Contemporary Romance

Review: One Wicked Lick from the Drummer by Ainslie Paton


Title: One Wicked Lick from the Drummer 
Author: Ainslie Paton
Genre: Contemporary romance, Rockstar, Second chance
Release Date: 18 June 2020

Author's links:

My rating: 4.5 Stars


As the wildly exciting drummer in an up-and-coming band, Grip was at the top of Mina’s list of hot drummers to hook-up with.

She’d promised herself that after she nailed him, she’d quit her groupie life, finish her finance degree and become her own rock star.

Fifteen years later, she’s right on track, a polished professional investment advisor, her goth-look and the name she used back then a distant memory.

Except the new client in the boardroom is her old obsession, more sexy and famous than ever, and her promotion to partner depends on making him happy.

With her clothes on.

He’ll never guess who she was, so her secret was safe, until her obsession comes roaring back—and Grip remembers the one girl he could never forget.


This is the final book in a trio of standalones of contemporary deliciously tropey celebrities romances. I enjoyed a lot the first two, with the first one being my favourite. I was looking forward to the 3rd one and it turned out just as good as I expected it to be. 

It’s a second chance rockstar romance, sort of opposites attract. She was a groupie with a list of rockstars to bang, now is all prim and proper financial advisor. He is the same wild drummer, all heart and music. They meet 15 years later and BOOM! the attraction is instant and irresistible. 

I liked how they reconnect (while she keeps her true identity from him). Lots of sexy times, lots of music and I especially loved how it was presented as an integral part of his identity and his life. I liked getting glimpses of his band and best friends, the cameos of the MCs from the first two book were just perfect. Still, the story is very much focused on the MCs and their relationship, lots of inner conflict.  

What didn’t fully work for me was how she suddenly confided and sought the advice of her co-worker and not her best friend. It felt out of the blue and out of character for her but in the end it's a minor detail that didn't affected much my overall enjoyment of the story.

It's a quick, sexy read, perfect escape and reminder to let our wild side out even if it’s just once in a while. 

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Here are my reviews of the previous two books in the series which I can highly recommend as well:

Contemporary Romance

Review: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall


Title: Boyfriend Material
Author: Alexis Hall
Genre/Themes: contemporary, m/m romcom, fake relatioship
Release Date: 7 July 2020

Author's links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 5 Stars


One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way

Luc O'Donnell is tangentially--and reluctantly--famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he's never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad's making a comeback, Luc's back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship...and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He's a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he's never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that's when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don't ever want to let them.


I am a long time fan of Alexis Hall and this has been one of my most anticipated romance releases of year and it lived up to my expectations and well beyond them. I loved everything about that story, the main and side characters, the romance, the growing up both Luc and Oliver go through, the humour that made me laugh out loud more than once. It's a truly hilarious story,  I can't remember when was the last time a book made me laugh so much! There are so many memorable lines in it - the dick pics jokes, Alex and Miffy (short for Clara), the CRAPP foundation, and more.

It’s a light-hearted romcom with unexpected depths of feelings. It’s mostly drama-free though some serious life issues show their heads. It’s an opposites attract fake romance that gets real pretty fast. The story is told from Luc’s POV and we get to see a messy young man find his way towards a more fulfilling life. Oliver is all prim and proper (on the surface), with a good career, seemingly in complete control of his life.  As the story progresses we see that he has his own issues, just like the rest of us. It does take him a while to accept that and the allow himself to be loved for who he is and get the help and support he needs. 

I liked the very Britishmess of the setting and characters, it shone through in every scene and it made me very happy. What I like the most about Alexis Hall’s stories in general is how real and relatable his characters feel to me. Yes, there are over-the-top moments and situations, all the more here since it’s a romcom, but at the same time it all feels real - the relationships, their fears and dreams and coping mechanisms and the things that bring them joy and frustration. We see a multitude of characters here, both straight and queer, upper and middle class, successful and struggling. All of them stand on their own, have their quirks and weaknesses and make mistakes and grand gestures. 

It's a low-heat romance with more focus on the getting the characters to talk honestly to each other than of their sexual relationship. The heart-to-hearts of Luc and Oliver were most tender ones, so much truth and feelings in simple, everyday words and actions. 

We get to meet found and bio families in all their glory and heart-break, they both can be amazing and fun and supporting but also destructive and abusive and we see it here. 

My only minor complaint is that the ending felt rushed, or I simply wanted more time with Luc and Oliver dealing with their personal issues together as a couple that loves and supports each other. 

CW: homophobia, cancer scare, gaslighting, emotional manipulation

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