ONE LAST VERSE (The Encore #2)

ONE LAST VERSE                                     N. N. BRITT

Promises will be broken. Love will be tested.

Cassy Evans knows a thing or two about secrets. By juggling work and a hidden relationship with the world’s biggest rock star for months, she’s become an expert.

However, being with Frank comes at a price. Seven years after the accident that almost ended everything, his trauma still haunts him. Determined to get back on stage, the man known to the world as Frankie Blade would do anything to ensure the success of his band’s reunion. But when one rash decision puts his entire career on the line, it’s not clear if he can recover from it.

As Frank spirals out of control, pushing Cassy away, she has to face the reality of what they’ve become. He’s harder to love than she imagined. Her common sense tells her severing all ties with him is the right choice.

Problem is, she can’t leave without her heart. And Frank doesn’t want to give it back.

One Last Verse is the conclusion of Frankie and Cassy’s story. It should be read after Final Serenade.

MY REVIEW:

Not sure how to feel about this couple other than to say talk about obsessed and co-dependent. That’s just on each other I’m not talking about if you bring in all the alcohol Frank starts to drink in order to cover-up the disappointment, hurt, and pain of not being able to perform the way he did before the accident he took on his motorcycle seven years ago.

He fights back to life having to relearn everything we all take for granted only to find out he still can’t perform and do what he loves. Then, when his health issues begin to cause problems during rehearsals everyone keeps quiet. All so Frank can keep face and basically no meltdown.

When he meets Cassy during his interview time where he’s getting ready to perform for the first time, they have strong chemistry during the interview. She is a co-owner of a rock magazine online. On the night of the interview and concert, she sees him two more times and Frank takes that as fate.

On the third time, they really get to talking unguardedly. But, when Dante, a band member who invited her enters the room she leaves. She figures why add flames to the fire since the two men already have an age-old feud going. Even at her younger age, she could feel the tension in the room.

She cut out of the party all together before Frank thought they finished talking so he sought her out the next night, like at midnight. Rocker’s hours. Frank has no rules. This book gets into his alcoholism and the fights it causes and how Cassy's idle threats mean nothing since she says them so often then does nil. He just stopped listening, in fact, I stopped listening for him. She’s gone, she’s back. Like a ball.

When Frank comes to Dante’s launch party drunk and embarrasses her while she’s working and a GIF is created of the two of them you think that is the end of them. That is her line in the sand. Finally, how long will it last though? But I have to say by the end of this book I felt like Dante had always been in love with her but once again his friend wanted something or someone so of course, he would have it.

Two, when Dante was drunk or high, he was never mean or hurtful to Cassy like Frank. Third, Dante always did or put Cassy first. Ask what she needed, how he could help her, he would just help and never said once poor me. And the one time with Frank’s manager when he was mean it turns out it was on the behalf of Frank.

Now, once again no real ending not as bad as the other. Still not great but there is a free extra book so… I guess I was waiting to see Cassy find her own strength and for once lay down the law and make him follow them. To become a woman with a real backbone who tells him when you get over your ex-wife fully and can come to me without anger that Dante had sex without condition or tricks of the hand then we can talk. Until then, we can date.

Update: The Encore was mixed for me it was confusing leaving more questions. So, this book picks up three months after the last time they met at the premiere of the documentary. I’m not sure if they will make it. Still, Frank dangles the carrot in front of Cassy but doesn’t deliver. All talk, pretty much his M.O.

Because he has just gotten out of rehab and they are staying Arizona at his parent's place. He is grateful for her, his family, and recovery but still mad at Dante for F-ing his ex-wife.

The author did her job all three books stir up emotions and I’m sure on many viewpoints. Because my hubby’s viewpoint saw Frank as grateful but he needs to get over his anger with Dante but manly his anger at his ex-wife because he’s still in love with her. This I thought was an interesting point. Hmmm?

I give this: 4 stars. Provided by netgalley.com. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

FINAL SERENADE (The Encore #1)

FINAL SERENADE                             N. N. BRITT

A secret affair with your teenage celebrity crush? Yes, please!

Music journalist Cassy Evans believes her career is made when she snags an exclusive interview with rock singer Frankie Blade.

