Release Date: November 16, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle but I also had the pleasure of being a beta reader as well. This in no way affected my rating and my review is voluntarily provided.
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Goodreads ~ Amazon
A rock star. A stripper. Can a hookup lead to a happily ever after?
A drummer. A rapper. A rock king.
My brother's best friend.
Arrogant. Forbidden.. Do-not-go-there-trouble.
The sexy Latino was too old for me when we first met and I was in high school. But he was my first love. I've never gotten over him.
Stripper. Exotic dancer. Her stage name is Queen.
My bandmate's little sister.
Spicy and sweet. The spark that fires my inspiration. The rhythm to my beat.
She's the one I imagine when I settle for the others. My ultimate fantasy. Only I can never have her.
Until I arrive in Vegas to record my solo rap album, visit a strip club, and there she is. Miriam was supposed to be in college, but she's not. She is so not.
Sin City, a place where anything can happen, and I'm the only one in the band who knows her secret.
So why resist anymore?
Who could possibly stop me?
Ah the Tempting Men of Tempest...I'm so sad to see this series come to an end but I'm been eager to finally get King's story, to see who stole his heart. Scandalous Beat was the perfect way to round out one of my favorite Rock Star series.
In Miriam, we have a young woman who had a difficult childhood suffering from dyslexia and verbal abuse. She found solace in acting. She's such a sweetheart. Selfless, loyal, and caring...she puts others' needs and feelings before her own.
In Juaquin, we have a talented young man who also grew up in hardship. He lost his brother to gang violence and has dealt with anger management issues for most of his life. He's loyal and caring but finds it difficult to deal with his emotions.
These two together were always magic. They met when Miriam was too young but they shared a special connection, were kindred souls. But even once Miriam was of age, Juaquin felt himself unworthy of her attention, plus being the little sister of his bandmate automatically put her on the "off-limits" list.
- Forbidden Romance
This was a trope that really worked in this case. Not only was there the age difference and the bandmate connection, but Miriam served as Beauty to Juaquin's Beast. There were all the reasons in the world for them to be apart but fate seemed to bring them together.
- The Journey
Yes, there were obstacles against them...age, etc., but the biggest obstacle was not knowing themselves. Juaquin, in his desire for Miriam to have better than him, unwittingly hurt her over and over again. Miriam, in her desire to have him, lost herself. When they are thrown into each other's paths once again, without the reminder of the original obstacles, they both journey towards finding themselves, realizing their true worth as well as their feelings for each other. As Miriam said, "[Love is] about becoming something better because you're together. Transforming each other's weaknesses into strengths. Making something beautiful together."
- Relevant Issues
This is a specialty of Mankin's, bringing awareness to social issues. Scandalous Beat was no exception. There were a couple of topics touched on including abuse and dyslexia but the main point I felt Mankin was trying to make was having the courage to ask for help when you need it. The way in which she conveyed Miriam's courage in getting the help she needed was brilliant as well as how she parlayed it into a way to help others.
Mankin is adept at evoking strong emotions. The push and pull between Miriam and Juaquin kept me on edge, alternately cheering, steaming, or crying. The depth of feeling between these two was something special.
- Secondary Cast
The secondary cast was a strength - not only because I got to spend time with some of the other Tempest couples but I also got to know Miriam's best friend, Mike. Mike is well developed and added complexity and depth to Miriam as well as the story. Mankin also skillfully tied in people and plot lines from earlier stories.
Scandalous Beat delivered characters that are genuine, a compelling story, and the full range of emotions as well as some smoking smexy scenes. It was the perfect way to "crown" this series.