Playing With the Drummer (Head Over Heels #3)

cover57839-mediumAuthor: Robin Covington

Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC

Rating: 4.5

Buy Links: Author’s page: Pre-Order, Out Dec 29, 2014

Type: Novel in Series

Received from Publisher

Blurb: Entertainment journalist Lita Matthews is on the verge of making it big. As in her-own-TV-show big. She just needs amazing inside scoop on the year’s hottest celebrity wedding. Instead, her big break is becoming a big nightmare—all thanks to rock star Rocky Cardano. Who apparently hasn’t gotten over what happened between them four years ago…

Rocky is pretty damn familiar with just how far Lita will go for a “scoop.” Hell, their unbelievably hot hook-up in Mexico years ago was the story of a lifetime. Rocky’s learned his lessons. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep her from the story—even if he has to seduce her to the point of distraction! But Lita has always had a way of getting under his skin. Only this time, he won’t be able to just walk away…

Review: Robin Covington knows how to set up a story–and set it up she did with Playing with the Drummer! The scenes are scorching hot, the setting is gorgeous, and the characters are drawn out and thoroughly engaged with each other and their relationships are believable and real.

Lita Matthews has had it with relationships with men. Four years ago she thought she’d found the real thing with stranger-in-the-bar Rocky Cardano when they hooked up for three days in Mexico–that is, until he realized who she was and accused her of trying to out him to the public. Out of spite, she’d revealed his location to the press and proved him right, at least in that regard. But she never revealed the secrets that the two had shared during their shared idyll in those three sunny days and intimate nights–and neither of them could ever forget how incredibly good they were together, or how close they’d become…

Lita was Hollywood royalty–the child of an Oscar-winning film producer father and a famous model mother. After some setbacks she’s determined to be a journalist and is now angling to get her own shown on Entertainment Tonight. Her big break is covering the wedding of her best friend Lori Hanover’s sister Callie to Jake Mitchell, the lead singer of the hot band The Rift. It’s going to be a tightrope walk with her journalistic integrity on one side and loyalty to her friends on the other– but she feels like she can do it. However, it’s going to be harder than she realized because even though she thought her boss understood her position, it turns out he doesn’t care and he’s expecting the dirt only a close friend like Lita can bring. And leading with a soft story to help her friends isn’t going to do that. He expects her to totally bitch down and betray them to get the job she wants.

The engaged couple have faced lots of challenges since announcing their wedding, including an enraged ex-fiance who’s very vocal in the Hollywood media circles, painting herself as the victim of home-wrecker Callie. This has caused huge PR and business problems for Callie’s dream, Calliope Shoe Designs. That’s why Lori and her boyfriend Dash Mills, ex-member of The Rift, have asked Lita to come and cover the wedding from Callie’s point-of-view, to help get her some favorable coverage in the press, and to help build up her business again. It’s been a disaster, and Lori sees her sister crumbling from the stress.

Rocky Cardano has risen from a very ugly past, and he has a lot of very ugly secrets to match. That why he’s always been the reclusive, invisible member of The Rift. When he’d met Lita in Mexico four years earlier, they hadn’t known each other and both kept it that way, Lita asking that they keep it to first names only and only made up ones at that! He’d completely altered his appearance at the time, cutting his hair and shaving off his facial hair; Lita had been in Europe for several years and had not kept up with the American rock scene and had no clue who he was even if he’d looked the way he normally did. So he was really surprised to find out press credentials in her luggage and jumped to the wrong conclusions, attacked her, she left and retaliated without thinking. She later apologized but it was too late; Rocky and Lita were then forced for four years to ignore each other at functions and yet be sizzlingly aware of each other and remember how it was those three hot days in Mexico…

So it’s no surprise that Rocky doesn’t trust Lita’s motivations at the wedding. He thinks she’s there to get a shocking story to sell her way into her own show. He’s pretty sure even her friendship with Lori won’t stop her from betraying Jake and Callie–given the way that she’d betrayed him. So he’s detailed as groomsman to guard her and make sure that she stays on the straight and narrow. But watching her means he actually has to… watch her. And that opens a whole new can of worms for Rocky. He’s starting to remember their connection, and the fact that she did apologize, and that she hadn’t really betrayed more than his location. Had he ruined a good thing by pushing her away and not letting her explain?

Life loves to teach lessons, and even in glamorous made-up worlds trying to make everyone happy never works. Lita may be well-intentioned–but her boss isn’t; she’s in a volatile situation with Callie and Jake asking a whole lot of her; and Rocky is sitting like a gator on a log, just waiting for her to do the wrong thing. Countdown, three…two…VIDEO IS LIVE! Wha?!

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