Series: Wicked White #1
on June 23, 2015
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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?
ARC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Iris…that was amazing. You’ve got so much talent,” I praise.
Her green eyes light up with excitement like a child’s do on Christmas morning. “You really think so? You’re not just saying that?”
“No. I never bullshit about music. You’ve definitely got the chops for Broadway, it’s just…” I hesitate, not wanting to hurt her feelings, but I know that in order for her to get better, she has to be told what she’s doing wrong.
She lays her hand on my forearm. “Please, tell me. I can take it. Promise.”
I stand beside her, so close that my chest nearly touches her shoulder. I’m itching to touch her, but I won’t do it without permission. “May I touch you?”
She draws in a ragged breath and then nods. “Yes.”
I curl the fingers of my right hand around her right shoulder and pull back a little so that her posture is perpendicular to the floor. At this angle, I can’t help but notice her heaving chest and how her perky tits move in sync with each breath she takes.
I slide my left hand against her toned stomach and my pinkie grazes the warm patch of skin that’s exposed between her T-shirt and the waistband of her jeans.
Our contact is fucking electric, and my own breathing picks up speed as I attempt to fight back the arousal I feel for her boiling beneath my surface.
“Everything about you is magnetic,” I whisper in her ear, and she shivers at the words. “Don’t be afraid to open your eyes and watch your audience enjoy you. Be confident and project. Let go.”
I let go of her shoulder, and move to face her before pressing the repeat button on the machine. As the intro of the song plays, I say, “Do it again, but this time I want you to look at me.”
This time when she opens her mouth to sing, when she begins to tip her head down, I slide my index finger under her chin and angle her head so that she’s forced to peer into my eyes.
Her words are just barely above a whisper, so I slip my hand back on her abdomen and say, “Project–from here. Sing it like you mean it.”
It’s like lightening strikes this beautiful woman in my arms as she sings to me without fear. The words of the song come out effortlessly, and her voice could rival any of the greatest female vocalists of all time.
She’s that damn stunning.
I nod approvingly and smile. “Yes!”
With that little bit of encouragement, she shocks me even more when she pushes herself to hit notes that are above and beyond what she reached the first time.
Only on the last lyric does she close her eyes while she holds the note there until the music stops. She releases a contented sigh as soon as the music ends, and when her beautiful eyes meet mine again, they swirl with emotion.
Completely blown away, I fumble with the words to tell her just how impressed I am. “Iris, that was–”
Without warning, she throws her arms around my neck and crushes her lips against mine. I know kissing her back is wrong, but I’ll be damned if I don’t want her so badly at this point that I can’t stop myself from giving in. I’ve been so good with restraining myself when it comes to Iris, because protecting her from the chaos that I’ll bring her is what’s always been on the forefront of my mind.
Her fingers thrust into my hair, and I reach down and curl my hands around her thighs before hoisting her into the air. Instinctively she wraps her legs around my waist, and I thread one of my hands into her tousled curls while the other is busy cupping that perfect ass of hers.
“I’ve wanted you since you walked into my trailer,” she breathes against my lips.
A thrill shoots through me at her admission of how long she’s wanted me. “You’ve been driving me out of my mind from the moment I first saw you.”
“Then take me.”
“I love that I inspire you. I hope that I continue to do that.” ~Iris
I reach over and cup her cheek in the palm of my hand. “Just by being, you’ll do that.” ~Ace
Who wouldn’t fall head over heels for a man who quotes Shakespeare? Ace sings, he’s protective and he’s sweet as hell. He’s also a stubborn man who I wanted to smack the ever loving crap out of. At one point I could’ve killed him for the way he was going about things. Ace isn’t your typical alpha male and that’s what really got me. He’s protective, but not over the top domination.
The relationship between these two characters was more realistic because of this. I really loved Iris. She is your typical girl next door with sass and sweetness. I can’t recall reading another heroine like her. It really was a breath of fresh air reading a character that was so down to earth and real. These two have similar back stories and it was great to see them come together.
I liked the plot, and the characters. I think that the ending was drug out a little too much. This is the part where I started to dislike Ace a bit. But, he warmed my heart in the end. This book was so different from the other Michelle A. Valentine books I’ve read. I found Ace to be sweet, caring, and protective. If you’re looking for a feel good story, this one is for you.
Michelle Valentine continues her trend of being able to write poignantly and candidly about all sorts of love. I have read almost all of her books and every single of them just perfectly captures the complexity of love in different forms and all the beautiful messiness that comes with it. I loved that! While Wicked White was partly a story about love going wrong, it’s also a story about falling back in love and remembering the very reason why you fell for that person in the first place…especially in the face of maybe losing it all. Michelle Valentine makes love just come alive and feel true.
Wicked White manages to pull off hilarious and heartfelt really well. I laughed quite a bit during this book. But it also works its way into my heart. It’s saddening to watch Ace with things that come second nature to me – things like TRUE love. He doesn’t think with his heart and so he sees things very black or white — until Iris comes around and stirs things up.
Love is never easy for him and it doesn’t come naturally so watching him navigate it will warm your heart. I like watching him start to see himself and the world in new ways so he could be someone worthy of Iris.
While Ace is the highlight of the story, I also really like the heroine. In fact for me, hers is one of my favorite parts of the novel. She’s sweet, romantic and will just completely sweep you off your feet.
While I enjoyed it, I find the insta-love kind of make it a bit predictable but I’d say it never put a damper on how much I truly like it. Overall, Wicked White makes a good love story. I like how their own love story progresses — with all its messiness and unconventional bits.
People who like charming and adorable characters will surely dig this. So do yourself a favor and pick this up. Definitely a keeper on the shelf!