Stoned is NOW LIVE!
Come get Wrecked with Stone and Willow in this second chance Rock Star Romance!
5 GET STONED CROWNS
Let me start by saying that I am not an emotional reader. I love reading, obviously, and love getting lost in these fictitious world, but I just don’t find myself crying or getting so angry that I want to scream. I don’t know if this is a result of teaching students to annotate and analyze literature, which is often done with an objective and detached view, but I find that I can sympathize with characters and their plights while not really feeling it in my heart or gut. This book, however, sent me through a wide range of emotions. Anger. Joy. Sadness. Hope. My feelings ran the gamut, and I never knew from one chapter to the next how I would feel about the characters or the story. And, honestly, this is what makes me love this book!
These characters, particularly the boys of Wrecked and, to a lesser extent Willow, are epically flawed, but their flaws are what toyed with my emotions and sucked me into this story. Their mistakes are what made me angry. Their atonement for the errors makes my heart ache. Their resolution makes my heart feel light. I just simply adore all of these characters, every single one! Another aspect of the characterization that I particularly love is Mandi Beck’s ability to make me love Stone when I shouldn’t. At the beginning of the book, he really has zero redeeming qualities. However, as the story progresses, I found that I began to love him more than I ever thought I could. His dedication to recovery and loyalty to the people he loves is admirable, and the man has a mouth on him, and not just a dirty one. Don’t get me wrong, the man can do dirty really well (I will never look at lollipops the same), but his words are sweet and swoonworthy. After reading the book and taking some time to think about it, I realize that my feelings toward Stone is exactly the same emotional experience as Willow. I feel what she feels and this explains my overall emotional reaction towards the hero of the book. For an author to be able to place the reader in such a way that I am feeling her emotional reactions as though they are my own just speaks to the skill of the author. Not only are my feelings toward Stone directly aligned with Willow, but I also respected her as a heroine. She is tough and her strength she exhibits to create a new life just shows how great she is as a character. Her only flaw is that she loved, and love often blinds us or pushes us to ignore what is blatantly obvious. These characters are great alone, but they are so much better together. The story really came alive for me when they began to interact with each other again.
The plot of this book is amazing! The conflict of this story is a difficult topic to address, and it is often difficult to make a character do something so horrific that the conflict becomes believable while also planning to redeem them within the same book. Mandi Beck, however, does it beautifully. There is no quick reconnection or redemption. She takes her time showcasing the range of emotions an addict and the victims of his carelessness endures. There is no rush to a quick reconnection or quickie in the closet. Time is spent by the author to expose all the hurt and betrayal that comes with drug addiction, but she also shows how addicts are not defined by their addictions. The plot takes the reader on a journey of despair and loss to one of hope and forgiveness, while honoring the relationships of the characters in the novel.
As I stated previously, I love every single character in this series. The boys of Wrecked, Bear, Perry, Cora, and Willow are all amazing! I enjoyed every single interaction and experience with these people. This author and the world she created really hit me emotionally, and, for that alone, it deserves the five crown rating! I can’t wait to see what is happening in Judge’s world next!
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
If you are interested in reading this book, I am currently hosting an e-book giveaway for new releases from this week. You can find the link on my Giveaway page.
“A rock star with no rhythm is a man with no soul.” – Stone Lockhart
As the lead singer of one of the hottest bands to hit the rock scene, fucks are free, drugs come easy, and music is life.
For as long as Stone can remember, Willow has been his music – the notes that weave his soul together.
Until he threw her away.
All he has left is a handful of pills and a few lines of powder to make him forget her.
And he tries, over and over.
Clean and ready to make things right, he’s faced with the fact that Willow’s moved on. She’s not the same girl he cast aside. Willow’s a woman sure about her purpose in life. Sure about who she’s meant to love.
Stone may be lost without his rhythm, but Willow has found so much more.
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Willow isn’t a performer. She’s too honest and pure for that. She plays and sings with her heart. If she’s mad, she sings angry shit. Happy, she smiles throughout the whole damn song making you smile too. But I know the moment I hear the chords of “Over,” this set she’s working on is all me. She can’t see me in the corner here, but she sings for me nonetheless, and I feel every fucking word. Every last note as she pours her heart out. This is a Willow that was always reserved for me. She never wanted to be in the spotlight. We begged her to be in the band and not just help write the music, but she said no, over and over. But when it was just her and I, this was the Birdie I got. We would play for each other for hours, late into the night, sometimes it would lead to us fucking, and other times it was because we had just finished, our bodies sated, but our souls still full of passion and adrenaline. A naked Wills wearing nothing but a guitar is the most beautiful fucking sight in the world and just thinking about it now makes me hard.
“Stone? Babe? Wake up, I can’t sleep.” I can hear her but can’t make my eyes open to see her. The bed shifts and then dips. Willow straddling my lap has my eyes opening slowly, blinking the sleep away. I suck in a breath when I can finally focus. My beautiful Birdie is sitting astride me, completely naked except for her brand new custom Martin. Her fingers lovingly stroking over the fret board. “I wrote you a new song,” she whispers excitedly. Peering up at her, I can see the excitement on her face, the love in her whiskey-colored eyes. As she starts playing I shift. My bottom lip clamped between my teeth I gently tug the sheet lower down my legs inconspicuously. She begins singing and I feel a lightness wash over me. Her words like a balm on my now overly heated skin. Every time she opens her mouth, beauty pours from it, and I have the urge to fill her. Fill her any way that I can so that I can touch that music. Be her music the way she’s mine. Entranced, I watch as Willow falls into her zone, eyes closed, face intense in its peacefulness. As she hits the bridge, her voice raising an octave, I slip inside her. Pussy wet, always so wet when she gets like this, I thrust. Her eyes don’t open, but she softens, all of her relaxing into me. When I begin rocking back and forth, slowly, rhythmically in sync with the chords she plays, she falters for a beat. Gradually her eyes open, landing on mine just long enough for me to see all the love from moments ago turned to lust and a deep, needy want. She’s close. Thank fuck.
Careful to not bump the guitar, I slide my thumb to her clit and play her, same as she plays her Martin. Silently we make music together as her song envelopes us, breathier than before. I join in on the chorus, my raspy voice melding with hers as I fuck her, pushing us both over the edge.
Blissed out and with hands on her thighs, I smile wickedly, “Sing it for me again, Wills.”
I’m brought from my thoughts when Law elbows me. “Where’d you go, bro? You okay?” he whispers just as the song finishes and she takes a moment to sip from her mug. I’d bet money it was tea. She always drank tea to soothe her throat when she was serious about a session or we had a lot to work out in the studio.
“Yeah, man. Just thinking about Wills.” Shrugging sheepishly, I glance over at him before letting my gaze settle back on Willow. “I haven’t had to share her like this in forever, not even with you guys really. Not like this.” My voice is pitched low so that it doesn’t travel. “It’s fucking with my head a little. There’s never been a time that she wasn’t mine and that music wasn’t ours. Ya know?”
About the Author:
Writer, wife, mom, student and avid reader.