Two years is a long time.
Too long to keep on remembering.
Not nearly long enough to forget.
In trouble with nowhere else to go songstress Lace Lowell seeks refuge with the band during their stop in New York City. It’s a risky move for her because they are both there, two impossibly good looking men whose lives are inseparably entwined with hers. One who bruised her heart and one who smashed it into pieces.
Warren “War” Jinkins, the mercurial lead singer of Tempest, has always had a thing for Lace. But then again so does his best friend and band mate.
Bryan “Bullet” Jackson, the sinfully handsome tat-sleeved lead guitarist, has a bad boy reputation befitting his nickname. For the past two years Bullet’s had a rule with the groupies: one time, never twice, leave ‘em satisfied, but always leave ‘em.
Two guys, one woman, and a host of dark secrets all together within the tight confines of a tour bus as the group travels cross country.
Can the past be forgotten and buried?
Will friendships prevail?
Or will the three of them succumb to seductive impulses too addictive to resist?
** Irresistible Refrain is a gritty rock and roll tale intended for mature readers seventeen and up. Contains sexual situations, strong language, and drug use. **
Click the graphic to be taken to the tour Facebook page!
Truth be told, Irresistible Refrain was actually pretty easy for me to resist…at first. I had just come off of some pretty heavy reading material and was looking for something light and airy, THIS is not that kind of novel. There is sex, drugs (lots of them) and rock n roll, sure. There’s also death, a whole slew of tragic upbringings and a complex love triangle. By the time I hit 10% of the way in, I needed a breather. I just wasn’t ready to face Bryan and Lace. When I returned to it days later, I was hooked. So, I guess it turned out to be irresistible after all.
Here’s the deal… Lace has known Bryan since she was a little thing, living in a rundown apartment building with her mother and brother, Dizzy. When she first met him, she was shy, like hide behind your brother and jump when someone sneezes, shy. All that aside, she decides that Bryan is her prince charming and that one day she’ll marry him. Some horrible stuff goes down. Lace and Dizzy are forced to go live with their uncle, which is actually fabulous ‘cause their mother…well, she’s garbage. This causes her to lose contact with Bryan.
Years later, Bryan moves with his mother and sisters and starts school only to find that Dizzy and Lace also attend that school. Bryan is best friends with a dude named War, and War has his sights set on Lace. Enter love triangle… It’s kind of tough to go after the girl that your BFF just called dibs on.
Fast forward another couple of years…
Bryan, War, Dizzy and a couple of other guys are all in a pretty successful band together. They’re currently on tour, and you’ll never guess who shows up on their tour bus one fine morning. Okay, fine, it’s Lace. She’s escaped from a pretty terrible relationship and has formed a nasty habit. Attaching herself to War seems safe, even if her heart is pulling her in a different direction. She’ll always love Bryan, but she fears he doesn’t want her.
Like I said earlier, this is one f-ed up love triangle. I’m usually not drawn to these story lines. I don’t enjoy being pulled back in forth between men, it gives me heartburn. Lace and Bryan’s story just seemed to be more. It was more than some annoying “I love him. No, wait, I think I love this other guy.” Type story. Lace had to learn to love herself, to depend on herself. She’d used drugs to mask her feelings for so long, and it was time to face the music. Watching her come to that realization was simply beautiful. I wasn’t too sure about Lace when I first started reading. As a small child she was ridiculously loveable, but as a grown woman abusing drugs, not so much.
Pulling the hand towel out of the ring, I wiped away the condensation from the mirror. I stared at the pink faced woman who looked back at me. Her eyes were red rimmed but determined.
I liked her.
She was a keeper.
She was sick and tired of life knocking her the fuck down.
Bryan is ah-maze-ing. Granted, he’s kind of a man whore for the two years that he and Lace are separated. I guess I kind of expect that from guys in bands though. They all seem to have va jay jays thrown at them and they gladly accept them. As soon as Lace is back on the scene, Bryan cools it on the humping front. He’s level headed, doesn’t do drugs and is fiercely loyal – almost to a fault. He’s been doing War’s bidding for years now. He has good reason but still… Because of War, he’s missing out on the love of his life.
It seems like everyone and everything works against these two. It’s redonkulously obvious that War is bad news for Lace. He’s not as bad for her as her ex, yet he’s still a pretty poor choice. Watching her work everything out in her head, find out the truth, and attempt to pull her life together was a tough pill to swallow. It’s tough to read about people hurting themselves.
All in all, I really enjoyed Irresistible Refrain. Michelle had me rooting for Lace. I wanted her to find romantic love, but I also wanted her to find self-love. It’s a beautiful story that’s a little rough around the edges. If you enjoy stories featuring rock gods, love triangles and shattered lives, I definitely recommend you pick this one up.
I seriously contemplated telling her right then and there that she was the only woman that had ever been important to me when I heard the door slide open behind us.
“Guys it’s four fucking a.m.” Voice gruff with disapproval, War’s appearance brought our intimate predawn reunion to an end.
Looking wan and strung out, the lead singer of Tempest shuffled into view wearing a pair of red boxers and scratched his bare chest. “Come on back to bed, babe.” He held out his hand to her while shooting me an irritated glance.
She patted my knee and I took the cue to scoot out of the booth ahead of her so she could exit.
War threw a proprietary arm around her shoulders as soon as her bare feet hit the floor. “Night, Loser.”
War gave me the finger before he closed the door.
I stared at it for a long time. Nothing had fucking changed. Twenty thousand people screaming my name during my guitar solo at the Garden, plus two twins, but none of that mattered to me.
Not when my best friend had the woman I’d always wanted.
• Up for grabs–> two $20 Amazon gift card prizes, and an ultimate Tempest swag pack prize with a signed paperback, a Black Cat Records tat, and a Tempest concert bracelet.
25 Random Facts about Michelle Mankin
Michelle Mankin is a young/new adult romance writer as well as a self-proclaimed giant…inside her own mind. For many years, she toiled in the insurance industry as an underwriter. Somehow, the boredom didn’t kill her, and the hours of looking at facts and figures provided ample time for her mind to wander. Love Evolution, Love Revolution, and the latest novel, Love Resolution are rock ‘n roll romances. The first is based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the second on Much Ado About Nothing, and the third on The Tempest. The first three books in the Black Cat Records series combine the plot underpinnings of the famous playwright with the drama, excitement, and the indisputable sexiness of the rock ‘n roll industry.
When she is not putting her daydreams down on paper, you can find Michelle traveling the world with her family. Sometimes for real and sometimes just for pretend as she takes the children to school and back.