Holy hotness! Cecilia Tan has done it again with Wild Licks. The second installment in the series featured Mal – the brooding guitarist who absolutely had to be inspired just a teeny bit by Ian Astbury of the Cult (all that long hair!!). I’m a hopeless sucker for a brooding alpha hero in any genre, but when you dress them up in all black, my inner Goth girl starts jumping for joy.
Mal is one messed-up dude. He’s unapologetic about his kink but uses it like a shield. Beyond that, he can’t get out of his own way most of the time, and his friends/bandmates spend a lot of time and energy managing his precarious moods and temper.
Enter Gwen, who he becomes almost instantly obsessed with… and then spends the entire book trying to convince himself he should (and can) walk away from. The book is exceptional in its exploration of their troubled relationship, and also a great romp anytime the scene shifted to Hollywood glamour.
Despite its reliance on adults who can’t use their words (so frustrating!!), this book hit all the right notes for me. It was (as mentioned) incredibly hot at moments – and wide-ranging, much more than just tie-me-up-tie-me-down BDSM – but also tender, and in particular I enjoyed the portrayals of the relationships between the secondary characters. And even though Mal was such a dick through 96% of the book, I was still cheering for him and Gwen to get their HEA.
The only thing I really wished for more of was to see more music stuff – I mean, it’s about a rock band/rock musicians, and as a reader of Tan’s Daron’s Guitar Chronicles I know she can write musical details with the best of them. I always love to see the inner workings/inner details of a character’s life.
Now I’m eagerly awaiting Book 3. Can’t wait to see what Cecilia Tan comes up with next!
P.S. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I’m super grateful because it meant I got my greedy little hands on this hot delicious story early!