Book Review: Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh

June 22, 2020 Book Reviews 0

by Nalini Singh
Genres: Cozy Romance
Published by TKA Distribution Format: eBook
Source: the library
Also by this author: Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel’s Enigma, Shards of Hope, “Fairy Balloons”, "An Unexpected Guest”, Allegiance of Honor, "The Song of the Wolf", Silver Silence, Archangel’s Heart, Archangel’s Viper, Ocean Light, "Elena's School of Horror", Cherish Hard, "Ain’t No Party Like A Bear Party", Archangel's Prophecy, "One Night At The Refuge", "Secret Things", Rebel Hard, Rock Hard, Wolf Rain, "Clean and Dirty", "Wolf School", "Naya’s Most Important Visitors", "Grocery Shopping", "A Gift for Kit", "Movie Night", "Kaleb and Sahara’s Meeting with Sascha and Lucas", "Housewarming at the Orchard", "Christmas in the Kitchen", "Stalking Hawke", "Romancing Drew", "Sunday Morning", "Rowan", "Baubles & Ben", Wild Embrace, Love Hard, Rock Addiction, "Music Awards", Rock Courtship , "Rock Courtship Memo"s, Rock Redemption, "Sunshine", "With This Memo"

Fourth in the Rock Kiss cozy romance series revolving around a famous rock ‘n roll band based in L.A. The couple focus is on Abe Bellamy, the keyboardist, and his ex-wife, Sarah Smith. Lots of weddings in this one!

My Take

Okay, I know Singh keeps telling us that Sarah doesn’t think Abe loves her back… Dang, I’ve just realized that Singh is showing us that Abe doesn’t appear to love her. I hate when I jump to my own conclusions like that… ‘Cause, yeah, Abe is being an absolute jerk, but it’s that insistence that keeps rubbing me the wrong way.

Second, what’s with these intelligent boys who don’t get that therapy helps? It’s “Sparrow”, the song Noah had written to reflect his own blackness that helps both Noah and Abe to open up. No, it’s a small aid in the scheme of things, but so reflective of the series and the band.

Singh uses third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Sarah’s and Abe’s perspectives. A good choice as Sarah’s character arc involves a growth of self-confidence. It’s hard to miss, as Singh is so overt about it. What redeems it is how Sarah grows. The introspection and determination Sarah exhibits. I so love it. And I so wish that I’d been that good!

“…doing a domestic chore together, had been one of her stupid daydreams…”

I had to love her out-on-her-own plan. It was so practical…right down to the jewelry, lol. And then that settlement tie-up. Very practical. Sarah is consistent, too, for she empowers her employees too. Sarah is so strong. Determined not to let Abe back in for such good reasons.

The back story Singh provides about Abe’s relationship with Tessie is well done and so very sweet. It certainly provides good reason for his grief. And why Abe wouldn’t go to that fair with Sarah. It is, however, NO reason for his actions against Sarah. Jeez. Fortunately, Abe has his own character arc that grows.

“He finally got it; he was in charge of whether or not he lived a life that made him happy. And he understood that any self-destructive choices he made had a profound impact on others…”

I’m sure people wonder why I think of the Rock Kiss series as a cozy romance. It’s the friendships amongst the boys and their women. How supportive they all are, how caring. How beautifully Fox and Molly get on. The support Noah provided Kit, career-wise at least.

Oh, man. We find out why Sarah wanted Abe’s keyboard collection when they were going through their divorce. Good on her!

And I gotta laugh, as Singh has made Sarah a bit of an Amazon, as opposed to the diminutive stature of the other ladies. It certainly suits Abe, giant that he is. It also makes it understandable that Sarah likes being “handled” by Abe, finally able to feel “petite”.

Molly and Fox’s wedding sounds wonderful. So family. It makes such a contrast with Abe’s thoughts about how he’d treated Sarah and how he acts now. The responsibility he feels for his past actions and words. And then he writes “Sarah”.

Sarah’s childhood was pretty bad, which is where her lack of confidence comes from, but it also showcases that strength of hers. Such a contrast. Again. With Abe’s family, with a dad who told him “that a man had to be able to support himself and his family, and if [Abe] could do that with music, that was all that mattered”. His mom, a tenured law professor, who never let that get in the way of being Abe’s mom. He’d never had a nanny.

Poor Thea. Pushing a type of publicity she should be hung for… She more than makes up for it with the future defense she compiles for Sarah, lol.

There’s action here…mostly weddings, lol, but it’s primarily about character, and such a sweet story that makes up for my annoyance about that initial love Sarah doubted.

“Sarah had always had his back.”

Words are easy; it’s the doing that’s hard.

The Story

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life — the sexy, smart woman he adores — breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love…even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah — now strong and independent without him — to risk her wounded heart one more time?

The Characters

Sarah Smith has been married to Abe for two years now. And two years later, Flossie is her mutt of a dog (who loves to socialize, lol), and Sarah has started up a successful cleaning business. Aaron had been the name of the baby she bore. Lola is her best friend and a single mom with a college-age son whose family is based in Houston.

Jeremy Vance is kind until he isn’t. Seems he prefers broken birds…as evidenced in events in Rock Redemption, 3.

Abe Bellamy is the keyboard player (and an accomplished classical pianist) for Schoolboy Choir, and he is notorious for his addictions. Tessie is the younger sister whom Abe couldn’t save. A wealthy family of Ivy League educations and old money, the graceful Diane Bellamy is Abe’s beloved mother; Gregory had been his father.

Schoolboy Choir is…
…a famous rock ‘n roll band. Zachary Fox is their lead singer, and he’s engaged to Molly Webster, a former librarian who has become an editor and researcher under the name of Anne Webster (Rock Addiction, 1). David Rivera, the “Gentleman of Rock”, is their drummer and comes from a working class family who loves their son and his friends. He’s engaged to Thea Arsana, the band’s cutthroat publicist (Rock Courtship, 1.5). Noah St John is their guitarist and also of a wealthy and very coldhearted family. He’s engaged to Kit Devigny, an A-list actress who has been friends with the boys from the time they first arrived in L.A. (Rock Redemption, 3).

Charlotte “Charlie” Baird, Molly’s best friend, and Charlie’s fiancé, Gabe Bishop, have flown in for the wedding (Rock Hard, 2 (Hard Play, 2.5-ish)); they’ll be getting married in two months (Love Hard, Hard Play 3). Alicia and Vicente Rivera are David’s parents; David also has two brothers. Imani is Thea’s best friend and her business partner.

Dr Snyder is Sarah’s physician, a healer who cares about his patient’s mind and body. Florence Chastain owns a prestigious boutique chocolate and dessert shop…and does a mean tasting menu that benefits a charity that feeds hungry children! The pairings Singh mentions sound so tasty! Basil is a relentless photographer. Beau Flavell is a builder who put in Kit and Noah’s pool. Abra is the group name for the fans who want to see Abe and Sara get together. Marty is a record executive who’d helped the band sign their first deal.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a black-and-white photograph of Abe in black suit pants and a white button-down shirt, his sleeves rolled up, sitting at a grand piano on a tile floor, visible only from his nose to his feet. The author’s name is in a slightly grayed pink almost at the center and across the keyboard and Abe’s forearms. In between her first and last name is an info blurb in white. The title is in a white script below Abe’s thighs with the series info in pink below it. A testimonial in white is at the very bottom.

The title should really be in the plural, as there are so many Rock Weddings.

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