Monday, August 3, 2015

REVIEW/RELEASE BLITZ: Maid For the Rockstar by Demelza Carlton

A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their mess and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There's just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.
Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what's a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can't have?
Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren't the only thing surging under the surface.
~Book Review~
2 Stars
*Full disclose: This was technically a DNF for me so I can't comment on the ending; however, having read over 70% and having received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, I can provide this assessment. *This review also contains spoilers. Milder ones are discussed; specific ones are tagged.*

Audra is a college graduate hoping to become a meteorologist but working as a maid on an island resort to make ends meet. Jay is a cocky, arrogant, manwhore rock star lamenting the demise of his band as they prepare for their farewell tour and contemplating his future profession. 

Jay rolls off with some real flamboyant jerk lines. Right off the bat you know he’s a spoiled bad boy that needs redeemed. Initially Audra seemed likeable, holding on to her integrity and not giving in to Jay’s blatant sexual banter. The story had a ton of potential, and I even brushed past the 3rd person narration that I always find a struggle since it doesn’t allow the reader to get inside the main character’s heads to truly understand where they are coming from. It really could have been a solid 4 star read but the plot & "content" took a major turn for the worse. 

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to reading romance. One of mine is that that the H & h are exclusive.  Like many rock star romance heroes, Jay is established as a rocker who gets around. So when Jay passed up the chance to hook up with a group of fans, instead wanting Audra, I thought the story was headed in the right direction. It looked like Jay was on the road to leaving behind his manwhore ways, and I felt like the story would probably be a “safe” read. Nope, instead it spirals downhill shortly after that, just when the potential for romance between Jay and Audra was so perfectly set up. I expected them to really connect and a relationship to grow while Audra cared for him and instead Audra turned into a bratty, self-involved heroine who seriously over-reacted, leading to ridiculous drama and Jay to embrace his manwhore ways.

This is where I prepared to bail on this story and it honestly deserves 1 star for this part: 

*Spoiler Warning Again* 

Enjoyment of this story will depend a lot on what you can and can't tolerate in an otherwise light-hearted romance.

*If you are looking for recommendations on other rockstar romance reads, check out the blog's index page of favorite fictional bands: On Tour with the Band.*

A soft chime sounded, echoing in the villa. "Housekeeping at the door," a recorded but mellifluous English voice announced. "Maid service required?"
"Hell yes!" Audra heard Plum-Bum's excited shout.
His sister hushed him. The front door flew open and Audra found herself face to face with a young woman about her own age. Audra lowered her gaze to the woman's expensive shoes. "We don't need anything. We just arrived today and haven't made enough mess to need a clean-up yet."
But I did, Audra thought but didn't say. The bath tub was still full of frog-tainted towels. "Towels," she said, pointing.
"Ask her!" Plum-Bum insisted, his bare feet appearing on the tiles behind the woman. "You'd fuck me, right?"
Wow. He might have decent equipment, but that's all that defined this dickhead. Probably a porn star for sure. "No, thank you," Audra said faintly.
"What'd she say?" Plum-Bum demanded.
The woman shook her head and guided Audra to the bathroom, then blocked the doorway to keep her brother out. "She doesn't understand English. Most hotel maids are foreign migrants, waiting for their qualifications to come through as they improve their English so they can get higher-paying jobs. Besides, she could lose her job for sleeping with a guest. Don't you remember what the hotel manager said about fraternisation policies during our tour? Leave her alone, Jason."
Audra snorted. In Perth, maybe, hotel staff were recent migrants, but not here in Broome. Even the casual staff were Aussie. But if the woman's words kept her oversexed brother's hands off her, all the better. She set the stack of fresh towels on the edge of the spa and stuffed the froggy ones into the laundry bag.
Glass clinked on metal. An empty beer bottle going into the bin, most likely. The crunch and crackle of plastic followed it. Definitely the bin. She'd empty that on the way through and then she could escape the Pearls for the day.
Fixing her eyes firmly on the tiled floor, Audra marched to the kitchen to the approaching beat of helicopter rotors. Third flight today.
"Right, there's my ride returning. Don't get into too much trouble, don't make too much trouble for the staff, and enjoy your holiday. If you're not fit and ready for the band's farewell tour, you know it'll be your balls on the chopping block."
Band? Did she say he was in a band? Audra raised her gaze to scrutinise Plum-Bum's face. Even with the sexy stubble along his usually clean-shaven jaw, she recognised the face from the poster that had adorned her bedroom wall for the better part of the last five years. The one Sam kissed every morning. One she'd fantasised about since high school. Maybe she'd even kissed that poster once or twice herself. She glanced away before he could catch her staring. Oh shit. She'd already seen his –
"Promise me that if you get lonely, you'll call me. Don't do anything stupid." The sister sniffed. "I do love and care about you, you know."
"HA!" he shouted. "I knew it. Told you that you wanted me. It's not incest if I'm your stepbrother. Everyone wants me."
Audra snorted. Arrogant prick. Even she could tell the girl didn't.
"You're delusional, Jason. I love you because you're my brother, blood or no blood. I wouldn't sleep with you if you were the last man on Earth." She pulled out her phone and tapped it meaningfully. "Promise me you'll call me."
He nodded sulkily.
Her eyes met Audra's. "Don't take any shit from him. There's a place in town that neuters tomcats for half-price. You can put it on his hotel bill." She winked.
Audra stifled a snort of laughter. Mess with this man's glorious equipment? The world would weep. Especially if castration robbed him of his signature, underwear-igniting singing voice. Even she'd shed a tear for the loss.
She waited for the sister to leave before she pulled out the rubbish bin to change the bag inside.
Bare feet appeared beside the bin. "You understood every word, I bet," he said. "And I know you recognised me. If you know who I am, we both already know the answer to my question. So answer me. Would you fuck me?"

Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below. Sensationalist spin? No - Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all. Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world. The Ocean's Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn't leave her alone.

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