Beautiful Crazy is the first in Kasey Lane’s Rock ‘N’ Ink series featuring rockers and tattoo artists, and I found it to be an uneven read. The first part works too hard to feel current to the detriment of both characters and plot. Aside from numerous info dumps, I didn’t feel as if I knew much about the hero or heroine, and if not reading for review, I would probably not have finished it. Fortunately, things picked up partway through and I enjoyed most of the latter part of the book.
Kevan Landry, our heroine, has a lot of things on her plate. She recently committed her addict brother to rehab, is struggling with her fledgling event marketing firm aimed at local rock bands, and works part time in a tattoo parlor. Kevan needs to sign Manix Curse, an up and coming rock band, to keep her company going. But when Kevan goes to a club to meet with the band’s manager, she gets distracted by Mr. Hot Conservative Suit Guy (her words, not mine). Just knowing he’s watching her leaves Kevan aroused. Not so arousing is the news she receives from the band’s manager. A major entertainment group has also approached the band, and the members want to hear presentations from her and the major company.
Kevan’s gone through a series of dating disasters and is determined she won’t date “normal” guys in suits. But soon after leaving the band’s manager she ends up sharing a drink with Mason Dillon – the hot guy in the suit. They’re soon engaged in heavy petting, and when he asks her to come home with him after exchanging about ten lines of dialog, they end up racing across town to her apartment to hook up for the hot, rough sex they both like.
Kevan wakes up the next morning and finds Mason has left, and when she arrives to do her presentation before the band she discovers he is the CEO of the competing corporation, and the two are forced to listen to each other’s presentations. While I found this scene – and the band’s subsequent decision to have Mason and Kevan tour with them for ten days to show what they can do – rather unbelievable, it’s also the point at which the book becomes interesting.
As the tour starts, Mason and Kevan are business enemies, but they end up sharing Mason’s RV, forcing them into constant contact with each other. This leads to lengthy passages of Kevan lusting for Mason, and of course, to a lot of hot sex. But Kevan’s convinced all they will ever have is sex. She thinks Mason is Ivy League Corporate while she’s low rent street smarts. The financial burdens of her business and her brother’s rehabilitation are nearly overwhelming.
Both Mason and Kevan eventually turn out to be interesting characters. Kevan’s always been the curvy girl with the pretty face. She had a difficult childhood and has worked at a variety of jobs, including as a pinup model, in order to pay her way through college, get a degree and start her own company. While Mason is known as the Iceman, because he’s always in control, he’s recently had a humiliating meeting with his company’s board of directors. If he doesn’t increase revenues – and doesn’t land Manix Curse – he’ll be fired. I liked seeing him and Kevan work, compete, and learn to appreciate each other as the tour went on.
In the early stages, Beautiful Crazy felt simply like a hookup between two hot sexy people rather than a romance. Rather than true character development, aspects of Kevan and Mason’s characters and backgrounds were introduced as throw-away sentences, with no evidence and no depth. Fortunately, the book eventually turned around, and left me intrigued by both Kevan and Mason, but even so, it’s just too uneven for me to recommend. The ending is interesting enough that I will probably take a chance on the second in the series, hoping that it’s more like the latter part of this book.