Friday, November 3, 2017

Book Review: STRYKE FIRST by Sandrine Gasq-Dion (The Rock Series #5)

This tour is dedicated in the loving memory of Sandrine Gasq-Dion who was taken much too soon. Enticing Journey Book Promotions has had the pleasure of working with Sandrine over the last few years on many of her releases and we have enjoyed every single one. The book community lost a great author. To all her family and friends who had the pleasure of knowing and loving Sandrine we send love and healing thoughts. Sandrine your words touched so many. You will always be missed and never forgotten by our tiny book community.

Stryke First
Series: Rock Series #5
Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Genre: M/M Romance 
Release Date: October 15, 2017 

Rebel Stryker has had to fight to survive from the moment he was born to a heroin-addicted mother. Raised by his grandparents, his only mission in life was to succeed where his mother had failed. Now, he and his childhood best friends tour the world as a famous heavy metal band. Like any rags-to-riches young man, Rebel definitely enjoys the perks of being in the limelight.

But now something has changed.

Rebel never wanted to fall in love, shying away from relationships and relishing his 'no worries' rock-star persona. But there's something about the band's new manager that catches Rebel's eye. Despite fighting it with everything he has, Rebel finds himself succumbing to man's quiet ways. It doesn't hurt that the guy loves Rebel's grandpa — the one relationship that means the world to him.

Staying true to his name, Rebel fights against the tide of attraction drawing him in. But it's only a matter of time before love finally strikes.

Stan Jackson is hiding a secret. A Very Big Secret. One he prays will never come to light, especially since life is pretty good now. He finally has a good job, and he considers the people around him friends -- even if they don't see him the same way. All he's ever wanted in life is to blend in, not make waves, and move on through. Now, as the manager of the internationally famous Skull Blasters rock band, he is put squarely into bassist Rebel Stryker's orbit. He spends a lot of time with Rebel's grandfather, which is not only fun, but rewarding. Another big benefit is that Stan gets to see Rebel all the time. When his past catches up to him, Stan learns that he isn't just the Skull Blasters' manager.

He's a part of their family.

Stryke First was my introduction to this author; surprisingly enough, I hadn’t read any of her work before this.  After finishing this book, I’m quickly rectifying that as I enjoyed this so much that I immediately picked up the rest of the series.  So that does answer one question—yes, this can be read as a standalone.  There are references to the supporting character couples from the series, but you’ll have enough information reading this on its own to enjoy this story on its own merits.  If you’re like me, you’ll definitely want to go back and read the rest of the series once your done (hint, hint…if you haven’t started this one yet, go read the others first!).

Rebel is laid-back, devoted to taking care of his grandfather, and doesn’t want any permanent attachments—he’s just fine with the occasional one-night stand since a hookup is all it is so no one can leave him, right?  Stan is hiding from his life before the Skull Blasters, and tries very hard to stay out of the spotlight.  He’s sweet, thoughtful, and just might be harboring a crush on Rebel…just a small one…uh huh, yeah right.  Stan and Rebel fit really well together, and no matter how much Rebel tries to stay away from any attachment forming, it’s really a lost cause.  Good thing it is too.

The cast of supporting characters is fantastic—one of the main reasons I went back and picked up the first four books in the series once I was done with this one.  They’re all like a big family, protective of each other, joking around, and providing each other with unwavering support.  But Rebel’s grandpa is the one that really takes the cake.  He’s hysterical, and I’m of the opinion that everyone needs someone like him in their life just for the comic relief.

There’s plenty of sexual tension, some suspense and drama thanks to Stan’s ex, lots of laughs (grandpa!), and a nice bit of heat between Stan and Rebel.  A truly enjoyable story, Stryke First gets 4.5 stars from me.  Whether you’re just a general M/M romance fan or rockstar romance fan, this book is definitely one I’d recommend.  This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

It saddens me that the author has passed on, as her talent for stories like this will truly be missed.

Best selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by "Old School" French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn't until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research.She's been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She's traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.


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