We are excited to celebrate the release of PLAYING THE PAUSES by Michelle Hazen. This is the second installment in her Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. Follow the tour for reviews, excerpts, guest posts, plus enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!
“Hazen’s use of the frantic energy of a rock band’s tour contrasts perfectly with the slow and seductive dance this couple engages in. Readers are sure to enjoy following The Red Letters on their drama-fueled climb to fame. “ —RT Book Reviews
“To call Playing the Pauses an erotic novel alone would be to belie its equally strong explorations of the boundaries between personal, career, and sexual growth.” —Midwest Book Review
When an ultra-independent tour manager meets the one musician she can’t resist, their kinks fit together perfectly, but their lives don’t. Michelle Hazen is back with PLAYING THE PAUSES, the second, stand-alone installment in her Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. Fans of Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive Series and YOU REALLY GOT ME by Erika Kelly, will love this bad boy, friends with benefits romance with a dash of BDSM mixed in.
Title: Playing the Pauses
Author: Michelle Hazen
Release Date: March 5, 2018
Series: Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 290
Rock Star Dom + his Queen of the Spreadsheet employee = KRYPTONITE
Kate is a globe-trotting tour manager who can’t be tied down.
Danny is a Dominant rock star and tattoo artist who needs her help to explore his true kinks.
Kate just got her big break, running an international tour for a rising band. Her job is everything to her…at least until she meets the band’s enigmatic bass player.
After they collide in one unforgettably erotic night on a hotel balcony, he comes to her with a proposition. As a former BDSM club performer, Danny’s spent so long fulfilling other people’s fantasies that now he wants to reclaim his own—and he says she’s the only one who can help.
Getting caught in bed with her rock star boss could cost her career, and yet there’s something about Danny’s quiet intensity that she can’t resist. He steals her heart, hard. But the end of the tour is approaching, and their jobs are headed two different directions.
To be together one of them will have to stop touring, but the only thing they crave as much as each other is music.
** This book can be read and understood as a standalone, but does contain spoilers for earlier books in the series. **
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I do love a good rocker romance and BDSM themed stories are a favorite too, so when I saw the blurb for this book I had to give it a try! Playing the Pauses was a wonderfully unique story from others I have read in either of the tropes thanks to the author’s way of blending both worlds.
Kate loves being a tour manager, but as a young woman just breaking into the business she has to work to get every job assignment. She loves the sound of The Red Letters and sees big things in their future, so she jumps at the chance to work with them despite the fact their former tour manager left her a heck of a mess to clean up. Their first meeting in the airport goes about as well as it could, but she didn’t expect their bassist Danny to turn out to be her personal form of kryptonite. She has always melted for musicians, particularly one with talented fingers, but when that gorgeous and talented man is also a Dom… well, she is in all sorts of trouble!
Kate swore off Doms two years ago and she has held strong on that ban for good reason. She embraces submitting behind closed doors, but when it comes to real life, the men in her past just couldn’t seem to stop trying to control her or make decisions for her there either. She is damn good at her job and she will not give that up for any man, but Danny is going to seriously test her resolve.
Danny can’t deny his tendencies, but he has taken a step back from that world in order to try to find himself again. The band is starting to find success and the need for control hasn’t disappeared from his life, but behind closed doors he feels a bit lost when it comes to embracing his own kinks rather than just fulfilling the needs of the subs he has been with. After one smokin’ hot encounter with Kate, he knows they both feel the connection but he bolts when the intensity leaves them both a little unsettled and fears encroach on the moment.
Kate stands to lose everything she has worked so hard to build if she gets involved with Danny. If word gets out, she will be labeled as anything from a groupie to an untalented opportunist who slept her way into her job. But when Danny lays out his proposal to explore his true interests, she just can’t bring herself to say no despite the risks. He ignites a craving in her that she has long tried to deny, but the man himself is just as irresistible with his silent strength and instinctive ability to read her like a book.
I loved that the story focused on the exploration of the relationship between Kate and Danny as well as Kate and the rest of the band who have formed their own family over the years. The concerts and travel were certainly a big part of their life, but the focus wasn’t always on their time on stage and the groupies didn’t factor into Kate and Danny’s relationship in any way. I thought the author did a wonderful job with character development, and she cranked up the angst level in the second half of the book as the looming tour end meant difficult decisions to be made. Does finding love mean that Kate has to give up her hopes and dreams, or can they find a way to compromise?
I loved Jera and Jax, Danny’s two other bandmates, and I am really looking forward to diving into Jera’s story soon while waiting on Jax’s story to come along. If you love either rock star romances or stories that delve into the BDSM world, I definitely recommend Playing the Pauses! It is light enough on the BDSM element that those who don’t want to be fully immersed into that world will be able to enjoy the story, and it is a standalone romance that focuses on emotional depth and family while being set in the world of rock stars.
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About Michelle Hazen:
Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.