Once a superstar of the generation, Frankie has been a recluse since a freak motorcycle incident sent his career into a tailspin seven years ago. Now that he’s returned to claim back his crown, Cassy hopes to kill two birds with one stone—secure her magazine a top spot in the rankings and meet with the man of her adolescent dreams.

A dinner invitation isn’t what she expects to get out of this interview, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.

With paparazzi watching Frankie’s every move as the two jumps into a stormy relationship, Cassy risks her career and her privacy—and possibly her heart—to be with the biggest rockstar on the planet. But is Frankie worth it? Is he the humble man she thinks he is or is he just that good at hiding his demons?

Final Serenade is the first installment in “The Encore” series. Cassy and Frankie’s story concludes in One Last Verse.
 

MY REVIEW:

I can’t even begin to tell you how this story pulls you in. Especially, if you are a music lover of any sort and wonder, “How do they do that or get backstage?” Well, not sure if this is all true to form but it is sure believable. I am sure creative licensing too. With a lot of entertaining that is for sure.

Cassy Evans is a young yet well-respected music journalist for an online music magazine. She and her partner Levi snag a shot for her to interview Frankie Blade a lead rock singer for the hottest international band around, Hall Affinity. They have been out of circulation due to the motorcycle accident Frank had seven years ago.

They are planning a comeback reunion and are handing out exclusive interviews. Cassy is one to get one on camera but it’s scrubbed because Frankie and she had firework chemistry and what Frankie wants Frankie gets. All because he asks her out is not allowed to use the on-air interview only the written one.

He intrigues her and she can’t understand why because, one there is a thirteen-year age difference. Two, she’s a journalist, ‘Who does that when you’re a celebrity?’ Three, she’s a nobody from nowhere. Last, she is nothing to look at.

Frank likes her it seems for a lot of those reasons. The age difference doesn’t seem to bother her and she thinks he’s sexy for his age. He laughs arrow to the heart. Because she is a journalist, she is not afraid to speak her mind or ask the hard questions. He likes that she has her integrity for her profession that she doesn’t want to you him to get ahead. Most of all he thinks she’s beautiful.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster. Not like tears but frustration as to how each of the characters handles a certain situation at any time. How Cassy is a pushover to Frank so much. Anyway, if I didn’t already have book two as a regular reader, I would have hated the ending. You would expect this ending from a TV program but not a book your reading.

Sorry, such a cliffhanger had me great till then. I give this: 3 stars. It would have been a 4 because I was totally invested in characters but with the ending… I would still read the next book. Provided by netgalley.com.

THE VAN BIRCH INCIDENT #1

THE VAN BIRCH INCIDENT                   MARLA HOLD

Van Birch: Pop Star. A-list starlet. Off-limits.

Clay Noble has spent the better part of a decade avoiding his taboo obsession: His stepsister Van. In love with her since the first time, he’d heard her sing, even shipping himself off to the army couldn’t stop thoughts of her. Now that he’s lost everything in a tornado, he’s forced to move back in with the only family he has left, Van and her dad. Sleeping down the hall from her is forcing every unwanted impulse back to the surface.


Clay Noble: Gorgeous. Infuriating. Untouchable.

Everything Van touches turns to gold with a side of outrageous. When she accuses her manager of sexual assault, the public thinks it's just another one of her publicity stunts and the backlash is brutal. Wounded, she dashes home to a tornado-devastated Wellville, Kansas to heal and help rebuild, even though the constant stream of social media doubts and threats won't let her rest. But there’s another reason for her sleepless nights and fevered dreams. Clay is back, hotter than ever, and his lingering glances and stolen moments have her convinced the feelings she’s fought for so long may not be one-sided after all.

******
The Van Birch Incident marries forbidden romance, bordering on taboo with a little danger and a guaranteed happily ever after while exploring how social media and real-life collide in a post #metoo world where the internet never sleeps.

MY REVIEW:

This is the first book of Marla’s I’ve read and I really enjoyed it.  The characters are full-bodied and engaging.

We have the story of Van Birch a music artist. From a young age, she always knew that she wanted to be a singer.  So, when she needed a manager, she hired Bishop.  A man who is ten years older than herself.  A sexy California surfer who takes no BS from anyone and he will make her, a star.  He and Phoenix her publicist have done just that.

