REVIEW: Back Stage by T Gephart

Published: June 8, 2015

Publishers: Self Published

Format: Ebook Courtesy of the Author

RRP: $3.99

Series: Power Station Series, Book 3

4/5 Stars 

Rock Star? Angie Morelli was not one. Growing up next to Power Station’s drummer didn’t guarantee a taste of the limelight, unless you count catcalls at low paying gigs in seedy bars and second-rate venues. She was okay with that; working her ass off at her dad’s mechanic shop during the day meant she could live her dream at night. She didn’t need Power Station waltzing back into her life, Jason Irwin had done enough damage the first time. Could she let go of her hurt for a chance of hitting the big time?

A one-night stand right before Jason Irwin left for his big break was no big deal. Except it wasn’t just any girl— it was Angie, Troy’s hot but young and inexperienced neighbor. It should never have happened, so best he pretend like it didn’t. Ten years later he remembered exactly why he went down that road. She was even hotter and she was also pissed as hell. Sounded like the perfect combination to invite on their world tour.

The road was not the place for history. It was bound to get ugly.

Book Three of the Power Station Series.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Aussie author T. Gephart is a natural born story teller. Her books read effortlessly and her latest novel in the Power Station Series, Back Stage, is no different. Not only is the narrative gripping and highly entertaining, but it’s addictive and makes you want to see these two fictional bands in concert for yourself! If that’s not the mark of fantastic writing then I don’t know what is.

Like the previous two novels in the series, Back stage is centred around one of Power Stations band members. This time it’s Jason Irwin, the keyboard players turn to fall in love. Used to being in the background, and thus invisible almost, and dealing with some hard hitting personal problems, the road to love is not an easy one for Jason. In fact by simply wanting Angie some ten years ago, he instantly stuffed up the one thing that could have meant something to him. He’s terrified to want it, to want her, and he’ll self destruct before he ruins her like he did himself.

Angie Morelli is the lead singer in her band. Unlike Power Station they are still small town, playing gigs in pubs and working day jobs to get by. When Power Station turn up after a gig offering her band the opening act on their national arena tour, Angie immediately turns them down. She doesn’t need to ride no one’s tail coat to gain respect and stardom, she’s confident her band will make it on their own… one day. Or at least that’s what she tells herself, for her initial reasons for turning down the offer has more to do with the fact that being on that particular tour means facing Jason Irwin night after night… he’s already broken her heart ten years ago, she doesn’t want to give him a chance to break anything else ever again.

Back Stage is a very easy book to read. It’s highly entertaining, and full of Gephart’s trademark witty banter. The main characters in this book are full of life and overflowing with personality that it bubbles up and spills from the page and I challenge anyone not to laugh at least one of the exchanges between any of the characters. I for one found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

The characters in both bands here are flawed and it so refreshing to see in a narrative of this kind. It makes them all that more believable in many ways – I don’t doubt for a second that there are people out there like some of the guys and girls. Despite being mega stars with sold out tours in America, these characters are easy to relate to for they suffer from many of the same things we do: terrible pasts, heartbreak, loss and need to find your own place in the world with no clue on how to get there.

The romance in this book is hot and the chemistry is off the charts! After having had a one night stand that haunts both of their lives for ten years, you can expect explosives when they meet again. Jason is angry for the way he let Angie down and what he did, Angie is angry because she thought there was more and she trusted Jason only to be used. Both haven’t forgotten the past and nor are they likely to when they are living in each others pockets so to speak on tour. Lovers turned frenemies turned loves is not a story arc that I’ve seen done well before, but it totally works for this book. Angie one hundred and twenty percent HATES Jason for what he did to her, to the point its shaped much of her life since and she’s not afraid to let him know it. Jason just wants to be near her and after what he’s dealt with in his past, he can take whatever she’s throwing his way. In fact he enjoys her pop turned rock F*** You songs that are directed his way. Needless to say their verbal exchanges are heated – both in chemistry and rage – and there’s just something about two characters trying to one up each other and rile the other up that is fascinating to watch unfold in this book.

I want to give Gephart a huge thumbs up for the way she has portrayed the lifestyle and culture of touring bands in America. We all know the stereotypes – sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and the motto ‘what happens on tour stays on tour’ – and while there are aspects of all of these concepts in this book, it is so much more than a bunch of guys (and girls) getting together bashing the shit out of some instruments, singing a few words and partying like its the 80s. The guys and girls from Power Station and Black Addiction (Angie’s band) both encompass so much more than just a stereotype. They want to play music and be successful, but they also want love, and respect and to feel comfortable in their own skins and be taken serious for their music. What’s more, Gephart has captured her rock stars’ attitudes and the atmosphere of tour life like no other rock star book I’ve read to date. While it may be set in a world that could not be further from a world I live in – Australian and sadly retail – I never once question any aspect of this world. In fact the way Gephart presents it, it feels authentic. Almost as though she’s lived some of the life in America’s spotlight. A huge feat for an Australian who as far as I’m as aware has never really interacted or been heavily involved in this world.

If you’ve read any rockstar romance books and enjoyed them, then I highly recommend this book (and its series) to you. Not only is it’s dialogue on point, and it has a fresh and original voice, but it is a hilarious read that leaves you wanting more. You’ll love it all the way to the very last page, at which point you’ll want to go back and start again just so you can stay with the characters and their crazy ass world.

To learn more about T. Gephart, visit the following sites:

Facebook | Website | Goodreads | Twitter |

 

To purchase a copy of Back Stage, visit the following online retailers;

iBooks AU | Amazon AU | Amazon USSmashwords | Kobo | Barnes & Noble |

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