After his mother dies, rock star Ace White—lead singer of the red-hot band Wicked White—is done with the celebrity game. The phony people, the meaningless one-night stands: he doesn’t want any of it anymore. Quitting in the middle of a sold-out tour, Ace sets out to find some place—any place—where he can be alone.
Aspiring singer Iris Easton’s life has never been easy. First, her mother walked out on her when she was a kid. Now she’s buried in debt, weeks after losing her beloved grandmother. When a mysterious and sexy new guy moves in next door, Iris can’t help but be drawn to his soulful gaze. She can tell there’s something from his past haunting him—something he’s not telling her.
Just as Ace starts falling for Iris, the media go on a worldwide hunt to find the missing rocker. Will true love conquer all, or will the truth be the very thing that tears the couple apart?
I refuse to call a book with characters over twenty-five a New Adult book. It’s just not.
Though she doesn’t put in an appearance until 10% of the way into the book, I knew from page two of Wicked White exactly what Iris was going to look like:
One of the most breathtaking women I’ve ever seen. Her long, dark hair falls over her shoulders in soft waves; her makeup is light, revealing her naturally smooth complexion, which causes her green eyes to sparkle. (Why does her complexion make her eyes sparkle??)
Because every other female character who appears is described this way:
The busty blond wearing a too-tight tank top squeals as she approaches my table.
Most of these women have no shame and will flop their tit out on a dime.
The bottle-blond twentysomething waitress.
The blond doesn’t immediately go away. (And of course propositions him twenty seconds after serving him a drink – blonds are apparently slutty like that!)
Romances without misogynistic stereotyping are even better than romances with it!!
Wicked White had lots of potential, however The Twilight Effect hit again: the tendency too many contemporary romance authors have to refer to all female characters other than the heroine as irritating blond things who just get in the poor guy’s way. Women are angels or whores, and there’s no more complexity to them than that. The tone was set from the very beginning of the book, and because of that I was too on edge with the misogyny to be able to enjoy the plot.
Another consequence of The Twilight Effect: sticking the heroine in out-of-the-blue perilous situations in order for the hero to muscle in and save the day (in this case, violently). I’m all for suspense and danger in books, but not when it happens for no good reason, painting the woman as a damsel who needs the man to come and punch someone.
I am also not at all a fan of the present tense in fiction.
A good idea for a plot, but all the problematic themes of too many recent books were present in this one, and I could not get past them to enjoy it.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.