It’s time to crank your speakers up to 11. We’re going on tour with one of my favorite fictional rock bands, The Sinners.
After the events of the previous Sinners on Tour books, the band is minus their soundboard operator Dave, currently recovering from an accident. This presents an obstacle to resuming their tour schedule so they hire Dave’s sister Rebekah as a replacement, sound unheard so to speak. Did I mention this book has a totally ludicrous plot? Because it does. In spades. But I’m not reading this series for things like “plot” or “gritty reality of stardom.” I’m here for the hot guys.
Drummer Eric Sticks is a complete goner when he sees pint-sized, crazy-haired Reb. Unfortunately for him, Reb wants to hook up with guitarist Trey Mills. Trey is used to Eric watching his flings, but recognizing his buddy is head over heels for Reb, he doesn’t take the bait.
Reb just got out of a long-term relationship with an uptight doctor named Isaac. Having also recently finished cancer treatments, she’s not looking to jump back into another serious relationship. But she connects quickly with the drummer whose blue-streaked hair matches her own as they discover a mutual love of classic sports cars.
I appreciated that Wicked Beat touches on topics that you do not typically see addressed in romance. Rebekah has a number of insecurities related to her cancer treatments and Eric suffers from a sexual dysfunction. Both were handled sensitively in my opinion. Even as I wanted to smack Reb for her blind adoration of Trey, she garnered my sympathy as a woman who had been through great physical and emotional pain and who just wanted to feel sexy and desirable again.
Life on the road with The Sinners is fun and crazy and I love it. I feel like I know these guys, like I could walk onto their bus and just hang out with them. They’re foul and funny, constantly cracking jokes at one another’s expense, not unlike the musicians I know in real life.
But this plot is seriously crazy. Reb is hired on the spot because she is Dave’s sister and has read his notebook containing all the secrets of creating the band’s live sound. She’s recovering from cancer treatment but is able to go on the road during the band’s grueling schedule. Her ex-fiance causes all kinds of trouble for the lovebirds, including faking an engagement to Rebekah. All of this craziness packed into the pages results in conflicts being resolved rather quickly and simply, with only minor discussion. For the most part the story works though, primarily because the book does not take itself so seriously as to have a pall of angst hanging over top of it.
Eric is sweet and adorable throughout the book even if he does have a tendency to blurt out whatever thoughts come to mind, appropriate or not. Rebekah is much harder to warm to, given her blind adulation of Trey and initial dismissal of Eric. But as she develops feelings for him and they bond over bad jokes and his ‘Vette, she becomes much more tolerable.
This is book four in the Sinners on Tour series and in my opinion not as strong as some of the others. The romance works as a standalone, though the reading experience is surely enhanced by knowing the characters from previous novels. It’s a fun ride, provided the reader is willing to engage in an unusual amount of suspension of disbelief.