Until the day he snapped and then it took her climbing out of her bathroom window and Phoenix taking her to safety.  Flying home was not only a buffer for her it was necessary.  An F5 tornado in Kansas had ripped through her hometown she needed to get there to be with her dad in more ways than one.  The tornados seemed safer to her than Bishop.

Her dad was alright.  Her fake boyfriend for publicity, Bryant was alright. The man she wished was her boyfriend since the age of fourteen and she’s twenty-four now, Clay, (he technically was her stepbrother for three years before he joins the army.) He is not holding up so well. He lost his home, his truck, and his and her fake boyfriend’s (Bryant was also her best friend since forever) but their construction business together. She was there the next morning.

She and Phoenix arrive and right away start working hands-on.  She gets Fe on getting a fundraiser started forming Celebrities for Relief. Now, nightfall and she must sit with the quiet, and Clay is staying with them.  She needs to talk and she needs him.

She would have talked to his mother but she passed two years ago from a car accident.  For once he was warm and gentle to her. Not gruff he knew she had healing to do not only physically but mentally too.  He told her how sorry he was this happened to her.  He let her cry as he held her.  She slept in his arms.

This started their healing process as two old friends.  They didn’t admit it to each other but at least they did to themselves, that they had been jealous of each other’s partners. Because they wished it were them. They had always been in love with each other.

This author grabs your attention right away with sassy Van but soon you see her reduced to half of herself.  Rollercoaster for healing and true love.  You get to see Clay struggle to help the love of his life, to recover from the tornado, and from truths he discovers.

I give this: 4 stars.  WARNING: PSA if you have triggers, this does go through SEXUAL ABUSE AND STALKING. Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

New Authors added: 1 Rad-Reader Author Interview Schedule Here Friday 7 pm PST.


Author: Here Friday
7 pm PST.



New Authors added in Red
1 Rad-Reader Author Interview Weekly Schedule






May 29 – Sophie Sinclair
Coffee Girl






June 5  -  Sian Ceinwen
The Album




COMING FRIDAY 7 PM PST. SOPHIE SINCLAIR AUTHOR OF: SOPHIE SINCLAIR


COMING
FRIDAY
7 PM PST.
SOPHIE SINCLAIR
AUTHOR OF:







Mackenzie “Kiki” Forbes finds herself in a pickle.
Either become her snarky sister’s nanny or move halfway across the country to work as assistant-to-the-stylist of a country music star. Neither job sounds ideal, although bedazzling cowboy boots may be a hell of a lot more interesting than ironing her brother-in-law’s underwear. But life on the road as the errand coffee girl for a sold-out tour leaves much to be desired. That is until Kiki meets her sinfully sexy new boss’s boss…

Tatum Reed’s career is flying high. He’s up for country music’s Entertainer of the Year and he’s headed out on a nationwide sold-out tour. So why does he feel like it’s all about to implode? His superstar ex-girlfriend seems determined to make his life difficult, his opening act is a handful, and the new girl on his tour, the feisty brunette, is quickly getting under his skin. In this crazy world of showbusiness, Tatum needs to learn who he can trust, but that doesn’t come easily, because the one person who holds all the cards may just throw them down and walk away.
Life in the public eye is never all it’s cracked up to be, which has both Kiki and Tatum questioning what they’re really doing with their careers, and their hearts.



















Sarah Bowen’s life is nothing like she thought it’d be ten years ago. She runs a successful lifestyle boutique with her two best friends, she’s the makeup artist to one of country’s hottest bands, and she’s in love with a womanizing heartthrob who doesn’t give her the time of day. After years of pining after Lex Ryan, she decides it’s finally her turn, even if it might ruin everything, she’s worked for…
Lex Ryan is the sexy Irish lead guitarist for the hottest country band in the States. He’s known as a serial dater, a commitment-phobe, a player who prefers one-night stands. His wild heart has zero plans of settling down—not even with the band’s makeup artist, Sarah Bowen. He’s vowed to keep his heart from falling for her. Until the band travels to Ireland where his past suddenly crashes into his present.
They say wild hearts can’t be tamed. They never said they can’t be broken.

