Series: #1 & #2 Groupie Romance Series
Author: Ginger Voight
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Synopses from GoodReads:
Into any girl's life a star could fall, but there's a thin line between love and obsession.
Andy Foster never expected lightning to strike when she met the enigmatic frontman of an up-and-coming rock band, but Giovanni Carnevale left her thunderstruck. At first it is easy to use her freelance writing career as an excuse to indulge the steamy flirtation from city to city. As she gets ever closer to making her lascivious fantasies a reality, however, she finds herself entangled in the fake and sometimes dangerous world of celebrity where nothing is as it seems, including the celebrities themselves.
She hangs on to find something real amidst the illusion, while Giovanni balances what he wants against what he fears most. Over three years they come together and blow apart with the same kind of combustible passion. This keeps them orbiting in the others' stratosphere despite new relationships and bitter betrayals. They are bound together by something they can't fight, something that draws the ire of another fan determined to claim Vanni all to herself.
Unknowingly they all race toward a dramatic moment of truth that will leave two people injured, and one dead, with a twist of an ending you may never see coming.
Author of LOVE PLUS ONE and MY IMMORTAL, Ginger Voight once again brings Rubenesque romance to life through a curvy heroine and the sexy rock god who wants her. It is the ultimate fantasy for anyone who has ever indulged a celebrity crush, and wondered "what if" you ever got that one chance to be with your idol. More than a romance, GROUPIE is a sizzling contemporary read that throws back the curtain on the lives of celebrities and the fans who love them.
"Rock Star" is the highly anticipated sequel to Ginger Voight's Rock and Roll Rubenesque saga, which began with the sizzling debut of "Groupie." For those who have been anxious to see what has become of Andy, Vanni and Graham... buckle your seat belts. You're in for a thrilling new ride right through the dark underbelly of fame.
In the second book in the series, readers get insight into the mind of the romantic hero, Giovanni Carnevale, as he reaches the pinnacle of success as a world wide rock star. Everyone wants a piece of him, but all he wants is the one thing he can't have. He's angry and he's entitled, with ample opportunity to make really bad decisions. The combination proves explosive.
Andy must watch from the sidelines as her beloved Vanni falls victim to grifters, scandals and alcoholism thanks to this self-destructive behavior. Things come to an emotional head when his estranged father comes on the scene just when Vanni thinks things can't get any worse.
Darkness shadows Graham Baxter as he begins his journey as a paraplegic. The powerful mogul bitterly handles this new vulnerability by lashing out at the people who could help him the most. He needs Andy more than ever, pulling her in yet another hopeless direction. Andy is put in the impossible situation of keeping the most important promise she has ever made, or saving the man that she can't help but love.
Author Ginger Voight turns up the scandals, secrets, passion and heartbreak to 11 in a very Jackie Collins type of way. Flawed characters face excess and all the pitfalls that entails. They fight as hard as they can to hold onto anything real in the fake world of celebrity.
First of all, let me say that I love, love, love these books - even though at times I hated them! :) These characters and the situations they are put in/put themselves in...it's like seeing a train wreck about to happen...you know it's coming but you can't make yourself look away! And the entire time I was reading these books, I felt as though I was at the highest point on a roller coaster about to go over the edge but never tipped over so I constantly had that feeling in my tummy...you know that feeling?!?
These books even come with a disclaimer:
This series features a hero you might find you love to hate, a heroine you may want to slap, and frustrating triangles with dubious fidelity. Those who cannot abide “cheaters,” who need their bad boys to be mostly good, or who must have a HEA at the end of each book, may be advised to look elsewhere.
Without a doubt, there were times in these books where I wished I could reach out and slap any number of the characters! Despite the angst and frustration over their behavior, I still highly recommend reading this series. I haven't had my emotions toyed with in this way in awhile...and I read some angsty books. :)
In Groupie, we first meet Andy Foster. She's an up and coming journalist trying to break into the entertainment industry. While she primarily writes travel pieces, we meet her on her way to cover a band on the cusp of stardom...Dreaming in Blue. Andy is a self-confident, no-nonsense young woman who happens to be a bit more curvaceous that America's ideal. When she meets Vanni, the lead singer for DIB, she really was thunderstruck. It was the beginning of a tumultuous love affair that ends up spanning 4 years.
