Monday, August 1, 2016

REVIEW/RELEASE: Rock Bottom by Josephine Traynor

Genre: Contemporary Romance


“Money. Fame. Success. I had it all. And now I have nothing. No band. No contract. I’m roughing it with the commoners, and I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.”

Reece Ashton is used to living the dizzying heights of being a celebrity, until his only other band member leaves just as they were about to embark on a world tour. Sold out shows, groupies, and living the high life are long forgotten as he has to learn to fend for himself while living in suburbia. Hiding out in the tiny town of Portmouthe, England is as about as far away from the spotlight as possible. He doesn’t want to be there, but he’s got nothing but time on his hands now that he’s been left high and dry by his band mate. No job, limited money and no life skills - he’s completely out of his element. No one in town knows he’s there except one girl who keeps his secret. Falling in love was never part of his comeback plan.

Madelyn Arnett knows all too well what it’s like to be on the wrong end of the paparazzi. She’s quietly rebuilding her life in the sleepy town of Portmouthe away from the prying eyes of trash media when the most famous musician on earth ends up in her workplace. Worried that when the media comes hunting for him, they will find her and she’s worked too hard to let some spoiled little rock star take her life away from her. But this helpless rock star is in need of a friend. Turns out, she’s the only person on the planet to truly know the real Reece Ashton. Fighting to not fall in love, she knows their time is fleeting as the glare of the spotlight comes hunting for Reece.

~Book Review~
4.25 Stars

Reece Ashton, 27, is a rock star down on his luck.  His bandmate has abandoned him, his assets are frozen, and his tour is cancelled. Instructed by his manager to hang tight and lay low, Reece hides out in a sleepy England town where he meets Madelyn Arnett Worthington, 24, at the local grocery shop.  Madelyn is no stranger to dodging the paparazzi like Reece. She’s had her own brush with fame and now she wants nothing more than to live the quiet life and finish college. But she sees something in Reece that she can relate to so at the risk of exposure she befriends him.
“He’s a guy that could hurt me if I let him. He’s a guy that could also be the man that makes me believe in trust again. He’s also a guy that I could have a lot of fun with.”
Reece is a hot mess. He’s self absorbed, spoiled, and clueless to the ordinary world around him. Though eventually Reece the slob becomes humorous—I’m now going to open my dishwasher and expect to find items other than the dishes. LOL  He might be a hot rocker, but he’s no book boyfriend…till he is and then you are totally rooting for him and Madelyn to be together!  I have to hand it to Josephine Traynor; she does a great job of taking Reece from a douche to a darling. I’m not even sure of the exact point where she sneaks in his change, but I went from shaking my head and tisking my tongue at Reece to laughing at him and then swooning for him throughout the course of the book.
“Despite his shitty reminder that he’s a ladies man and has the social skills of a monkey, I still wanted him.”
Madelyn is a patient, independent, down-to-earth heroine.  If you are looking for a love story where the hero finds his woman and then there’s nothing or no one else more important to him, this is definitely one that fits the bill.  Madelyn is the person that makes all the difference in Reece’s life and turns him into a better person. She’s his muse and in turn, he’s exactly what she needs too.
“‘How the hell did you manage to make this jackass not be so much of a jackass?’”
While I felt the opening set up with everything crashing down on Reece and forcing him to hide in obscurity as well as some places in the climax felt a little contrived, I suppose they were also necessary to make the plot unfold as it does. The beginning felt a little slow with Madelyn not appearing till chapter five, but once they cross paths the story became engaging, funny, intriguing, and exciting. I kept turning pages to see how everything played out, and the romance did not disappoint.  Told via Reece and Madelyn’s first person point of view, I loved how their relationship is developed, and the reader experiences them getting to know each other and become friends first. Though their eventual steamy encounters were pretty hot!
“Next thing I know, the world is upside down, and again, I’m face to face with his cock.”
I adored how Reece never wavered in his devotion and the story avoided major angst with the good guys coming out on top. Who are the real bad guys in this story? It was an interesting read as that aspect unfolded and the secondary characters became more developed.  

There were some grammatical errors, particularly with past/present tense switches but that may very well have been fixed/edited in the final published version as my review was based off an ARC received well before release (points to the author for giving beyond adequate reading time which I so needed as it’s been a hectic summer).

Rock Bottom is a stand-alone novel although there are a few hints dropped in the epilogue that could certainly manifest into a romance story for a secondary character. I know I’m rooting for Trent to get a book of his own. ;-)

“Have you heard of the term ‘first world problems’? You have Google on your phone, Reece, best get acquainted with it. Man has been doing things for himself for a long time, I guess this is the way of natural selection, who can figure things out and who can’t—” 

Running my hand through my hair, I grip the phone tighter. “You know I only use my phone to ring, text and porn.” 

“Good God, I’ll send someone around in a week, no doubt you will be dead from starvation or masturbatory dehydration.” 

I hold the phone away from my ear and yell, “Laugh it up chuckles. You’ll see. I don’t need any fucking help.” 

I need help. 

I’ve walked for ten minutes, and all I’ve passed is more suburbia. I’m sure I’ve seen this same house three times. I’m ashamed to say that I’m pretty useless with my sense of direction. I can get lost just turning in a circle. The first five minutes of walking was hell. I started to sweat. My pants were clinging to my legs, and the rank stale odour of my body was blowing up wind. 

The longest I’ve had to walk was from the door of the hotel to my waiting car on the street, or from the tarmac to the airport. I don’t include the hours across the stage a night. That was fun. This is as boring as bat shit. I don’t have headphones, I don’t have a car, and I don’t have a driver. I don’t have anything that I took for granted. 

The houses are all blending in, and I don’t know which one’s mine. I’m waiting for David to text me the address, but I know he’s taking the piss. Bastard. Teasing me about first world problems. I know I sound like a whiny little bitch, but my life is in stark contrast to what it was forty-eight hours ago, and I’m struggling to adjust.

Josephine Traynor is very good at keeping secrets - she’s been a closeted writer for years but only got brave enough last year to show her writer friend a small chunk of what she’d written. 

She’s a mother of two small boys and only told her husband about her book when it was completed. God knows what he thought she was doing on the computer for all those hours!

Josephine’s a lover of tea and has a thing for all things vanilla. She loves a good book that makes her laugh and has heaps of character growth. Her aim is to write books that inspire, cause sore stomach muscles and have memorable characters for all the right reasons. 

Josephine Traynor is not her real name. The pen name is derived from Josephine being her favourite girls name and Traynor is inspired by Will Traynor from Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. His message from that book was for everyone to be brave in this world and to make their mark. This was a huge lesson for her to get over her fear of publishing. She’s doing this for her, her dream is to be a published author, what’s your dream and go after it. 

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