The Makeup Artist is the second book in the Coffee Book Series. It’s a standalone novel, but the author suggests reading Coffee Girl first because of returning characters.




















Sophie Sinclair loves to write lighthearted Romantic Comedies with HEA’s. She lives in Davidson, NC with her husband and two daughters. 








LET'S WELCOME JOSEPH BADAL AUTHOR OF: PAYBACK

LET’S
WELCOME
JOSEPH BADAL

AUTHOR OF:






Rad-Reader:  Did you come up with this entire story at once or was it over time?




Joseph: Payback is one of those stories that germinated over several years. The story is based on actual events that occurred during the capital markets meltdown of 2007-2009. I wanted to feature a protagonist who personally transitions from a professional victim to one who finally stands up for himself and against evil. And I wanted to partner him with a courageous female character who assists him in making that transition. Payback was in the works for four years.  






Rad-Reader:  How was it that you decided to make the Janet Jenkins character so stand out?




Joseph: I got tired of reading books with weak female characters. Janet Jenkins has had a very difficult life, yet she forges ahead with courage and a commitment to doing "right." In a sense, she's a counterpoint to Bruno who has always let someone else do his fighting. Janet is not a macho figure trying to be man-like. She is all woman, with a steel backbone and a strong character. That's how I would describe the women in my life who I admire. 





Rad-Reader:  The bantering between the two detectives Rosales and Andrews, was that easy to write once you had the characters down?




Joseph: Having grown up in a large family where the banter was how I would describe our conversations, I find banter and confrontation relatively easy to write. There is both friendly banter and conflict between Rosales and Andrews. Rosales is the more mature and sensitive of the duo, while Andrews has a lot of growing up to do. This creates natural conflict between the two, which, I believe, rounds out the characters and benefits the story. 






Rad-Reader:  Do you have the characters already done or the idea for them when you begin a story or do you find yourself adding any once you begin?




Joseph: I typically have in mind who my top two or three characters will be. In the case of Payback, I pictured Bruno and Janet, as well as Sy Rosen, right from the start. But the other characters are created out of whole cloth as the main characters move the story along. For instance, when I started writing Payback, I had no thoughts about a Vietnamese female assassin. But events pushed me in the direction of creating Victoria Nguyen, who became more than an incidental figure.





Rad-Reader:  Was it challenging at all switching from L.A., NY, back and forth?




Joseph: On the contrary. The bi-coastal settings in Payback added to the enjoyment I derived from writing this story. Of course, there were some aspects of writing about events that occurred at the same time that required discipline. For example, I paid more attention to the weather than I usually do in my thrillers. Winters in LA and NYC is dramatically different. The way the characters dress has to be accounted for. 






Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with the Asian female hit person?




Joseph: Assassins in thrillers tend to be of a type. I wanted to introduce a character who was so unexpectedly different from the typical killer that the reader would be pleasantly surprised. And I wanted to assign personality traits to my female assassin that were out of the ordinary when compared to the usual female characters in suspense novels. Victoria Nguyen is a complex character who, I hope, enthralls the reader.





Rad-Reader:  When you began the story did you already know it would end up in Vietnam?




Joseph: I had no idea that Vietnam would feature in Payback in any way, shape, or form. Victoria Nguyen sort of pushed me in that direction. Sy Rosen flees the United States and settles in a country that has no extradition treaty with the U.S. Vietnam fit that bill. Having already introduced Nguyen to the story, the payback that the Mafia capo wanted to exact against Sy Rosen had to be executed in Vietnam. The only obstacle I had was moving Nguyen from the U.S. to Vietnam. That was accomplished through corruption and influence.






Rad-Reader:  It is never explained at the beginning unless I missed it, why did he cash the bond?




Joseph: Bruno had been on the run for nine years. When Janet Jenkins comes to his assistance, he wants to reward her. But he doesn't have enough cash to do so. His only source of cash was through redeeming one of the bonds. 





Rad-Reader:  Did he know or expecting someone to look into the bond being cashed?




