Sinner On Tour: Double Time, Hot Ticket by Olivia Cunning
He Craves Her Music and Passion
On the rebound from the tumult of his bisexual lifestyle, notoriously sexy rock guitarist Trey Mills falls for sizzling new female guitar sensation Reagan Elliot and is swept into the hot, heady romance he never dreamed possible.
She Can’t Get Enough of His Body
Ecstatic to be on tour learning the ropes with Trey’s band, The Sinners, Reagan finds she craves Trey as much as she craves being in the spotlight.
They Both Need More…
When Reagan’s ex, Ethan Connor, enters the scene, Trey’s secret desires come back to haunt him, and pleasure and passion are taken to a whole new level of dangerous desire.
Olivia Cunning’s Sinners On Tour series is, simply put, one of the hottest series in Erotic Contemporary Romance you can get. The series centers around an up-and-coming rock band and, in typical romance series format, each book is the story of one of the members of the group. Although each book is stand-alone, as we move through the series we learn more about all of the members and develop a kind of relationship with each of them.
Part and parcel with these stories is smokin’ hot sex to the nth power. Because it’s erotic romance there is so very much sex that I sometimes get bored with these books, but that is a reflection on me and not on the skill and creativity with which the scenes are written. I tend to prefer more story with my one-handed reads and there is only so much space in a book. The very nature of “erotic romance” dictates that a significant portion of the page space is devoted to the “erotic.” It might be relevant that sexually there is no new ground covered for me in these things, although many readers will find them outrageously edgy with multiple partners and alternative lifestyles and approaches. Your mileage may vary.
What Cunning has done, however, is put together a very attractive idea with compelling characters that make you want to spend more time with them and peel back the layers. In my opinion, this is Cunning’s real talent, but don’t let me suggest to you that her erotica is anything but sizzling and creative.
In Double Time we are taken along with bassist Trey Mills who is bisexual and nursing the broken heart of unrequited love, having spent most of his life in love with his best friend, Sinners’ lead guitarist and song writer Brian Sinclair. We met Brian in Backstage Pass, Book 1, so by the time we get to Trey’s book his feelings for Brian are well known to us.
Trey meets guitarist Reagan Elliot and is swept off his feet, wanting nothing more than to spend the rest of his days in a monogamous relationship with Reagan – until he meets Reagan’s best friend and ex-boyfriend, Ethan. Reagan loves Ethan but she caught him with a man and broke up with him because “he’s gay.” Turns out he’s not gay, he’s bi and he still loves Reagan, too.
From here let me jump to the part that was so distractingly difficult for me to stomach that it cast a shadow across the entire book. Something that is very personal for me and because it’s personal I wasn’t sure I could write a review that didn’t reflect my personal displeasure. That is why it’s taken me this long to write this review, in spite of having read this ARC last October.
I am bisexual and have been for the better portion of forty years. It is a very common, and erroneous, stereotype that bisexuals can’t be committed and monogamous because they will always be yearning for the flavor they aren’t getting. It’s beyond erroneous, it’s down right insulting. I’ve known a lot of bisexual people in my life and I have never known one who couldn’t commit to one person because of their gender. The entire notion suggests that our sexuality is based on physical urges. Not only is that a ridiculous assumption but in my experience bisexuals are less likely to base their relationships on physical urges because the issues with plumbing are just not a big deal to them, they are most interested in who the person inside is. The patently false assumption that bisexuals are by default promiscuous is a stereotype born of ignorance. I’m not saying that bisexuals can’t also be polyamorous or even cheaters, I’m saying that their sexuality is not so torn that they “have” to have both, not unless they choose that. It’s not a biological imperative.
The entire conflict in Double Time is about two bisexual men who can’t be happy unless they have both genders in their bed, and the confused and ignorant woman who can’t conceive of the idea of a bisexual man that both men want.
The band premise is entertaining. The sex is always hot. The characters, for the most part are compelling and draw you in. The love story is ignorant bullshit that panders to common misconceptions.
I really don’t have much else to say about Double Time.
* * * * *
He needs her to mask his pain…
When Jace walked through the doors of Aggie’s dungeon, the last thing he expected was to find self-forgiveness and the love of a remarkable woman. But when a terrible accident sidelines Jace during the band’s tour, the burdensome chains of his past wrap ferociously around his heart.
She needs him to forgive himself…
Determined to crack through Jace’s armored shell, Aggie must go beyond her usual methods to mend his heart to love again.
This is the story I was really looking forward to in this series, not a little bit because Jace’s interest in BDSM had been competently referenced in earlier books of the series. I had high hopes for the BDSM elements in this story. I readily admit that I’m kind of hard to please in this regard because of an abundance of real life experience.
I think Cunning did a better than average job of representing the BDSM elements in this story. She even managed to communicate how topping, which might be dominating but isn’t by default so, can actually be a kind of service. “Service” is generally ascribed to the submissive partner by the folks who are committed to their stereotypes, but the truth is that most BDSM relationships are as dependent on reciprocity of one form or another as any relationship. The common term is “power exchange” but there are as many ways to manifest it as there are people to dream those ways up. Cunning did a fine job of illustrating that concept in this story, often turning the roles on their heads without needing to make one partner or the other appear “weak” or “strong” simply because of the role they were assuming.
I have to admit that I have been chagrined and disappointed that Cunning created a kind of personality “breakage” as an excuse for Jace’s BDSM needs. It’s inordinately cliché in the pop fiction genre to use BDSM as an excuse to create character flaws and Cunning did that here. I realize that there needed to be some tension, some thing to grow through and from, to make the characters interesting, I just wish she had found something that didn’t have anything to do with his BDSM for his breakage. Still, I have to own that my attitude is probably a continuation of taking these tropes personally because the truth is that Cunning did a very good job of creating empathy with these characters and not “blaming” the kink. Jace’s back story is heart wrenching and the way he and Aggie work through their hurdles is pretty inspiring, even if occasionally cliché.
And of course the sex is off the chain. Cunning always delivers the heat.
Finally, the very odd release sequence for these books is confusing. It’s not intolerable but it creates a level of angst in the reader that seems unnecessary to me, and yes you do get a bit of spoilers by reading Double Time before Hot Ticket and book 4. If you can suspend your disbelief to believe that all bisexuals are unsatisfied nymphomaniacs then I guess you won’t have any trouble seeing Aggie & Jace as a happy couple before you actually get their story.
The story chronology in releases is:
1 – Backstage Pass
2 – Rock Hard
5 – Double Time
3 – Hot Ticket
4 – Yet to be released, tentatively named “Snare.”
The premise, the characters, and the sex in this series are exceptionally good, but the stories and how they are unfolding leave a lot to be desired. Final analysis of the Sinners On Tour series – it’s well heated fluff, but not to be taken too seriously.
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