suis curieuse de découvrir l’histoire de Dom à présent.

Jordan Reclaimed by Scarlett Cole

Preload, Book 1

Synopsis: He’s a rockstar, she’s a ballerina, they’re worlds apart yet just what the other needs.

Jordan Steele’s life began when he was ten. When he was taken from his parents and a house that was never a home. When he met his brothers, the other lost and abandoned boys in his group home. When he learned what friendship and family and love looked like.

Now he’s made a career out of playing the music he loves, touring the world with the band he and his brothers formed in that crowded group home. No one but his found family really knows the man under the fame and fortune, the scars he hides behind the rockstar lifestyle. Until he sees her through the windows of the National Ballet, dancing, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so dark.

Aleksandra Artemov ticks all the ballet boxes. Father a legendary Kirov dancer. Check. Prepping since birth for classical ballet. Check. Compulsive control over the food she eats. Check. Principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada. Check. But what she craves is freedom.

She craves Jordan.

Everything about him should terrify her. His size, his tattoos, his hard rock edge. But he doesn’t. He stirs her very soul. Jordan has nothing but himself to offer her, and he’s never been good enough for anyone. Can he figure out how to face his own demons before he loses his light for good?

Review: I heard a lot about Scarlett Cole and, if I had never read one of her novels, I was very curious to discover one of her stories! And how to resist when the main characters are a ballet dancer and a member of a famous rock band? Impossible!

Jordan was completely shattered by his childhood and, while he has managed to evolve with his childhood friends, he is still touched and traumatized by everything that has happened to him, and we can understand him perfectly! And then we meet Lexi, a young ballet dancer who, even if she now does a job she loves more than anything else in the world, must undergo the strict and, even unhealthy, demands of her father. Their meeting is touching, their interactions clumsy and yet, they will succeed in evolving together, healing to move forward, but it will not be an easy path.

I really enjoyed this novel and the characters. I found it really nice to have such different characters, especially with Jordan who has been through so much to get there. Besides, all the boys in the group have a particular charisma and I am all the more curious to read more about them too! A nice first volume!

Te regarder danser de Scarlett Cole

Preload, Tome 1

Résumé  : Bassiste de Preload, adulé par les fans, convoité par les filles, Jordan a tout pour lui. Il n’arrive pourtant pas à se défaire de ses angoisses existentielles, liées aux blessures de son enfance. Lorsqu’il voit danser Alexandra à travers la fenêtre de l’Opéra national, il est aussitôt envoûté. Mais rien n’est facile non plus pour la jolie ballerine, promise à une brillante carrière au prix de nombreux sacrifices.
Ils viennent de mondes différents, ils sont tous les deux tourmentés, mais ensemble, les obstacles ne semblent plus si insurmontables.

Avis : J’avais beaucoup entendu parler de Scarlett Cole et, si je n’avais jamais lu un de ses romans, j’étais très curieuse de découvrir une de ses histoires ! Et comment résister quand les personnages principaux sont une danseuse de ballet et un membre d’un célèbre groupe de rock ? Impossible !

Jordan a complètement été brisé par son enfance et, s’il a réussi à évoluer avec ses amis d’enfance, il est toujours touché et traumatisé par tout ce qui lui est arrivé, et on peut le comprendre parfaitement ! Et puis on rencontre Lexi, une jeune danseuse de ballet qui, même si elle fait aujourd’hui un métier qu’elle aime plus que tout au monde, doit subir l’exigence stricte et, même malsaine, de son père. Leur rencontre est touchante, leurs interactions maladroites et pourtant, ils vont réussir à évoluer ensemble, guérir pour avancer, mais ce ne sera pas un chemin facile.

J’ai beaucoup apprécié ce roman et les personnages. J’ai trouvé vraiment agréable d’avoir des personnages si différents, notamment avec Jordan qui a traversé tant d’épreuves pour en arriver jusque-là. D’ailleurs tous les garçons du groupe ont un charisme particulier et je suis d’autant plus curieuse d’en lire plus à leur sujet aussi ! Un premier tome assez sympa !

The Consequence of Falling by Claire Contreras

Synopsis: The list of things I hate is short. Not even my soon-to-be ex-husband is on that list. Nope. I save only the worst of the worst, the crème de la crème, the absolute I cannot even for this list . . .

1. Black coffee
2. Rude people
3. Nathaniel Bradley

Which is why when my father informs me that he’s making Nathaniel Bradley his new business partner, and in turn, my boss, I flip out.

1. He’s an annoying know-it-all.
2. He calls me a spoiled princess every chance he gets.
3. He disapproves of everything I do.

I go into this knowing I’ll hate every second in his presence. Except the longer he’s around, the more I find myself staring at his lips and remembering the one time they were on mine. I randomly find myself looking at his hands and wondering how they’d feel on my skin.
I try to snap out of it, but I guess I’m not as smart as I thought I was. No matter how many times I remind myself of the times I’ve practically thrown myself at him and he’s pushed me away, I keep falling little by little.

I’d always heard that it was a bad idea to mix business with pleasure and if that’s the case, this thing with Nathaniel has demise written all over it.

Review: I didn’t know Claire Contreras at all and, looking around a little, I was surprised to discover that several of her books had been translated into French. Either way, I’m conquered! Yes, really conquered! I didn’t know the author, but now I want to discover all her novels to see if I’ll have such a great time with all her stories! Yes, it was that good! I hoped, cried, yes, I cried, and my little heart tightened several times for Nathaniel and Presley. I got attached to them without ever being able to let them go. I wanted to know everything about them, I wanted everything to be fine, I wanted a lot of things, it’s true. But above all, I was eager to finish the story and to know everything that was going to happen and how things would end.

It must be said that Nathaniel and Presley are two very colorful characters. Oh, yes! Yes! Nathaniel owes his rise only to his hard work and above all, to the father of the young woman who took him under his wing during his childhood. Presley, on the other hand, looks like a rich little girl at first glance, yet she has a need to be loved and wants to important to someone. It is not easy.

We thus discover some chapters at the beginning of the story that shows us events that occurred in the youth of our two characters, first when they were respectively 15 and 18 years old when they met, then over the years, until they reach their 28th birthday.

Wow, I fell completely under the spell of the characters. We understand perfectly why they act as they do, sometimes doing harm to each other. And yet, there is something very strong between them too. Yes, there are intense moments, one where I cried as I imagined what the heroine would feel, difficult moments, but also touching and happy moments.

I discovered the author with this novel and I am so excited to read more now! It was a very beautiful discovery for this beginning of the year!