Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Dangerous Beautiful by Penny Dee

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Get over my break-up by having a one-night stand with a rock 'n' roll hottie and move on with my life. Going on tour as official photographer to the world’s number one band was not part of the plan. 

Have you ever dreamed of being plucked out of the crowd by one of the hottest rock stars in the world?

I didn't even know who Ozstryker were when my reckless sister Beth dragged me along to their concert. I went solely to keep her out of trouble, not for me to get tangled up with the famous guitarist renowned for his magnificent shirtless torso and talented fast hands. 

I had no intention of becoming a groupie, let alone anything else. But when Jax Ozstryker invited me on a date, I decided it was time for a little fun. Not that the night ended how I had planned – or how he planned, for that matter – I got a job and he didn't get laid.

Now I’m on tour with the biggest band in the world with my crazy, unpredictable sister for company and a beautiful dangerous attraction for my new boss. I never dreamed life could be so crazy. Or complicated.

But this is life on the road – where nothing makes sense and everything is possible.

4 Fantastic Stars!

Review by Jen Hagen 

Jax Ozstryker is the lead guitarist of a top-rated rock band founded by him and his older brother, Jimmy.  He is 26 years old but has had experiences in his life that make him much wiser beyond those years.  He has seen rock bottom and has worked hard to rise above and keep himself grounded.  He also wears his heart on his sleeve and is ready to find somebody to settle down with to complete his family.

Layla is the daughter of rock-and-roll loving parents.  She and her younger sister, Beth, have been raised by their father since their mother passed away.  Layla is conservative while her sister likes to live on the edge and is ready for the next big jump.  Beth takes Layla with her to see the hit band, Ozstryker, and there is immediate eye contact between Jax and Layla which leads to backstage passes and in turn leads to the chance of a lifetime.

Layla is 23 years old and wanting to go to photography school to follow her passion.  Jax offers her a deal to become the band’s official tour photographer.  This would be an excellent way to pad her portfolio so she accepts the position.  However, this now puts a damper on following through the electrifying impulses felt between Jax and Layla as he is now her boss.  But rules are meant to be broken, right?

Layla and Jax agree to try a relationship.  They are continually blocked from acting upon their sexual desires, and these moments are hilarious.  Better laugh now, because there will come a time when you will be holding your gut because it hurts so bad from the angst rather than because you’re laughing hysterically.  And here it comes…

He bent his head to sweep his lips across mine but when he pulled back, his eyes were distant.
There was something he wasn’t telling me.

From 81% to the end was some of the most delicious angst I have read this year.  It had everything I enjoy in those guilty pleasures of reading somebody else’s pain. 

He just stared at me.  It seemed slinging hurt was my new superpower and it had rendered him frozen to the spot.  I didn’t mean it.  But I was hurt.

It may be difficult for some to find a way to still like Jax, but bear with him.  He has a lot of pain and confusion he needs to work out.  Jax may be deserving of the pain he inflicted upon himself but if there’s one thing that Jax is afraid of it is being alone.

“You walked out…you left me…you know that killed me…watching you turn your back on me…telling me we were done…don’t walk away from me again…please.”

Layla waivers between anger and forgiveness…He was lost and damaged.  And when I should have hated him, my heart ached for him. 

I felt the exact same way Layla did.  I should be hating Jax, but his pain and confusion wore me down.  And just when you think the pain can’t get any worse…it does.  Oh my goodness, I think my heart stopped beating.

“I just wanted to make the pain go away.  But…not…like…this.”

The story is told completely in Layla’s voice. This was my first time reading anything by Penny Dee and I found her writing to be enjoyable with the combination of humor and angst.  I look forward to reading more works of hers.  

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