Joseph: After nearly a decade on the run, Bruno hoped that his former partners had lost interest in him. He knew that a redeemed bond would leave a trail, but he hoped that his brokerage a friend in L.A. would not divulge information to anyone should the bond redemption raise a red flag. 






Rad-Reader:  Do you decide before writing a story like this on which character or characters will make it to the end?




Joseph: I never know where my stories will lead me or where my characters will be at the end. I don't outline my novels, but rather let the plots develop as the characters develop. Even with the "bad guys", I have no bias about how they will end up. Sometimes, an antagonist is so bad that he/she deserves killing, but, at the same time, are so interesting that I prefer to shelve them away for future use.





Rad-Reader:  Do you ever not use a character for a book that you thought you were or planned on but somehow didn’t fit?




Joseph: That's an interesting question. There was one instance where I created a character who was incredibly dynamic. I spent many hours developing him and weaving him into the plot, only to decide that he had no business being in the story. I had to do a massive delete job in that case. But, generally, I seem to know which characters fit in a book and don't spend time on one who doesn't belong.






Rad-Reader:  In your first drafts of this story do you always have Janet Jenkins as a social worker?




Joseph: Because of Janet's experience with her father and husband, she had a jaded attitude about men. It seemed only natural to place her in a battered women's shelter where she would easily empathize with her clients.





Rad-Reader:  Rosen, Rice & Stone, the company that Bruno used to work for reminded me a little of Lehman Bros. Am I looking much too closely into it?




Joseph: There was no attempt on my part to have Rosen, Rice & Stone resemble any actual investment firm. But the bad behavior of RR & S's partners was inspired by actions of a number of investment bankers before and during the Capital Markets Meltdown. 






Rad-Reader:  I really liked the dialogue between Casale and Forsythe besides the other characters is it difficult to go back and forth between each one or has it become easier?




Joseph: Thank you. One of the biggest pleasures I get out of writing is constructing dialogue. Conversations between characters put on display their personalities, likes, dislikes, and beliefs. It's those conversations that help the reader relate to the characters. Without dialogue, all you have is narration. 

When I first began writing novels, my stories tended to be plot-driven. But the longer I've written, the more that my books have become character-driven. I love writing dialogue.





Rad-Reader:  Do you just start writing first then begin to make changes to your story or do you have a direction or storyboard that you follow?




Joseph: I am what is called a "seat-of-the-pants" writer. If I had to outline a book before starting to write it, I would probably go crazy. Of course, I have some idea about the direction in which I want to go, but I have never written a book where the ending resembled what I contemplated when I started writing the book.







Rad-Reader:  When did you publish your first book?  How many do you have out now?




Joseph: My first book, The Pythagorean Solution, was published in 2003. Payback is my 16th suspense novel. 






Rad-Reader:  What’s the longest one book has taken you and what is the shortest one has taken you to write?




Joseph: Evil Deeds, which is the first in my Danforth saga series, and is based on the actual kidnapping of our son when he was 2-1/2 years old, took me four years to finish. I wrote my standalone thriller, Shell Game, in 60 days.





Rad-Reader:  Have you always wanted to be an author?




Joseph: I've wanted to be an author since I was in high school. Writing is not just a passion, it’s something I can't, not do.






Rad-Reader:  Are you the only author in the family?




Joseph: I have a younger sister who just had her first novel published.
Rad-Reader: Congrats!







Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?




Joseph: The Carnevale Conspiracy, the 7th book in my Danforth Saga series, will be released in 2021. It is placed in Venice, Italy. I just completed the first draft of the 4th book in my Lassiter/Martinez Case Files series and am in the editing process. This book is tentatively titled Everything to Lose.







Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?  Links




Joseph: All my books can be ordered at any books store. They are also available in eBook and print formats on Amazon.







Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?  Links




Joseph: 







Joseph,
     This was the first time I read any of your books and I was glad I did.  It had me from the beginning and I was still wanting it to go on even though I knew it must end.
     Thank you for taking the time out of your day to answer my questions.  I look forward to reading another one of your books very soon.
Pat & Char





ONE LAST VERSE (The Encore #2)

ONE LAST VERSE                                       N. N. BRITT Promises will be broken. Love will be tested. Cassy Evans knows a thing...