Giovanni "Vanni" Carnevale, oh Vanni...*sigh* Vanni is the epitome of a bad boy rock star. He's *HOT*, can sing and makes all the women swoon. He has all the makings of a BIG star. He likes to play with all the ladies but he always makes sure they know that he'll never offer them more than one night. When Vanni and the band sign on with a record label, the future looks very bright. But they didn't realize signing that contract meant selling their souls too.
Enter Graham Baxter - founder of Baxter Mega-Worldwide Media Corporation. Graham meets Andy, whom he's immediately attracted to, and Vanni while in Las Vegas for a rock fest where one of his bands is performing. When Andy turns to Graham for his help with Vanni, it's the start to a back & forth relationship between the two of them which causes profound ripple effects for all.
Andy is able to rescue Vanni from a bad situation with his record label. She also becomes a fixture with the band as she performs several functions in public relations for the band. Vanni and Andy embark on a relationship of sorts but it's never a public one. Andy deals with a ton of shit to be in the quasi-relationship with Vanni...his womanizing ways, his public girlfriends and his fawning fans. Is it worth it? And then a fan goes too far....
In Rock Star, our couple has to contend with a whole new set of challenges keeping them apart - at least physically. One of Vanni's fans, in a fit of, well, crazy, came after Andy in a violent way. This, on the day when Vanni was finally going to go public with their relationship. Graham was the one who jumped to Andy's rescue and now Andy is captive to him and her guilt over the incident.
Vanni, of course, doesn't take it well that Andy is willing to live with Graham through his recovery; he needs her too, afterall. So he escapes with alcohol to drown his pain while Andy focuses all her energy helping Graham.
Graham, who has fallen in love with Andy, wants to keep her close so he can show her how Vanni's all wrong for her, while he's all right. It hurts him to see Andy run to Vanni again and again, although he knows Andy has feelings for him as well. But he's hurting Andy too by keeping her loyalties divided. If only he could just get her to see the error of her ways...
This book has even more angst and woe (yes, it's possible!) as our star-crossed lovers try to lead separate lives. Vanni gets himself into several jams as he deals with his pain in self-destructive ways. And Andy is continually torn between Vanni and Graham, whom she has come to love although not in the same all-consuming way she loves Vanni. However, nothing seems to be able to keep these two apart. Except, of course, whatever force of the universe that always seems to interfere when things look up for them.
What I've enjoyed most, I think, about these books is the journey of all the key characters. We wee where they started out emotionally and we get to watch them change and grow - particularly Vanni. I mean, this man has the emotional IQ of a 4 year old, and that may be a stretch. He's selfish and entitled but deep down, he's a good man. And y'all know I love my bad boys to have redeeming qualities! :) Even with Andy and Graham we get to watch as their love grows and changes and that makes it worth enduring all the turmoil and heartache I had to wade through. The range of emotions this series has wrought from me is widespread. I was elated sometimes and saddened others. Nervous, irritated, and giddy. Having body image issues myself, the things that were sometimes said about Andy were insufferable. But the moments of tenderness and love always smoothed my ruffled feathers. What these characters have together is something amazing, despite its flaws.
Oh, and I cannot finish this review without mentioned supporting characters. Y'all know how I love strong supporting characters. And this series has them. From Andy's BFFs Iris, Alana and Jacob to Vanni's bandmates Felix, Iain, and Yael, who all lovingly try to protect Andy. Oh, and Maggie, sweet, strong, Maggie. Now here's a role model for Andy! :) Each one of these characters brought so much to the story.
Overall, like the disclaimer says, if you like your stories a certain way, you may want to steer clear of these. They will tear your heart out, then gently mend it. And I LOVED.EVERY.MINUTE.OF.THEM!
By the way, I have finished the final book in this trilogy, Mogul. Be sure to check back for its review plus an interview on February 11th.