New Release Review: Rock My Heart by Jean Haus

Rock My HeartRock My Heart by Jean Haus
Book #4 in Luminescent Juliet

Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 6th, 2015
ARC Provided by Jean Haus

Synopsis from Goodreads: Raised in poverty and violence, Gabe Reed wears a could-care-less attitude like a shield. He expects life to suck. It always has, and he is usually the one to screw it up even more. Drumming for the college band Luminescent Juliet started as a way to release the built up rage inside of him. But when the band signs with a label, Gabe begins to envision a different life. He just needs to stay out of trouble and follow the court orders of his probation.

April Tanner knows most people view her as perfect. From her icy looks to her college four point, she cultivates the persona since it helps keep people at a distance. Because behind her perfection, April constantly struggles with a past that she is trying to atone for but can’t face.

Though Gabe and April seem worlds apart, fate throws them together and forces them to see beyond the fronts they each present. But even an emerging friendship mixed with a growing lust might not be able to overcome the walls built of guilt and insecurity and abuse that stand between them.

*New Adult for language and sexual situations.

Angie’s Review – 4 Skulls – B+

Jean Haus manages to blend two things I’m not typically a fan of—New Adult and rockers—and make me fall in love with the story and characters every time. Rock My Heart is the fourth (and I think final) book in the Luminescent Juliet series. While this book can be read as a standalone, the first three books in this story are worth the read, and I think Romeo (the lead male in the first book) and his take charge, level-headed personality really sets the tone for the following books.

Rock My Heart is the story of Gabe and April, two people who, like all of us, have scars from their pasts and are taking it day by day as they try to live with them. Gabe is the drummer for an up and coming hot band called Luminescent Juliet who finally feels like he has something worth fighting for, and April is a psychology student clinging to the perfect persona she’s created in an effort to keep her sanity together.

I absolutely loved both of these characters. Almost against their will, they recognized something in each other that pulled them together. They played it close to the vest as far as emotions were concerned, but had a hard time bluffing with each other. It’s Gabe convincing April to complete her deceased relative’s bucket list with his help that brings them together, and through their endeavor, April realizes Gabe isn’t as indifferent as he tries to be, and the ‘ice queen’ Gabe sees April as begins to thaw. There was a constant push and pull as they struggled with finally learning to share their burdens, and I love the way it happened so naturally. I liked watching Gabe struggle to find his place in the world. He was never sure where he belonged. Even with the band, he was their second choice for drummer and that only added to his feeling of unworthiness. I thought the pacing of this book was perfect. Nothing felt rushed to me, but there was always something happening that was pushing the plot along. There were so many romantic moments in this story, and the steamy scenes were hot!

I had a few issues with the book – first of all, we heard very little about the suicide that rocked April’s life and was what ultimately drove this plot. It was something she agonized over, but we didn’t really read about the event very much. I feel like that would have been constantly plaguing her and would have expected to read more about it. Also, the end seemed to be drag out a little bit. On the other hand, I thought the epilogue was wonderful and gave us a nice glimpse into the future of all the members of Luminescent Juliet. I liked the way that portion was wrapped up.

As for the series overall, I absolutely loved it and can’t recommend it enough. Romeo’s story was the perfect beginning; it set the tone for the entire series. He was incredibly driven and professional, and it was his mindset that got the band to where they were in the last book. It was also what kept them all in line and not over-the-top crazy. I felt like the drama in this series was well-written and not overdone. It also dealt with some serious social issues in a very sensitive way, including depression, mental illness, and bullying. I loved the covers for the first two, In the Band and Ink My Heart. I think they are enticing and would make me pick up the book to read the blurb. The last two, With the Band and Rock My Heart, are the exact opposite for me. My eye would just glide right over them without stopping. I wish the cover style had remained the same for the series.

Rock My Heart was a wonderful story of healing and of learning that your past is only part of what defines you. If you like a sweet love story minus crazy drama, this story would be perfect for you.

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Series Reading Order:
1. In the Band
2. Ink My Heart
3. With the Band
4. Rock My Heart

Thank you to Jean Haus for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In the Band Ink My Heart With the Band

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