Aug 9, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning (Sinners on Tour #4)


3 star

Contemporary Erotic Romance
August 6 2013
Trade Paperback
418 pages
Received from publisher via NetGalley

Yummy Man – Eric Sticks
Kick Ass Chick – Rebekah Blake

From Goodreads –
From the moment he lays eyes on Sinners’ new front of house soundboard operator, drummer Eric Sticks knows he has to make Rebekah his. Unfortunately, she’s too busy trying to seduce guitarist Trey Mills to pay him much attention. Rebekah never planned to fall for the tall, goofy drummer with the weird sense of humor and a heart the size of the galaxy. But Eric makes her laugh and his constant attention makes her feel sexy and irresistible–exactly what she needs after the things her last lover said to her. A woman who gives as much as she takes, Rebekah makes Eric feel like a total stud–exactly what he needs after surviving a decade of watching the incredibly talented members of Sinners from the wings.


Wicked Beat is the fourth installment in Olivia Cunning’s Sinners on Tour series and the final one to be released.  (Book five was actually already released back in November of last year.  An odd publisher decision…)

I loved the first book of the series, Backstage Pass.  I was amazed that an erotica book could provide such depth in its characters.  Olivia does a great job writing the band members, their crew and their love interests.  They are truly interesting people.  Are they full of kink and lovers of wild sex tales?  Of course.  These are rock stars and this is an erotic series after all.  But they are also full of heart.  The second book wasn’t my favorite but it didn’t suck either and I enjoyed the third and fifth a lot.  I was looking forward to seeing not only how everything tied in from book three to book five but also what exactly made Eric tick.  Eric is the hero in Wicked Beat, the band’s drummer and a musical genius.  He is also a bit of a goofball and as you read the other books you can feel that there is a lot to his story.  So I was anxious to find out exactly what his story was.  The other band members had great stories and I just knew that his would be deliciously heart-wrenching like his band-mates’ were.

Unfortunately I did not feel as though Eric got the same treatment as the others in that I feel his story was almost just a glance in the window on the way to the sex in this book.

I felt there was too much sex.  There you go, I said it.  And I will get back to that in a bit.  But first I want to talk about Eric and Rebekah.

I used to think Eric was a bit much but started warming to him when he showed signs of his über musical talent and his love for fellow band-mate Jace.  And no, this is not one of those stories; I mean love as in the best friend sort.  He is a big kid but has a huge heart and I eventually loved him for it.  He grew up being bounced from home to home and never had any stability in his childhood.  His success does not go to his head which is another trait I like about him.  He is sweet and a little lost and those traits make him a lovable hero.

I didn’t mind Rebekah.  I know a few of you didn’t click with her but to me, she was alright – not my favorite heroine but not too bad.  I didn’t understand why the author chose to have her crushing on Trey in the beginning of the book.  Okay, that’s not true – who wouldn’t be crushing on Trey –  but still.  I understand the point and why it was done for Eric’s sake, but I really didn’t think it ever felt right.  It almost felt forced then it quickly became an afterthought.  I’m just glad it didn’t last too long because it was getting tiresome rather quickly.  I think Rebekah was a good match for Eric because nothing was odd for her.  She never really judged him and was (mostly) always in his corner.  Eric has some interesting sort of kinks and she helped him get past them…and onto others.  He needed a gentle hand and she provided him with one.

Speaking of kinks…  Every band member has his own sexual kink.  It’s what keeps this series interesting and seriously hot.  In every other book, Eric’s is voyeurism.  Suddenly, he isn’t into that anymore – which is not necessarily a bad thing – and now he’s into role playing.  Nothing wrong with that either but it seemed almost out of character for him.  And it also came out of nowhere.  Also, thanks to the sheer variety of personas one can take on in a sexual setting, there was a lot of sex in this installment.

And now we go back to the too much sex.

Instead of having page after page of story (where you fall more and more in love with the featured couple or the other bandmates) all leading to one hot bedroom (or other room) session, this book was pages of sex then a glimpse at the other stuff that makes this series so spectacular.  There were lots of little things that happened in this book, like the aftermath of the accident at the end of book three and Brian and Myrna trying to get pregnant and Eric and Rebekah’s budding relationship and Eric’s past, but all were overshadowed for me by the sheer amount of sex.  A great example of this is when Rebekah is talking to Eric about his childhood (or his tattoo or…) and we feel we are finally going to get the story behind who Eric really is, but we end up getting maybe one page of heart-deep story then it’s back to sex…again.  I was looking forward to the pages of story.  The pages of getting inside Eric’s head and seeing what makes him act like a goof or why he has that particular tattoo on his back.  All of the details I was so looking forward to reading about over the last four books were just quick glimpses on our way to the next sex scene.  They were there but they were almost passing thoughts. I was disappointed in that.

Even the other band members drove me a bit wonky in this book!  Okay, not Jace because he could never drive me wonky, and even Sed was sort of tame in this one, but Brian and Trey both did.  I explained about Trey before but Brian…he was bordering jerk in this book.  Yes, he’s stressed about trying to have a baby and worried about the tour and being away from Myrna, but he’s also a grown man who chose this lifestyle and who should not act like such a twit!  I wanted to smack him more than once and wondered why his friends didn’t do it.  Brian!  The mellow smooth Brian!  ???  Yeah…Brian felt a bit off for me.

A few more things felt a bit off too.  Rebekah’s family, especially her mother, was a bit off.  Too over the top maybe???  Then there is the ex-boyfriend thing.  Too much again.  And the argument Rebekah and Eric had then the cell phone incident and…  Too much and not necessary.  I feel the author could have focused more on Eric and not needed to find all of this unnecessary conflict into the mix.  Yeah…I really wanted more about Eric.  Can you tell?  😉

Overall, I was just hoping for more with this book.  I was hoping it would capture the magic that made the other books in the series so special.  Don’t get me wrong, you do catch some glances of that magic here and there, but those moments are few and the rest is too much.  If you are a fan of the series, I still think you should read this as it is the last book in the set but if you adored books one, three and five, don’t expect that same sigh-worthy feeling at the end.  Eric and Rebekah are well matched, their chemistry is fantastic, and I’m glad Eric found his happily ever after.  He totally deserves it.  I only wish that I felt the same delight while reading this book as I did while reading the first books in the series.

Maybe my expectations were too high?  *shrugs* Who knows…

3 stars

Books in the Sinners on Tour series –
Backstage Pass
Rock Hard
Hot Ticket
Wicked Beat
Double Time


  1. I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy this book as much as books 1, 3 and 5. It does sound out-of-place with this story revolving so much around the sex and not enough around the story line. (I also find it weird that the publisher released book 5 before book 4…) One of these days I’ll get to book one, which is sitting on my kindle just waiting to be read. 😛 (Oh, and I love the cover to this one! Very sexy. :-D)

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