Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

Rock ChickWhy I read it:  I was in the mood for a KA book and I hadn’t read this one yet. (If I say I was saving it, will that make it sound better?)

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Indy Savage, cop’s daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner, has been in love with Lee Nightingale, once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations, since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now Indy’s employee, Rosie, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicating matters, Lee has decided he’s interested, Indy’s decided she’s not. But she can’t seem to keep Lee out of her life when she’s repeatedly stun gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she’s finding dead bodies).

Indy’s best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee’s challenge is to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  If I had’ve realised how much fun this book was I’d have read it way sooner.  I wheeze-laughed my way through the story. I loved Indy and her antics and enjoyed watching Lee try and keep up with her.  

“Who’s Ike?”

“Another of my men.”

“How many haven’t I met?”

“Luke, Mace, Jack and Ike.”

Mace? Who had a name like Mace? Where did these macho idiots come up with this shit? “You got a guy named Mace?” I asked. I couldn’t help myself.

“His name’s Mason. Mason is a shit name. We call him Mace.”

That made sense.

 

My highlight function got so much of a workout during my read – there were so many quotable quotes. Not that it’s particularly relevant, but I imagined Indy’s voice as sounding a bit like Amanda Ronconi (she narrates Molly Harper‘s books and is fantastic and great with humour).  I have the audiobook but it’s narrated by Susannah Jones – so I expect I’ll have some cognitive dissonance when I eventually listen to it.

I loved the diverse cast and the female friendships which do seem to be a hallmark of Kristen Ashley books.

The news had spread that Lee and I were together and every girlfriend I’d ever had, even some who had moved out of town and one who lived in England, felt it necessary to phone and get the lowdown first hand. Both Marianne and Andrea had called (Marianne twice), demanding updates.

For women far and wide who knew him, hooking up with Lee was a hot news item. Lee was the Holy Grail of boyfriend-dom. Especially since it was me, who had been on the sacred quest for many long, fruitless years.

They all wanted the facts, all the facts. If I but breathed a word of what it actually was like to kiss Lee, be held by Lee, or, dear Lord, what Lee looked like naked, I might cause a riot, even a war. I might have to arm myself and fight them all back lest Lee be torn limb from limb.

It was for the better health of the female population and peace in the land that I kept my mouth shut.

No matter how much the heroine is in love with the hero, she doesn’t skip Girl’s Night Out and always values her friends.

“Tex, it’s Girls Night Out. We talk about needing to lose weight while we drink and eat a lot. We talk about how all men are scum and lazy and useless, mostly Marianne’s ex-husband who is scum and lazy and useless and a rat bastard to boot. Last, we gossip about people pretending we’re trying to be thoughtful and caring as we rip their lives to shreds. Then we hug and go home. That’s it. Girl’s Night Out.”

This book reminded me, in good ways, of To Die For by Linda Howard.  Indy is less of a diva than Blair Mallory but I think Lee and Wyatt Bloodsworth could bond over a beer about how high maintenance are the women they love.

“Someone’s here,” I whispered to Eddie and put my Walgreen’s bag on the kitchen counter.

Eddie turned and looked at me. “No shit, there’s a television on.”

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t a natural born detective with a keen sense of danger.

Lee is something of a cipher – the book is told entirely from Indy’s first person POV and Lee isn’t a big talker.  However, he’s very honest and up front so when he says something, it’s true and I do like people who don’t play silly games.  Indy is very descriptive and I did pick up quite a bit about Lee from the way she described him laughing at her (I was laughing too so it was all good).  It’s just as well Lee is a badass private investigator with connections because I’ve a feeling he’s going to need all of his skills to keep Indy out of trouble.  I think she gets kidnapped something like three times in this book alone.

Lee is very high-handed and some readers won’t like that at all.  Because I knew that Indy loves Lee and wants nothing more than what he’s offering, I gave it a pass.  Also, Indy is no pushover.

I twisted around and glared at Lee. “You said one night of sex!”

Lee’s eyes held mine. “I didn’t say one night. We’ve been waitin’ a long time. One night won’t do it.” Then he paused and said, “But, if you want, we can try.”

My breasts swelled at the idea of trying to fit years of sex into one night with Lee.

I ignored my breasts and paid attention to my temper.

I figured it would be bad form to smack Lee in front of his mother.

And definitely strangulation was out.

even late in the book, Indy is not shy of giving him major attitude.

“Maybe we should have this conversation upstairs,” Lee suggested when he saw my attention turn to Eddie.

“Maybe we should have this conversation in an alternate universe where Alternate Indy gives a shit what Alternate Lee wants her to wear.”

No way to miss the attitude in that.

or

If he was anyone else, he’d have his walking orders. Since he was Lee, and he loved me, and he wanted (or, more to the point, was going) to marry me, I was willing to be pretty fucking angry for a while and then carry a mean grudge.

I didn’t find the clothing descriptions boring or out of place – they were pure Indy and they were mostly hilarious. The bit when she was trying to clear space in her closet but couldn’t give up the top she wore “when she wanted to feel like Olivia Newton-John” was so funny I had actual tears.

There is a wonderful sense of community and family in this book.  It was a true feel good romp.

If there was any fairness in the world, everyone would be able to have salsa from Las Delicias. Crisp, fresh onion, just enough cilantro. After a few margaritas, Ally and I could even make a case for salsa from Las Delicias bringing peace to the Middle East.

What else? Rock Chick is a madcap farce which I read while laughing or grinning the whole way through. For sheer enjoyment – particularly when I was having a day when I badly needed a mood lifter, this one gets an B+.

Grade: B+

BUY IT:
AMAZON     KOBO

 

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